I spent half the day at Disney Animation Studios, where the finishing touches are going onto The Princess and the Frog and work for Rapunzel continues to ramp up ...
Plus a staffer told me about Disney's next hand-drawn feature project:
"We're doing a new Winnie the Pooh feature at high speed, boarding it like mad. We've taken some of the gems out of the Milne books and strung them together. Marketing says that the the featurette compilation from the sixties (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) sells steadily every time it has a new video release, but the television stuff of "Winnie the Pooh" doesn't much sell at all."
"This project is going to be an all-new feature. There was talk of having one of the original featurettes up at the front, but now it's going to be original stuff from front to back. I think the studio has figured out that going with feature quality animation will be more profitable in the long run, since the original featurettes are still selling well ..."
I talked to another artist, and we fell into a discussion about all the features DreamWorks has in development ("a lot .... especially compared to here ..."). On the other hand, Disney might have fewer things cooking at each of its different divisions, but it has a lot of divisions.
There's Disney Animation Studio (with DisneyToons producing direct-to-video features).
And there's Image Movers Digital, Robert Z.'s animation shop in Novato, California. that has various projects in the development hopper.
Disney and director Robert Zemeckis are negotiating to remake “Yellow Submarine,” the 1968 psychedelic animated film based on the music of The Beatles.
The studio has been quietly brokering a complicated rights deal that would give Zemeckis access to 16 original Beatles songs for a movie he will direct in the performance-capture 3-D digital production format he employed for “A Christmas Carol.” ...
Not long ago I did some rough addition in my head and decided that Disney, if you add up all their different divisions and subsidiaries, has a wide and deep development slate, probably a few more than DreamWorks, when all the different features are put onto the tote board.