We're developing a bunch of different projects to show John Lasseter. It's a complicated process. We pitch to a development group, they tell us which ones they like, then tell us that people who're pitching need to develop three pitches for Joh, since he likes artists showing him three things.
And when we do pitch, it's made clear to us that the stories aren't necessarily for a hand-drawn project. When we've brought it up with John Lasseter, he's shied away from commiting to a hand-drawn feature ...
This is a turn-around from a few years ago, when the idea was to have hand-drawn features created in Burbank, and the CG features produced at Emeryville.
My thought is: John Lasseter is a smart man. He likes hand-drawn but he recognizes they way the wind is blowing. Princess and the Grog grossed $300 million globally; Tangled grossed twice that. When the gap is so wide, it's an easy corporate decision to say: "We're going with CGI."
Ron Clements and John Musker are developing a hand-drawn feature that, if what I've been shown holds up, will look one hell of a lot different from Show White. The scuttlebutt I've heard indicates that Mr. Lasseter isn't as keen on greenlighting hand-drawn epics as he was a few years ago. But who inside Diz Co. could blame him? More than overseeing hand-drawn animation, John Lasseter wants to win. And he's probably made the judgment that creating hand-drawn features isn't a winning corporate strategy.
Even so, I was disheartened to read this from Mr. Kousac down below:
Thankfully, no "hand drawn" cartoons are in the work at Disney for the forseeable future. Looking forward to seeing the Disney artists take hold of their new digital tools.
Sorry, Mr. Kousac. You can be as glad as you like Disney hasn't got any hand-drawn features on its "to do" list. But I think the world is a little bit diminished if the curtain now rings down on big, hand-drawn features. They had a lilting, personalized quality to them, and they are missed.