Friday, April 11, 2008

At Disney Animation Studios

A short report on the hat building, where I whiled away the middle of Thursday afternoon.

Bolt is moving into higher gears as more of the staff begings getting overtime. As one artist said:

"I caught a screening of the film, mostly story reels now, a few days ago. I hadn't seen it in some time, and they've revamped the story a lot since January. And I really thought it worked well ..."

Princess and the Frog now has production animation going on, as well as experimental animation. The studio formed a study group to analyze the hand-drawn features of the nineties to sort out what elements worked and what didn't, how they can get the most bang for their production buck, etc.

I know next to nothing about the pictures themselves, and wouldn't say much about them if I did.

20 comments:

Rosalba said...

Wow!

Thank you Steve!

Steve, is it true that Mark Henn is the supervising animator of Tiana, the main heroine of "The Princess and the Frog"?

Larry Levine said...

I hope "The Princess & the Frog" is a big success, 2D feature animation is too great & important an art form to be relegated to nostalgic obscurity!

ics said...

I read that also Eric Goldberg is involved in "The Princess and the Frog"... Is he supervising animator of Prince Naveen or alligator Louis or Dr. Facilier?

Larry Levine said...

Eric Goldberg is among my top favorite Disney animators & whichever character he's working on his stamp of excellence will be clearly visible.

Anonymous said...

Mark Henn is the Sup.Animator on Tiana. :)

RE: Bolt...95% of anyone you talk to who saw the screening *literally* raved about the story, the look, the humor, etc. The film turned a corner and has blossomed into something to be very proud of as a studio.

Anonymous said...

A "study group"?!? Un-f**king-believable. Perhaps if they weren't so busy chasing nearly all of the directors and producers from that era out the door...

Anonymous said...

" how they can get the most bang for their production buck, etc ".

Are those the code words for "outsourcing to non-union studios" ?

Floyd Norman said...

If you have to analyze hand drawn features you're already in trouble.

You either know - - or you don't.

Anonymous said...

I heard that they were going to outsource, too. With the economy, the employment situation, and the political atmosphere being what it is, I can't believe that they are even considering it.(Not to mention John Lassiter's more than reliable box office track record). Perhaps they should poll their shareholders in whose name they always pull these chintzy-assed moves. Do they really want to handle the first 2-D feature in years like another direct-to-DVD job? Part 2 of "Dream On Silly Dreamer" will have to be filmed in Canada. Has anyone seen Roy lately?

Steve Hulett said...

is it true that Mark Henn is the supervising animator of Tiana, the main heroine of "The Princess and the Frog"?


I'm told Mr. Henn is animating the little girl. Does she grow up to be the Princess? I don't know, so I'm asking.

Steve Hulett said...

Remember there's a peer review process on story development at Pixar and Disney.

Story shown to the peer group at Pixar, notes given. Same process at Disney.

Nothing new to it really. The same thing was done for WDP's animated features. Ward Kimball said so.

Alvin said...

> I heard that they were going to outsource, too.
>With the economy, the employment situation,
>and the political atmosphere being what it is,
>I can't believe that they are even considering it.

They're not considering it... they're DOING it. Ed Catmull maintains that outsourcing is necessary as a cost-effective means of "saving the art form".

Anonymous said...

They "saved" the art form by getting rid of Eisner and by hiring Lassiter. Unfortunately, Mr. Catmull still seems to be making Eisner-esque decisions. I guess money paid to animators pushing mouse buttons is money well spent, (keep those visas rolling), but money paid to artists with pencils is apparently money wasted.

Anonymous said...

I'm not crazy about the fact that parts of "Princess" will be outsourced, but at least a little context is helpfull...

First, NONE of the actual animating will be outsourced. All in-house, with quite an awesome crew of animators being assembled.

To my knowledge, the only aspects that will be outsourced will be some inbetweening, and a portion of the cleanup. I imagine probably some of the ink and paint process as well.

The outsourcing will be to LOCAL studios in the Los Angeles area, from my understanding. No idea whether they will be union or non-union.

Again, I'm not defending the outsourcing decision--I believe strongly that the best quality control is to keep it all in-house. I'm disappointed that they have decided to go down the outsourcing road.

On a brighter note--in my very humble opinion, Bolt has turned out to be (by far) the best story Disney has come up with since the Lion King/Aladdin days.

soel Jilver said...

Whoa! You think Bolt is as strong as Aladdin? Really? It looks really pedestrian from the artwork and story I've seen. Granted, I haven't seen the story up on reels of course. What is it about the film you think is so great? Curious, that's all. I hope it's great, I do. I long for the days when Disney was the goal for everyone to reach for, not Pixar.

I'm looking forward to Princess and the Frog and Rapunzel more than Bolt since it looks like the kind of thing that I know Disney can do so well.

Anonymous said...

"Local?" That would be nice. Where did you hear "local?" I heard Toronto and Orlando. That's not local.

Paco said...

I was wondering if folks protest to work potentially going Orlando becasue its a right to work state and theres no union? or do they just not want work to go anywhere else and keep it all in California?

I'm not sure waht the big picture looks like in California when it comes to work. I hear from some that there is plenty of work and from others that things are tight.

Here in Florida we dont have as many options unless you get on a plane an leave. I know thats there are many very talented animation artist here with 15 plus years experince and it would be nice to be able to contribute to a big production again.

I wish there could be more love out there when it comes to this whole business be it union or non-union.

P

Pixar Dusted said...

> I long for the days when Disney was the goal
> for everyone to reach for, not Pixar.

Give it 10 years. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I know some studios in europe that have been doing cleanup/inbetweening tests.

Arthur K said...

I am not sure if Fox or other studios are doing similar things here in Australia

Site Meter