Is traditional hand-drawn animation dead? It's easy to think as much, given the fact that the most popular box office draws these days are coming from the computer-rendering animators at Pixar
But don't be so quick to bury Disney -- or hand-drawn animation.
Disney is too busy trying to ready itself for life beyond Pixar to see the possibilities here. It's focused on its computer-animated Chicken Little feature and teaming up with young tech-savvy studios to put out computer-rendered flicks like Valiant. Even Aardman Films, the amazing studio behind the stop-motion animation genius of Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, is working on a computer-animated feature called Flushed Away to be released by DreamWorks.
And if that isn't enough, you have to factor in the success that Fox
Instead, Disney has been shelving animators and outsourcing its projects. While its logic seems to be that it's better to chase the new leaders than champion a fading platform, the truth is that Disney's animation shortcomings were not the result of a waning popularity for hand-drawn animation. Those injuries were self-inflicted; Home on the Range made on computers would still have been a dud. As soon as Disney realizes this, its path to prosperity will not only become clear -- it will be vaguely familiar.
Some more hand-pecked headlines:
- Last year I argued that "blaming the medium instead of the messenger is akin to blaming your tailor because you gained a few pounds."
- The crowding of computer animation seemed apparent as early as last year.
- Share your thoughts in our imagineering-approved Disney discussion board.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that a great story would be a hit even if it were presented with stenciled stick figures. He owns shares of Disney and Pixar. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.