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Remember the days when you raced to the Disney Store to pick up the latest VHS release and an exclusive litho? If you’re like us, you have dozens of those lithographs in boxes and a huge pile of VHS tapes tucked in a corner somewhere.

The Mouse House could make money hand over whisker those days, sometimes just by not releasing a film and putting it the vault for 5 to 7 years. Then came DVDs and things got crazy. Disney turned to classic editions, platinum editions, diamond editions, each slightly different than the previous edition and all of them finding their way to the shelves of Disney fans.

Out of that glorious money tree, came DisneyToon Studios. What started off as a way to get Disney Television Animation’s “The Return of Jafar” into the home video market became a bounty of VHS tapes, and later DVDs. Eventually DisneyToon Studios an animated theatrical film producer in its own right. It was as much a move to combat the public’s unwillingness to buy another copy of a VHS tape or DVD when they knew a new format was just around the corner (Blu-Ray, Digital, or on-demand) as it was an artistic move.

Still as DisneyToon Studios matured, quality improved and audiences were thrilled to see Tinkerbell and her adventure on the big screen. Disney even almost managed to make Planes a bonifide franchise. But not quite as the latest attempt hasn’t had half the success of the first Planes film. And face it, even the most ardent Disney fans will eventually tire of seeing Tinkerbell and her fairy friends everywhere.

And so, what is to become of DisneyToon Studios? Well it will probably fade away, at least for a while.

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James Lopez is a former Disney animator and an instructor at CalArts. He did not survive last year’s purge of hand drawn animators from Walt Disney Animation. But maybe there’s hope that one day Disney will bring that art form back in house.

In the meantime, Lopez is working on his own to keep the tradition and skill of hand drawn animation alive. One of his projects will be near and dear to every Disneyland fan’s heart – an animated recreation of the yesterland attraction ‘America Sings.’

We previously highlighted the near finished version of sequence one from Lopez. He just shared sequence 2 & 3, both storyboard work-in-progress, from his ‘America Sings’ project. The end goal will be an animated recreation of the much beloved Disneyland attraction.

Sequence 2:

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Google gave former Disney animator Glen Keane access to its Advanced Technology and Projects team and he created this stunning hand-drawn animated short:

Google promises to bring interactive animation to its Android mobile phone OS. Later this year you’ll be able to experience Duet on your compatible Android device and interact with it in new ways.

Want to see how Keane animated this masterpiece? A behind the scenes documentary is below the jump:

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There are a few Disney fan art creators who I feel Disney should scoop up immediately and mass produce their art. Amy Mebberson, of Pocket Princesses comic strip fame, is one of them. As it turns out, Mebberson actually does work for Disney. They’re not creating Pocket Princess vinylmation dolls at the moment, but they are doing the next best thing. She’ll be the artist in residence July 4 – July 20 at the WonderGround Gallery in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District. Look for appearances on July 4-6, 11-13, 18 – 20 from 6-10p.m. each night.

I hope you’ll stop by and say hi to her for me when she’s at WonderGround.

Artist Bio and sample Pocket Princesses illustration below the jump:

Friend of the blog Onezumi is an organizor of Intervention, a visionary combination of educational conference, art exhibition, and gaming convention that returns to Rockville, MD this Aug. 23-25, 2013 for its fourth year. Its goal? To Intervene and Inspire the whole family to take advantage of what they can do with creativity and technology. Many guest speakers will attend – and, in keeping with the convention’s focus all of the guests are creators who have made a name for themselves by using the Internet to build their fan base. Sounds like something I would love.

This year new guest speakers include Mark Frauenfelder, the founder of the incredibly popular online site BoingBoing and Editor-in-Chief of MAKE magazine; Ex-Disney / Nickelodeon animator Raul Aguirre, Jr. also joins the event from the Man vs. Art podcast; Paul Sabourin of the music group “Paul and Storm” will be on panels and workshops; and Pete Abrams of the popular webcomic Sluggy Freelance returns along with numerous other art and comics professionals.