Animated Recreation of Disneyland’s America Sings

James Lopez is best known as an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios and an instructor at CalArts. He’s worked on a bevy of great film characters including Timon from The Lion King, Pain from Hercules, and Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog.… Read More »Animated Recreation of Disneyland’s America Sings

Animators preview new The Little Mermaid Attraction

The best preview video so far of the upcoming attraction, “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure”, has just been released. Ariel’s Undersea Adventure opens June 3rd at California Adventure, Disney World fans will have to wait until some time in 2013. In the video, the… Read More »Animators preview new The Little Mermaid Attraction

Disney Legend Bill Justice has died at age 97, RIP

Disney Legend Bill Justice has passed away at the age of 97. An animator and Imagineer, Justice had a powerful influence on the formation of many Disney icons. Born 97 years ago yesterday in Dayton, Ohio Bill joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1937 as… Read More »Disney Legend Bill Justice has died at age 97, RIP

Meet Tangled’s Animators

If you’re reading this right now, I hope you’ll take 6 minutes and change to view this video that spends a little time introducing the faces behind the animators who brought us Disney’s Tangled. Some of the talented crew at Walt Disney Animation Studios spend… Read More »Meet Tangled’s Animators

The Princess And The Frog DVD Review

When we heard that Walt Disney Animation Studios had decided that hand-drawn animation should not have died with the poorly received “Home On The Range” and that they were reviving the the Princess genre as well, with the first African American Princess to boot, too say that expectation were high is an understatement. The Princess and The Frog may have failed to meet those expectations, but it’s a solid effort on the road back for the mouse.

Disney called back a lot of the animators they had let go, rebuilt a whole new slew of animators desks, this time with a special new computer program that makes hand-drawn animation more efficient, and placed John Lasseter on notice – something magical had better happen.

Well there was magic, but not at the box office. I think a combination of a bad release date (it should have been a holiday offering) and poor marketing choices by Disney, led to some of the poor results. But it still brought in over $240 million at the world wide box office before it was pulled to make way for the DVD.

We all wanted the The Princess and the Frog to be a great film. Instead we got a movie that was slow in places, and with a story that lacked focus. But the animation was great, the music quality, and the characters are memorable enough to be featured in the parks for years to come.

Upon watching the film again I think it’s a big step over the films we had been seeing from Walt Disney Animation (although “Meet the Robinsons” is an underlooked gem if you ask me). I definitely see the foundation for more great films to come from Disney. They’re not back to “Beauty and the Beast” quality yet, but they’ll get there.

Bonus Features

The single disc DVD comes with these exciting bonus features:
• Deleted Scenes
• Audio Commentary by John Musker and Ron Clements (co-writers and directors) and Peter Del Vecho (producer)
• “Never Knew I Needed”- Music video by Ne-Yo

Games and Activities

• What Do You See: Princess Portraits — A bayou-style quiz tests viewers’ knowledge of all of Disney’s beautiful princesses. Ray’s firefly family creates twinkling portraits of each princess and if
the player correctly identifies her, they can enjoy a tongue-cheek mini re-telling of that character’s story.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack edition comes with additional bonus features, including:

Backstage Disney
• Magic In The Bayou: The Making of A Princess — Co-writers and directors John Musker and Ron Clements take a freewheeling, behind-the-scenes look at the making of Disney’s newest animated film as it grows from an initial concept to a lavish animated film set in the enchanting world of New Orleans and the surrounding bayous.
• The Return To Hand Drawn Animation
• The Disney Legacy
• Disney’s Newest Princess
• The Princess and the Animator
• Conjuring The Villain
• A Return To The Animated Musical
• Bringing Life to Animation with an introduction by John Musker and Ron Clements.
• Deleted Scenes introduced by the filmmakers
• Art Galleries — A collection of storyboard art traces the visual development of The Princess and the Frog’s rich gallery of
characters and settings.

The Princess and the Frog on Blu-ray Blu-ray Combo Pack is priced at $44.99 SRP (US) and $51.99SRP (Canada), and the Single Disc DVD is priced at $29.99 SRP (US) and $35.99 SRP (Canada).

The DVD hits the shelves on March 16th, but you can pre-order it today.

A couple video previews of the special features on the DVD below the cut. Also some fun facts from the movie

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Animator loses home in fire, please consider helping out brings us the story of Chad Stewart a former Disney animator who lost his house to a fire while he was at church with his family. His family includes eight kids, four girls by birth and four adopted boys. The adopted children are biological… Read More »Animator loses home in fire, please consider helping out

Tim Burton Retrospective in NYC

The accurately named CoolHunting blog has an interview with Ron Magliozzi, curator of the Tim Burton Retrospective at NYC’s MoMA. Faced with the responsibility of being the first Museum to present so much previously unseen work from an artist as popular as Tim Burton, who… Read More »Tim Burton Retrospective in NYC