Saturday, February 15, 2014
Several Disney animators held a live event on Google+, where they demonstrated the wonderful Disney Animated app, answered questions and went over several things about animation. Of course, somebody had to ask, "What's going on with hand-drawn?" (And no, the person didn't exactly say that. People prefer to say "2D", a term I don't really like.)
Hand-drawn animation, as they put it, is still at the studio. It's currently being used for shorts, experiments and things concerning the classic characters from hand-drawn films (i.e. the bloopers that appear on the 2011 Lion King Blu-ray.), but they outright said that a hand-drawn feature-length film is currently not, I repeat not in the pipeline. Though I don't remember the exact wording, I think someone did say "But you never know, one could come in the future" or whatever.
It's the same thing we've been told, but that doesn't mean something like Giants or Moana will be your typical computer animated film. We may see hand-drawn elements in those, or the painterly look will be taken to the next level. Maybe Zootopia or Giants, or heck maybe even Big Hero 6 will show a step up in the tech and will resemble hand-drawn features despite being, at their cores, computer animated. We have to wait and see, Meander was apparently not advanced enough to carry a whole feature-length film.
But the good news is, there's still a department there for hand-drawn, it's alive and well in some form and we may one day get another hand-drawn feature. Remember back in summer 2012 when Moana, back then just known as the secret Ron & John project, was going to be a hand-drawn film? I'm sure the finished product will be as hand-drawn as a computer animated film can get, if that makes any sense. One can hope, right?