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  1. #1

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    Disney pencils in a return to hand-drawn film - MarketWatch, 3/8/07

    MarketWatch, 3/8/07
    Disney pencils in a return to hand-drawn film

    by Russ Britt

    NEW ORLEANS (MarketWatch) -- After what will be a five-year hiatus from the medium, Walt Disney Co. on Thursday unveiled a plan to jump back into traditional hand-drawn animation.

    At its annual meeting, held in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, Disney announced that its film "The Frog Princess" would be set in the stricken city and is scheduled for release in 2009.

    It will be Walt Disney's first foray into traditional, two-dimensional animation -- the medium that propelled the company to prominence under its founder and namesake -- since the 2004 effort "Home on the Range," which fizzled at the box office.

    Of late, the recently acquired Pixar has provided most of Disney's box-office momentum in the field of animation, with such hits as "Cars" and "The Incredibles."

    "This movie is going to be classic Disney, but you've never seen this before," said John Lasseter, the creative chief of Pixar, who now oversees all of Disney's animation operations.
    Asked whether audiences are becoming inundated with animated features, Chuck Oberleitner, who publishes the Disney fan site, said the lines are blurring between live-action and animated films as some movies now simply place actors in front of screens and use computers to create the backgrounds.

    "There were over 200 live-action features last year, and no one said anything about too much saturation," Oberleitner said.

    Full Story: Disney pencils in a return to hand-drawn film

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney pencils in a return to hand-drawn film - MarketWatch, 3/8/07

    This will be neat to see .

  3. #3

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    Re: Disney pencils in a return to hand-drawn film - MarketWatch, 3/8/07

    Good. Back to the roots they should have never left.

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    Re: Disney pencils in a return to hand-drawn film - MarketWatch, 3/8/07

    Let's pull a Beauty and the Beast. I was watching that tonight and goosebumps ran up and down my body as that dramatic camera motion swept down from the ceiling to the ballroom floor. That was Disney animation at its best. I am hoping for the best of the Frog Princess.

  5. #5

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    Re: Disney pencils in a return to hand-drawn film - MarketWatch, 3/8/07

    Disney to animate film by hand, not computer

    It plans a 2009 movie that will be animated the old-fashioned way instead of by computer.

    By Joseph Menn
    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    March 9, 2007

    It's back to the drawing board for Walt Disney Co.

    Disney plans to release a 2009 movie that will be animated the old-fashioned way, by hand-drawing the images rather than letting computer wizardry do the job, the company announced Tuesday at its annual shareholders' meeting in New Orleans.

    Although other Disney animated movies will open between now and then, "The Frog Princess" is the first to be conceived since Disney's 2006 acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios, the outfit behind such blockbusters as "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Finding Nemo" and "Cars."

    So why would Disney return to its roots after spending $7.4 billion to buy the pioneer of computer animation, which has since become the dominant form for these movies in Hollywood?

    Disney did not return calls Thursday, but industry executives said the move could signal the company's strategy for distinguishing its two animation arms, which remain separate units. Or Disney could be planning to leave the heavily technological animation to its Bay Area sibling.

    "We're really proud and excited about this," said John Lasseter, Disney and Pixar chief creative officer, at the meeting, which was held in New Orleans in a show of support for the storm-ravaged city.

    "The Frog Princess" will be a musical set in New Orleans, with songs composed by Randy Newman. The central figure, Maddy, will become the first African American among the Disney princesses, the company's collection of heroines responsible for more than $3 billion in annual retail sales.

    Disney dropped the hand-drawn animation that made it famous after 2004's "Home on the Range," which capped a series of disappointments in the genre. It turned instead to the now-crowded world of computer-generated imagery, or CGI.

    When Disney's CGI efforts failed to capture the public imagination, the company bought Pixar and gave Pixar's Lasseter creative control of Disney's feature-length cartoons.

    Lasseter and the others who spoke Thursday said nothing about the company's commitment to additional hand-drawn movies. Steve Hulett, who represents Disney's unionized animators, said he expected the decisions about hand-drawing to be made one at a time.

    But others in the industry said that they expected Lasseter's team to produce something special in its maiden effort at Disney and that if the film resonated, more would follow.

    "Five years down the road, maybe less, there's no way they're going to have duplicate CGI studios under one roof," said animation historian and author Jerry Beck, who runs the blog.

    Disney said the movie would be written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, who co-directed "The Little Mermaid" and other Disney hits. The duo was forced out by the pre-Pixar management, taking the fall for lackluster computer-animated films. Lasseter got them back, along with other old hands who had left.

    Because many of Disney's animators are computer specialists, the company will have to hire more experts from the old school of hand-drawing, Hulett said.

    Except in Asia, almost no animated movies are made by hand.

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney pencils in a return to hand-drawn film - MarketWatch, 3/8/07

    Further proving that traditional is not dead, its just really, really, really sick. Limping along with possible gout and maybe even malaria. But it's not dead!

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