Wednesday, March 06, 2013


A think-piece by Brendon Connelly "Bleeding Cool" says:

... A question came from the floor [of the Disney 2013 shareholder meeting] about the studio’s future plans for hand-drawn animation. Here’s what CEO Bob Iger had to say:

"To my knowledge we’re not developing a 2D or hand drawn feature animated film right now. There is a fair amount of activity going on in hand drawn animation but it’s largely for television at this point. We’re not necessarily ruling out the possibility [of] a feature but there isn’t any in development at the company at the moment."

But this statement all depends on what you mean by hand drawn animation.

I know for sure that there’s at least one feature in development at Walt Disney Animation Studios that will require hand drawn animation in the way that Paperman did. The new film doesn’t quite use the same techniques as Paperman but part of the process, at least as it stands, allows – requires, even – animators to draw images rather than model them.

To my mind, this constitutes hand drawn animation. ...

Brendon C. is parsing words here. So let me define terms and parameters:

A hand-drawn animated feature is a long-form movie that looks like Snow White, Dumbo, Gulliver's Travels, 101 Dalmations, Beauty and the Beast and/or Lion King. Can we agree on that? It's called "hand drawn" because you can see the lines created by artists with pencils, ink pens, and paint brushes. Otherwise referred to as "hand drawn."

With me so far? Good.

Ron Clements and John Musker are developing a feature at Walt Disney Animation Studios, and it has "elements" of hand-drawn animation in it. (That's about all I'm going to say.) Does it look like any of the features named above?

Don't think so. Doesn't even look like Paperman.

So you can say: "Yes! A hand-drawn animated feature!" and be technically ... sort of ... right.

But if somebody goes into a theater thinking they'll see a Disney animated feature in the "Nine Old Men" style, they'll be disappointed. Because it will bear more resemblance to one of the new CG features we've come to know and love.

However. I'm happy to tell you that the studio is working on hand-drawn shorts. But that's a couple of clicks distant from a hand-drawn feature.


Chris Sobieniak said...

Still, I'm a bit sad anyway. Way to give my hopes up Steve! :-)

Grant said...

Who cares? It's the film that matters. People more concerned with "hand drawn" rather than GREAT MOVIES is living in the past--looking backwards. CG features require LOTS of hand drawn work. Hand drawn animation at Disney has most likely gone the way of the dodo bird. It's a good thing if the films continue to get better and tell original, new stories and characters that people can care about. That's a LOT harder, more challenging, and fun than Disney hand drawn animation alone.

Grant said...

"are living" in the past..

Unknown said...

@ Grant

Who cares? I for one care a great deal about the survival of this art form, and I'm sure there are others who share this viewpoint. The attitude that "it's old fashioned, it's long-gone, let's move on" is like telling a Jim Hensen fan that the Muppets wre long gone and should be discontinued after the late 90's.

You forget that hand-drawn 2D presents a unique aesthetic value which ENHANCES the story. Some stories are told better in 2D, and super-real 3D cannot replicate it. If your argument is true and story is king, than why is there so much hatred towards performance capture as an artform, especially when films like Tin Tin and Christmas Carol did not have awful stories?

Anyways, I hope Disney utilizes 2D through the "Paperman" process. Those six minutes of "Paperman" were more impressive and enjoyable than all of "Wreck it Ralph."

Anonymous said...

Don't really think that there is that much hate for Tintin. I don't like it but have to admit that it's visuals were stunning, it was other factors which dragged it down.

Steve Hulett said...

Tin-tin would have been a hoot with animation replacing mo cap.

And I think that a hand-drawn film on the level of Aladdin, Tarzan, Lion King would do extremely well at the box office.

But our fine, entertainment conglomerates don't have the cajones to roll the dice and see.

Anonymous said...

Will these hand-drawn shorts use existing Disney characters?

Floyd Norman said...

Since it's all about making money, I don't expect to see any hand drawn animation in the traditional sense any time in the near feature.

Disney has made it quite clear they've "moved on." Of course, that's a business decision and I've no problem with that.

What's sad is, we've lost a wonderful art form. Enjoy what you have. We'll not see the likes of it again.

Michael said...

Iger's comment really bothered me when he said it. It's just so clear there's no desire to use this art form.

What really irks me is that in the last decade we've seen Disney dismantle their traditional animation studio entirely, then make a big deal about putting it back together, then... just kind of let it disappear all over again.

I don't want them to stop doing CG films, but I would like there to be a mix. I would be so much more excited about "Frozen" (oy) if I knew I was going to be getting a beautiful, hand-drawn film.

At least it sounds like Ron & John's film is still underway. When Iger made his comment I was worried it had been deep sixed.

Steve Hulett said...

Will these hand-drawn shorts use existing Disney characters?

Don't think I should say.

Grant said...

Hand drawn animation is ALIVE AND WELL every where you look, just not at Disney feature. Audiences don't care whether it's hand drawn or not. They just want a good story. tin tin was terrible on every level, and even had it been hand drawn, it would have been awful. And if it had been hand drawn, it would have flopped.

Disney needs to make good movies, hand drawn or not.
The art form continues to live on. It just doesn't make money on the scale Disney wants. The only people who care whether or not Disney does hand drawn animation are those too lazy to get with the program and think like FILM MAKERS rather than looking backwards at quaint techniques.

Site Meter