Addam Wassel's Blogging Adventure

bbc vegas sports travel tigers womma michigan wedding design typography football internet encoding myspace chicago weather stupid thing i did tea fire el dc moving newsvine editing podcast music books amazon round cube food my web odeo icon buffet trash bags ann arbor ruby on rails laptop geek lifehack chores iron internet explorer canoe movie animation disney css web standards disaster hurricane computer baseball england olympics holiday basketball softball superstition meme graduation ipod art exhibit open mic tagging mashup review html working group w3c npr this american life html5 rant

Entries tagged with "animation"

Without nearly any ado, last month Disney announced plans to close its Australian DisneyToon Studios. It marks the end of Disney's hand-drawn animation studios as other facilities in Canada, Japan, France and Florida have already been nixed.

I have to admit I wasn't surprised as I had heard that this was slowly happening at the company and the time was soon coming. Pixar's recent success, under the Disney umbrella, and Dreamworks' Shrek have the most to do with the closure.

This closure is a business decision due in large part to the changing creative climate and economic environment in which DisneyToon Studios requires more flexibility to choose the most appropriate and efficient animation process.

(The funny part of this quote is it takes no shorter amount of time to produce a computer animated film then a hand drawn one - each takes about 3 or 4 years. To top that, the companies’ spending on creating the films is about equal as well!)

As a kid, Disney movies were fascinating to me. They were always so unique and full of life. I would put Dumbo in the VCR and sit there for an hour and a half. Not a peep. I feel in love with the movies.

Right around the time Aladdin came out in theaters, my dad and I went down to Tiger's spring training in Florida... and like any trip to Florida made the requisite trip to DisneyWorld. It wasn't the first, second or even third time I had been there, but I remember this trip mainly because we took the "Behind the Scenes" tour at MGM where I saw animators working on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was the first time I had ever seen a real animation studio. I remembered back to my days as a kid and immediately felt the same passion for Disney. I walked out of that tour asking my dad "What do I have to go to school for to do that?" (And like the business man he is, I remember his response being, no joke, "I think it's engineering of some sort.")

I think it's this feeling that Disney lacks so much nowadays. After their success in the mid-90's - remember that string of Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and even The Hunchback of Notre Dame? - the company began over saturating their product. Each movie had a sequel... and a sequel to its sequel. All went straight to video. The impact of the next Disney "big hit" was lessened. They flooded the marketplace with second-tier work and things went downhill.

Next year, the one aspect that I remember Disney most for will be gone. The liveliness of the character will be replaced with a cold 3D model. Each animator would spend time drawing only one character throughout a film. The animator brought his/her own personality and life to the drawings. Now anyone that knows Maya can take over. The characters become a community project.

Another problem was Disney's insistence to keeping, essentially, the same storyline in their films. Their most recent failures were all because of poor storylines not flawed animation. I think Walt Disney would've known this. Pixar isn't great because of their animation. It's their stories that really make their movies. Disney Corp. lost track of that somewhere along the way and, eventually, I believe lead to their demise.

It's lamentable that the forerunner in hand-drawn animation has now turned its back on the one thing that took the company so far.


Copyright © 2005-2007 Addam Wassel. All rights reserved.
XHTML, CSS, RSS feed. Powered by Movable Type. Hosted by (mt) MediaTemple.