First art from Disney’s “The Ballad of Nessie”

Like a breath of fresh air, check out these three newly released images from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ The Ballad of Nessie (click thumbnails below to see enlarged images). This animated short will be released alongside the upcoming Winnie The Pooh theatrical feature on July 15th, 2011. Looking a lot like an unreleased segment from a mid-forties compilation film (think Make Mine Music), the short was directed by Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters (How To Hook Up Your Home Theatre and Prep and Landing). Animators include Andreas Deja, Mark Henn, Randy Haycock, Dale Baer and Rubin Aquino.

See the three stills after the jump:


  • http://www.tonydistefano.blogspot.com Tony D.

    The images look great! This is good news!!

  • Derik

    I guess these images are Disney’s St. Patties gift to everybody. It looks gorgeous!

    • http://www.rubberhousestudio.com Ivan Dixon

      St. Patrick’s day is an Irish holiday, whilst the Loch Ness Monster is a Scottish myth.

      • ASaurous

        I think they said that because it’s St. Patrick’s Day in three days.

      • http://www.rubberhousestudio.com Ivan Dixon

        I’m aware of that. It’s just that people often confuse the two cultures and I thought it worth making an explicit distinction.

      • Sir Richard

        @ Ivan: St. Patrick was a Scot on loan to the Irish. No kidding. Since we’re clarifying.

      • http://www.rubberhousestudio.com Ivan Dixon

        Really? Interesting. I didn’t know that. What’s your source?

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Wow! That really is refreshing.

  • http://borismaras.blogspot.com Boris Maras

    I got a chance to see the short before it had been cleaned up and coloured. It’s beautifully done and really sweet and I can’t wait to see it in front of Pooh! It seems like they’ll fit really well together.

  • ShouldBeWorkin’

    Is this based on a book by a Disney animator? I remember seeing a book years ago about a Loch Ness monster and a boy …with a harmonica? Never read it, unfortunately. It was a mail order thing.

    • George

      You may be recalling “Nessie and the little blind boy of Loch Ness” By Ken Anderson.

      • ShouldBeWorkin’

        Thank you, George, now that I know I didn’t dream and that it is a different story.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Beautiful images. The backgrounds are reminiscent of Mary Blair’s work.

  • http://Www.cartoonsaloon.ie Tomm

    Looks cute … Tartan mountains are a clever touch

  • http://www.sibsy.blogspot.com Sabrina

    love.

  • amid

    I find it hard to applaud anything so derivative and unimaginative. The stills suggest the kind of amateur art direction seen in many of today’s student films, not the caliber of artistry one expects from Disney in 2011. It’s time to move on folks: stop fetishizing the past and do something with the medium that wasn’t already done better seventy years ago. They could have saved themselves time and money by just adding some tacky tartan patterns over Mary Blair’s existing paintings, which by the way, use far more sophisticated color values and harmonious palettes than these clumsy knockoffs:

    Nessie and Johnny Appleseed

    • anonymous

      You just have to take the fun out everything, don’t you?

      • amid

        Taking the fun out of everything is one of my contractual obligations. ;)

      • Jackmunch

        [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. If your comment is defamatory, rude or unnecessarily antagonistic, it will be deleted without comment.”]

      • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

        I’d like to hear more about this from you “more sophisticated color values and harmonious palette”.

    • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

      I agree this kind of thing usually looks a little like they are trying to imitate the real thing but they didn’t do quite as well, but it’s still a fine imitation. Innovation is alright but there is nothing inherently bad on trying to imitate something if that something was good. At least they are basing on something with a high standard of quality.

      Saying it’s derivative is one thing, but your criticism seems too harsh. It looks well drawn and this kind of animation really looks better in its simplicity than the usually off-model -and not in a fun way- characters in Princess and The Frog. I’d probably prefer to see a whole movie with this style instead of Winnie The Pooh, but anyway this short makes me more interested on seeing both in a theater.

      • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

        What is the real thing? I agree it has the same sensibilities as MB’s but the original (not really) is no more “real”…I tend to judge everything how it relates to those cave paintings in France…
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux

    • J.M

      I never hated having to agree with Amid amidi so much like today. He is absolutely right!! , as much as it looks ¨good¨, the spirit of Disney was always trying to move forward, and experimenting, we all have to stop googling images from old cartoons and trying to mimic.

    • Paul N

      So is it just when Disney does something derivative that you have an issue with it? I’ve seen endless amounts of half-assed John K. ripoffs praised effusively on CB, so your critique kinda rings hollow to me. Methinks thou doth protest too much…

      • amid

        Paul, Care to provide some examples of when I’ve done that or do you just enjoy making things up?

      • tedzey

        You realize Amid’s written about the 5 good things “Tangled” had to offer. So… do you’re homework before you make that argument cause it might bite you in the ass!

        As for the images, I won’t lie but I was disappointed. I was thinking about all the possibilities Disney could do with the hand-drawn department back and instead they fall back for the folksy crap!

    • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

      “Stop fetishizing the past”

      Then stop writing adoring books like “Cartoon Modern” about stuff they did 50 years ago.

      • amid

        robcat2075 – Are you suggesting that innovators like John Hubley, Tom Oreb, Sterling Sturtevant, Ed Benedict, and Bobe Cannon should be forgotten because less creative artists today might copy them? There’s a bit of a difference between what I did, which is document a historical era, and contemporary artists who blindly use earlier innovations as the foundation for their creativity.

      • http://justforspite.blogspot.com GeneRasputinHole

        well, I agree with the “blindly,” of your statement but there’s nothing wrong with “using earlier innovations as a foundation”- that’s what a good artist does- it’s all about what you build on top of that foundation.
        It’s one thing to say, “let’s paint a copy of the Mona Lisa,” and another thing again to take the techniques and even the style exhibited in that work as part of your visual language, and use them to create something fresh and exciting.
        While this short (at least based on these three stills) may not be swimming far from the familiar waters of the Mary Blair style, at least as far as visuals are concerned, I’d say it looks like it will be a fun and appealing repast from a world of “mars needs moms” and the like, and THAT is more than enough to draw my applause.

      • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

        Amid asserts they “blindly used” it. He has corroboration of this from people involved with the production? Something other than that he just doesn’t like the end result?

        Or is he just pulling out one of the tiredest art critique cliches to make his comments seem knowing and weighty?

      • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

        What I tend to see is a few things when work is posted…
        1) not bad work but it is derivative of old stuff..
        and that is…
        a) good
        b) bad
        or…
        2) What is this new crap I can’t compare it to the mythos!
        and that is…
        a) good
        b) bad

        if they pay homage to work they have created over at Disney more power to them. i can’t think of the last job I had where the powers that be didn’t say, “Hey lets look at some thing we saw and liked and do the same thing”. The only real innovation comes from the artist not the collective.

    • AltredEgo

      Thank you for saying it, so I didn’t have to.

    • Scarabim

      I have to agree with Amid. The images have the slick, rubbery style of Disney short animation from the past that I frankly don’t care for. And Nessie looks like Elliot the Dragon’s little sister. Or worse, like the Reluctant Dragon’s little sister.

      YES, I love it that Disney is doing shorts. But I dunno…I think I’ve seen this one before…

    • http://www.commanderkitty.com Scotty A

      So who do you suppose that hack Mary Blair was ripping off back in the 50s? Do you suppose there people back then asking why they didn’t just hire someone that did original art?

    • eeteed

      speaking of copying the past, is it just me, or did anyone else think of “the reluctant dragon” when seeing that image of nessie bathing?

      • Funkybat

        I did, and I didn’t mind it a bit. I’d much rather see Disney revisit their artistic past for inspiration, and create appealing 2D animation as a result, than endure another “tween” comedy series or manufactured pop star flooding the media zone.

        I’m not claiming that some of that wasn’t part of Disney’s past. One could argue that Annette led to Hayley/led to Britney/led to Christina, etc. etc. But what has always brought me back to Disney wasn’t fun fluff of live action movies like “That Darn Cat!” or even the Mickey Mouse Club, it was ANIMATION, 2D animation, and it’s something that I worry will slip away forever if we don’t work hard to keep it alive and vibrant.

        Yes, part of that is developing new styles and stories, breaking ground. But when it comes to Disney, a big part is also keeping a through line to the artistic legacy of the house that Walt and many other talented people built. Disney is an animation studio first and foremost to me and many other people. Let’s not nitpick while the very art form is still at risk.

      • http://www.arielvillaverde.com Ariel

        I also realized that distinction (*Reluctant Dragon bathing) and to be honest, turned me “off” this cartoon a bit.

        Although it’s for kids, and it’ll still be a huge success, as an animation admirer, I don’t like seeing similar ideas done over.

        But that’s just me..

    • Gray64

      Innovation is all well and good. Innovation can even be excellent and refreshing, but on the subject of being “derivative,” I’m forced to recall something the Gainax folks said when asked why so many characters from Secret of Blue Water were avatars of iconic characters from classic literature, which was “We’d rather do something good than something original.”
      The two are not mutually exclusive, obviously, but innovation for the sake of innovation is just…novelty. If the story you want to tell can best be told in a traditional style, then what’s wrong with doing it in traditional style? And if it lends itself to new and innovative techniques, then innovate away.
      Seriously, man, do you even like cartoons? Or do you prefer the idea of being a renegade artist in an underappreciated medium? (Not that those two things are mutually exclusive either…)

    • C-note

      If it’s not some self-serving, inward focused foreign student film with flat objects floating around in a void it’s not gonna get Amid’s seal of approval.

    • http://www.gloriousbounty.com Edward J Grug III

      But it kind of seems right to produce a cartoon in a classic style given what it’s being paired with.

      I think it looks wonderful, and I can’t wait to see it.

    • X

      For heavens sake, It’s just an animated short. Who cares if it references an old art style. It’s not the end of the world.

    • tommy

      Yeah, it’s derivative, and not as good as the stuff it’s rehashing, but at least they’re imitating something that was good, for a change. I’ll hope for actual progress once the mainstream moves on from bad imitations of bad things to good imitations of bad things, then to bad imitations of good things, and then to good imitations of good things. For now I’m just happy to see that a small part of the new Winnie the Pooh movie, which looks exactly like the original except worse, won’t be as boring as I would have expected.

    • tonma

      Isn’t “trying to mirror the old ways” the whole point of the new Pooh movie?
      The industry has been trying for a while to do “something with the medium that wasn’t already done” (they say it themselves all the time)and they just gave us a lot of CGI 3D stuff.
      I like the retro and old-style-mock-up look of these new short projects, and as a new little trend I like it. Anyway, the difference between ‘derivative’ and ‘homage’ will always be subjective and arguing that would be a waste of time.

    • http://www.tonydistefano.blogspot.com Tony D.

      Amid,
      Its all a question of what is pleasing to the eye.Many people still feel that the look that was created in the fortys and fifties is very appealing including myself. I”ll go a step further and would like to see the type of design that Milt Kyle and Bill peet did for sword and the stone.Love that shetchy look.You were to harsh calling Nessies art direction amateur. I tip my hat to the art director for being able to capture the style and flavor of that time period.In short, what ever works for the storyline,whatever style or method ,is what counts.And if doing a 50s style compliments the story then thats what matters. I would like to see a feature done this way.

  • http://www.kecky.net kecky

    I love the tartan landscape, a la it’s a small world. I can’t wait to see this!!!

  • http://www.commanderkitty.com Scotty A

    ooooh happy day!! I can’t wait to see!

  • Mark

    Traditional hand-drawn animation! I really hope Disney does more of these short films this way.

  • anonymous

    The shown character design does’nt seem to complement the background? Is it just me?

  • http://www.darkroar.com Dean

    It looks OK to me…

    However, it also makes me think they saw Secret of Kells and how they use celtic knotwork in the backgrounds and decided they had to do something with their backgrounds so they decided to put tartan in it. Maybe it’s just coincidence…

  • Some girl

    Right now..who the heck cares if it is imitated or whatever you want to call it..I am happy we are getting some 2D in our systems again!
    When I make future films some day after highschool or college..I don’t want Amid looking.
    No offence Amid.
    You do your job well. :p

  • D

    Glad to see Disney returning to a hand drawn style. Those images look really sharp and nostalgic. If this Winnie the Pooh film and this short do well we may just see another digital/hand drawn Disney renaissance.

  • http://christianscartooncorner.blogspot.com Christian

    I don’t mind a mix of remembering the past while looking to the future. No one short has the weight of the world on it to do both.

  • Some girl

    Despite this “imitated look”, like I said, we are getting back in the swing of things, hopefully. If we take some time..maybe new styles will develope. But in order for new ideas and styles to grow, money shouldn’t have to be an issue right now in the animation department.If we could make all the traditional animated films all we want, that would lead us to creating more unique and different artistic styles! In order to make some big bucks, honestly, CGI would be the first choice to go. So, the lack of 2D shorts or full length movies can take us to some exent of exposure and per se/ mulah. But right now, we can’t take our chances.2D won’t be as popular right now, unless Pooh changes some of that. Shame we get to only see these kinds of gems as shorts and or in other countries where they tend to be pretty popular.
    Now yes Amid, I do agree at some extent that the styles due tend to run very paralell to the likeness of some of the older Disney/Blair styles. yes, they are charming and whimsical looking,so it’s appealing.But it seems as many do that today. Degrading them ,though, saying they look clumsy and basically saying they put no effort…I think the artists would disagree unless one came up to you and said personally, they didn’t give a crap about the style and were lazy.I think it looks lovely!And…
    I think you should join Armon White and friends to analyze animated movies and their clumsy art direction!

    well? I was a thought…
    Don’t listen to me though..I’m 16 and what is this?

  • Ridd

    WOW. Refereshing indeed.

  • http://www.stringstornasunder.blogspot.com Chris Powell

    When I first heard the title, I hoped that this would be a more action oriented tall tale kinda thing with Nessie being the antagonist. Even still, interested in seeing this. Beautiful art, especially those backgrounds :)

  • Jeffers

    I look forward to seeing this with Winnie the Pooh this summer. I’m not expecting it to change the future of animation or change my life, but I’ll take it anyway.

  • Scarabim

    Me, I want to see a new Mickey Mouse short done in the style of Epic Mickey. WITH Oswald, and the Wasteland. That’s TRULY a new twist on an old classic.

  • William

    All animation now seems to have some visual history that can be traced. I personally think computer animation is much more derivative in style than traditional has ever been. The quality of the actual films to which the images belong, I admit, play a large part in forming my opinion. The style decision is only one ingredient.

    Anyway, these images look quite pleasing. Let’s hope the film itself has the pacing, presence and storytelling charm to match the artwork.

  • Tim Hodge

    Disney character designer Ken Anderson wrote a children’s book about Nessie (back in the late 80′s or early 90′s I believe). Does anyone know if this story is based on Ken’s story or artwork?

  • http://christianscartooncorner.blogspot.com Christian

    There’s so much they could do with the shorts. Hoping they come out with a “Recent Shorts” DVD/Blu-Ray collection sometime that even includes completely un-released shorts such as Glago’s Guest (which wasn’t a Mary Blair type piece) and the one about the clocks, and ones seen in theaters but not yet released for home viewing such as Lorenzo (at least I don’t recall it being on DVD) and others. And still hope to see the Mickey/Donald/Goofy shorts come back, even if it’s just one every couple of years. If the Disney crew used to churn out shorts like there was no tomorrow (1920s – 1960s?) why is it like pulling teeth to get one nowadays?

    • Gray64

      The Little Match Girl (available on ITunes) is another excellent, fairly recent Disney short.

      • andreas Wessel-Therhorn

        it was also released on the last little mermaid disc loved working on it. one of my all time favourite fairy tales and Roger Allers told it beautifully

      • http://christianscartooncorner.blogspot.com Christian

        Yes, The Little Match Girl and also one from the Mary Poppins DVD, The Cat Who Would Be King or something like that.

  • purin

    It looks cute, like a textile cousin of The Reluctant Dragon. Doesn’t blow me out of the water with “WOW” just yet, but it looks cute, and I’d like to watch it (especially if they don’t change what movie it’s being stuck with to something completely undesirable at the last minute).

    There is a certain something about those caps I can’t put my finger on…

    …is this another experiment with paperless animation?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariville/?saved=1 Ariel

      I agree about the Reluctant Dragon. Like that film, I’ve heard that the animation in “this” one is nice, so that’s all i care about.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/royceaquatic/ RoyceAquatic

    it reminds me of Pete’s Dragon in a way, this looks great, seriously I can’t wait

  • A.C.

    Good to see this. We’re not quite back to having them regularly be in theaters again yet, but it’s good to see a new 2-d short compared to nothing at all.

  • http://deaniac.deviantart.com Deaniac

    I think those pictures look adorable. Forget this “uninspired” and “imitation” naysaing crap, I think it looks really swell.

    And the use of plaid textures are a nice touch. :)

  • http://pierrefontaine.webs.com Pierre

    Perhaps the film should have looked like “The Illusionist”. That took place in Scotland, right?

    In truth, I think the background styling is charming, even if it is derivative. Since this short subject is being paired with another Disney animated film, I think it’s a pretty reasonable choice to stay within the confines of a pre-defined Disney style.

    I will say that I don’t care for the pattern overlay on the first two pieces though. Still, the artwork looks rather lovely and I’m very happy to Disney creating theatrical shorts again.

  • Bummer

    With a title such as The Ballad of Nessie, one would imagine something bad ass. What a let down those stills are. I can’t believe the blatant rip off from the Reluctant Dragon design. What an instant let down.

    Disney has an opportunity to deisgn the freaking Lochness Monster and they can’t imagine anything outside of what has been already created. That’s a cop out.

    F*** this cartoon already. Wish they’d use their powers to greater means.

  • Keegan

    Disney Animators: “Hey boss can we do something original for once?”

    Boss: “WHAT. WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?! FOR THAT, YOU MUST CREATE THIS ANIMATED SHORT RIPPING OFF BACKGROUNDS FROM JOHNNY APPLESEED AND THE RELUCTANT DRAGON DESIGN!!!”

  • Blues

    Considering that animated shorts bring no additional capital whatsoever, people need to lighten up. How can Disney be selling out when they’re not even making any money? In addition to that, the short is based off of the director’s student film back when she was in school. You may disagree with the choices being made here, but they are 100% the director’s creative decisions, not the studio’s. So get some perspective before you lay on the hate.

    • http://christianscartooncorner.blogspot.com Christian

      They don’t make money directly but they could make money if sold on a shorts DVD. Also I paid to see National Treasure 2 in 2007 almost exclusively because the Goofy short was showing with it. And I think the animated short/live-action film pairing is a good one.

      When I commented above about how their Disney used to crank out shorts there was an implied question of, “How are the economics different now from then?”

      But as I was typing this I thought, “Pixar has always had shorts in front of their features and in the last 40-50 years Disney has only sporadically had shorts in front of their features, but maybe they will start doing it all the time now.” Being a big fan of animated shorts I hope my hunch is true.

  • http://thadkomorowski.com Thad

    It’s Disney. It’s a brand name that specializes in a certain approved/accepted product. When you work for them, no matter the department, you’re there to preserve the image, not innovate. The original studio innovated only when they needed to do so to get ahead of the competition or when Walt was looking the other way. The established formulaic, escapist product will always have an audience, so why bother tweaking it? I picked what I liked best out of it, cherish and appreciate it, and look elsewhere for my cartooning fodder and never look back.

    • http://www.daryl-rhystaylor.co.uk Daryl T

      Wow. That was just mean. So I guess, creating sound, colour, the first feature film was not innovating then.

    • Scarabim

      Innovation only occurred when Walt was looking the other way?

      Dude, you need to do some research on the old Mousetro. Walt nearly bankrupted his company – and himself – several times in order to be innovative. He pushed for sound. He pushed for color. He pushed for richer, lusher, more effective animation. He pushed for real personality in cartoon characters. He risked his own personal finances to create the first American full-length feature cartoon. He did so again when creating the first and best American theme park. He was innovative enough to embrace television when all of other studio heads of the day were running away from it.

      Those are facts. Dude. Research. NOW.

  • Karen

    Saw it. It’s a minor effort, with labored timing and rather bland overall. For me, all it did was remind me of all the shorts it’s parroting. I guess I wouldn’t really mind if the idea were strong, but I just didn’t think they were. Nice animation, but with little to care about, it just lays there.

  • Matt M

    I had the opportunity to work on this short film (2d EFX) and it was a lot of fun. The style was very 1950′s Disney with a mix of UPA and works nicely. It was simply done and I think it was approached in the right manner. People should wait to see it before saying some of things which are being said here. I dont get how on one hand everyone bashes Disney for not doing 2d then when they do it gets bashed. It is from the directors who did “Prep and Landing” and it is well done. The directors were very open to us trying different things and really allowed us to have fun with it.

  • http://www.sibsy.blogspot.com Sibsy

    Disney: damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  • JD

    Personally I think these three pictures look great. I’m ready to wax nostalgic. Thanks for sharing em’ Jerry!

  • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

    I do not think it is bad to be inspired by the past. This short being very much influenced by 1950′s Disney animation is not a bad thing in itself. However, sense the “new management” came to Disney the big thing seems to be “lets get back to our roots!”. I am beginning to wonder when or even if John Lasseter and the rest of management are going to build up enough guts to start to innovate again. Walt did not do the same thing again and again. He pushed for new ways to entertain and inspire the audience. Look at Fantasia, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi and you will see how much Walt was trying to stretch the medium of animation and figure out what it was capable of within just a 3 year period. It is as if Disney Animation thinks they have figured it all out now. All we are seeing these days from Disney Animation (especially in the 2D department) is both story structures and visual styles that have been done already. Disney is talented enough to start to raise the bar and explore what else it out there. We have only seen the top of the iceberg of what animation can do. I am ready to see a little bit more.

  • http://richardsmithstudios.webs.com/ Richard

    Both films will be good, I’m just pissed that they open same day as “Harry Potter”. We all know EVERYBODY wants to see that!

  • boor

    ” Like a breath of fresh air… Looking a lot like an unreleased segment from a mid-forties compilation film”

    So the forties are fresh?

  • http://www.daryl-rhystaylor.co.uk Daryl T

    Really everyone here is coming off as a bunch of mean spirited people. What do you people want!

  • Steven M.

    As much as I like seeing 2D shorts again, it looks way too bland and generic, even by Disney standards.

  • mara

    i dont see anything really wrong with returning to old styles as a guideline or for inspiration. this is just a short for the beginning of POOH, the art looks nice… :C it looks ok to me, why does this have to turn into another bashfest?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariville/?saved=1 Ariel

    Is this traditionally animated?

    These images certainly look Mary Blair-influenced.
    I’d also say that the “pond” image reminds me of RELUCTANT DRAGON.

    I’m not a fan of the “plaid” overlay in the BG’s though. Looks “stuck-on”. Maybe if they wrapped it around or seperated the textures to their own mountains?..

    All in all, love that traditional animation is back in shorts!

  • Stephen D

    Looks great!…for those asking if it is same story as Ken Anderson’s It does not seem it…his book was “Nessie and the little blind boy of loch ness”

  • Matt M

    This short film is based off of Stevie’s (one of the directors) ideas she had come up with while back at CalArts I believe. The style is meant to be flat. The character animation was traditionally done on paper as well as the cleanup. The effects were done using Toon Boom and were drawn on Cintiq’s the same way we did all of the effects on PATF. All ink and paint and comp was done in Toon Boom as well. I even used maya (3d) on a couple of shots but you would never know it by the way it was treated in Toon Boom. I believe Joe Mildenberger (2d efx) used After Effects with Toon Boom for one of the sequences with art direction based of Lorelay Bove’s work. Dan Lund set up the look of the effects with some scenes he did. It is a simple story and the style is simply done. Not everything needs all the bells and whistles. Enjoy the animation and enjoy the story from this film. Both go hand in hand and neither one of them tries to overshadow the other. This film was completed at the end of PATF and was a nice way to roll of a very busy film. Andy Harkness was the art director and was so great to work with as was everyone at Disney. People who dont work there or never have need to find out facts before they bash on a place. Does Disney have its problems, yes but at the same time it employs some of the most amazing people and I believe in time things will get to where they should be at Disney.

  • Matt

    Why does EVERYTHING in this industry have to be all about the almighty god innovation? Why can’t something just be… nice?

    I mean, yeah it’s not going to be the next game-changing short film… but why does it have to be? Was each and every cartoon put out in the 30s and 40s a game-changer? They were just a playground. That’s what this is. There’s quite a few young artists at Disney right now – they need something to play with. More power to them.

    • Funkybat

      Well put. Sometimes you want to see “Bambi” or “Sleeping Beauty,” other times you want to see “Goofy: How to play Football” or “Susie the Little Blue Coupe.” A diverse menu is a good thing…

    • http://www.arielvillaverde.com Ariel

      You’re right Matt. We’re being too harsh. Disney should work with whatever style they want. In the end, all they to do is entertain and play it safe.

      I for one though, look to animated commercials, indie films and music video’s for innovation.

      There’s some crazy good stuff out there.

      Not to say this isn’t good! But it’s for a “wide” audience right?

  • Jay

    I dig it. I prefer craft to innovation, it tends to hold up better. Rarely you get both and then it’s something special, but i’ll settle for craft.

  • http://MrFun'sBlog Floyd Norman

    Art, innovation or creativity? All of you totally miss the point.

    We’re talking about a risk adverse corporation that has no interest in advancing the art of animation in any way, shape or form.

    Those days are long gone, and you’d better get use to it.

  • AJ

    what! how dare a studio use appealing art styles from their past!!. Really, we get something that doesn’t leave our eyes feel violated and some still whine sometimes you need to go back to go forward.

  • Xgeeme

    I wasn’t going to post on such a guaranteed crowd-pleasing project, but I am appalled some of you are hating what you see because it reminds you of something else! I am absolutely appalled! Does every project have to be innovative at all to be good? What’s to fix if it isn’t broken? You’ve been asking and asking for years for this style to come back purely for nostalgia reasons. Disney has granted this wish at least 3 times now, and what do you all do? Appalling.

  • John

    Oh my God the drawings on this short are so generic, was this outsourced?

  • Mister Twister

    Am I the only one who finds the shorts more interesting than the full-length features? (Disney-wise)

    • T Kelling

      Oh absolutely

      I have no intention of seeing Pooh, but I want to see this

  • Some girl

    I can’t help to think the people that up Amid’s comments just want to get a trophy?
    I don’t know..somthing I have noticed..

  • Luke

    This looks really good, I may go see it. Oh, and to those complaining about wether or not this is derivative or not, Disney could just scrap this and go with another mo-cap movie. Personally if they are copying Mrs.Blair’s work, then oh well, if they want to impliment a certain style so be it. Oh, and while you’re at it, amid, hand drawn animation has been done to, why don’t you stir up some new arguement about how that’s uninventive, and was done better seventy years ago, you know, because I’m sure everyone here cares.

  • Brad Constantine

    If you are going to reference old Disney designers, you could do a lot worse than Mary Blair… The trick is maintaining the feeling of depth with good color design without extra lighting or surface detail. The shot with the tartain Mountains fails for me because the pattern disrupts the eye in a way that draws you away from the character. The color alone would have been more effective. Kudos for getting this look with Toon Boom!

  • Kellie

    For those of you begging for Disney to innovate and move forward, how do you expect them to do it? Besides, I don’t fully get what makes it so generic? I mean, it’s not a Mickey Mouse short or anything. THAT would’ve been more generic and fetishizing the past.

    Besides, right now I think it’s more important that Disney is preserving a dying art form that made them big in the first place. I think it sucks that most studios act like CGI is the next logical step in evolution for animation when cel animation and CGI are actually two completely different things, and I think it’s important that at least someone is trying to prove that CGI is not the only way to animate something.

    I kidna wish WB realized this. Wile E. Coyote in CGI just seemed like an uncomfortable idea to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001249396142 Steve “Pokey” J.Anti-Blockhead

    Nessie was a character voiced by Sterling Holkloway in 1977!

  • rghbr

    Awesome screens!

  • Darkblader

    This looks great, btw. Does anyone know if Mort is canceled?

    • Mark Walton

      Yes. It is. Kinda surprised no one here is talking about the death of “Mort” and Disney 2-D animation.

      • Darkblader

        Source regarding on Mort from Disney being canceled?

      • Xgeeme

        … and the death of Disney 2d animation? Just because they have no hand-drawn film scheduled past that doesn’t mean it won’t change.

      • Mark Walton

        Several friends of mine at Disney have confirmed that the deal fell through, and the picture is not going to happen (at least not at Disney). I would be delighted to hear that 2-D animation hasn’t died a second death as a result, but the fact that there was no “Plan B” hand-drawn film in the works (or plan C or D, for that matter) does not bode well. Nor does the fact that a recently cancelled fairy tale movie, which was originally planned as a 2-D project, has now come back as a 3-D film. Disney is not in a position where it can afford to carry any dead weight at all – I can’t imagine how long they can afford to keep animators that aren’t either transitioning into 3-D animators, or coaching 3-D animators with their performances (as Glen did). Like I said, if anyone has more optimistic, contradictory information, I’d love to hear it.

  • http://www.informelles.fr Marie

    The picture look great !

  • Grayson Ponti

    I hear that Andreas Deja left and this is the last thing he did at the studio for the time being.

    • Justin

      This was animated before The Princess and the Frog. So Andreas has worked on at least Frog and Winnie the Pooh since he worked on this.

  • Grayson Ponti

    I got that wrong. Andreas is on a sabbatical. He’s going to come back when a new project is ready for him to work on.