2D legacy lives on in Disney

September 30, 2015
Sarah Choe  North High School  10th grade

By Sarah Choe
North High School
10th grade

With so many popular films featuring 3D technology, and remembering April 2013 when Disney laid off nine of their 2D animators, it may seem like this timeless art form may be nearing the final standstill – but it isn’t over yet.

There is fear that with the transition to new computer technologies, the traditional art of 2D may fade into the background, but Disney, as well as many other animation companies such as Dreamworks and Pixar Studios, have a history deeply rooted in hand drawn films and shorts.

The gradual move to 3D and CG animation has been fairly recent, and though they are becoming the most commonly seen medium in films, 2D films and shorts have never stopped appearing on the screen. The most recent movie, The Princess and the Frog, was tentatively released in 2009; it was a box office success and was ranked the fifth highest grossing animated film of its year!

Recent shorts that have been released as companions for movies, such as Paperman (Wreck-it-Ralph, 2013), Get a Horse! (Frozen, 2013), and Feast (Big Hero 6, 2015) all employ 2D animation combined with computer work.

And less than a year ago, some of the top Disney animators coalesced in a campaign to animate a new short film, Hullabaloo, to help preserve 2D animation. Veterans who worked on some of the most renowned classics of all time, including James Lopez (The Lion King, Pocahontas), Bruce Smith (Tarzan), Minkyu Lee (Frozen, The Princess and the Frog), and other brilliant animators are part of this project.

Their funds have surpassed their expectations, and once the short is finished, the team members will show it to investors in the hopes of turning it into a full-length film!

We can hope with them—for a continued presence of such a timeless medium of animation.



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