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Disney Goes Back to Hand-Drawn Animation; First Poster for Studio’s ‘Paperman’ Arrives

Written by on April 26, 2012 

Disney has kept flirting with the return to hand-drawn animation for some time now. They’ll occasionally go all the way with their attempt to go back, making The Princess and the Frog, though other shots — next year’s Frozen, for instance — get their plans scrambled and come out in the industry standard CG form.

Another experiment is just around the corner, however, with BleedingCool having noted that, at one point, The Disney Animation Research Library’s Facebook page posted a hint pertaining to legendary animation duo John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin). What might that be? Well, it turns out they’re “currently working to develop the next hand-drawn feature at Disney Animation.” We, the general public, just can’t know what it is.

The site claims Musker and Clements were once working on an adaptation of Terry Pratchett‘s massive Discworld series of books, but that’s reportedly been dead for years now, while there’s also a “Hitchockian” story entitled Fraidy Cat. Maybe that’s the project in question. Maybe.

I’m actually more interested in a poster for Disney’s upcoming animated short, Paperman, which also arrives courtesy of Facebook (and BleedingCool). Said interest stems from the animation process behind this film, directed by John Kahrs, which sounds like nothing I’ve ever encountered before since, here, pictures are “animated using an input interface that works a lot like hand drawing onto paper, and these ‘pencil strokes’ are then interpreted by the computer interface, and the CG model is posed accordingly.” The result is said to have the density of CG animation but retain the aesthetics we associate with hand-drawn material; count me as very interested. Paperman will arrive with Wreck-It-Ralph on November 2nd.

See the poster below:

Here’s a plot summary:

“Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.”

What project intrigues you more?

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