Many modern films make heavy use of digital processing and special effects. Some even include entire characters created using digital animation, such as Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy and the titular Alita in Alita: Battle Angel. However, there are essentially no films for adults created entirely using 3D animation (with or without motion capture). Why?
3D animated films tageted at children have been wildly popular, sometimes even among adults, like Frozen. 2D animated films and series targeted at adults have also seen success, like Archer and countless anime films. So why has nobody combined 3D rendering with a plot and themes targeted at an adult audience? I have thought about several explanations, but none of them make much sense to me.
- Animation quality: Adults pay more attention to details, and may think that a film is poorly animated, while children don't notice this and enjoy the film anyway. But both Alita and Guardians of the Galaxy were praised for their VFX, so why can't all characters in the film be animated?
- Cost: Producing good quality CGI is labor-intensive and therefore expensive. At the same time, it reduces or eliminates the expeditures associated with travel, costumes and camera equipment. For example, animated Disney films generally have similar budgets to live-action ones, so cost shouldn't be a problem either.
- Actor recognition: Famous actors may attract audiences to see a film, which doesn't work as well if they don't actually appear onscreen. But they can still do voice acting and, if needed, motion capture, which should be enough for viewers to associate their names with the film.
Obviously, I must be wrong somewhere, since nobody actually makes this type of movies. But why? Is there simply no demand for them or does a better explanation exist?