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View Full Version : Givin' Up the Ghost, eh Disney?


Patrick
March 15th, 2013, 05:36 AM
Here's some "wonderful" news, though not at all surprising:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/mar/07/disney-hand-drawn-animation

But let's be clear...

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/disney-ceo-bob-iger-says-there-are-no-current-plans-for-hand-drawn-animation-but-what-does-he-really-mean-20130307

Can you blame Iger for his statement, though? It's very much a numbers game at Disney. At least he isn't calling 2D dead like Mike Eisner did years back (what a pain that guy was).

So you got all that? Good. Allow me to now punctuate the thread title with this:

http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2013/03/mickey-mouse-shorts.jpg

From IGN.com:

Disney's very own mascot Mickey Mouse will soon be starring in a new short-form series of 2D comedy cartoons.

With a style harkening back to the classic Mickey toons of the 1920s and '30s, each short will find Mickey in a different contemporary setting -- Santa Monica, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Venice, the Alps and others -- facing silly situations, a quick complication and an escalation of physical and visual gags. The shorts will also feature other Disney favorites like Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto.

And here's the short...

http://video.disney.com/watch/croissant-de-triomphe-4d7b3aae690a98650d776d97

Clearly it's a cheap Toon Boom animation. I can tell because that's what some, if not all of their studios are using, and having it myself, the lineart is very telltale.

Nevertheless, I admit I kind of liked it. For one, I like that they went back to the retro designs for the characters, I always liked them more. The usual Mickey design (or "caucasian Mickey", which I think came from Matt Groening) sorta creeps me out. I'm thinking Epic Mickey was sort of a boon.

Either way, that's not really the point. Regardless of whether I got any enjoyment out of it, I can't help but think that Disney's doing multiple barrel rolls in his grave. That or twitching violently in his freezer, whichever theory you subscribe to. It's sort of funny that the guy who strived for his company's excellence in specific medium has now delegated it to something worthy of Newgrounds. Frankly, that's a huge step down.

If it wasn't for Paperman, I'd think Disney had just said "[fudge] it" altogether. Frozen's character designs just look... yikes.

TRIFORCE89
March 15th, 2013, 06:00 AM
It's a better way of approaching the issue than Eisner did, yes. Eisner always seemed like he went a bit crazy in his later years XD

They see the box office returns of Wreck It Ralph and Tangled over Princess and the Frog or Winnie the Pooh. They weren't flops (like Treasure Planet or Home on the Range were), but they weren't as successful as they could have or should have been. And, at least from what is officially announced, Disney's next two big animated films will be computer animated.

Regardless, I don't think it is over. Fairly sure Disney secured the rights to the Mort Discworld novel a few years back and that is slated to be in traditional animation (although not officially announced yet). Also, Iger is temporary. He is leaving... around 2015 or so likely. He may put these projects on hold right now, but Lasseter and Catmull will still be there. They're constant and they will continue to pitch hand drawn stuff to the next guy.

And I hope something good comes out of Paperman. Some feature length film in that hybrid look hopefully.

Also, I don't think the Mickey ones are all going to be cheap Toon Boom stuff. Isn't Pixar working on a Mickey Mouse/Roger Rabbit short? I can't believe they'd take that approach to it.

Pinkie-Dawn
March 15th, 2013, 06:53 AM
I will always blame bad timing on why both Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh flopped in the box office. The former was facing James Cameron's Avatar, which was bound to outgross every movie released on December 2009, though some argue it was the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel (a movie panned by critics and the internet community but loved by the audience), and the latter was facing the last Harry Potter movie.

TRIFORCE89
March 15th, 2013, 11:12 AM
Winnie the Pooh up against the final Harry Potter was a horrible idea. Whoever decided to do that should be fired

Esper
March 15th, 2013, 02:30 PM
Princess and the Frog was just beset with problems, none of which had to do with its animation. A different treatment of the movie (or a different movie entirely) could have changed things.

And Disney isn't rolling in his grave/cryogenic chamber. I believe that when I was at the Walt Disney museum (the one about the guy, not the studio) there was something in it about how he liked trying out new things, or new techniques, or something or other that left me with the impression he would have adopted computer animation. The only thing he would have pushed for would have been quality work. I imagine that if he were around we'd have a range of mediums for Disney movies.

TRIFORCE89
March 15th, 2013, 04:23 PM
Princess and the Frog was just beset with problems, none of which had to do with its animation. A different treatment of the movie (or a different movie entirely) could have changed things.

And Disney isn't rolling in his grave/cryogenic chamber. I believe that when I was at the Walt Disney museum (the one about the guy, not the studio) there was something in it about how he liked trying out new things, or new techniques, or something or other that left me with the impression he would have adopted computer animation. The only thing he would have pushed for would have been quality work. I imagine that if he were around we'd have a range of mediums for Disney movies.
Uncle Walt would have most certainly adopted computer animation. If there's anything that really speaks of him, its that he liked to bring things (or fantasy) to life in a way. Outside of movie-making and animation, the audio-animatronics in the theme parks are another form of this. So, I think he would have adopted computer animation. And maybe stop-motion animation when it got refined to the point it is now.

But, the question is would he use them to the exclusion of traditional hand-drawn animation? I don't personally think so.

Sweets Witch
March 15th, 2013, 06:51 PM
There have been a lot of huge successes with computer animation, so it's certainly a viable style that has proven its worth. Is it superior to hand-drawn? Who's to say? The growing shift from hand-drawn to computer animated surely worked in Disney's favor; their only blunder was getting press like this which was sure to get under the skin of every older Disney fan.

That being said, Disney's enjoyed their success with CGI for many, MANY years and they've proven to be pretty reliable. It's nothing to get upset over.

TRIFORCE89
March 15th, 2013, 07:05 PM
The growing shift from hand-drawn to computer animated surely worked in Disney's favor; their only blunder was getting press like this which was sure to get under the skin of every older Disney fan.
A bit more to it than that. When this (similar press) last happened under Eisner, it led to him being ousted. And this was led by Walt's nephew and large online campaign that he launched. It is the company's history.

Iger's done some good work. He brought Pixar back after Eisner ditched them. He put Lasseter in charge of bringing traditional animation back.

Which makes this... surprising, to say the least.

Patrick
March 17th, 2013, 06:39 AM
Yes. I agree. Everyone who's even remotely interested in animation should read about the whole Eisner ordeal. You know it's bad when even Roy Disney has to step in, but can't do a whole lot.

Also, to be clear, I don't have a problem with the use of new mediums, hah. Actually, the rolling in his grave comment was about the cheap short. I thought that was pretty clear considering what just preceded that comment, but ah. Live and learn. Even during the 50's when Disney was going for a more stylish, modern design, the animation quality was still respectable. And everything was clearly drafted with intention. Walt would be fine with digital animation, it's proven people can do good stuff with it, but when the Looney Tunes Show flows better than the Mickey Mouse short (a SHORT. Come on, I make more fluid animations than that. Usually a short means you can pour more effort into it), it makes me wonder where Disney's priorities really are.

But like I said, I still liked it, but it's not exempt from being what it is.

I do hope, though, that they either get better in time, or they're all experimental. If that's the case, I can get behind that 100% because if there's one thing I love, it's a variety of styles and intentional inconsistency.

Hahaha, it's funny that I have nothing to say about the films. The fact that I was talking about one thing while everyone else thought I was talking about another is pretty dang hilarious in hindsight. :D As for the films, they are what they are. The facts are there in black and white as far as box office stats go.

TRIFORCE89
March 17th, 2013, 07:47 AM
Hahaha, it's funny that I have nothing to say about the films. The fact that I was talking about one thing while everyone else thought I was talking about another is pretty dang hilarious in hindsight. :D As for the films, they are what they are. The facts are there in black and white as far as box office stats go.
Well, the articles you linked to mentioned the films, so...

Ryoutarou
March 17th, 2013, 07:33 PM
I actually liked this new short, visually it was a lot of fun, so I've got to ask...what exactly is bad about it? Not coming from the perspective of an animator, I thought it was a pretty great little short. The stiffness I noticed didn't detract from my overall enjoyment, and it didn't feel like any sort of animation error or lack of effort.