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Old December 29th, 2012 (10:10 PM). Edited December 29th, 2012 by Patrick.
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Patrick Patrick is offline
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From an animator's perspective, I can't help but look at Disney beyond the corporate angle (except that whole Mike Eisner deal from years back). I used to joke about Disney being evil and whatnots because it's such an easy template to follow, but now I think more about the roots of the corporation and the legacy that Walt Disney started. Without his vision and ideas, would animation be where it is today? Seriously, I really wonder how long it would have lasted, especially when you factor in the big budget films under the Disney canon that started with Snow White.

Holy crud. What would I be doing if things went horribly wrong!? Oh man, I can't imagine how I would have turned out.

Anyway, to me, it's really amazing and fun to study everything that happens behind the scenes, from concept to the final product, and how Disney came up with new ways to elevate the art form into new unexplored territory. Art anthologies filled with concept paintings and sketches, a little nuggets of trivia and backstory... God I drool thinking about that stuff. If I had lots and lots of money, like lottery money, I'd pay off my student loans and spend a good chunk of it on art books.

The fact that Disney (as well as Sullivan Bluth Studios) largely had a hand in creating the animation renaissance is an amazement in and of itself. A lot of people are familiar with these works like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Without works like these giving animation a very much needed kick in the pants, we'd still be in the dark ages. Maybe something even bleaker than that. And because animation is taken for granted by and large, I feel that sometimes people don't realize what they have until it's too late, and even then, people get weaned into settling for less slowly but surely. I really, really wanted The Princess and the Frog to kick things off again, but I suppose lightning doesn't strike twice. Still, it's one of my favorite Disney movies even if animation today is pretty much the same (cheaper and faster ).

I don't have many favorite films individually. I like them more for artistic merits than for sentimental or nostalgic value. Honestly, I'm not nostalgic for any Disney movie. But I still marvel at the technical accomplishments. The ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast? Of course cartoons can pull that off today (and it looks awful in comparison when they do), but you have to remember what a big deal that was back then. In fact, it's still a big deal considering that it still looks good! I feel like Disney needs to go back to being an innovator rather than a follower. Unfortunately, Disney is also a business, so it needs to make money.

I'd propose (which I know people are gonna hate) buying out a couple of other franchises and what not, but just for the sole purpose of marketing products (don't fiddle with the integrity of the IPs, though). Why? Monetary safety net. This allows them to test the waters a bit more often with theatrical innovations and experiments. Unlike the video game industry, where (independant/up and coming) studios can emerge and revolutionize the way we play, animation is a lot less technology based and still a method of passive entertainment. Most people are going to play follow the leader or the current trend just so they can sell some shirts. I feel like if Disney isn't the innovator (or if WB studios can't get their rear back in gear), then no one else in the United States is going to try. Smaller and/or foreign studios have really amazing productions, but they just don't carry the same amount of clout. The United States rules most of the entertainment industry as it is, which is unfair given the animation talent that exists beyond borders of the US of A. So that's how I feel about Disney. Animation wouldn't be where it is today without Walt, and the bold new directions some of the feature animations took. I think Disney needs to reprise their former role, look back at what got them to where they are in the first place, and get crackin' on creating that illusion of life.

And Disney needs to act fast because I'm getting really sick of seeing lazy lazy Flash cartoons on TV. I NEVER thought people would acquire a taste for that, especially on broadcast TV, but here we are.

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