Disney Wants a Hand Drawn Animated Movie Every 2 Years

February 27, 2009

The Princess and the Frog

Earlier today I caught a very entertaining panel at WonderCon in San Francisco moderated by Walt Disney Animation Studios visual effects supervisor Marlon West, who has spent the last few years working on Disney's The Princess and the Frog. While he did share a few short behind-the-scenes videos showing his work in that movie so far, the biggest bit of news to come out of the presentation came during the question and answer session, where West mentioned that Disney is looking to continue making one 2D hand drawn animated movie once every two or so years from now on. Good news for everyone? Definitely!

It was easy to tell from the cheer that erupted when West first brought up The Princess and the Frog and 2D hand drawn animation that people still love that animation style. The Princess and the Frog is the first Disney movie since 2004 that is completely hand drawn and not computer animated, and if the hype continues to build as much as it has so far, it's likely to be a huge hit for Disney, which means they'll want more. And as long as John Lasseter stays on board at Disney as well, I'm certain he'll make sure that they keep putting out hand drawn animated movies, even if there's two years of time between each one.

From what I've seen of The Princess and the Frog so far, which isn't much yet besides this teaser trailer, it's going to be an enchanting throwback to the hand drawn Disney classics of old. And I'm certain audiences will still embrace that, even if we have entered the era of CGI. Hopefully West has his facts straight, because I really would love to see these kinds of movies made for many years to come. What about you?

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I don't think this will be popular at all. I can see parents dragging their kids to this, but with the attention spans of children nowadays they want to see things in 3d so they can check out every angle possible. A 2d film for them will be like when our parents sat us down for black and white just won't translate with the times. Some of my favorite films were 2d animation, but like I said, I don't think it'll translate well to people who don't have that wave of nostalgia while they're watching them.

peloquin on Feb 27, 2009


Hey, who cares if the kids don't want to see the movies, if only adults go and they enjoy it it's still an audience regardless of the fact. They'll still make a ton of money off it, and if no children are interested in it so be it.

Invogue on Feb 20, 2011


Not all of the kids these days need 3D-animation and have a low attention span. When I go babysitting I always bring my Disney Classics with me, and al of them love it and ask their parents to buy the movies. Not all kids are spoiled and have a low attention span, if you just take the time to learn them how to apreciate true beauty of things. But now these days parents don't take time to do that, they drop them in front of the TV so they won't make any noise en put on a 3D cartoon because  it "belongs" to this kids generation and entertains them best.. But they get hyper from it... all those bright colors, fast movements,... Hand drawn has a relaxing effect and it creates a bigger world of fantasy.

Roefel on Jun 18, 2011


I disagree that the current generation of kids don't enjoy 2D animation. Most kids grow up on traditionally animated television shows (whether it be Spongebob Squarepants, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ben 10 or a variety of other shows). Not to mention my 7 year old cousin surely loves Disney movies like Tarzan and Hercules even though they were made before he was born and he is part of the generation that essentially only knows 3D animation in the cinema.

Julian Brogden on Aug 11, 2012


i agree with you peloquin but at the same time i dont. kids like 3d but saying kids cant appreciate 2d is outlandish. every single kid i know LOVES spongebob or some 2d cartoon like that and i know young kids who absolutely love 2d animated movies. therefore kids like animation in general. they always have and always will.

PJ H on Feb 27, 2009


Hey, if they can get their act together and start putting out well-done movies again... well, that would be fantastic.

Mike on Feb 27, 2009


What kind of movie is well-done?

Michelle on Apr 8, 2011


Every child will want to see this because it's DISNEY. They want to see it because is is made by their favorite cooperation that makes the Happiest Place on Earth. 3D or not, I don't think kids really care. They watch cartoons anyway, which are still mostly all 2D, I don't think children have the appreciation for the difference between 3D or 2D. Also, it's targeted for a "new" Disney Princess...which I'm sure has more merchandise, and money, than any other Disney movie inspired toy line. Everywhere you see girls with Disney princesses stuff and in the Disney stores it's EVERYWHERE. Disney itself tends to focus more on the old 2D movies in their stores and amusement parks, even in Japan where things like Stitch rule. This will be a greatly popular film for children, especially girls.

Stacia on Feb 27, 2009


I really do want to see 2D movies being made, I really do love them. Lion King might be one of my favorite Disney Movies EVER.

????? on Feb 27, 2009


Miyazaki is the way to go for 2D animation. I would be much more excited to hear that Studio Ghibli is making this commitment.

dRailer on Feb 27, 2009


I don't think it's the art style that matters. Disney's last few 2-D movies (Home on the Range and the like) were awful awful awful. And then their 3-D movies were awful awful awful. Dreamworks last few 2-D movies were awful, and their 3-D movies have been awful. Pixar has been making great movies, and they don't make CGI movies just for the hell of it. They make them because the stories they tell work best in that form. It should be about the story driving the art. You shouldn't make a 2-D movie just to make a 2-D movie and the same goes for CGI. I think the Frog Princess looks great, and I think in this instance, the desire to return to 2-D will make it better, because they have something to prove. And as long as John Lasseter is in charge, we have nothing to fear. The man got a movie as good as Bolt out of Disney, and that makes him a magician. He is the modern equivalent of Walt.

DinoChow on Feb 27, 2009


Good news, it seems like 2D will make a comeback.

Ryan on Feb 27, 2009


3D animation is cool and whilst I can appreciate it, there's something somewhat cold about it, 2D hand drawn animation is awesome and I'm glad to hear Disney are going back to their roots.

joshmc on Feb 27, 2009


This is good news, except that I doubt Disney's ability to make good movies at all, anymore. I'd love to see more hand-drawn stuff, but if the story and script isn't great then it isn't going to matter at all. And I assume they mean stuff that they'll release theatrically - all their straight to DVD stuff sucks.

Timothy on Feb 27, 2009


What you guys fail to realize is why these movies flop ISN'T because they're 2D. They lack story, characters that you remember and depth. Thankfully Lasseter is back in the picture, so we'll see where this goes. I'm psyched.

Dan on Feb 28, 2009


I would love to see the classic 2D style back.

Fisherr on Feb 28, 2009


I don't care honestly. Disney is done for along with their creativity. Pixar dragged them out of a slump. I loved Aladdin, The Lion King, and other back then favorites but now the stories are blah and unoriginal.

wassssssuuuuuupppppppp on Feb 28, 2009


I love the 2D movies of old. As long as it is a script of substance, it should go over well with everyone. Disney went from near bankruptcy abouts when The Black Cauldron was made. Not oo far after that there was Oliver and Company (which is my favorite), then the Disney 2D reinvention on The Little Mermaid. They kept up blockbuster 2D films all the way up to The Lion King. Everything after that was entertaining or sub-par. I'd like to see them back on their feet again with 2D

L on Feb 28, 2009


I miss the old hand-drawn style of past animated movies. 3D animation is superb, but it's great that they're still making 2D animation movies. A good mix will give the genre more room for creativity.

SlashBeast on Feb 28, 2009


Kids don't care if it's 2D or 3D animation as long as it's entertaining...

RPD on Feb 28, 2009


I think filmmakers thought 3d was cool themselves and pushed it onto everyone without realising that there was still plenty to explore in 2d, maybe mixed with celshaded 3d too. I think STUDIO4?, Studio Gobelins or Studio Ghibli can make much better films than Disney,but it's important to have a choice I think it would be far better to see there 2d films with my kid than those 3d efforts.

Crapola on Feb 28, 2009


It will be great if this art-form is kept alive. Having grown up on Warner Bros. Hanna- Barbera, MGM cartoons, it's good to hear that the style is not being completely left behind.

Dave Lister, J.M.C. on Feb 28, 2009


I love watching 2D animation!! DEFINITELY love more 2D animated movies!!!

Susana on Feb 28, 2009


The Princess and the Frog kick a** I can't wait.

matthew on Feb 28, 2009


There's definitely room for both 2D and 3D animation - both have their merits. Its nice to see that Disney is coming back around to that train of thought.

Melissa on Feb 28, 2009


Oh great! I remember the 2004 dismissal of like 500+ animators from Disney MGM/Hollywood Animation Studios in Orlando FL, the ones that animated "Lilo & Stitch" and "Brother Bear." All in favor of 3D computer made "Meet The Robinsons" and "Chicken Little"? Those where great flops at the movie theaters, compared to "The Lion King!" Now, Disney is promising a new 2D every 2 years. I just hope the Orlando Studio is revived one more time!

CAA1000 on Mar 1, 2009


I am so Sick an Annoyed of this John Lasseter is better than Walt disney was and even greatest sh you know what. Also im sick of these studios kiss the REARS of the NACCP. just make A Animated Feature Film. dont try to make History for the black right CAUSE Disney and Pixar. this is just 1 of other the reasons I want ALL Animation and CGI to BURN IN HECK. an go down like the Titanic. from what I have been hearing the Tide is turning an Live/Action is in an ALL ANIMATION is on it's way out. An their is people by the Masses turning AWAY from PIXAR and Walt Disney thinking they our BOth to Arrogant and Prideful. an this is HAS CAUSED these people's Hearts and Spirit's to APathize and Hate Disney and Pixar and John Lasseter and Edwin Catmull. and Robert Iger and Richard Cook the whole Walt Disney/Pixar DEAL! and the LEADSHIP OF IGER'S RAGTIME. Man already Disney and Pixar our Failing in all area's At Theathers,DVDS,Merchandise,TV,Cable,their Parks at A 67% Drop!!! I read it. It's True as Divineness is. People have you see Disney's BOLT Latelly!!!? wasn't that from John Lasseter guidance all the way? at his CCOship at Walt disney (by the way Walt Disney from Heaven told me he does not APPROVE AND AGREE with John Lasseter and Edwin Catmull running his place,an WALT DISNEY Told me from Heaven, that John Lasseter is a stranger that does not know him an his Faith an Love in God,Religion,Convictions,Reverence,Fear; an dont want John Lasseter sitting in his seat.) yet it didn't make as much as other Past in the decade PIXAR films did. an less than both Lilo and Stitch from Chris Sanders and Micheal Isner's air Chicken Little did by A 23% to 41% measure in B.O in the U.S. and around the world. I cant wait for the DAY you see I was right. God D Disney and Pixar for all their Doing to Walt Disney his Legasy and us.

CSADJC7893 on Mar 1, 2009


It's just like Black & White and Color film, it all depends on what works best for the story that is told. WALL-E would not have worked in 2D. It's just a matter of the artist's vision. I say, bring on the 2D! Let's have it all!!

markers on Mar 1, 2009


Heck if kids didn't dig 2d - we wouldn't have the Simpsons! 🙂

Hammers on Mar 9, 2009


Now, this comment is specialy to the people that say 2D IS DEAD, and MIYAZAKI IS THE WAY TO GO bla bla bla giberish... being from Europe ang growing up with movies like Lion King, Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast I only have to say that I am VERY glad that Disney is trying to continue the legacy that has been passing from generations to generations - the legacy of beautifull ''never get old'' movies - . I too LOVE CGI movies, but let's face it - what if PIXAR wasn't a part of Disney??? What CGI movies does Disney really have (100% Disney tough) that are fun to watch? Well, in my opinion I ONLY HATED CHICKEN LITTLE!!! Guys, if 2D is dead, Chicken Little just droped an ABomb on Disney CGI! It's thw WORST Disney movie ever. Wanna talk about Bolt? Well, it's funny, but none of the characters were funny to watch for me... NONE, well, the hamster was fine... Disney CGI movies suck! (exeptions made to Robinsons and Dinossaur). Well, if they didn't had PIXAR they would be dead. Now, back to 2D... What were the last 2D movies from Disney? Treasure Planet (AWSOME AWSOME AWSOME ADAPTATION OF THE BOOK!!!), Brother Bear (was fine...) aaaaand Home on the Range (WTF!?) Now, this one Is sincerely in my opinion (and I've seen all 48 Disney Classics but one -Melody Time 1948-) this movie could have been more worked out, I mean.. It's a 4 maybe 5 year old movie!!! What's happening here!? 3 Cows yodeling in the West!?!?! Let's not forget that this movie was preceded by Disney (PIXAR) labeled NEMO, and folowed by (PIXAR also) INCREDIBLES. Now, where do the cows get in the middle of this one!?!? WELL I TELL YOU - THEY GET F Up! It's normal that 2D hasn't being doing well nowadays! PIXAR is delivering some beautifull pieces of art, while Disney Studios are releasing some awfull awfull movies to compete with these! It is normal that the audience does not corresponde to 2D movies like they used to respond! Seriouslly, betwen Home on the Range and Nemo or the Incredibles what would you pick!? That's right! PIXAR MOVIES!!! Now let's put it this way. It's the 90s. Disney released The Rescuers 2 // Beauty and the Beast // Aladdin // Lion King // Hercules etc etc. What movie would you pick first!? Disneys or PIXAR!? - Me? I Would cut myself in 2 and would go watch both of them at the same time, because they'r both masterpieces!!!!!!!!! What I'm saying here is that I only wish for Disney to put up a great story with this one, because it's not all about the animation! I don't belive in the Princess and the Frog, because Disney is not focussing anymore in the main goal (entertaining people all over the world and for a looooong time). Now they only think that they need to make what the public wants. What does the public want? CGIs like WALL-E (masterpiece) but sorry guys, WWWRRROOONNGGGG! The Audiences want the best of both worlds !!! so PIXAR shoud continue to make THEIR masterpieces, and Disney should begin to make Their ON masterpieces, Is it so hard to put a beautifull story togheter like Lion King or Beauty & Beast, with some marking characters like Aladdins Genie or WHATEVER!? Because the animation, all of us know that you know how to do it!!! Just put us some amazing Story like PIXAR (AND MIYAZAKI of course, but that's another story) are doing. OVER AND OUT H.M.

H.M. on Apr 3, 2009


It doesn't matter what the format is, 2D or 3D, it is all about the story. You can't tell me that kids these days do not still enjoy watching The Lion King and cartoons of the like. I think that if they stick to the format that works, Disney will be successful with any 2D animation they make. It is no different than any live action movie. Good storyline=good movie.

Logan on Apr 4, 2009


I have been wondering what ever happened to Disney and their epic cartoon movies. It seems the best animated movies these days are Pixars like Wall-E, Finding Nemo. I really do miss hand drawn cartoon from Disney, classics like Lion King, Beauty & the beast, they are much better than all the 3d stuff coming out. I hope Disney makes more films on that level.

Strawser on May 8, 2009


im so...glad disney is going to make more 2d movies!! and i really loved brother bear 2, and bambi 2. i actually thought that brother bear 2 was good enough to go to theaters. and dreamworks spirit stallion of the cimmaron was so...good! i wish they would make a sequel of it. i love sequels if they are good.

Natalie Cardoza on Jun 9, 2009


Making another 2D movie that is hand drawn in this day and age of CGI makes absolutely no sense at all. It's sort of like a college science professor insisting that his students still use a slide rule at least once per semester. I'm in my 50s and I grew up with hand-drawn cartoons. And it's true that kids probably don't care too much about how a movie is animated as long as it's funny and active. But really, what's the point of spending 2 years drawing every frame of a movie when with less effort and time the same film can look 10 times better using CGI?

Jerry on Jul 6, 2009


i cant describe how haaapppy i'm to see another new 2d disney movie i realllyyyy miss it we realy had enough with the bad pixars like(walle-cars-bolt-up-the wilde) i very happy cause im a huuuugggeeeee disney fan if saw my room its full wih disney photos on the wall and disney movies,toys,clothes i just love disney i wish i can work with disney company im goooood at drawing and im 19yo guy (how wierd is that) my best disney classics are the little mermaid(cause its a movie from my childehood) the sleeping beauty aladdin hercules tarzan peter pan pocahontas

modi rock on Jul 23, 2009


Let Pixar do the CGI films while Dinsey goes back to 2D, it worked well before the horrible films of Treasure Planet and Home of the Range tanked. I feel this is Disney's year to bring back 2D animation for a long time, I can see it now...after this one, what will be the next 2D film, speculation is that new Winnie the Pooh.

AJ on Aug 5, 2009


I don't care about the style, 3d, 2d, puppets, storybooks, novels, radio drama, whatever. They have their strengths and weaknesses. They tell their story in their own way. Still they better tell the story good. What matters most is the story. Great story last through the years. I hope the story would be great. Many movies that come in any medium (hand drawn, actors, 3d...) have very lousy, unimaginative stories. I hope this proves to be different.

rbl on Aug 10, 2009


The problem now is that computer generated movies are statrting to become passe. There are so many of them that it isn't new and exciting anymore. They also start looking the same. Luckily Pixar has risen above the trend because they concentrate on story. I hope that 2D makes a re-emergence since they still offer some great creative spirit and they are beautiul.

SLS on Aug 16, 2009


Honestly im very excited about this news. I myself would love to work for disney & be a 2d animator. i cant think of one disney film [of the 2-d classics that is] that i have disliked. [btw H.M. i've never seen home on the range but i have to agree with you on that one. 0.o] I've very much enjoyed some of the Pixar movies. such as finding nemo, wall-e, meet the Robinsons etc. but i really love the 2-d classics. So on my end this is exciting news. [and hopefully a job opportunity in the future :D] [&& btw my name is not from morph the little blob in treasure planet. thats just a coincidence] -Morph

morph on Aug 17, 2009


Disney 2-D movies of this decade (Brother Bear, Home on the Range, etc.) tanked because Mike Eisner, Disney president, thought that 3D was the wave of the future. He essentially shut down the hand drawn animation department. It was disorganized and scrambled with little funding or effort put into producing decent work. It was more or less that he wanted them to tank to fuel his own agenda. Hand drawn animation certainly has a certain aesthetic that appeals not only to nostalgic adults but kids as well. There is no denying the beauty in the traditional methods. Because every frame is drawn, every detail is meticulously noted by a real human being and not a computer. It is human, and more personal than CG. CG is just easier, and therefore cheaper, and it reflects that.

Caitlin on Oct 3, 2009


I prefer the 2-D animations rather than the CGI's and what nots. My only thing is, if Disney is going to make a comback all I am hoping is that their movies mean something. Like The Hunchback and its touch on Human desire with the contrast of Haven's Light/Hellfire, its intense scenes that, as a child, I did not understand but now as an adult I can, and have a better appriciation for it. FORGET making Squeals, they all sucked in my opinion. I guess I'm just being Nostalgic, but I do miss that certain aesthetic you get when a story touches base on a well known topic, Via, Classic Disney movies. So, you can spend years making a 2-D movie, but really Disney, if its not telling me a story with emotion and intense weavery I don't think I want to watch any of your new stuff. :l

Disney Nerd on Dec 1, 2009


Three things, CSADJC7893 is a crazy. Walt talked to you and told you he didn't approve. Plus ideas were screwy. That didn't count as either of the things just needed to be said. Thing one, I am 18 years old I grew up as some of the greatest Disney movies EVER came out and I have to say it makes me so sad that most movies today are cgi. Yes I know they take way more time and can be more detailed or whatever. I just find them to be lacking in some way they are just not... organic enough they lack the softness and pure beauty of hand drawn animation. It may take years longer to make a hand drawn film but when you watch it you see all that extra work and it is worth it. If I had a choice between watching most any of the Disney hand drawn stuff and the Pixar stuff chances are I would pick Disney every time. Thing two, I love animations like Spirited Away and the like but I love them for completely different reasons. They are the same sort of film as Disney hand drawn animations in a way but they differ in one key area, style. You really couldn't use that style with most of the Disney films and you can't use the Disney style with most of those films. Third thing is that Disney and Pixar basically kick all the other American studies around for quality. And all films need to be in whatever style and medium best suits the story it is telling so it that way there really isn't style or way of animating that is better than every other but each is best for certain types of films.

Some people are crazy on Dec 5, 2009


adults need to remember that Disney makes these movies for the children, not the adults. Many of the cartoons our kids watch daily are in 2d so it's not like it's a concept our children are not use to. There are many Disney movie that I do not care for but my children adour , and isn't that the point, that they kids love them. We went to see Princess and the frog, it was great, will definatly be buying it when it comes out to add to our ever growing collection of 2d movies. I also took my kids to see avatar and the chipmunks and got the same reaction from those as I did from Disney's classic style. I think too many adults try to take in account for what they are looking for in a movie instead of what a child is looking at.

sarah on Jan 12, 2010



MRS JONES on Feb 4, 2010


Problem is this movie didn't do very well at the box office. It didn't go past its production cost from the gross from theaters. I just seems that every time they do a 2d animation film it just does ok, not great. To me visually they just don't seem to jump off the screen, they are kind of bland looking compared to computer animation. If I see Cars playing on a tv at walmart it just looks so crisp and clear. Then I see the trailer for Princess and the Frog and in comparison it looks like they did the cartoon in pastel chalk. Up is another example. The colors and images are just so bright and vibrant. Sleeping Beauty looks like the brightness level got turned down. For kids I can see this being an issue, they are so visual.

Tony Robertson on Mar 29, 2010


I recently loaned my Studio Ghibli collection to a friend's kids...hand drawn 2D classics like Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro. They were completely and utterly mesmerized by them and totally involved in the stories. Absolute tosh that kids won't relate to 2D. I don't think some people are granting them enough intelligence. ANYONE would rather watch a good 2D film than a bad 3D film. And let's face it, 2D is a labour of love...and generic Pixar type 3D films are ten-a-penny. There is plenty of room and cinema/DVD/Blu-ray dollars for both.

Matthew, UK. on Nov 12, 2010


3d animation is cool and very nice, but for 2d animation to get cut off altogether is just crap. They really shouldn't be picking favorites

Coolygirl03 on Jan 17, 2011


You talk like the only people making 2D are Disney... lol.

koidog on Mar 15, 2012


they should make more 2d animation :(. I'm glad they decided to make one every two years, though 😀

percjack on Jul 29, 2012

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