Sunday, June 18, 2006

Rapunzel, Un-unbraided

There was much discussion at dinner tonight about the direction that Disney (non-Pixar) movies have taken over the last few years. One of the dinner guests was an honest-to-goodness Disney animator, a project manager, from the sound of it. (I know one other animator who I believe is just a worker bee.) I was surprised to learn that much of the animation, both hand-drawn and digital, was outsourced to India. Well, that was the attempt. I know very little about the process of animation, but I do recall learning that it takes some skill that is learned over a long period of time. As a result, different countries develop different styles of animation, mostly because everyone in that country was taught by a human teacher, who was taught by another human before them, and before them, and before you know it you have a family tree of animators. Therefore, countries like the Ukraine have some catching up to do with countries like Japan and the US, when it comes to honing their animation skills.

So I was surprised to learn about this attempted outsourcing to India. Are Indians particularly well-trained in animation? It turns out, no. So Disney will likely pull the plug on this project, which incidentally, has already had the plug pulled on it at least once before. What a waste of time and money. Poor Disney stockholders.

Two days ago I found a posting of upcoming Disney features. For the next 2 years they looked like the same blather they have been churning out lately. 2008's feature was listed as "Rapunzel, Unbraided", a digital feature starring Kristin Chenoweth. Rapunzel, Unbraided? I groaned. Although I do love KC. But why not just Rapunzel, the classic story?

I was relieved to hear tonight that the latest rumor is that this is exactly what the new president said. No more Rapunzel, Unbraided. Just Rapunzel. I hope so.

1 comment:

ChiyoDad said...

That's story is oddly amusing. I was under the impression that Disney had outsourced its TV animations to the Philippines but I'm rather surprised that they even considered outsourcing to India.

Nice blog. Share with us any more amusing behind-the-scenes stories or plans like this one.


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