Monday, May 7, 2012

Disney kills 2D animation...again? A Dinosaur's view

Some dinosaurs, including Andreas Deja, Nik Ranieri, Raoul Garcia and Charles Solomon. Tom Sito is behind the camera.
Animation critic and historian Charles Solomon kindly set up a lunch for me last thursday with some old Disney kumrads, at a burger joint in Toluca Lake called The Counter. A "Dino's lunch" is an irregular gathering of wizened 2D animators (ie dinosaurs), most of whom I haven't seen in many years. We used to meet at Mo's in Burbank but they have since dropped curly fries from the menu - obviously this was just one step too far and we Dino's have been forced to take our custom elsewhere. 

It was great to see so many familiar faces. Andreas Deja was there, whose awesome blog Deja View you can see here. Andreas recently left Disney after decades of dedicated service, along with fellow uber-animator Glen Keane. It looks like the recent brief revival of 2D animation - which culminated in The Princess and the Frog - under John Lasseter's leadership has already burned itself out, and there are no 2D projects on the horizon.
The end of 2D animation at Disney?
What a sad end to the world's finest tradition of 2D animation. And especially confusing since I am told that the re-release of The Lion King in 3D made $100m at the box office - so there must be some life left in hand-drawn animation yet.

Anyway, here's a photo of some of the Dino's, including - in no particular order - Andreas Deja, Tom Sito, Raoul Garcia , Nik Ranieri, and Charles Solomon. Many thanks to Charles for bringing everyone together. He is a wonderful writer and you can pre-order his latest excellent book here:

- Alex

(Editor's Note: You can read more about the end of 2D animation at Disney here)