Is Hand Drawn Animation Dead?

I just wanted to share this video with all of you from the Cartoon Palooza.  He covers the history of the transition from hand drawn to computer animation.  This is a divisive topic but I will share some of my thoughts after the video.

I’ve said it a number of times I think 2014 has been one of the best years for animation in the last 20 years.  It is thrilling to see so many different voices and visual styles being told.  Everything is out there from Book of Life to The Lego Movie to Big Hero 6. And I’ve liked at least on some level every animated movie I’ve seen this year except for Legends of Oz and The Nut Job. It’s an exciting time to be an animated movie fan and part of the reason we are able to have such variety and creative output is because of computer animation.

It is just a fact that the average studio can put together a computer animated film faster than hand drawn.  Disney just admitted as much when they changed their upcoming release Moana from 2D to CG so it could be finished 2 years sooner.  2 years is a long time for a studio to hold out a film just for artistic integrity that will probably not show as any benefit in the box office (of the top 5 biggest animated films ever at box office only 1, Lion King, is hand drawn).

Cartoon Palooza makes a good point about Tangled but the reason why that film was so expensive was not because of the animation.  It was all the rewrites, reshoots and it being their first 3D film. If a studio can make a movie 3D than they are going to make more profit and computer animation looks better in 3D than hand drawn.

Now we are getting hand drawn movies from the Studio Ghibli team and other smaller studios.  This December we get Song of the Sea which looks stunning.

What I want is good quality movies and if computer animation makes more people jump into the game than I think it is great.  If I was just going on personal preference I’d pick hand drawn but not a strong preference.  I love the artistry of the Pixar films.  Ratatouille, for instance, has some of the most gorgeous backgrounds of any movie I’ve ever seen.  So it just depends on the movie.


Or how about this scene from Wall-e?  It’s stunning.

Most importantly I just want to be entertained whether it is 2D, 3D, hand drawn or stop motion.  So if CG allows for more than 2 players to be in the game of animation and we get more years like 2014 I am a happy girl.

That said, maybe John Lasseter could set aside a few animators that could work on something over time like a Lilo and Stitch- not a big expensive epic just a simple story with hand drawn animation?  Something that would keep the medium alive?  Or it would be great if studios came to be known for hand drawn like Laika with stop motion animation.  Someone could make it their nitch and at least do well enough to keep the studio profitable.  If they are careful about release dates (which has been brilliantly timed for all the animated movies this year.  Only one stinker at the box office Legends of Oz) than it will probably do quite well.

Maybe a way to go is to use characters from an animated series like reclaiming the Avatar series after what Shyamalan did to it?    That way you would have a natural fan base to tap into? If they can pump out the hand drawn for the shows maybe it wouldn’t be too hard to make them into a movie?

Again, thankfully we do have Studio Ghibli and Cartoon Saloon putting out quality, if not American, hand drawn films.  So it is not a totally dead art.

The way I see it animation has gone through different periods.  We went through the Xerox phase in the 60s and 70s and there were some good one’s (Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, Winnie the Pooh) and some bad one’s (Aristocats, Sword in the Stone, Black Cauldron). Now we are in the CG phase and there have been hits and misses but all it takes is that one big movie to hit with hand drawn and people will be back on the bandwagon.  So, no I do not think the medium is dead. Like I said Song of the Sea is coming out this year so it is being made by smaller, foreign studios.  Even a moderate hit will prick the executives ears and they will make hand drawn again. It goes down to supply and demand.

But like I said to me what matters most is being entertained.  I want to see art, music, and a great story in any medium. I hope hand drawn is not dead but I understand why studios don’t want to take the risk. From a business decision it does often make sense, and they are after all businesses first.



Here’s something I think shows what I am trying to say.  For years we would get 1, maybe 2 animated films a year.  This is the result of hand drawn animation. As glorious as those films could be and could not be it was just not a venture every creative thinker could do.

If we look at the 100 best reviewed films on rotten tomatoes we see the following.  You will notice that in the 90s during the renaissance there was only 1 film that made the list for most of the years.  It wasn’t until 1998 when we got both Antz and Bugs Life that things start to pick up in numbers.  The largest number is 2012 with 9 films that critics at least gave the highest scores too. My point being with computer animation more ideas and projects are able to get greenlit and that’s a good thing.

People are still making traditional animated films.  Even if it is not the big studios there are 2 releases this year so they exist. I can totally see a studio like Liaka emerging with the hand drawn niche. There will be 2 more added to 2014 by the time the reviews come in for Song of the Sea and The Tale of Princess Kaguya to this list . That will mean that 2014 will have as many critically lauded animated movies as the highest year 2012. That’s a good thing for the future of animated films. Plus, all of the animated films in 2014 made money except Legends of Oz. That’s also a good thing. People feel inspired to take creative risks when they know there is a population that wants to see said movies. So if you want hand drawn movies than support the one’s that do come out. It’s as simple as that.

1991 1
1992 1
1993 1
1994 1
1995 1
1996 1
1997 2
1998 4
1999 5
2000 3
2001 6
2002 4
2003 3
2004 2
2005 4
2006 4
2007 4
2008 6
2009 8
2010 7
2011 6
2012 9
2013 3
2014 7

Now you can debate whether critics were duped by certain movies and the blogosphere knows better but the output has without a doubt increased. I like hand drawn but if computer animation means we get more stories and things as beautiful and different as Book of Life or as funny as The Lego Movie than sign me up.

I hope the big studios will make hand drawn animation but I don’t agree that it is dead, and like I said, I think the state of animation is in an amazing place.

But again this is just my opinion but it’s my blog and so I call it like I see it. Feel free to disagree. Just do so politely.

31 thoughts on “Is Hand Drawn Animation Dead?

  1. Oh, I disagree with you on so many counts.
    For one, it was an okay year for animation…certainly a fresh breath after the awful output in 2013, and there weren’t that many outrights duds in it, but it’s not like 2012 or 2011 in which there were multiple movies which I considered worthy for awards. Thus said, it’s possible that the best is yet to come…there are a few movies which are not released yet in my country, including Big Hero 6.
    Also, no, Tangled was not so expensive because it basically went through development hell. It was so expensive because the animators had to write new software for the animation of the hair, the water aso. Naturally they used (and improved) said software since then for Brave, Frozen aso, so it will pay off in the long run, but Tangled was the movie which used it first. It reminds me a little bit of the CAP System, which was used first in Rescuers Down Under but became famous through Beauty and the Beast. In any case, the vid is right about high quality animation being always expensive, no matter what medium is used. It is sometimes hard to figure out what is more expensive, and it certainly depends on the project in question.

    And that’s the crux in the matter: It depends on the project. Tangled for example would have never ever worked in traditional animation. Wreck it Ralph is a story made for CGI. But there are other projects which should have never been CGI in the first place. I shudder just thinking about CGI Peanuts, and that is just one example.

    You might remember how much I disliked the use of CGI in Fantasia 2000. Because CGI has many advantages, but also a lot of limitations. For me “traditional animation vs CGI vs Stop Motion” is not a really a question of what is used, but what the end product looks like. CGI and Stop Motion have become mixed up with each other quite a bit by now, and why not? While it is impressive when someone manages to create expressions by modelling countless heads, I don’t think it makes that much of a difference for the end product (nowadays Stop Motion features tend to use CGI for those more complicated parts). But CGI is not quite there. It can’t copy traditional animation (yet). And as long as they can’t do it, they shouldn’t abandoned it and limit themselves. Especially not Disney.

    BTW: Since Miyazaki retired, Studio Ghibli is “revaluating” the future, whatever that means, but one thing is sure, there won’t be another movie anytime soon from them. And as much as I admire Cartoon Saloon for working with what they have and turn it into art, it doesn’t change the fact that the artwork is mostly there to conceal their limitations. It is beautifully done, but shouldn’t be confused with the kind of animation projects in which the animators can go all out with their ideas (never mind that Cartoon Saloon mostly makes TV projects and only make a movie every five years or so). Which is why the success of the Hullabaloo project is so important. It might convince Disney to rethink their stance on traditional animation. Because otherwise, it might be a long, long time before the “big hit” happens. Just look on the history of Stop Motion animation and you’ll see how long it can take for a style to make a comeback. I certainly don’t want to wait 50 years for it.

    1. Ha! I disagree with you on so many fronts.
      I really genuinly feel 2014 has been one of the best years for animation in my memory. In the past there has been 2 studios making strong work (whether it was WB and Disney, or Don Bluth and Disney, or Dreamworks and Disney). This year we had great films (maybe not perfect but all films I’d want on blu-ray and really liked) from Laika, Disney, Dreamworks, Fox and more. I think that’s great! Even less successful films like Planes 2 I still thought were beautiful. The Lego Movie blew me away. I loved How to Train Your Dragon 2, Big Hero 6, Boxtrolls, and really liked Mr Peabody and Sherman, and Book of Life. To me that is an outstanding year with great variety, artistry and inventiveness. But that’s just me. (But I also feel 2014 has been an incredibly strong year for movies in general with Guardians of the Galaxy, Boyhood, Edge of Tomorrow, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and X-men just being fantastic films, so I’ve been loving the movies!).

      I think there is a difference between the CGI of the 90s that looks plasticy in Fantasia 2000 and the type of computer animation you get in Wall-e, Ratouie and Up. I would hold those backgrounds, characters and graphics up to anything in hand drawn work but that’s juts my aesthetic.

      What I meant by Tangled is that the change over to 3D and that technology made the film expensive. Making shots like the lanterns in 3D was very costly. They had to reshoot and retool it and they did do some of that for the 3D and had to design the new equipment for the 3D.

      3D has become very important to the entire movie industry including animation. If a studio can make double with 3D than they can with hand drawn where 3D does not look as good they are going to go with the medium that still produces laudable works and makes way more money. That’s just the way it is. Plus, if you can make Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and an array of other fairytales in hand drawn I don’t see why you couldn’t have made Tangled in hand drawn? They were going to make Moana in hand drawn but it just became cost and time prohibitive. That’s just the reality of the situation.

      Studio Ghibli still has The Tale of Princess Kaguya that debuted at Toronto Film festival to rave reviews and believe me if there is money to be made, especially in the overseas Asian markets they will keep making movies. That’s the way supply and demand works. If there is a demand they will make it.

      In the end, I just like good movies and while I have a small preference for hand drawn it is minimal. I disagree with you that the mediums are that artistically different. As I’ve said I like the look and artistry of good computer animation as much if not better than some eras of hand drawn (xerox era for instance). But that’s just my opinion. Besides whether you think they are ambitious enough there will be hand drawn films and tv shows made so the art form won’t die and when there is a big hit they will come back just like every other medium of film eventually does.

      Like I said, I’d love if John Lasseter put aside a few animators to work on a smaller scope film like a Dumbo or Lilo and Stitch and hope they will do that .

      So we disagree on a lot of things but we both love animation so hopefully we will get enough of what we want. I don’t think hand drawn is dead but I also see why studios make the business decisions they do and if I were to list off my favorite animated films both all around and artistically there would be a lot of computer animated on there. That’s just me but it’s my blog so I say how I feel but am delighted when you disagree. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      1. You know why I am so pissed that Brave got the Oscar in 2012? Because in the same year Disney had Wreck-it-Ralph, Laika had Paranorman and DreamWorks had Rise of the Guardians, not to mention a number of “lesser” movies. The argument that we have so many animation studios competing now ignores the fact that this has been the case since the 2000s started. We didn’t even get a Pixar or Aardman movie this year.

        Tangled would have been impossible to make in handdrawn animation because of the hair. It would have been too expensive if you want the result look realistically. If you pay attention to the Disney movie, you might notice that hair is a problem in 2D animation, too. There is a reason why most princesses have theirs pinned up. Or look at Ariel. Lots of movement under water, but next to no movement on land. One of the reason the animation of Pocahontas is so impressive is the hair movement. Making hair look good cots a lot of effort, and in traditional animation that doesn’t translate to a computer program which can be used for multiple movies, it translate into man-power.

        Ghibli might decide to go CGI, too. One never knows. I don’t follow Easter Animation as closely, so I am not sure how much their last movies actually made, but if Miyazaki is serious about retiring this time around, the studio is in trouble.

        The Xerox era is a bad example, because Xerox was a short-cut used out of economical and not artistic reasons. Or perhaps it is a good example…because the use of Xerox, while allowing to 101 dalmations on screen, also limited what the animators could do otherwise. To me CGI is like Xerox. By now like Xerox in the last days, when they made movies like Fox and Hound with it, but it doesn’t allow the freedom (yet) the Cap System offered. If the technology they used for Paperman is finally ready, then CGI might be where it should be. But that’s not the case yet.

      2. Yeah I just disagree but I respect your opinion. The reason Tangled was expensive was the hair but the 3D was the bigger reason. It was the first Disney movie to embrace that technology and scenes like the lantern scene were extremely expensive and difficult to draw. The hair was an issue for sure but I just think Disney could have figured it out. The old Don Bluth Thumbelina had very long hair and it looked fine for the style of the movie it was. They would have just had to make the rest of the movie fit the hair. But regardless Tangled was expensive but it is an outlier most CG animated movies are more cost effective. Honestly the budgets aren’t usually that different but the time it takes typically is a huge factor. That’s why they had to change Moana.

        Actually I did not ignore the fact that we’ve had that since 2000s. In the 90s and before computer animation we had 1-2 animated movies a year and sometimes no movies. Since 1998 when Antz and Bugs Life came out we have almost always had 4-7. That is a good thing. Now stories that just couldn’t have been made with the old technology can be made and made well. There’s just less risk involved and I think that is a good thing. Tell me how Wall-e or Ratatouie was limited by the type of animation it was? Those movies are gorgeous

        What it comes down to is the story no matter the medium and talented artists (just as in the xerox era) can produce beautiful films in any medium and I’m sorry but I just think the fact we can tell more of those stories than we used to is a good thing.

        I like hand drawn animation. I really do but I also don’t think that CG is some kind of evil horrible art form. If I was to make a list of my top 10 favorite animated movies Wall-e, Up, Incredibles and Ratatuie and maybe Toy Story 3 and Tangled would make that list without question. And I’m talking artistically. I mean look how fluid and beautiful that scene from Wall-e I posted is? It’s gorgeous. But art is a subjective thing.

        I agree with you about the 2012 Oscars but I don’t hate Brave as much as you do but we’ve hashed that out before. I would have given it to Paranorman that year. I love that movie. I just think the fact there are now 5+ animated movies every year that are pretty great is a great thing, and that’s in a year without a Pixar. Next year promises to be even better with a Pixar.

        For a long time the human characters in CG weren’t as striking but there was a long time where I thought Tangled was hand drawn.Another example- How to Train Your Dragon 2 looks gorgeous and I just don’t see how that movie is limited in any way or would have been any better in hand drawn. The characters looked great, the settings looked great. I don’t see how the animators were limited in that movie. And if they were does not hand drawn animation also have limits just different one’s? I think you are seeing hand drawn with rosy glasses and forgetting the dreck that we sometimes got and in that case it was sometimes the only animated film of the year. Now at least we have many others. It all goes back to the artistry and story for me. No matter the medium it can be great and I just think the fact that more stories can be told is a good thing. That’s all I’m saying.

        But like I said it is just my opinion. I’ve really enjoyed the year and I think computer animation can be just as beautiful as hand drawn. To me it is like classical art is beautiful but I also think modern art is stunning. They are different but both beautiful. You obviously don’t, so I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

        But luckily there are still hand drawn animated movies being made so I hope you support the one’s you can as loudly as you can. What is Easter Animation?

      3. I meant Eastern Animation (as opposed to Western Animation)…basically Animes. The history of Animes is a little bit different from how it developed in the Western World.

        To clarify: I don’t say that CGI can’t be beautiful. It certainly has come a long way from the time when Pixar mostly did Toy story because Toys was what they could animate. But as long as CGI can’t look like traditional animation, it is limited. Naturally Traditional animation has limitations, too, which is why I want both styles to stand equally beside each other. But that’s currently not the case. The big studios think that CGI is what brings in the money. I think it is naïve to believe that this isn’t an issue. Wonder Woman should have gotten her own movie a long time ago, but it was delayed again and again because the studios are convinced that movies with female Superheroines don’t make money (well, none of the exactly five movies which exist did, but that’s because they were all pretty bad). There weren’t any pirate movies for more than a decade because, you know, pirates were out. There weren’t any big stop motion animated movies for even longer.
        I am sure that there sooner or later will be a traditional animated feature which might kickstart a renaissance. But I really don’t want to wait a decade or two or three for it to happen.

      4. Fair enough. I see your point and agree. I hope the studios do that but I think How to Train Your Dragon 2 may change your mind on those CG people limitations because I really thought it was seamless. But I certainly hope the art of hand drawn isnt lost and that is true about the preconceived ideas of studios. I think the time factor is more weighty and more of the influence of chosing CG for Moana. So if there was a way to do it faster that would help. That’s the angle I would take. I just like that more animated movies can viably be made with different cultures, races, stories. That’s true on movies at general. They are easier for those with smaller budgets to make in all fields and thats good. That’s all I was trying to say. Make sense? But I agree. I do want hand drawn to stay in the mix.

      5. The only studio which really does tackle regularly different races is, ironically Disney. And the CGI had negative impact on that aspect, too. Before DreamWorks switched to CGI, their movies were culturally rich. But since then, they had not one single non-white character (at least not that I can remember).
        And I don’t buy into the time excuse for Moana. Normal production time for a traditionally animated movie is three to four years. Rumours of the project has been around since early 2013, and the movie is schedule for late 2016. That’s three and a half year, assuming that Disney didn’t work on the project before the first rumours emerged. Never mind that Disney can easily coordinate their schedule with Pixar. This year Pixar didn’t have an animated movie because of production problems. Next year they will have two and Disney none. There is really no reason to rush Moana. The fact that Disney has laid off more or less all their experts in traditional animation in the last years makes the claim even less convincing.

      6. What about Book of Life? Is that not a story about a racial/ethnic group?

        They reduced the time by 2 years and Musker and Clements said that was because of the change to CGI so I guess they could be lying but anyway I guess it all looks pretty gloomy from your perspective. I can see some positives and I’m glad to get more animated movies than we used to. That’s all.

      7. I disagree but we could go all day. I guess most of Dreamworks diversity is actually in animals but with a clearly mixed race cast of characters.
        But anyway I’m sorry you arent feeling current animation. I’m nothing but optimistic and couldn’t be more thrilled with my entertainment this year

      8. So if it is not cheaper, and not faster to make CG animated films than how do you explain the fact we will have 13 animated films this year in theaters? That’s a lot.

        In the 90s when it was strictly hand drawn we would have 2 to 3.

        I guess in your view the studios are being very foolish if it is not faster or cheaper to make CG movies. All these studios certainly don’t know their own business very well…

      9. It really depends on the project. To make CGI look good requires a lot of effort. Naturally if you already have the model ready you can reuse them. Which is the reason why dreamworks and Pixar like Sequels so much.
        I am not exactly sure were the breaking point is…but fact is, if you use CGI you have to go all in, or it looks cheap and dated. Traditional animation is more forgiving…just look at “The Secret of Kells”. The movie reuses animation multiple times, the movement of the characters are limited and the art, while stunning, goes for very simple lines. It still looks artful despite all of this, and it is a smart choice for a studio which is mostly proficient in graphics. Or take South Park. Cheapest animation you can imagine, but they made it look stylized. You would never be able to get away with that in CGI.

        I really doubt that the CGI version of the Peanuts will be cheaper in the short run, considering that the traditional style uses limited animation and is not particular detailed. In the long run, when they used the CGI models for a couple of movies, yes. But that is assuming that the audience will go for the CGI look. I don’t think that it is really worth it, because the CGI destroys the charm of the old comic strips.

        I don’t think that the studios are foolish. But I also think that if it were always about the safe choice, there wouldn’t be a Snow White or Toy story. There wouldn’t have been a Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, The Adventures of Prince Achmed or A Nightmare before Christmas.

        It’s like Pixar and their sequels…I don’t really mind them if they are well thought out, but Pixar hasn’t been doing anything else lately.

      10. Fair enough. You make some good points and I do agree. We will see. Hopefully not the death of hand drawn because I do like both. I agree on the Peanuts movie although Peabody and Sherman gave me hope because it was based on a beloved classic from my youth and I thought it was great. So doubtful but we’ll see.

        Crashing now but take care and we can hope for the best. Still loved 2014 but I like what I like and that’s that. Others dont and that’s ok too.

      11. I’m glad you have found something to enjoy then. It’s an exciting time to be an animation fan. 🙂

      12. And I agree on Pixar. That’s why I’m so excited for Inside Out. Fingers crossed. 2015 looks like it will be awesome!

      13. But luckily we all can look forward to Song of the Sea which looks fantastic.

        “First and foremost, Song of the Sea makes for a glorious, visual experience – with a unique, hand-crafted animation style, that is intricately drawn. In the background there are swirls and randomly placed fanciful imagery, enhancing the enchantment that exists, to make for a mesmerising piece – free of any contrived whimsicality. The aesthetic is matched by a film bearing so much pathos and heart, sincere and intimate in its depiction. It may be surreal and fantastical, but at its core it’s about the relationship between this family, focusing in on a widowed father, and the two siblings, which is wonderfully judged, as we see this older brother be both jealous and protective over his little sister.

        This congenial animation may be somewhat unconventional, but children should respond to this nonetheless – and if not, parents most certainly will.” 🙂 Looks like a winner.

        I just like good stories. That’s what it comes down to and I found a lot to like this year. Others did not. That’s fine.

  2. And I would definitely put 2014 over 2011 although I am a defender of Cars 2 which I thought was fun. I also like Winnie the Pooh movie, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Arthur Christmas but I still think 2014 was better and more diverse. 2010 is a tougher call with Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon and Tangled. I guess that’s a tie but I still love 2014 but to each their own. It doesn’t really matter what year you think is best. I’ve just been very happy with the movies I’ve seen this year. It’s just an opinion, just as you have your opinions too. Just found out The Tale of Princess Kaguya is playing by my house. Will see it Monday. Another great one for a great year!! (It’s currently at 100% on RT).

  3. If I wanted to promote hand drawn animation I would start spreading the Song of the Sea trailer (like I have) everywhere you can and tell your friends. If we can get millions of people dumping ice over their heads maybe we can get people to go see this movie and make a point? That would be my suggestion to hand drawn die hards. I am going on Monday to see The Tale of Princess Kaguya and I’d encourage all of you to hunt it out and support it. That’s the only way there will be a change. Money talks whether we like it or not.

  4. That column where you put the years and the number beside those years, that’s the number of films that came out each year total, right? If so, you may be forgetting that 1998 had five animated films released that year. But that’s a nit pick, I guess.

    1. Those are just the animated films on the top 100 on rotten tomatoes so my point was how many good animated films we get every year is greater now than it was when it was merely hand drawn.

    2. Or I should say more critically lauded animated films are made now than when it was strictly hand drawn animation and I think that is a good thing. Good is subjective of course.

    3. The 5th film of 1998 was Quest for Camelot which has a rotten tomatoes score of 36% although I know you enjoyed it.
      1992 is a good contrast. We had 3 animated films that year. One masterpiece Beauty and the Beast and an ok entry Fern Gully and Tom and Jerry movie. That’s it. I guess I like living in a world where we got an animated film almost every month this year in the theaters. But I like hand drawn too. I like all animation. I’m just glad to be getting more perspectives and stories than we used to. That’s all. Hurray hand drawn! 😉

  5. Alright, brilliant article, and a good video. When you said that Tangled was the first 3d film, did you mean that it was the first one that WDAS had in development?

    Yes, there has been a lot more competition in the animation field since the late 90s (Pixar and DreamWorks have a lot of credit in this), as the Warner Brothers animated films studios was closing down after countless flops. While I would like to just outright say that CGI was on the rise because of the new technology solely, a lot of it has to do with the simple fact that Pixar was releasing good quality films (all around), while WDAS was releasing flop after flop, and crap after crap (for the most part), and DreamWorks was not a big contender at the moment. I think CGI also rose because of films like Ice Age, and Shrek, which had a BUNCH of pop-culture references, and that soon became associated with CGI.

    While I do not see CGI as just an era, I do think think that it is a brilliant animated medium (just like traditional animation), and it is cheaper to make, but that does not always mean it is better. These execs respond to box office revenue, and if people want traditional animation back in mainstream american companies, people need to actually watch them in theaters.

    The Lion King only made that amount of money because it was in theaters literally a few months before Pocahontas was released, and was re-released countless times, so I do find it a bit unfair to compare it to certain other films, which was only in theaters for like a month or 2, and made that amount of money.

    All I have to say is that it will be interesting to see how animation changes in the future years.

    1. Great comment! Thanks. I did mean Tangled was first WDAS film in 3D. The 3D has become a big deal to studios because ticket sales are still the benchmark for a films success and 3D makes more money at theater. CG looks better in 3D so I think it’s a big factor.

      I think you are right about people wanting to be the next Pixar or Shrek so jumping on CG bandwagon and I also agree if people want hand drawn to be back than go see movies like Song of the Sea. If Disney knows they can change Moana to CG and it wont make a lick of difference at the box office that’s what they will do. It’s just reality.

      In the end I just want good stories whether it’s hand drawn, stop motion, or CG. All the mediums have produced masterpieces and total junk. It just depends.

      It would be nice if Disney kept a smaller project going that’s hand drawn but in this economy vanity projects like that without clear profit are just too risky. In every field whether literature, movies, music or tv companies are risk averse. In the 90s when we were all doing pretty well it’s easier to take big risks.

      I do like that more people are in the animation game and we get a new animated movie most months. That’s great for lovers of the medium like you and I.

      I agree go to theater as much as you can because thats the box office that really counts.

      Thanks for commenting

    2. And I do also agree about the flop after flop affect. I think a lot of people look at hand drawn with rose tinted glasses when it produced a lot of crap and what’s worse it was only 2 maybe 3 films a year. Now we get 13 major releases. That’s very exciting and if you look at How to Train Your Dragon 2 it is now clear that telling a human CG story lives up to anything qualitywise we saw in the Renaissance from hand drawn in my opinion.
      I also agree all it takes is the one big hit to be back in the game. People also say the romantic comedy is dead but they just became too risky and out of favor for a time. They will be back. 🙂

  6. This article makes a really interesting point.

    Aside from the fact there are hand drawn movies made, we are seeing the medium in spades on other media such as tv and online. There used to be a big chasm between the quality of tv and movies in most genres but that’s just not the case any more.

    With digital filmmaking we have been able to see so much more output in all genres and TV has been able to improve to movie quality in its production values. Hurray!

  7. For a long time the big complaint about CG was it didn’t make people look good. Motion capture has same reputation. However, I really think How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Big Hero 6 are game changers in that regard. They looked fabulous.

    But I also read that Knight over at Liaka is interested in doing a hand drawn animated film. All it takes is one studio with a success and imitators will come.

    Until then I’m just enjoying this period we are in and the great movies and perspectives I get to see!

  8. I guess in the end I’m just glad to have 13 animated films to pick from in a year rather than 2 or 3. I see that as being a blessing of the CG movement but either way it is a huge blessing and an exciting time to be an animation fan.

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