Disney's Hand-Drawn Animation Plans Don't Exactly Scream Renaissance
The Princess and the Frog has been touted repeatedly as Disney's return to hand-drawn animation, with the not-so-veiled suggestion their their non-Pixar output will be as good as 90s classics like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. And while Princess and the Frog apparently is pretty great, the studio doesn't exactly seem to have all its eggs in the hand-drawn basket.
Slashfilm writer Brendon Connelly was on the Disney lot recently doing research for a documentary on Princess, and got producer Peter del Vecho to spill a few details about movies they have coming up, including a Winnie the Pooh feature and another called Snow Queen, which has been in development for years now at Disney. Ron Clements and John Musker, who co-directed The Princess and the Frog, are also working on something fairly top-secret. The studio has plenty of animated projects coming up, of course, including Rapunzel and the full Pixar slate, but that's it for hand-drawn.
It seems pretty clear that they'll wait to see how Princess and the Frog performs before committing to more hand-drawn projects, and you can't blame them for that. They've got some room to fiddle with Pixar consistently bringing home the dough, but I'm not even convinced that people want more hand-drawn animation. Winnie the Pooh, sure, that's a classic. But anything else with cel animation needs to have a very, very good reason to exist that way, otherwise risking being ignored entirely. Their caution doesn't exactly fit in line with the studio's talk of a hand-drawn renaissance, but it's also the safest way to go at this point.
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