The state of the Animation Industry

With DreamWorks closing one of their production pipelines at PDI in Redwood City, George Lucas’s “Strange Magic” flopping at the box office and Disney Publishing “revamping” the look of the Disney Princesses. Well that does not look too solid I’d say.
Fear is what that screams of and failure and lots of wrong choices.
I know everyone and their cats and dogs has analyzed this to boredom, but no matter how we look at it, there is something truly wrong in this industry.
Lets face it, when a movie costs upward of $ 100,000,000.00 and studios rely on people to just go see anything they put out just because it has the Disney or DreamWorks label and expect it to make money… you see where I’m going. So what now?
Well it seems strange to me that decisions always come from money and non artistic people and they expect that to work, really??? A good businessman knows that to make good money you need a good product and good products come from people with vision and talent. We all know there is good talent but it is crippled by would be decision makers that really would not know anything good if you slapped in their faces, and I know that from a fact.
To top it all off, they keep rehashing same old with same old because it worked the first time so it must be a good formula. In which lies the thorn, formulas…how many times can you feed the same story, design, sound until people get tired of it?

New version of Aurora by Disney Publishing

New version of Aurora by Disney Publishing

It was a sad day, when I saw the presentation of the new faces of the Disney Princesses.

So you think that making the dresses more sparkly and slapping some design onto the bodices and redrawing everyone’s face to make it look like a 3D doll you can sell in stores is going to make them more appealing to the new generation of little girls?

Never mind that you destroyed all kind of good design that made them so immortal in the first place. Now they are as insipid and ugly as the rest of the stuff on the market, well done.

Original version of Aurora by Mark Davis

Original version of Aurora by Mark Davis

Really, Mark Davis’s design for Princess Aurora was genius. The way her hair had a specific design and fell just so, look at the animation and you’ll see why she is so unique. The new version is appalling in comparison, no grace no charm… and the rest of the princesses don’t fair any better.

I can only imagine the horror of the artists who where asked to perform these atrocities in the name of marketing needs. Or at least I hope they cringed while defacing true art.

So now the classic Disney Princesses look like a bad copy of an Anime drawn by a five year old who is actually quite good for their age. I bet Walt is loving this…

New version of Cinderella  by Disney Publishing

New version of Cinderella
by Disney Publishing

Original version of Cinderella by Mark Davis

Original version of Cinderella by Mark Davis

Original version of SnowWhite by Mark Davis

Original version of SnowWhite by Mark Davis

New version of SnowWhite  by Disney Publishing

New version of SnowWhite
by Disney Publishing

Last but not least, the failure of “Strange Magic”…

Well I never even heard of it till it was in theaters, so bad marketing could have something to do with that.

Rotten Tomatos said it all:  “Like most modern animated movies, Strange Magic is lovely to look at; unfortunately, there isn’t much going on beneath the surface.”

STRANGE MAGICWell I don’t like the look of it neither, as an artist it hurts my aesthetic sensibility, no style, no class, oh but it moves so its animated…

And this is how the money people think they are going to continue to make money! Good luck with that.

Personally I hope that the renaissance will come from small quarters, artists getting together to make a movie or series or shorts. Investors who support the artists vision without interference.  Oscar season is upon us and 3 of the nominees are from smaller studios and artist driven projects.

The Studio Era may well be at an end and maybe finally projects can be made the way the are supposed to be made.

How better to illustrate the new concept, then with a movie quote:

ALLEYN (roars) Who are you?

FENNYMAN (bleating) I am the money!

ALLEYN Then you may remain so long as you remain silent.

Pay attention and you will see how genius creates a legend.

FENNYMAN (respectfully) Thank you, sir.

from Shakespeare in Love

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