Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ron & John's Next Film Will Be... Hand-Drawn!

Yesterday, Disney's Animation Research Library confirmed that Ron Clements and John Musker are directing Disney's next hand-drawn animated film in celebration of Clements' birthday. For those of you who don't know, Ron & John directed The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Princess and the Frog. Aside from those films, they also directed The Great Mouse Detective with Dave Michener and Burny Mattinson, along with Hercules and Treasure Planet.

What will it be? We don't know, all we got was "we can't say." I think it might be Mort (an adaptation of a novel in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series), since it was announced that it would be their next film in November 2010, but that just seemed to disappear. Maybe they might take over King of the Elves, because Chris Williams dropped out of that project since it ran into massive story problems. Maybe it might be Fraidy Cat, the project Disney announced back in 2004, that Hitchcockian mystery story about the cat who last three of his nine lives. I'd love to see that happen.

This announcement makes me think that Disney hasn't lost confidence in hand-drawn animation, and they might be aware of the fact that terrible marketing and poor timing was what killed The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh's chances of doing well at the box office. With Rich Ross out, it's possible that Disney will find a Chairman who knows animation very well and knows how to market a good animated film without having to resort to shoddy marketing campaigns or ones that make the film look horrible. (Tangled, anyone?) Hopefully the marketing department will be improved, now that MT Carney left prior to John Carter's opening day. All Disney needs at this point is for Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen to exceed all expectations.

What do you think will be the next hand-drawn animated film from Disney?

P.S. Happy late birthday Ron Clements!

Also, check out this new NFL Draft TV spot for Pixar's Brave.

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