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After Disney closed one of its major studios, animation is under pressure in pandemic Hollywood

By Christopher Holliday, Lecturer in Film Studies, Department of Liberal Arts, King's College London
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Last year’s computer-animated feature Trolls World Tour served as an early test case for movie releases during the pandemic. The film appeared on video-on-demand streaming services the same day as its limited theatrical run in April 2020. And the industry was keen to know whether audiences would be eager to stump up rental fees to watch new releases online when they couldn’t get out to the cinema.

As it turned out, the movie quickly made over US$200 million (£142 million) in rentals. Its distributors Universal began…

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