Hello Disney fans its me, Elephant777, and I’d like to address the issue that is currently dividing many Disney fans, film consumers, and the general public (when it doesn’t involve important thing like living). That subject is the drawn out war (pardon my pun) involving Traditional Animation vs. Computer Generated Animation. A debate brought by Walt Disney jr. on his forum “Disney making more Traditional Animated Film”, then reinforced in the forum along with a video titled “The truth why Disney shut down hand drawn animation”. So lets get to the heart of the matter. I’m going to go on a dangerous limb of assumption, and guess why everyone has this divide about the method of future animated movies Disney will make, so feel free to disagree
For Fan of Hand-Drawn- Traditional Animation has real touch, emotion, and nostalgia value that ages well, and is wonderfully creative with a special magical quality to it that CGI doesn’t quite capture.
For Fans of CGI- Computer Generated Animation has stunning visuals, a refreshingly polished, and captures a grandeur in scope and realism that traditional animation lacks.
Now that is established lets going into the history regarding both of these methods of animation, and discusses their relationship toward those who have watched them. To achieve this were no just going to look at the movies regarding Disney and Pixar, but were also going to look at other studios, directors, and films that have used Traditional and Compute animation. Furthermore I will not talk about the medium method combo between the two as the subject of this animation is not genuinely accepted, nor does any future animated film looks like it will be using this technology.
As incredible as it is to believe, Traditional Animation was not the first method of animation. In truth it is a culmination of multiple method of animation the resulted with what you see now in movies like Snow White. These methods were flip book, magical lantern, and the Praxinoscope. The very, very, very, very first animated film done in traditionally was The Enchanted Drawing, which was a silent film made by Vitagraph Studios, which provide a era of animated films called the silent era with famous films like Fantasmagorie and Gertie the Dinosaur (honorable mentioning Winsor McCay).
You all know the story of Walter Disney and how he rose to make Mickey Mouse, then the full length animated feature Snow white and the seven dwarfs right? Surprisingly though Walter’s Snow White was not the first full-length animated feature, yet the film was the first to be both a critical and commercial success. Now Disney’s story is a lot like Pixar’s. He started out small, no one supported him, and they faced serious financial struggles to get his movies, parks, and other creations off the ground. Namely the spark of World War 2 would see the democratic owned United States government taking control of the Walt Disney company to make war propaganda films (did I say democrats? Yes I did, sorry if I offend anyone, but then again I’m not wrong). This cease of his company made make films hard on Walter and he would put of almost all of his movies of until the ended. Many movies that were shelved are the movies you now see aka The Little Mermaid and Frozen. When they were done and Disney got control of his company Walter would make many beloved films until his death.
But, while the legend died others would rise to take on the famous company while they were in their darkest hour because lets face it no one was Walter Disney. One person rose to face the now discontented Disney Company head on, even beating them on the battlefield a few times. It was the dawn of new traditional animated legend. That man, myth, legend was the notorious Don Bluth. His goal was to bring back the magic Walt Disney had with his film (al be it darker). As clearly to illustrate his top three most worshiped films being the Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time. His goal was very successful, and it even had positive/rebound effect on those desired goals. His critically and commercially successful films forced the Disney company to rededicate themselves into being what Walt had built it up to be. Thus when Don Bluth came out with his next animated feature “All dogs go to heaven”. Disney was locked and loaded with their own film, “The Little Mermaid… How do I describe this scenario? It was a nuclear holocaust. The Little Mermaid was such a financial and critical success that Don Bluth film career was pushed to second place for (almost) ever. With the little mermaid there came the Disney Renaissance…. Need I say more? Of course at the time other studios were trying to combat the renaissance. Films like The Iron Giant, Ferngully, and Balto were making their own attempts at making successful animated films.
Yet, as the Disney Renaissance happened there was a new rival brewing. Not in the form of a man wanting to be a combatant, but a new type of animation that would change the fate of Traditional animation forever.
This new animation was young, new, and quite remarkable. Before it was used in fully animated films it was a tool to capture a realer look in live action films. This animation of course was CGI, and it literally came roaring into the world
Ya I’m kinda cheating, but I do not lie either. When Jurassic Park came into theater it changed the game in making film forever. It was a foreshadow for what would come in a new film industry dedicated to making a full length animated feature in CGI. That company was Pixar
LETS STOP WITH THE IMAGES! Okay? Anyway when Pixar’s first film Toy Story came into theater it would capture the hearts of viewers to infinity and beyond with its spectacular plot and breathtaking visuals. It was so good Traditional Animated films like Disney’s Pocahontas, and the “would have been great” Balto were forced to the sidelines. With this newfound technology two other studios realized it potential, changed it entire animation infrastructure, and went all out on preparing it own CGI animated films. These studios were BlueSky and Dreamworks, but their films won’t happen until the Tenuous 20's due to the fact that the money required for their studios to change took a hell of a lot of time. So in the mean time Pixar would run into a problem after accomplishing their first successful movie. Their distributing benefactor was the Walt Disney Company, and their work to accomplish the following films would grow tougher as Disney as its benefactor made it harder on them to achieve successful movies, which they were able to do with A Bugs Life and Toy Story 2.
Then when the Tenuous 20’s happened BlueSky and Dreamworks were ready to go into a CGI animated war. As Pixar released their next film Monster Inc., Dreamworks released Shriek. It was the first (with two big companies that are not Disney) fought for a financial and critically better film. In the end Monsters won out with a victory total of $525,366,597 (and a rotten tomato score of 96%) while Shriek received a total of $484,409,218 (and a rotten tomato score of 87%). The victory was a close one, and a sign for Pixar to quickly up their gain as in 2002 BlueSky released their own successful film, Ice Age. Then Dreamworks with its golden boy Shriek the next thing they did was… HAND-DRAWN!
Yes that’s right people the company that brought you Shriek then provided you with two new feature films called Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. Now I bet your wondering why I bring this up within the history of CGI. Well the point is while CGI was currently storming the box office right and left the Traditional Animated movies were still striving to meet them. The era of the Disney Reissuance had turned stationary and they were beginning to attempt CGI (al be it slowly), so when Spirit and Sinbad were released the public was shocked. This was very unfortunate because the films although they were well done they did not fair well financially. This failure was ultimately solidified when Pixar released their next film Finding Nemo, which became a ground breaking film that had the same effect as the Little Mermaid had against All Dogs go to Heaven. It was beautiful, well received, and a commercial monster. Because of this Dreamworks went right back to CGI where they upped their game to hopefully beat Pixar, which they had not been successful at doing, so the next year they released Shrek 2.
And wouldn’t you know it they got their wish! In 2004 the very next year Pixar and Dreamworks battled once more. With their films The Incredibles (Pixar) and Shrek 2 (Dreamworks). Shrek 2 not only beat Pixar, but became the highest grossing film of 2004. It was an astonishing victory, and one that placed Pixar in a precarious position. A position that made them hold off on releasing their next film they had in store while Dreamworks released their next film Madagascar. At the same time Disney had went under a leadership change. This new one (I can’t remember his name) saw that Pixar although not officially a Disney owned company had Disney company values, so after several discussions Disney bought Pixar two years later in 2006. With this new owned partnership Pixar released their latest film Cars, which contended with two other CGI animated Happy Feet and Ice Age: The Meltdown. While it beat Happy Feet, Cars was unable to defeat Ice Age, which became surprising successful film, and by BlueSky none the less. Mean while at Dreamworks they began to suffer from making crappy movies. Over time however Pixar and Dreamworks would have several battles.
That’s all I am going to say about that, and with war still waging between CGI films still reigning is far from over, as Pixar is going to have to face a new giant coming to theater 2015 that make them twist and turn inside out, but as far as history is concerned we are done talking about CGI.
Let me begin to state that I am not only obligated to mention other animated feature done in hand drawn animation, but I must reference these movie because they just like Disney traditional animated films have been a great importance to not only my life, but yours as well. In fact hand-drawn animation as a whole has had a much more lasting effect that makes films like Snow White, Iron Giant, and Balto have not only have a special place in our heart, but a never aging hold on our love for these stories that you could watch a hundred times without getting the least bit bored. It is that chilling your spin, that tingle in the skin, the lifting of your soul every time you experience the overwhelming magical majesty of hand-drawn animation.
To begin this I’ll by talking of legendary hand-drawn masters and movies. Of course when I refer to master I mean Walter Disney and Don Bluth. Both had a vision and a desire to provide a magical quality of entertainment to children of all ages (whether they be 1 or 100).
Let’s begin with Walt Disney… He provided a spiritual quality that was light hearted with dark undertones to his films. Movies like Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Cinderella are well-aged masterpieces. Why? Like I said before they had a serious subject to discuss, but he did in a way that was light hearted. I mean think about it! Snow White’s mother is trying to kill her! She wants her own daughter dead! Yet, her kind heart and spirit are the things that keep her alive, which as hard as it is to believe makes for a interesting tale. Pinocchio must go literally through a journey of manipulators, greedy people, and a wrathful whale to find his father and become a human being. Fantasia is movie of classics that preforms dark matters in a enjoyable format (extinction, the devil, and broomsticks that try to drown the world). Cinderella has to serve cruel step-sisters and a even crueler step-mother! Finally there is Dumbo… Need I talk about dark undertones?
Still as hard as those subjects are they all provide a good, decent, moral tale that has both a happy ending. You remember specifically the movies “Walter” Disney made because they were had a unique beauty in each of their hand-drawn animations, the progress each character went through to achieve their dreams, and the ultimate delivery/climax that was incredibly gratifying.
Heres what I have to say about Don Bluth… Dam! That word just makes my heart soar! He and his films were the darker unrefined alternative versions to Disney’s slightly lighter films. You and the characters suffer through the entire film, and to achieve their happy ending was well… like one man said “To get to the happy ending in his films is like slave labor”. Yes, yes they were. Don Bluth had the ability to make a traditional animated movie that was unique sole to himself. You can see it too… The characters, the environment, the story are all very unique, which to point out in exact detail. The story like I said is very dark and elements like death, depression, and discontent is a constant presence in his films. The environment and the character are very distinctive. They don’t have that polished refined quality that makes the more real. Instead they are rougher, unrefined, and very emotionally driven, which gives them more personality if you think about it.
To finish this up Don Bluth not only saved traditional animation, but he in hos own way saved Disney. Like I said before it was his competitive rise that forced Disney to work harder and had it not been for Don Bluth you would not see The Little Mermaid or the Disney Renaissance for that matter. While I cherish a Disney films as much as the next fan I cannot hid my love for Don Bluth films either. As dark as those films were you remember them a lot more because you were driven to see it to the very sweet, but tortuously worked happily ever after. They taught not just me, but everyone a valuable and clear life lessons that you remember and try to follow for with the rest of your life.
Now lets go into the thick of things regard specifically the relationship between Traditional Animated movies and its viewers…. To get technical Traditional Animation is a lot more physical than CGi. Culminating in true artist to design and create the film by hand. This forces the animators, story tellers, and directors to be more engaging, creative, and passionate in their work. Without these three key components the films is an instant failure, which is why you are inclined to see more good and excellent traditional animated film than a bad and shitty ones. This is also why films like Balto, The Iron Giant, and (yes) Don Bluth films are still watched to day despite the fact the film industries they came from have since died or moved on.
There exists timelessness to these films. No matter how old they get they are still good. They are as good now as they were good when they were released. Yes I am stating, but that is the only way to best explain it. You still love the excitement of watching a puppet or a mermaid fight to become human. You are still sad when you watch a fawn’s mom shot to death or a long necks mother killed by a sharptooth. You still fear the times when a demonic bear or cat tries to slay the protagonist. You are in love when you watch that little elephant, wolf dog, or iron giant soar above everyone to save the day.
In its own mysterious way you love traditional animation because it doesn’t try to be real. Yes, the stories involve both the real and unreal parts of life, but that’s the point to them. Traditional Animated films are in of themselves cannot be put into the logical terms of a category. Instead they are all their own individual fairytales that provide memorable characters, wonderful environments, and timeless tales.
Computer Generated Images/Animation has its own relationship with the viewers, and while it is a recent tool. It is also an oversaturated tool that has caused the technology to age rapidly, and only through exceptional talent and work has a few movie who have incorporated CGI into their film have managed to have that animation last even a decade. In essence CGI is like crappy made American beer. It has a bland nice delivery, but doesn’t truly age well unless (as I have said) had exceptional effort put into it aka Terminator 2: judgment Day and Jurassic Park.
Now that is not to say that CGI does not have a positive relationship, so let us look at those good relationships…
1) It is cost effective: As of now any movie looking to save money and get more than the cost it requires to make often goes towards CGI animation. The technology needed to produce that kind of animation has cheapened dramatically, which makes films like transformers and Jurassic park three make a good salary for good animation (with holding my breath). While I won’t go into the technical terms a film like Frozen would have cost more to be done in 2d vs 3d, or as another example it would have cost more to have practical effects in Jurassic World than CGI, which comes to may second point
2) It is more versatile: Woeful I am to say this, but there has been more accomplished in recent years with CGI than any other type of entertainment technology. It is used in movie, phones, computers, apps, and perhaps a hundred more other devices. Thus, it capabilities are almost endless in developing it.
3) It is time effective: It took three years to make Jurassic Park to come alive. Now it takes merely a year for a movie with CGI to be make it, package it, slap it on a lunch box, and sell! Sell it! So you get it the time required to do a film in CGI is extremely fluid and easy, thus makes a studio get rich for less effort.
4) It looks more realistic: Need I reference the entire scene with Rexy? Or the Terminator walking through an Iron bar? Or the time when Godzilla steps onto the scene in his 2014 incarnation? That is the key factor in what made CGI such a demanded piece of tech because it provide viewer more or less with a feeling that what they are looking at is real.
The answer is so simple people. I mean it kills me every single time
KEEP THE STUDIOS SEPERATE!!!!!
What is wrong with a little more definition? a little more direction? a little more deviation?
It like I said before and I will say it again from a previous comment
""""One not giving a direct answer, but rather indirectly explained it. Then he makes a poor choice of having the directors from both studios in one place openly choose how both studios should cooperate, which is very poor leadership. Another thing is the fact that he felt like is was wrong to have definition!
Disney Animation Studios defined itself long ago as a Traditional Animation Studio
Pixar defined itself long ago as a Computer Generated Animation Studio
This is where it all goes wrong. Now you have people from pixar taking control over the Disney Animation, which is funny because I was wondering why the recent movies from the revival era looked more like Pixar films than Disney.
So in terms of diversity I believe it is a one sideded argument, and the fact that none of them are even willing to try is the equivilant of a dog rolling onto it back so the owner kick him in it most vulnerable spot.
This is a company, not a country. It is in the right of a president of the Disney Company to take an authoritative stance. If directors don't like it then they have the right to quit. That is what Don Bluth did, and he made some of the most unforgettable "traditional animated" films in history.
What makes Disney special is its difference from other animation studios.
Now a days it is getting harder and harder to to tell the differnce between a Pixar film, a BlueSky film, a Dreamworks film, or a Disney aside from their titles"""
What we want from Disney Animation is pretty simple, and the "animation" plays a big role in that. While I can tell you with all my heart that I have enjoyed the Revival era's CGI movies they are not with the exception of a few notable ones "Disney" animated movies. I mean when I watched Frozen it blew me away, when I watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 it blew me away, but being blown away by something means nothing if there is not anything special to it. That's why we want 2D to return so badly because there is something indescribaly incredible about that animation form that feels more "real" than anything done in CGI today.
Is that to say CGI is horrible? NO! Not at all! The problem is that the technology is being over used and abused to make easy money. It has corrupted Pixar. TOY STORY 4! FINDING NEMO 2! THE CARS 3! Has this studios forgotten that the reason we buy their product was because they made each film a creative and memorable movie? I mean they make what... Inside Out, Good Dinosaur both of whom are terrific movies, but that is all they are going to give us?
Okay the Real Conclusion
I am going to make this as simply as possible.
Disney Animation should and remain Traditional Animation. Yes, if you want to try out the meander animation make a new studio for it. You want to have CGI leave that load of buisness to Pixar (they own the company). Overall though keep them seperate. From the animation to the studios.