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Disney is officially done with 2D hand drawn animation for feature films


Disney announced that it’s shutting down any remaining 2D hand drawn feature animation facilities left and will only be committing to 3D rendered and animated films from now on.

While some of you might find this sad, there are still people out there doing great hand-drawn animation, and Disney has always been about staying on the cutting edge of animation techniques, so this isn’t surprising. Their last 2D hand drawn feature was The Princess and the Frog, which was received well by critics, but didn’t do well at the box office. 

"Unfortunately 2D became the excuse for poor storytelling," said Lasseter, who pioneered the CGI animation revolution with Toy Story in 1995. "The general consensus was that audiences did not want to watch hand-drawn animated films, which is of course completely ridiculous. The day I stepped in we got in touch with these guys and set about bringing back the artists that Disney had laid off."

The studio subsequently put the hand-drawn animation The Princess and the Frog into production. The traditional musical, based on the Brothers Grimm story the Frog Prince but relocating the action to 1920s New Orleans, was well-reviewed but failed to mirror the astounding success of Pixar at the box office with a middling return of $267m (£178m). Another hand-drawn animation – 2011’s Winnie the Pooh – drew praise from critics but pulled in just $33m across the globe. Meanwhile, Disney CGI efforts such as 2009’s Bolt and 2010’s Tangled grossed $310m and $590m respectively.

And Tangled… that was a really damn good Disney film. So don’t fret over Disney’s decision. They’re not going to be doing any silent black and white feature films with rubber hose limbed characters any time soon either.


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