Disney Not Developing Any Hand-Drawn Animated Films Right Now
If Walt Disney emerged from cryo-slumber and heard what Disney CEO Bob Iger just said at the company's shareholder's meeting, we're guessing he'd be pretty disappointed. Iger revealed today that the Walt Disney Company - including Pixar, Disney Animation, and Disney Toons - is currently not in development on any hand-drawn feature films. That's awfully sad news for fans of the classic Disney animation aesthetic, and it's particularly sad to hear that news coming from the studio that first proved hand-drawn animation could be a viable method of making movies by releasing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Read on.
After the disappointing box office returns of Disney's hand-drawn film Winnie the Pooh in 2011, it looks like Iger is taking that as a sign that audiences don't want to see hand-drawn animation anymore. I don't necessarily think that's true - The Princess and the Frog made over $265 million worldwide only a few years ago - but money talks, and Hollywood is becoming increasingly risk-averse. It's important to note that Iger hasn't sworn off hand-drawn animation altogether, but there just aren't any big projects being developed internally that we'd see in the next couple of years. Thanks to SlashFilm for pointing out Iger's quotes.
With John Kahrs' charming Paperman winning an Oscar for Best Animated Short, perhaps Iger wishes to further explore the technology that Kahrs and his team pioneered, which blends hand-drawn animation with CGI. After all, we haven't seen an entire feature film using this technique yet, so instead of crying that hand-drawn films might be on their way out, let's be optimistic that Paperman's Oscar-winning success could cause a mini-revolution in the way all animated features are done going forward. Your thoughts?