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TOPIC:

2D animation's last days at Disney

13
ErikkirePerson was signed in when posted
08-29-2003
09:33 PM ET (US)
Is Walt going to be re-animated too?
12
Eli the BeardedPerson was signed in when posted
08-29-2003
03:09 PM ET (US)
I've not seen this, but I've read a couple of good reviews:

Kirikou and the Sorceress (Kirikou et la sorcière)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181627/

Read the Economist's review here:
http://www.economist.com/books/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2003455

(Movie reviews are very rare in that publication. They must
really like it.)
11
Young FreudPerson was signed in when posted
08-29-2003
03:41 AM ET (US)
How is it that the Japanese can produce massive volumes of "Best of Breed" television in every genre which just happens to be animated?

I'm not so sure about that. I really think that big filter called the Pacific Ocean keeps much of the anime crap from coming over and allows us to get the top of Sturgeon's ratio, with some exceptions such as most of US Mangle Corps' backcatalogue. There's a lot of stuff there that's just seems repetative and formualic as here, but is totally unique to us Americans. I'd suggest hunting down Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga, which heavily deals with the formulas in various genres, and much of it applies to animated work.

"Patlabor 2" alone is a better film than any live action film I've seen this year.

Yeah, no kidding. It's a story so good that Hollywood remade it into The Siege, even without knowledge of it. It was one of those movies I ended up watching continously after September 11th, because it was relevant to the time.
Edited 08-29-2003 03:42 AM
10
PeganthyrusPerson was signed in when posted
08-28-2003
03:30 PM ET (US)
A real "Boot Camp" for Disney should consist of locking the VPs into an extended Anime festival until they "get it".

Sorry, Steve, they'd probably just decide that 3-drawing cycles doped randomly and shot on fives is THE KEY TO SUCCESS.

Executives seem to refuse to see anything beyond the superficial.
9
Stephen A. KupiecPerson was signed in when posted
08-28-2003
03:03 PM ET (US)
The real pity, is that for the past 3 months (since the end of Buffy) 90% of my entertainment (Everything but Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) has been animated. Or rather, Anime. How is it that the Japanese can produce massive volumes of "Best of Breed" television in every genre which just happens to be animated? "Patlabor 2" alone is a better film than any live action film I've seen this year. My local Suncoast and Best Buy stores have huge selections of all types of anime. How can Disney (much less the rest of the US industry) miss out on this (other than distributing some Miyazaki).

This really points to the two great weaknesses of recent (non-Pixar) Disney work: They are terrified of presenting anything that works at multiple levels for children and adults as Aladdin did. Second, they have an abysmal regard for the intelligence of the audience, particularly for animated fare. This results in remarkably dumbed down stories, and hopelessly upbeat content. The great Disney films incorporated carefully metered doses of humor and fear .

The issue for me isn't a decision between 2-D/3-D/CGI/Pencil/Computer techniques, it's comfort with the medium. For example, Cosmic Stellvia combines excellent 2D and 3D in a largely seamless manner, it is ideally suited for children, but contains plenty of humor and adventure that adults will enjoy. Comparing this to "Treasure Planet", a stupedously wrongheaded adaptation of Stevenson, which was further focus grouped into utter incoherence.

A real "Boot Camp" for Disney should consist of locking the VPs into an extended Anime festival until they "get it".
8
cavalierfhPerson was signed in when posted
08-28-2003
11:15 AM ET (US)
I realize there needs to be gritty, hard edged realism for Disney enthusiasts to show an other side to all the happy, perky reviews.

All the same, I can't help but read through Koenig's reports and think of him as nothing more than a troll. None of his articles ever have anything positive to say, and it seems his schtick is to be the "oooh Evil Corporate Disney" guy on MousePlanet.

Again, I KNOW that there needs to be somebody grouchy trying to balance out all the gushy reviews with proper "Hey, Disney exec's, we're watching you." I just think that the dial is turned a little TOO much towards negative and it makes me disbelieve anything he's writing as I think he's doing it just to inspire FUD.

Painting Eisner as a man who knows nothing of story and wants everything 3-D is particularly trollish, as those who know Eisner remember he was in charge of Paramount for several years and a producer before that. For 20 years he's known the story's the thing, you're telling me now he doesn't do that? I don't love Eisner, but geez, check your facts before you believe some of this.
Edited 08-28-2003 11:15 AM
7
tdalyPerson was signed in when posted
08-28-2003
08:50 AM ET (US)
Want good animation and strange story see Belleville Rendezvous http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/trailers/
6
Stefan JonesPerson was signed in when posted
08-28-2003
01:43 AM ET (US)
This is good insightful stuff. Thanks!

If this shutdown happened a few years back, I could imagine some dot-commer, or someone like Paul Allen, starting a animation studio to take advantage of the loose talent. Now a days . . .

Hmmm. I'm visiting relatives back east next week. I think I'll pick up copies of _Spirited Away_ and _My Neighbor Totoro_ to loan to my sister. My nieces see far too much Disney . . .
5
hornsofthedevilPerson was signed in when posted
08-28-2003
12:34 AM ET (US)
well, the points i wanted to make have already be eloquently stated in the first four posts.

I'm a 2D animator and i often think that if i were to ever take a teaching position, i would have to dedicate at least a day trying to deprogram students who think that Disney is the end all be all of animation.
they haven't contributed a damn thing to the art form in 25 years. what risks have they taken? what innovations have they broguht forth?

None - they stick to a formula plain and simple because the executives in charge over there are all about the bottom line and wouldn't be able to pick out a good story if they had help from Mark Twain.

America grew tired of their tired formula right after the Lion King and Disney hasn't woken up to it yet.
The move to switch everything to CGI in hopes of finding a panacea to their troubled animation depqartment will most probably bring them even more woesome returns on their investment if they don't shelve their "formula". It will also be the death knell for Eisner.

here's a great interview with Brad Bird(director of Iron Giant, former Disney employee, and director of in production Pixar movie "the Impossibles") where he details the woesome crap machine that is Disney:

http://www.well-rounded.com/movies/reviews/bradbird_intv.html

"You got to have the five songs! You've got to have the "I want song," where the character sings what he or she wants... Then there's the anthem song. Then the love song, which is reprised over the end titles with contemporary R&B artists. Then there's the comedy score, where the wacky people sing about how wacky they are. Then there's the often gay villain song. And there's a sameness to them that's cookie cutter. And I think even the Disney animators are really hoping this film does well so they can have legal precedence set for them to break free."
Edited 08-28-2003 12:42 AM
4
PeganthyrusPerson was signed in when posted
08-28-2003
12:21 AM ET (US)
If you want to see why Disney's feature department has gone the way it has, hunt down the film "Sweatbox". It's a documentary on the making of "The Emperor's New Groove". Prima donnas, executives who require that everything stick to The Formula, whiny rock-stars, it's all in there.

People who say that Pixar is succeeding because they do CG are morons: remember "Final Fantasy"? 100% 3D, 100% terrible. It's the story and the care in the telling, not the medium it's told in.

(Hell, for that matter, remember Disney's "Secret Lab" and "Dinosaur"? All CG. All tanking.)

It's sad to see DIsney Feature closing up shop. And also worrisome for my job prospects; there's now an absolute glut of very high quality animators in the LA area.
Edited 08-28-2003 12:23 AM
3
roadknightPerson was signed in when posted
08-27-2003
11:32 PM ET (US)
It's all about telling stories.
If you don't have a good story, you won't have a good animation or even a good film.
Period.
I've seen this so many times and I was only a sysadmin at 2 studios.

We hired a guy who did 2D for a slot at a 3D studio I worked at because the stories he did on his reel by himself was vastly better than of any of the beautiful, lifeless 3-dD crap sent in by people who went to Ringling, TAMU, A of A, etc.

His animation was 2D, shot on onionskin through a traditional shoot-down camera.
He's now at Pixar. I caught his name in the credits of "Finding Nemo" as (a) Lead/Senior animator.
2
bigkahunaPerson was signed in when posted
08-27-2003
07:53 PM ET (US)
The reason Pixar flicks succeed isn't entirely CGI. In fact, CGI is a minor piece in comparison to the superior storytelling. Everything Pixar has produced has been well-written and imaginative. Disney's only recent success in storytelling was Lilo and Stitch which happened to be illustrated by hand and very cheaply in Disney's Florida studio. What did it have in common with the rest of the Disney/Pixar's hits? It wasn't created and managed in Anaheim. The results? Better writing and worthwhile films regardless of the techniques employed.
1
Stefan JonesPerson was signed in when posted
08-27-2003
06:59 PM ET (US)
I was *so* looking forward to that direct-to-video Beauty and the Beast / Little Mermaid crossover.

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