Monday, May 25, 2009

The Princess and the Frog

The trailer for Disney's upcoming 2-D animated film The Princess and the Frog arrived online within the last month or so. While it doesn't look bad, will it be good enough to engage audiences and save traditional animation?

Nathan Kerce: Is it possible for hand drawn animation to make a comeback?
Tyler Foster: Also, if The Princess and the Frog isn't a hit, is the entire future of hand-drawn animation going to hinge on it? I mean, it looks a little weird. Not in a bad way, but I'm not sure audiences are just going to run out and embrace it. I wouldn't have said the trailer looked like a hit movie, whether we were still making 2-D animated films or not.
Nathan Kerce: Yeah, the trailer kind of threw me off. The latter half with the quick clips seemed like Classic Disney and even got me pretty excited, but the first half felt like Home on the Range-level stuff. It was an awkward mix.
Tyler Foster: Did you see Enchanted? That seems like the smarter way to go, although it sort of short-changes the 2-D animation, in that it's only part of the film.
Nathan Kerce: I did see it. It's hard to judge, considering the plot was a parody on Disney Princesses, so the cartoon portion had too much from other movies for me to really enjoy it on a level above simple humor.
Tyler Foster: As much as I like traditional animation, and I do, I think the question is about finding a story that would somehow be better told with 2-D animation, and that seems like a hard thing to grasp...I mean, 3-D isn't just a technology, it makes the animation and world more dynamic.
Nathan Kerce: Yeah. Is 3D just another form of animation or is it the evolution of 2D?
Tyler Foster: But maybe this is backwards thinking, I mean I guess if I went about it the other way, I would be hard pressed to find anything about Toy Story or Monsters vs. Aliens that couldn't have been done with traditional animation. Maybe the questionable thing is that Disney's trying to kill two birds with one stone here: they're trying to resurrect like Classic Disney storytelling and traditional animation at the same time.

The Princess and the Frog opens November 25th in LA and NY, and goes wide on December 11th, 2009.

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