Thursday, February 4, 2010

Disney's Return to Hand-drawn Animation

Disney's return to old-fashioned hand drawn animation may take the rare step of pitching an African-American character in the lead, but some critics reckon it's a pretty formulaic concoction. Yet others point out that the film is filled with rich, vibrant characters and ravishing images from the paintbrushes of legendary animation directors Ron Clements and John Musker.

The Princess and the Frog is a traditional musical romance (only loosely connected to the Grimm Brothers fairy tale The Frog Prince) which recalls a cavalcade of similar Disney offerings stretching all the way back to 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

The Princess and the Frog marks Disney’s triumphant return to hand-drawn animation, features its first African-American lead and the voice of Oprah. Its directors talk to DONALD CLARKE

Treasure Planet, the team’s latest 2-D animation, had cost a fortune and looked very creaky when set beside digitally animated Pixar features such as Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. Sure enough, the picture flopped and pundits declared that John Lasseter, the Pixar supremo, had made hand-drawn animation as redundant as tableaux vivant.


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