Yesterday, Disney announced they would turn to hand-drawn animation for its next animated feature, The Frog Princess, set in New Orleans with music by Randy Newman. After all the ballyhoo in the past few years about CGI computer animation, Disney, in spite of its acquisition of Pixar for $7.4 billion is returning to its roots.
This is good news. Hey, I loved Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and especially Finding Nemo, but these movies worked because their stories were so good, not because a computer was the drawing tool. After the initial novelty of seeing CGI effects wears off, and looking much the same in each successive movie, you realize that it’s the story that matters, not the window dressing.
Computer animation will continue to progress and get even better as technology continues its march in that arena, but in the end, the human condition will long for the storytelling that has always driven us to dream and imagine.
As Lance Armstrong likes to say, “It’s not about the bike.”