We may have seen the last days of hand-drawn animation. It’s not going to come from DreamWorks Animation (all of their 2D endeavors flopped), BlueSky, or Sony Pictures Animation. The last refuge was Disney, who had released the hand-drawn Winnie the Pooh in 2011. But that looks like the end of Disney’s 2D animation for the foreseeable future. According to /Film, at “Walt Disney Company shareholder’s meeting, CEO Bob Iger revealed none of Disney’s animation companies, which includes Disney Animation, Pixar and Disney Toons, are currently developing, or have plans to develop, any 2D, hand drawn animation for the big screen. He’s not ruling it out, but the current slate—which probably stretches 3-4 years—has none of it.”
Hit the jump for my thoughts on this sad state of affairs.
Ever since word first broke that Disney was looking to acquire Marvel Studios, fans started speculating about which Marvel property would inevitably be turned into an animated film by the Mouse House. With Pixar also under Disney’s distribution banner, the excitement over a possible Pixar-led Marvel film was almost palpable. Just a few weeks ago, Pixar and Disney Animation head John Lasseter went so far as to say he “wouldn’t be opposed” to Pixar and Marvel teaming up on a property, but now it looks like the first animated Marvel film to come out of the Mouse House may be from Disney Animation. The studio is apparently in development on an animated iteration of the comic series Big Hero 6. Hit the jump for more.
Great Walt Disney films – regardless of how much one may love or grow weary of their corporate dominance – have so far proven timeless. Bambi was made in 1942 – nearly seventy years ago – and there’s nothing about it that makes it feel like a film of that era other than the craft of cell animation. The film plays to an audience in a way that hasn’t aged in ways that even films like Casablanca or To Be or Not To Be cannot. Because all of its main characters are woodland animals there’s no antiquated technology and there’s no sense of trends of the time. The film has no musical numbers; the narrative is timeless. Bambi is a male deer who starts the film as a newborn, and the film charts his path to adulthood. Our review of Bambi on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
by Jason Barr Posted: January 31st, 2011 at 5:19 pm
Just because Disney’s forthcoming live-action John Carter of Mars adaptation had its release date bumped up from June 8 to March 9, 2012, doesn’t mean the film is close to being finished. According to the film’s director, the two-time Oscar-winning Andrew Stanton (WALL-E), John Carter will remain in “digital principal photography” for the duration of 2011. In a recent interview, Stanton explained:
“I’m not in post-production — I’m in digital principal photography now, which goes on for the rest of 2011, so I’m only halfway through the movie.”
To see Stanton discuss topics such as the film’s special effects and its status as his debut live-action directorial effort, hit the jump. John Carter of Mars stars Taylor Kitsch, Mark Strong, Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, Thomas Haden Church, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston, and Dominic West.
While the 3D format continues its move towards home entertainment with more and more titles being released on 3D Blu-ray every month, it looks like Disney is getting in on the action as well. The Walt Disney Company announced today that it plans to release at least fifteen films on 3D Blu-ray throughout 2011. Titles set to hit 3D home video include The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Nightmare Before Christmas, TRON: Legacy, and Tangled. Not only will the films be presented in 3D, but the special 3D Blu-ray release will come complete with 3D menus, 3D trailers, and an introduction to the world of Disney 3D from The Lion King characters Timon and Pumba. Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Lori MacPherson had this to say:
As our contemporary library of 3D content continues to grow, and the original artists and filmmakers meticulously ‘dimensionalize’ their work for release on the Blu-ray 3D format, we will be offering movie-lovers the most incredible in-home entertainment experience they will ever have
Hit the jump for more, including the other Disney titles planned for a 3D Blu-ray release. [We've updated this story with the official press release]
Walt Disney’s Fantasia is many things. At first, it was a flop. Now – through Disney’s re-releases (and what appears to be a campaign selling the film to the drug addled in the 60’s) – it’s one of the top 25 highest grossing films of all time (adjusted). It’s a mainstream classic, but in structure it’s also an art-house, experimental film. It’s singular – an omnibus, made of short, unconnected films that never build on each other – the majority of films like that have rarely worked. And though it’s been on home video for twenty years now, and it’s been available on DVD, Blu-ray gives us yet another chance to familiarize ourselves with Walt Disney’s passion project and absorb its brilliance and flaws. My review of the Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 double feature Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Walt Disney Animation is sure keeping busy these days. Not content with adding Princesses Tiana and Rapunzel, WDA is looking to introduce to an old standby to some new friends. That’s right, Winnie the Pooh is returning to theaters. Hit the jump to find out what is in store for that willy, nilly, silly ol’ bear.