walt disney animation

My Peoples and why it should be made in Orlando

John Frost wrote up a nice article a little while ago about the failed WDAS project “My Peoples” and how it was set to be animated in the Orlando animation department…until they closed the Orlando animation department. It never transferred over to CA, many Orlando animators left Disney all together, and after a ton of other set backs…the project was canned.

For those of you unfamiliar, the story was very short, it was about how three small kids and a ghost brought together a couple in the Appalachia area of the USA in the 1940’s. The thought process was taken from Walt’s head, for every big and grandiose film, you include a low-budget and simply sweet film to even things out (Bambi is to Tarzan and Dumbo is to My Peoples). After much deliberation and “fighting” between Barry Cook (the creator of the story and idea), Michael Eisner (the then CEO), and Thomas Schumacher (the then president of WDAS) over budget issues and such, the plan would be this: the couple would be done in hand-drawn animation while the rest of the characters were done, in the style of folk art, in CGI. It saved money and gave the film a distinct look. Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Charles Durning, and more had already signed on to voice for the film and they had also already begun to write the bluegrass music for the film (which was supposed to evoke that sense of classic Appalachia).

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Could Walt Disney Animation Studios ‘Frozen’ Save Norway Pavilion at EPCOT

Back in 2010 we heard about Disney putting the brakes on production of the modern update of a Norwegian legend, The Snow Queen. But a few months ago work slowly began again on the project, this time with a new name – Frozen. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel are set to voice the lead roles. Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson Lopez will pen the music. You might recall their names from Broadway’s Avenue Q and Book of Morman, but Disney fans will know their work on the Finding Nemo Musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney recently confirmed that the story would be inspired by the beauty of Norway, even if not being specific about the location or time. But it makes me wonder, why don’t they commit to Norway as the setting. EPCOT would then have an excuse to upgrade the Norway pavilion which has long been without a sponsorship commitment.

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Second Olympics Themed Trailer for Wreck-It-Ralph

As I suspected, Disney has a whole series of Olympics themed marketing previews for Wreck-it Ralph. Yesterday was wrestling, today its Gymnastics. This one is also hosted by Jane Lynch and Jack McBrayer and it lists the headliner voice talent for the film: Plot Synopsis:… Read More »Second Olympics Themed Trailer for Wreck-It-Ralph

Disney short “Paperman” to hit Theaters with Wreck-It Ralph

Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) made it official that “Paperman,” a new short film combining the best of the computer-generated and hand-drawn animation worlds, will make its theatrical debut in front of “Wreck-It Ralph,” Disney’s next animated feature that opens nationwide on Nov. 2, 2012.… Read More »Disney short “Paperman” to hit Theaters with Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph Poster Released

After a brief flurry of concept art in February, Disney Animation has been awfully quiet about Wreck-It Ralph. But they’re out today with a poster for the movie and rumor is the trailer will debut with The Avengers. I suspect they’re aiming at a crowd… Read More »Wreck-It Ralph Poster Released

Interview with Directors of The Lion King reflect on 3-D update, origin of film

I recently had the pleasure of sitting in on a virtual roundtable interview with directors, Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff from Disney’s animated feature The Lion King. In the talk they discussed the recent conversion to 3-D, how it impacted the film, it’s successful return to the box office, along with general questions about the making of the film. The Lion King 3-D’s theatrical run has been extended at least one more weekend and the Blu-Ray/DVD/Limited Edition 3-D Combo pack hits shelves on October 4th.

The full interview is below the jump:

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Former Disney Animator Speaks Out Against Management

In 2006, Animator Chris Sanders was forced out of Walt Disney Animation Studios when John Lasseter removed him as director of the American Dog movie, which eventually became Bolt. Sanders had previously directed the beautiful and touching Lilo & Stitch and many fans were looking… Read More »Former Disney Animator Speaks Out Against Management