Rumours Of Hand Drawn Animation’s Demise At Disney Have Been… Slightly Exagerrated

"PAPERMAN"Disney held their 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders this morning. I wasn’t able to listen in live, but I’ve since had a recording rolling around my ears.

Towards the end of the ninety minute recording a question came from the floor about the studio’s future plans for hand-drawn animation. Here’s what CEO Bob Iger had to say:

To my knowledge we’re not developing a 2D or hand drawn feature animated film right now. There is a fair amount of activity going on in hand drawn animation but it’s largely for television at this point. We’re not necessarily ruling out the possibility [of] a feature but there isn’t any in development at the company at the moment.

But this statement all depends on what you mean by hand drawn animation.

I know for sure that there’s at least one feature in development at Walt Disney Animation Studios that will require hand drawn animation in the way that Paperman did. The new film doesn’t quite use the same techniques as Paperman but part of the process, at least as it stands, allows – requires, even – animators to draw images rather than model them.

To my mind, this constitutes hand drawn animation. Traditional? No. But hand drawn nonetheless. And this will be reflected in the final aesthetic of the film too.

It’s also well worth pointing out that Walt Disney Animation Studios, as opposed to the TV-producing Disney Toon Studios, are offering an eight week intern program specifically in 2D animation this summer.

And while we’re recounting some of Iger’s nay saying, here’s what he offered on the future of Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, the Studio’s prodigal son:

I’m not aware of any animation work or filmed entertainment that’s being done right now for Oswald.

Oh… boo.

Philip Glenister

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