I know this news report is a few weeks old now but there's no time like the present to talk about it!
Two years ago Disney closed down their Florida and Burbank Feature Animation Studios. Hundreds of employees were laid off. They sold all their light tables and threw out their animation paper and replaced it all with computers for their new shiny CG department.
Upon the success of Pixar's 3D movies (Finding Nemo, Toy Story) and the unsuccess of their own movies (Brother Bear, Home on the Range), Disney decided that it would be the smart move to switch over to the world of 3D. After all, that's the way the world is going, isn't it? It sure seems that way with the plethora of CG movies out this year.
Disney has always been the ones on the cutting edge of animation having developed many of the techniques used in the medium today. But over all, Disney had captivating stories and the animation was just a means to tell them. If Disney put this much effort into their storytelling they would still be competitors in the market! Let's take a look at Pixar: Why are their movies so good? Sure, they look fantastic but they have well-written, meaningful stories and that is the key element!
Back in March, it was announced that Disney would be buying Pixar and would be making Pixar President John Lasseter the President of Walt Disney Feature Animation. This was a smart move as far as I'm concerned. I have complete faith that Lasseter will make a new name for Disney as he did with Pixar. Although he may have to spend the next few years cleaning up the mess, I'm sure we will be seeing a Disney revival.
Anyway, two weeks ago Lasseter announced that he is bringing the traditional animation department back to Disney! And not this cheap Flash garbage either! I'm talking pencil and paper, ink and paint, 2D animation!
The first feature will be called the Frog Princess and will be developed by Ron Clements and John Musker (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Treasure Planet) and rumour has it that this film will also bring back the Broadway-style musical numbers! Composer Alan Menken is reported to be on board!
This is an exciting time and know that with Lasseter in charge we will see a good film.