Sunday, February 26, 2006

New Disney Hand-Drawn Features??

As many of you may know, James Baxter's Pasadena studio is providing new animated sequences for Disney's upcoming "Enchanted." Jim Hill at has an interesting take on this: Here's a key quote: "Mind you, based on what I've been hearing ... If traditional animation does come back at Walt Disney Studios ( And right now -- in spite of Lasseter's obvious enthusiasm for this form -- that's still a very big "If"), it won't ever be like it was before. With some 2000 artists and technicians laboring in studios in Burbank, Orlando, Paris and Australia to deliver a new top quality traditional animated feature every six months to a year. The way I hear it, if traditional animation does come back at Walt Disney Studios, we're talking about a much more modest operation. With only 150 - 200 people working together to turn out a single new traditionally animated film every 3 1/2 to 4 years." Actually, if hand-drawn animation comes back to Disney with 150-200 staff people, it will be exactly as large as it was when John Lasseter started at the studio as a fresh-faced Cal-Artsian a quarter century ago. Under Woolie Reitherman, the Disney Animation department was (drumroll, please) 150-200 artists and technicians. And it had been that size since the days of 101 Dalmations. Walt, you see, cut back the animation staff from 1600 people (1957) to 200 (1960) after Sleeping Beauty proved to be a very costly enterprise that didn't rake in the big bucks the studio had been hoping for. But believe me, there are a LOT of people hoping for a return of traditional animation, my Animation Checking wife among them...


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