Don't stop, go, go, go...
A lot has been happening in the Hat Building over the past six months...
After all, at the end of last year saw the release of "Tangled," which was a huge film for the studio. Not only did it relieve a bit of pressure to perform by the Disney animators, it also made way for a lot of projects to move further into development. Many have complained that there wasn't much in development over the past few years, causing many an animator/artist to get a layoff notice.
I am happy to tell you that that is not the case now. Of course, the development slate is nowhere near as large as DreamWorks Animation, which has a very large and long list of projects, but it is getting fattened up, and it's still growing.
First off, we know that Walt Disney Animation Studios next film is the hand-drawn sequel "Winnie the Pooh," which comes out as counter programing to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2." But where does the road take us after that?
Well, come 2012 we know that Rich Moore's "Wreck-It Ralph" will be the studios' animated offering. I hear that the project is very different from the last few films, but still shares the same, Disney heart. If some of the hysterically dark scenes I heard make it though the cut then this one will get an unusually rare, PG13 rating for the 52nd animated feature from Disney Animation. But we'll have to wait and see what final form it arrives in.
As of 2013, the next project to be moving down the pipeline is newly re-envisioned "King of the Elves," which has been chugging along under the direction of Chris Williams (something we reported exclusively last year). The storyboarding has been going on, new scenes are being written and the story structure is being tightened up. This CG animated feature should tentatively arrive during the holidays unless a kink in the production process pops up. I've heard many people asking if rumors of it being out of development were true and from what I know, it has continually been moving forward since last year.
Now for 2014, it gets a little murkier, as these projects are in a more fluid state of development, so changes could happen. But as of now, this is what you are likely to see.
Based on the current state of projects, a CG version of "Snow Queen" directed by Chris Buck is likely to see release sometime during the year. The story structure problems that popped up in the last hand-drawn version seem to be ironed out and storyboarding has moved forward with Chris' unique take on the material. And for those of you wondering if it'll be faithful to the original story? I can only say that it'll be as faithful to it as the Mouse was to "The Little Mermaid." Presuming that another film gets released that year, it is likely to be the new hand-drawn film from John Musker and Ron Clements. And no, I'm not talking "Mort" as the rights to that would have required the Mouse to purchase the entire series, which it didn't want to commit to. So this new project is something else that the duo has pitched Lasseter. All that is known, is that it will be hand-drawn.
After that, in the 2014/2015 range will be the untitled project coming from Nathan Greno & Bryon Howard's. Not much is known about this film, but the duo hit it off on "Tangled" and have apparently pitched a project that Lasseter thinks will be great. If their project is not ready, then Dean Wellins' project will fill the slot. His is a story that will be very different from the mold we picture Disney animated films and this is a project that is aimed at all those boys that don't like princess movies.
Sometime around this point in the schedule, Don Hall's super secret project may have been greenlit and far enough down the line to be penciled in for a 2015/2016 release. That project, once announced will generate a lot of buzz in certain geek communities, as it's going to surprise a lot of people for what it is and what it's not. But it's in the very early embryonic stage and it depends on how well the project is received upon the presentation that is being prepared for John and Ed.
After that, there are several ideas that are being prepared for pitches which could compete for time on the release slate, but as of now there you have it. It will be interesting seeing how Disney's marketing department deals with some of these titles as they are out of what we normally picture for a Disney film. Even some of the ones you would think are in the classic mold, are really not.
Although several of these films have titles, they are very much temporary ones and are as much in flux as is the schedule itself. The development track expanding in the last year is a very positive step and Lasseter's trust in the talent is also a very reassuring development as well.
The greatest contribution about last years hit is not the box office it generated, but that it may have untangled the restrictions that had been placed on the company's animation future...
Friday, July 8, 2011
Posted by Honor Hunter at 10:51 AM
Labels: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, Animation, Film, Hand Drawn, John Musker and Ron Clements, Walt Disney Animation Studios
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A hand drawn feature and The Snow Queen?! Waw!
Wreck-it Ralph sounds like The Black Cauldron all over, good for us fans, bad for the box office...
You all enjoy Pooh, we are waiting for the dvd release, man, that movie did very, very bad at the box office here last april :(
Has everybody seen the great ad for Pooh? I L-O-V-E it!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6GMxyYdcpU
From what I've heard, Ralph is far from The Black Cauldron. In fact, it sounds full of heart and promise. My friends tell me the story is solid and well thought out. Cauldron was none of these things.
Even some of the ones you would think are in the classic mold, are really not.
That's too bad.
It doesn't make any sense - to me - for Disney to expect their animators to keep switching back and forth between 2D and 3D animated films. They could probably get a lot better at one or the other if they were allowed to stick with one or the other. When John L took over the animation department and shut down the unit that had been working on the Pixar sequels, I thought that he was going to do the smart thing. And the smart thing to my way of thinking is to let Pixar handle any 3D animated films, and let Disney Feature Animation stick to only 2d projects.
Don Hall has a super secret, project? Emphasis on words there?
Not certain how excited I am about 'hysterically dark scenes' showing up in a Disney animated movie, but I am very excited about the rest of the news I read. Great to hear that Greno and Howard are pitching a project. Would gladly welcome another film from them! :D
It doesn't make any sense - to me - for Disney to expect their animators to keep switching back and forth between 2D and 3D animated films.
There are two separate animation divisions at Disney: a hand-drawn division (Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh) and a CG division (Bolt, Tangled, Wreck-it Ralph). The 2D animators aren't forced to work on the CG films, and the CG animators aren't forced to work on the 2D films.
Oh how you tease, Honor.
I can't wait for Dean Wellins's film. He's an amazing talent, and it seems like I've been hearing about his project forever now.
How about Disney making a movie featuring, oh, I don't know, Mickey Mouse? Epic Mickey would make a GREAT movie. But of course the suits would rather make a movie starring Jim Henson's right hand than one based on a character WALT created.
As for a CGI Snow Queen - feh. 2D would have interested me, but CG, nah.
"Not certain how excited I am about 'hysterically dark scenes' showing up in a Disney animated movie, but I am very excited about the rest of the news I read."
I say, bring on the darkness. It may be just a tiny glimpse of what Double Dare you May have been and I do appreciate it when Disney movies do try to do something a bit darker.
I spent an hour at Disney talking story with Don Hall a few weeks ago. He's quite a remarkable guy and good things are on the way.
What those things are...you'll have to wait and see.
I'm glad you weren't in charge of making Tangled.
It's interesting how Dreamworks has a huge list of films with titles and not a lot of people's names attached to them and Disney has a smaller list based only on the people making them. just noticing that.
You stay out of this, Mr. Gigglesock!
Please don't start this.. A Mickey Mouse movie would seriously scare me.
It would HAVE to be right, HAVE to have heart and mischief, HAVE to be '2D', HAVE to be perfect.
I don't know if I could handle that kind of expectation.
You can do whatever you like with Pooh and Cars and Monsters Inc. but Mickey?
Thats a hard job. I wouldn't take it!!
Wreck-It Ralph I am praying for a good movie.
Its really good to see that there is potentially a lot going on and this secures the future of WDAS.
What about the shorts and TV special projects? After the next Prep & Landing is their anything else in the works?
Any chance of the classic characters getting revived in handdrawn shorts.
Don't want to let all those 2D animators wander off too far!
thanks Tom - they are great!
Thank you Honor!
I like this post.
I'm too interested about Snow Queen, I hope it will be good.
I also interested in Ron&John movie, because it will be hand drawn.
Thank you for all, Honor.
Just a little thing: I read that Claire Keane and Mike Giaimo are working on Snow Queen with Chris Buck. Is it true? any news about Glen Keane? is he also working on Snow Queen?
What happened to Burny Mattinson pitching a Mickey Mouse feature to Disney? Has he just not pitched it yet or did it not get the approval from Lasseter and Catmull?
I'm surprised people are resenting the snow queen being in CG- Because if Menken and the original team are still involved then it shouldn't be a problem, and it means we get another unexpected hand drawn feature.
All Honours list has proven to me is that this has obviously been a series of projects worked on for years. We take it for granted how long it takes to get on track. Disney pretty much spent the entirety of the end of the sixties into the seventies in an un-creative dark age, which nostalgia has admittedly shortened and made slightly kinder. But ultimately I feel like Lasseter and the gang have been planning this for years and now they're finally going to be able to do it right. Good on them.
I'm curious about where the new roger rabbit movie's gotten too. A new Roger rabbit= a renewed interest in hand drawn animation from a new generation. History has a funny way of repeating itself.
Oh, and hysterically dark scenes? Umm...are we talking funny-dark aka three kings, or hip-edgey-comepltely unfunny dark like Shrek? Because the latter tends to be why Dreamworks constantly dates itself and why family guy won't be more than a footnote 100 years from now. Humour is humour, it's not that I don't think Disney can't do subtler, more knowing humour (because they have and can) but whther or not it's to be naturally funny or 'hey look we can make money so lets force it' funny. Disney don't (or didn't) date their films with that kind of humour so I hope Mcfarlene doesn't take it down that road (he's proven on more than one occasion that he's a hysterical guy writing for everyone at the same time instead of his current hipster audience.)
I'm glad you weren't in charge of making Tangled.
Well that story didn't need darker elements, that doesn't make any sense. If it is something allowable and part of the story and should be darker then it should be taken up. Dark things shouldn't be just made willy nilly.
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