Animation continues to become a larger and more integrated component of the film, television and video game industries. On their own animated films are now some of the largest and most successful ever. Frozen was the 8th highest grossing film of all time, Toy story, Minions, and Despicable Me 2 were all billion dollar films. In television too animated series like Family Guy, Archer, and Ajin (to name a very few) continue to be popular. But even within more traditional ‘live’ film and television, animation in the form of CGI and motion graphics are becoming a larger and more closely integrated component.
I would be hard pressed to find a film or television series that did not incorporate animation in some form - even if that was only in the opening sequence or closing credits. It would be hard to imagine Lord of the Rings, or the Hobbit series without the use of CGI. None of the almost endless list of recent superhero movies would have been possible without extensive use of CGI, in fact whole characters (e.g. ultron) were created using them.
A great recent example of near seamless integration of animation with live action was in the recent ‘Battle of the Bastards’ episode in the Game of Thrones series. You may not want to follow this link if you haven’t already watched the latest season of GoT but this CGI breakdown of the battle is amazing:
The CGI for the scene (according to the website linked) was produced by Australian animation and visual effects studio ‘iloura’ and I think they can be really proud of the work they did here. But what impresses me most about this scene is how hard it is to spot the CGI from the live action, it is the integration of the two mediums that really makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts; this integration would have required unbelievable coordination, imagination, and trust between directors, action sequence coordinators, actors, and visual effects artists to name just a few of the groups I'm sure were involved in the creation of this scene. Animation as a stand alone art form is of course great but its use as a sometimes invisible component of a much larger story telling experience is what is really exciting and the future of film and television.