The Princess and the Frog
is out on Friday and will be Disney's first hand drawn animation since 2004's Home on the Range
. As well as this film though, Disney is also planning further projects to be made in the more traditional way.
So that's Winnie the Pooh
, The Snow Queen
and a mystery project from Princess and the Frog
directors Ron Clements and John Musker .
Here some concept art by Harald Sieperman which may or may not be representative of the what the Snow Queen will end up looking like.
While Disney has in recent years turned its back on the form of animation that it built its success their have been some excellent hand drawn films made elsewhere. One of my favourite films last year was the French animation Persepolis
based on the graphic novel of the same name. Also there have been some great films out of the Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli such as Spirited Away
and Howls Moving Castle
. But it's good to see Disney is returning to hand drawn as I, and probably most of the people from my generation, grew up on repeated video viewings of films such as The Lion King
, Beauty and the Beast
, The Sword in the Stone
Call me old fashioned but I think there is artfulness in hand drawn animation that is often absent in computer animated movies. Maybe it's because the tiny mistakes made by the human hand give the films some sort extra quality or maybe it's because the computer animated films have too many techies involved in their production and too few actual artists, I don't know. Don't get me wrong though, computer animated films can be brilliant and in fact because of the consistency of Pixar's output it is easy to under-estimate just how good most of their films are, but they can never fully replace hand drawn animation, at least I hope not anyway.