Disney has had some huge animated hits in recent years with movies like Frozen, Wreck it Ralph and Moana. However, it’s been eight years since The Princess and the Frog, the most recent movie in the Disney Classics collection to use traditional hand-drawn animation, and the first since 2005’s poorly received Home on the Range. Frozen and Moana have kept up the tradition of animated musicals, but here are five reasons why despite their success, I think it is time for the studio to bring us a new hand-drawn cinematic classic.
Disney Can Afford to Take Risks
Hand-drawn animation is expensive and time consuming to produce compared with modern 3D movies, but if anyone can afford that extra investment, it’s Disney. The company is currently working on adapting its 2D classics library to live action, with The Jungle Book, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast already released, and more to come in short order. If it can afford to do this with such speed and positive reception, it surely has the money available to take a risk on a project like this.
Pixar are Already the Best at 3D Work
In 2006, Disney bought Pixar Animation studios. Pixar are well known for being on the cutting edge of digital animation, and have produced some of the best-recieved animated movies of all time including the Toy Story series and Wall-E. Whilst they have arguably begun to make missteps in recent years, 2015’s Inside Out proves they are still capable of making movies that are better in than anything the competition can produce.
Japan Proves 2D Animation is Still Booming
Over the last three decades, Japanese anime-style animation has taken the world by storm. It’s gone from late-night screenings on obscure cable channels in the 80’s to major international theatrical releases and a firm place in mainstream television media. Studio Ghibli, famous for it’s beautifully realised hand-drawn animation is particularly popular worldwide. The wide distribution of anime in the United States and Europe shows that audiences do not demand 3D digital animation in their movies, and can still appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of traditional animation.
CG Ages Badly
Disney is very proud of its history and famously only wants the very best, timeless work to be a part of its Classics collection. However, the skills required for hand-drawn animation are very specialised, and since there is scarcely any investment in those skills from major players such as Disney those skills may well become even more rare and expensive, but even cheap 2D animation ages better than expensive CG. Traditional animation has proved itself more timeless than digital already (given how badly early CG has aged), so Disney would do well to keep a team of dedicated artists keeping its history alive for generations to come.
Even Today’s Children Will be Nostalgic for the 2D Classics
Generations have grown up with Walt Disney’s Classics, and those movies are still being enjoyed by today’s children. Because of their timeless nature, people of all ages go to see new Disney animated movies at the cinema. Those of us who remember seeing theatrical releases of its hand-drawn films would be thrilled at the nostalgia of re-living those childhood experiences, and because those movies remain as well-loved as ever, today’s young audiences would be just as happy to see new movies in the series they love to watch at home with the family.
Featured image source: Walt Disney Animation Studios logo