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Any way you look at it, the next movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios is a big deal. It's a sequel, which is something that Disney rarely releases theatrically. And more importantly, it's a sequel to Frozen, the biggest movie Disney animation has ever released. There's a lot riding on the success of this movie, so it's not surprising that the animation team made sure they they took care of every possible detail.
Animation has always been a medium where, if one wanted to cut corners, the option was always there, but there was none of that during the creation of Frozen II. Director of Animation Tony Smeed recently revealed that even sequences of animation that seemed simple at the beginning turned out to have a lot more going on, and the directors made sure the animators knew everything a scene needed to convey. According to Smeed...
And the way that the script was written, we always talk about how we go into issuing and we think, ‘Oh, this is a simple shot. The character just walks from over here to this spot.’ And the directors would always go in depth about, ‘They’re not just walking over there. They’re feeling this way because of this reason. It’s actually a very sad thing, or a very happy thing,’ and they would go into the subtext of how the character is feeling, and it would make the shot so much more about the emotion of it, rather than just the action of that character walking.
In any live action film, the emotion of any given scene is as important, if not more so, than the action that's taking place, and just because the characters in Frozen II aren't being played by actual humans, doesn't mean that the same doesn't hold true.
Of course, for the animators there were certainly scenes that took a lot of work simply because of the action that was taking place on the screen, so it's not surprising that they were looking forward to making simpler scenes that wouldn't require as many moving parts.
Even in the trailers, it's clear that Frozen II is a beautifully animated film. It's been six years since the original film and animation, like all art forms, is constantly evolving and growing. Who knows what new techniques have been created to give the new film the sort of detail that the original Frozen could have never had?
We'll get our chance to see all the hard work when Frozen II hits theaters November 22.