View Full Version : Report: No More 2-D Animation from Disney

11-18-2003, 09:02 PM
Take a look at this news report from Orlando. They reported that Disney was finished with 2-D hand drawn animation.


"Mickey can now be found in computer-animated 3-D as Disney's "Brother Bear" was its last venture with 2-D hand animation."

Who gave the news this information? Do you think it is true? Are we truly at the end of the road for the visual arts in animation?

11-18-2003, 09:40 PM
Gee crazy poor reporting there...

1st of all, home on the range is coming out....

2ndly if you wanna see new mickey in 2D then check out house of mouse, a 2d show on a network of 2D shows that have had no rumors of slowing down.

Home on the range may be the last 2D feature, but disney isn't done with 2d, only the art of 2d.

11-18-2003, 10:58 PM

Anything else in the pipe after home on the range?

If this turns out to be true, then here is my silly question:

If Disney plans on eliminating any traditional feature animation releases created in hand drawn animation combined with the Pixar negotiations leads me to this:

Assuming Pixar resigns with Disney....Is Disney going to STOP producing feature legnth animated films and produce the sequel quality drivel and rely on Pixar for the feature quality movies???

And if not, are they trying to compete with Pixar (and thus themselves) by creating & releasing in house CGI flicks?

11-19-2003, 08:21 AM
According to the story in The Wall Street Journal of 10/23/03 "Disney Decides It Must Draw Artists Into Computer Age":

Disney has two more traditional animated films:...Brother Bear...., and next year's Home on the Range....The company says it may one day return to the hand-drawn style, but for now all other major films in Disney's pipeline will be computer-generated, begining with 2005's "Chicken Little." The choice is largely aesthetic, as the cost of making a film is about the same in both forms.

....there is a strong desire at Disney to prove, as one insider puts it, that Pixar is "not better than we are or smarter than we are."

...."Rapunzel Unbraided" isn't scheduled for release until 2007...

....The results [of training traditional artists in CGI] were strong enough that Disney doled out about half of the assignments on two computer-generated projects--"Chicken Little" and "A Few Good Ghosts," which is about 70% computer-generated--to artists whose backgrounds were in drawing....

11-19-2003, 09:15 AM
.... comes to mind. Walt loved technological advances in filming and movie making. He was a pioneer in many ways. Personally, I think CGI would have just been a natural progression away from traditional hand drawn animation for him, only he would have been on top of it from day one rather then letting Pixar lead the way.

11-19-2003, 10:29 AM
I agree 1000% Viking...

11-19-2003, 10:45 AM
Also, CGI != 3D animation. You can just as easily produce 2d animation cheaper and easier through CGI then with pen and ink and get a much more useful end product. If they wanted to, they could reproduce exactly any of the previous 2d movies through CGI and we wouldn't be able to tell the difference. As for any future movies, once they have the character in the computer, changing a scene midstream becomes a possibility. As well, rolling out the dreaded direct to dvd sequels gets much easier.

11-19-2003, 11:51 AM
CGI is the way it needs to be done, you can do so may different styles and your options are unlimited. Embrace change it's good sometimes....Walt would love this, he was always trying to be on the cutting edge. I say put you money into talent and develop a studio that can rival pixar and then cut ties with them. If disney could even get close to the quality of movie pixar produces it would be more successful than a pixar- (insert name of studio here) release because of the brand.

11-19-2003, 12:38 PM
If disney could even get close to the quality of movie pixar produces it would be more successful than a pixar- (insert name of studio here) release because of the brand

At the risk of being branded as the element (I wonder which one I am), isn't it sad that these types of comments are made about Disney considering they have had Pixar's quality in the past...although not at once?

Dinosaur rivaled ANY of the Pixar movies in my opinion from a technical / animation side. Where Dinosaur failed was in the story. And we all know Disney used to be able to tell a good story (referrence B&B, Lion King, Aladdin, etc).

Hopefully they'll finally put them all together, but as AV points out it seems like the company is MORE than happy to just buy a movie from someone, repackage it and sell it off as their own....

Another Voice
11-19-2003, 01:05 PM
Exactly Mr. Red - there hasn't been a real "hand drawn" animated feature from Disney since The Little Mermaind. There haven't even been any cells since Aladdin (I think, my memory's a bit foggy this morning on the exact film) because all the inking and coloring have been done by computer. "Traditional" animated movies are just about as computer intensive as "3D" films.

It all comes down to style and excuses.

Everyone knows that "traditional animation is dead" is simply an excuse. No amount of computer animation made Final Fantasy a hit, and it sure doesn't appear that Brother Bear has suffered for it's lack. Simply look at conventional Hollywood wisdom. There was not a deader genre of movie in all of town deader than the western besides the pirate movie.


It all goes back to how well a movie is made. A good story well told has a much greater chance of success than a bad story no matter the bells and whistles. But in Hollywood it's much easier to throw $200 million of special effects at the screen than it is to come up with a decent story. It's easier for a CEO to blame the public's shifting tastes than admit they didn't have a clue what they were doing on a film.

Range is the last traditional animated movie in the pipeline. Ghosts/My Peoples was going to be a hybrid CGI-traditional animated film (think a sopped up Treasure Planet). "Traditional" animation will continue in the form of sweatshop TV work from Asia, but the traditional Disney art is dead.

The funny thing is, Disney is killing off its 3D work as well. Ice Queen has already been cancelled. Most of the traditional animators "trained" in computer work have been let go. No one's heard of Chicken Little in a while although the word is to expect a 2005 release date (as well as hearing about a whole lot of story problems). As I heard the rumor, Rapunzel was supposed to the be the film the My Peoples crew moved on to (as well as being Disney's attempt to out-Shrek Shrek). Who knows what's going to happen there.

But what's really killing Disney animation is short term thinking. The feeling is why spend five years and $100 million and hope for big rewards over ten years when you can spend $20 million and get money back within a year. Sure, The Lion King has been racking in money for a decade, but Disney hasn't been able achieved that level of success again. They would much rather get the $50 million in a year from a quick-and-sleazy Jungle Book 2.

And just as Lion King addicted Disney to the big bucks, Pixar has addicted them to little work. Why should Disney keep all those people on payroll (and all that expense), when they can simple go outside and buy the product and give those headaches to someone else? In essence, animated films are going to be handled like live action Hollywood studio flicks. Disney won't actually make anything, they will finance projects that are brought to them from the outside.

P.S. Had Disney had any guts, the original Dinosaur would have beaten Toy Story to the screen and beaten it in terms of sheer movie making. Disney would have lead the way into a whole new field of animation (and film) and reaped all the rewards that come along with it.

11-19-2003, 01:45 PM
If they're just getting rid of in-house animation entirely, why did they retrain their artists, and why is Glen Keane working on a feature aimed at a 2007 release? Why did they sign a deal with Brother Bear's producer/director team?

Another Voice
11-19-2003, 03:37 PM
As I read it, the deal for the guys from Brother Bear is for an outside prodcution deal - just like the deal the two from Lilo and Stitch signed when they left Disney. It's a typical Hollywood "so long and thanks for all the fish" kind of thing. Remember all those studio and animation heads now producing on Broadway?

As for Mr. Keane, it was my understanding that Good Ghosts/My Peoples was his next project. It was supposed to be where he used all that vast experience he picked up from Treasure Planet and after Disney iced The Snow Queen.

As for "retraining" their artisits, you'll get a lot of opinions about that one. Both in terms of how much "retraining" was actually done and which guild contracts are being circumvented. Even Mr. Show hasn't reported a truckload of workstations pulling up to the Flordia animation headquaters, no one in Paris or Japan or Austrailia or Canada is looking for a place to plug in their brand new machine and there are more empty offices in Burbank right now than 17 inch monitors. There are, however, plenty of "creative" TV animation executives rushing to the mail room to overnight the latest beat sheet to Korea.

11-19-2003, 04:01 PM
According to the WSJ article, Keane is working on Rapunzel Unbraided.

11-19-2003, 04:46 PM
I don't know how many of you have seen Mickey's Philharmagic, but it just goes to show if Disney wanted to they can produce a qualit CGI film.

11-20-2003, 08:32 AM
rpink58, some interesting info from the WSJ article about Ariel in Philharmagic:

[quote]In an early version, Mr. Keane noticed that his famous mermaid didn't seem like herself. "There was a deadness in her eyes, a dull quality," he says. The shoulders seemed stiff....

Fixing the piece required combining the experienced eye of a traditional animator with the computer chops of someone from the new school. Mr. Keane drew by hand what he wanted and superimposed it over the computer-animated image. At one point, his team worked for nearly a week trying to light up Ariel's smile by pushing her cheeks up and creating little creases around her eyes.

"The Ariel project was a testing ground for forcing a CG figure into a hand-drawn look," Mr. Keane says. "We made the computer bend its knee to the artist, rather than the artist bend its knee to the computer."

11-20-2003, 12:36 PM
Disney's CGI department is so little that they actually had to hire people just to do Philharmagic...I think stopping the animation is not a company move toward CGI (They don't have anyone to do it or to train anyone to do it) but rather, like AV said, to get their animated features from outside companies.

Or, if you believe what Jim Hill said this morning, for Disney to eventually become something like Aol Time Disney.

I for one am distressed enough that I'm off to get a pizza. I was hoping to have a good enough day to be happy enough to get a pizza, but it looks like I'll have no such luck.