2dmemorial 2dmemorial

Memorial Service for 2D Animation Planned for San Diego Comic-Con

Hollywood animation studios seem to think that 2D animation is dead so we may as well go ahead and make it official. Former Walt Disney Feature Animation artist Raul Aguirre Jr. is organizing a mock-memorial service for hand-drawn animation that will take place this summer at the San Diego Comic-Con. He put out a call for participation on Cartoon Brew’s Facebook page:

I am putting together a panel discussion which I want to do a tongue in cheek Memorial Service for 2D traditional animation” Everyone on the panel would give a little speech in honor of the dearly departed. I’m hoping to get a little casket with an animation disc in it and some flowers. I would love to have some ladies in shawls crying hysterically the whole time. I want to end it with a positive note and revive the departed with audience participation. Like clapping your hands to revive Tinkerbell in the Peter Pan shows.

On Aguirre’s personal Facebook, a couple women have already volunteered to perform the crying-ladies-in-shawls role. This should be fun if he can make it happen.

  • Alright then so Disney Feature 2D is dead but everywhere else it is alive and kicking. If 2D was “dying” in popular opinion events and publicity like this hardly help its case as a viable medium that still has infinite variety left to offer the public. Good luck Raul and have fun but I hope people can see it as tongue in cheek and not take away the wrong message.

    • mick

      I am guessing they will see the joke rather than take this as the official end of 2D animation. Anyone failing to catch the humour probably shouldn’t be in charge of a pencil let alone a desk that rotates

      • The shame is that the people unlikely to catch the humour are more than likely in charge of the money and they get talented people to hold the pencils.

        • Funkybat

          That’s my concern. Tone-deaf money men (and women) just might view such a thing (or stories online about it at least) as some kind of “admission of defeat” by the 2D artists.

          If I were organizing an event for Comic-Con around this theme, it might be something along the lines of a “2D rebellion” group who mockingly promoted an uprising by the forces of 2D, kind of like the early days of Anonymous, before they became….whatever the hell Anonymous is these days.

          • carl

            [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

        • Mike

          Just because the guy says its humorous, doesn’t make it so… I dont think a single person will let out a genuine laugh or chuckle.

          This kinda thing seems a bit pointless to me for various reasons.

          Also, I think its a sad thing in general that ppl are living in a time were a big part of their profession is under the potential threat of becoming wiped out or obsolete in a few years time.

          • mick

            if in doubt assume the absolute worst… ‘hey fat cat money man, did you see that joke installation at the comic con?’… ‘I’ve never been to a comic con but rest assured I’ll be basing my next five years fiscal outlay on some jokey installation that I may hear about. I’d certainly regard gallows humour as an admission of defeat… now out of my way or I’ll have you outsourced’

            get a grip

            course not everyone will think this is hilarious, I don’t think it’s that funny, I can however see that it’s a joke. saying it isn’t funny doesn’t mean it becomes something other than what it is. Martin Lawrence is about as funny as weeping herpes but he’s still a comedian

    • TKeen

      Dead in North America for features, OK everywhere else. (I compare it to the arrival of talkies and how they killed off silent pictures.)

      I don’t just blame the arrival of CGI – I also blame the popularity of anime… too many would-be artists and students out there are imitating that horrible, worn-out style that hasn’t changed much since the 1950s. Absolutely, Studio Ghibli and others have done wonderful features, but on TV and in games and online (and porn), the anime style is a blight that need something else to replace it.

      I also blame South Park. I don’t mind gross content if it’s clever, and the cheap school-art-project style was original for a while… but it produced a generation of unfunny lazy artists who equated ‘horribly-drawn’ with ‘cool and edgy’ material, and they managed to get their crap on the air far too often.

      Also, Flash has been a mixed blessing. Anything that makes animation easier and cheaper to produce has the unhappy side effect of allowing more crud to be produced. All these things serve to convince the movie-going public that lush, full 2D animation made in the USA or Canada belongs in the museums or as a cottage industry, along with woodcarving or traditional blacksmithing.

      • jmahon

        there are a lot of 2D animated features from other countries that I think would do fantastically if released in theaters here, but it’s annoying that nobody would want to take that chance.

        • Funkybat

          I’m hoping distributors like GKids have some luck penetrating the US market, at least at “art house” cinemas. I went out of my way to see their recent release of “From Up On Poppy Hill” partly because they had some screenings in Japanese with subtitles (which Disney seemed loathe to do with their Ghibli theatrical releases.) I don’t go to movies theaters a lot these days, but I try to do what I can to support anyone who distributes foreign animation in the U.S.

      • Shazbot

        Completely agree. Good drawing and lush 2D animation is old-school…or so we’re told…and yet look at the huge enthusiasm audiences displayed for that Disneyish segment on Family Guy (sure, it had a crappy, Walt-was-an-anti-Semite joke at the end, but that was bad writing, not bad animation). I think audiences are HUNGRY for good traditional 2D Disney animation – as long as it’s hooked up with a good story (which Princess and the Frog was not). Wish the Snow Queen movie was going to be animated in 2D. I might be interested in seeing it if it were.

        • Animator606432

          That was such a WASTE of really great animation in the Family Guy segment. Although, again, I disagree with people saying the Princess and the Frog had a bad story. Yes, it went back to fairy tales and didn’t really risk much….but so? Disney is a business and it was their fist stab at traditional animation in years. It was well crafted with interesting characters without relying on the stereotypical things a lot of the cliche’s in modern animated films. I understand it’s not for everybody, but to say it had a bad story just isn’t true at all.

      • jonhanson

        I’ll take the storytelling in anime over 95% of what’s produced in America. I’ll take Akira, Metropolis or Ghost in the Shell over any Walt Disney Feature, and I love Disney Animation. There are plenty of American rip-offs of Anime are totally mediocre but that’s the fault of mediocre thinking on the part of American artists who have been taking the wrong lessons for their overseas counterparts. The same could be said about Disney fanboys and girls who try their best to copy the Disney style without innovating and just end up with a style that’s a shell of a bygone era.

        The problem is that most big budget traditional animated features produced since Lilo and Stitch have been mediocre. 2D feature animation in America died off because the storytelling became stagnant and bland, and people really could give a crap about “lush, full 2D animation” if it’s telling a mediocre story.

        • Johnny Appleseed Jr.

          Sorry but I can see Tkeen’s point. You cant generalize or over-simplify 2D animations downfall being the result of CGI’s dominant presence in the box-office. Theres a lot of contributing factors to handdrawn animations early grave, that you cant paint the situation so black and white. Deducing that executive oppression and CGI is the culprit is only a small part of the overall bigger picture. The Japanese have set a standard and obviously have produced wonderful work but that does not always reflect well on many younger artists who follow it and only understand the work on a superifical level.

          It becomes nauseating after awhile to see all this hateful rhetoric that younger animators have for whats domestically produced, somehow believing that anime is our knight in shining armour. I dont think either I or Tkeen are spreading vitriol about anime trust me they produce work much better than we do from time to time. Were not disputing the genius that these anime directors obviously have. Were attacking how many hackeneyed imitations of the medium have come out of so many schools and studios that it leaves little room for students to creatively mature and grow into their own unique sensibility.

          I wouldnt put 95% of anime above what Disney has produced. Why do people fancy themselves as self-proclaimed experts, when opinions like that usually come from those who havent seen the studios entire body of work. I understand your enthusiasm for anime but you actually have to watch 95% percent of the medium before you can make assertions about how it stacks up against Disney. Which I imagine isnt a fathomable task considering how prolific the Japanese are.

      • christy

        you sound bitter just blaming ‘styles’ and things you don’t like, but the fact is we are living in a world that is rapidly changing and digital technology is a driving force-weather its the way we interact, make music, film, shop, live, work OR make animation.

        i think animators think too often that ‘everyone else’ thinks like they think. that’s a very insular way to think. i don’t think the ‘movie going public’ think 2D animation belongs in a museum. i don’t think they even think about the difference between 2D and 3D-i think they go see what is offered or what their kids tell them they wanna see and to them 3D looks bright, colorful, shiny and new.

        i also think blaming south park is an easy statement. south park is smarter than almost everything out there. south park didn’t spawn a generation of lazy artists-cheaper more accessible technology did. and south parks style works for south park. if anything blame producers or executives for what they green light.

        you also make huge sweeping generalizations. ‘spawn a lazy generation of artists’? that sounds kind of angry, bitter and snobby… i’d argue there’s a 2D revival going on right now and a lot of it is students and younger people just out of school (I’m 38 so they’re younger than me anyways). maybe it’s on a smaller scale and not on tv or feature films but there’s some great exciting stuff being made right and instead of blaming and complaining make something you want to see! if you’ve got so much know how and talent with the help of computers and the internet you’ve got no excuse to NOT be making magic!

      • Revy

        My bet is that you’ve never watched much anime at all. This “style” you’re referring to comes in many shapes and sizes in Japanese animation, much in the same way you would balk if someone said “All American 2D looks just like Cinderella. Worn out style that hasn’t changed in 50 years.”

        I’m not an anime geek by any stretch, but I have come to appreciate some really inventive, powerful movies and TV series in recent years. Watch even one episode and try to tell me that shows like Ghost in the Shell, Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop, Haibane Renmei, Black Lagoon look the same. Hell, they don’t even resemble Ghibli stuff — the one studio name American non-anime fans feel safe mentioning in conversation.

        And like jonhanson said, the storytelling and content in anime is FAR more intelligent, provocative, moody, and inspired than most American work (2D or CG). You’ll never see a series like Black Lagoon made by an American studio. Sure there is garbage anime out there too, but there’s also garbage American animation.

        Ending my rant, I’ll just say you should do your research before labelling something “unchanged since the 1950’s.” You’re showing your hand, and
        your cards reveal you know nothing of what you talk about.

        • More to the point, has anyone even *seen* anime from the 1950s? I’m talking especially about the Toei Animation movies, including PANDA AND THE MAGIC SERPENT, MAGIC BOY, ALAKAZAM THE GREAT, and my favorite, THE LITTLE PRINCE AND THE EIGHT-HEADED DRAGON? Those movies are beautiful! These are the kinds of films you’ll never see the likes of in Japan again. (Miyazaki’s films come very close; he worked on those films, BTW!) To lump them in with standard limited TV animation is an insult. TV anime is what it is, and it’s because the Japanese entertainment industry has no unions, and they have limited budget and production time (not to mention most of it being outsourced to South Korea since the mid-to-late 70s). Give it a chance. There’s some stuff you’ll love, a lot of it you’ll probably think is crap. But it’s definitely not “all the same.” And it’s changed a LOT after the 50s, I can tell you that.

      • David

        I agree 100 % with TKeen. It is because of those things that proper mature animation such as Tatsumi, Anois Nebel, and Piercing I get ignored, while mediocrity reigns the multiplex.

  • Just because picasso painted his expressionist paintings doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there painting like Da vinci. Its an art form and it can never die. Hollywood might have abandoned it but still plenty of people small studios and independent animators are pushing it on.

  • Samuel C. Smith

    I better get to my studio and check my light box is still there! :|

  • Nicky

    Disney 2D animation is dead? Yes! Some studio usurp the throne already!

    Most likely a European studio.

  • D. Harry

    My bet is on Brad Bird (for reviving American hand drawn films).

    • jonhanson

      Sadly I wouldn’t be surprised if he never came back to animation. I hope and pray he does and I’d love nothing more than him to do another 2D feature, but man, this industry. Who’s willing to take chances on a 2D movie? Who’s willing to take any chances? It’s hard enough for directors to get 10 million dollars to do a live action feature, and in animation apparently you need 30 million to do a spongebob movie.

      • Funkybat

        I could deal with Brad Bird never doing another 2D film, but if he completely abandons feature animation, I will be very, very disappointed.

        Brad has a gift for animated storytelling that is quite rare. He also is able to bridge the age gap and create films that appeal to adults perhaps MORE than young children, yet still appeals greatly to the latter almost in spite of the level of sophistication and depth of the stories and characters. There are many talented live-action film directors, but the animation world *needs* people like Brad Bird far more than Hollywood or even indie live-action film do. Every day I pray for his return to Pixar or some other animation studio.

  • 2D is not dead, it has just travelled to foreign lands to train its skills. I’m just waiting for its return in America.

    • I hope you’re right.

    • Mike

      Very True ma man

  • Tom

    Well, better start on my stop-motion animation if I wan’t a career that isn’t necessarily CGI.

  • Ah great. Disney doesn’t have any plans for a 2D animated feature in the next four years, and everyone’s crying the end of the medium. Never mind that 2D animation still exists through various other forms.
    But unfortunately, there will be plenty of people who will take this seriously, because as far as many people are concerned Disney’s the only studio in the business.

  • JWLane

    Well, what’s Sylvain Chomet up to these days? Truthfully, with all the CG layoffs this spring, this should probably be for big U.S. studio animation – period. I personally love the hand drawn craft coming out of France, and Headless in Spain.

    • timmyelliot

      Good point!

      His live action film, Attila Marcel, is out this year.

    • tlc9711

      The good news > Sylvain Chomet will make a prequel of triplets-of-belleville.

      The bad news > It going to be in stereoscopic 3D CG-animated movie…


      • CG_Animator

        Why is that “bad news”? I’d love to see a CG animated movie in Chomet’s style! That would be super cool and definitely would have it’s own unique flair to it.

        I think what a lot of people don’t get is that CG is not the enemy here. CG is merely a medium and it’s just as valid an artform as hand-drawn or stop motion.

        The enemies are the people who value one medium over the other in the name of the almighty dollar… like the suits who run the animation industry here in the State.

        • tob

          Didn’t his last movie lose $10 million?

        • I never said anything negative about CG. I really enjoy those types of productions.

  • Animator606432

    This actually sounds really fun. I would totally want to be one of the crying ladies if I was going to be able to go to comic-con.

    • What?

      Ladies in shawls crying hysterically the whole time. Please. Women are animators too. You had better have a couple on your panel Raul.

      Are you sure you are comfortable levitating yourself as the person who calls a very much alive art form dead, and then acts as if you are conducing a Tinkerbell call to revive it? Shaky grounds.

      Hand drawn animation is a true caricature that can capture life in an exaggerated way that no broken CG model can. You can’t bring it back to life because it has not died.

      • Carl

        [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

      • Animator606432

        I think people are taking this WAY to seriously. I think the intent of this event is almost mocking the people who say outlandish things like, “2D animation is dead”. Everybody knows that as long as there are people with a passion for an art form it’s not going to ever completely go away.

  • Revy

    2D will return when Hollywood learns it’s not the medium, but the story that draws (or pushes away) audiences. Disney’s most recent feature film 2D offerings would have suffered even if animated in beloved CG because the stories were weak. Give 2D a Tangled, or a Kung Fu Panda, or a Toy Story quality story, and then we’ll see a return to 2D.

  • I think the ultimate fate of Warner Bros. animation division decades ago is far sadder then 2-D animation going bye bye at Disney in this day and age.

    • Dan DeCo

      They nearly had a similar fate in the 2000s. When “Looney Tunes Back in Action” bombed miserably at box office, Warner Bros. also declared 2-D theatrical animation was dead, and then the Looney Tunes nearly faded into obscurity…

  • CG_Animator

    That’s stupid. North America and Disney isn’t the be-all-end-all of animation. There is plenty of amazing hand-drawn animation coming out of TV (Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, and Superjail anyone?), indy projects (Bill Plympton’s features, Nick Cross’ feature, Adreas Deja’s new short, John K’s new short, etc.), and out Europe and Asia.

    Hand-drawn animation is NOT dead just because Disney isn’t doing it. There’s more to animation then what Disney does.

    Stop saying hand-drawn dead. It’s not dead. It’s alive and kicking ass.

  • I realize that 2d isn’t dead everywhere but it is still really depressing that disney would abandon 2d animation considering that’s where their roots were. The first full length Animated feature was made by them and they inspired a lot of people with their movies.

    • tim elliot

      I doubt Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated feature. There were animated features going back at least a decade before.

  • May I suggest a guy in one of those skeleton costumes but w/ IK Handles and Head Controls laughing and dancing all around? I’d do it myself but I’m not in unitard shape anymore :-(

  • Schultz!!!!!

    Try not to get too cute. It’s a serious subject, and there may be some people there in a position to some day bring it back.

  • Rodrigo

    They’re going to look like dumb-asses in the midst of all these other 2D projects being showcased at Comic-Con.

  • Natalie Belton

    Gotta love how they tied in the paper-craft animation desk with this.

  • Elana Pritchard

    While they do this, I will be producing a 2D short.

    If you have the time to do it, doing 2D in a small studio is totally doable with programs like Toon Boom Animate. Crowdfunding is putting the power back into the hands of the fans and artists.

    If you love 2D, don’t have a funeral for it (won’t that just make things worse?), GO MAKE A CARTOON. Did you just make a 2D cartoon? There, 2D isn’t dead. It’s as simple as that.

    And honestly, who gives a flying f what Disney is doing. If you don’t like them, don’t work for them, don’t support their products, and above all don’t have the mindset that they control your life!

    The more we act like oppressed prolls the more we’ll be oppressed prolls. If we change our attitudes things will be different.

    Yes we really are that powerful.

    • Oh boy an animated short by someone who knows everything! Did you know that the animation you think you are doing in toonboom is not 2D traditional? Yeah you are whining about the wrong thing. When did I mention Disney in my announcement? How is a public demonstration that skewers the powers that screwed up animation be possible by an oppressed Proll? You are right though. If you change your attitude and realize you don’t know a fraction of what you think you know the world would be a better place. Don’t any of you get Satire? Irony? Humor? I can’t wait to see your short! REALLY I CAN”T. It had better be good. I’m sure it will because your attitude will make it good right?

      • Elana Pritchard

        It’ll be damn good. You can see clips of it here:

        I’m doing a bunch of the layouts and all of the bgs by hand. 24 fps. It’s about as traditional as you can get.

        I get satire when it’s well executed and funny.

        Have a good time at your funeral.

        • I too support people making their own films, especially 2d work. I just wanted to chime in, since no one probably will, and say that as of now, your film doesn’t look like its on track of being “damn good.” If its a personal project, I’d suggest spending some more time on those scenes and maybe not flesh everything out until you’ve got the principles nailed a bit more.

    • Me too.

      2D isn’t dead.

      It isn’t even sleeping.

  • David Nethery

    I’m all for burying the term “2D Animation”. (see Cartoon Brew’s own posting of Gene Deitch’s talk that addresses why that term is inadequate among other things he touches on — http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/gene-deitch-quo-vadis-animation-18033.html — ““The core of my speech is a pitch for the survival and eventual return to primary favor of “drawn animation.” ( Don’t provoke me by mentioning the term “2D” in my presence!) ”

    But regarding the death of hand drawn animation I’ll paraphrase Mark Twain’s great line : “The reports of hand drawn animation’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”

    Call it Hand Drawn animation , Pencil animation, Traditional, Classical , a number of terms will do nicely (although I am starting to shy away from using “traditional” because that carries with it the air of a certain type of old-fashioned ‘quaint’ quality that I think we need to avoid at all costs.)

    Unless the style of the film is specifically trying to look flat and “2-Dimensional” (such as the CG film “The Pearce Sisters” or something like “South Park” , made in Maya , but quite self-consciously using an art style that is flat and “2D” ) I’d make a plea to avoid the term “2D” when referring to drawn animation.

    • Guest

      semantics? really? that’s your hang up? How about just calling it all animation

  • grailpuffin

    Its not North American 2D that is dead — its the stories they’ve recently paired with hand drawn work.

  • SR Das

    Mind you all, DreamWorks is supposedly coming out with a movie that combines 2D and 3D (I forget what it’s called, but a friend of mine told me this), so this probably isn’t the end of the line.

  • Mike Milo

    I honestly don’t know why people say 2d animation is dead. Maybe over bloated feature films that take years to produce and never got any better than Iron Giant are dead (for now) but 2d animation is alive and well in this new fangled thing called a ‘television’. Just ask the thousands of artists like myself who work on 2d animation daily. Hell, did any one else see the brand new Mickey cartoons coming out? Did anyone else notice the fact that the Dreamworks shows at Nick took a dive and are being replaced by 2d shows? Did anyone else notice that Titmouse produced an entire television series here in the states last year for a major broadcasting network? 2D animation dead? Nah… it’s just different than you remember it because it’s ever-changing. It won’t ever die. And one day in the future, 2d animated features will come back when some smart young upstart rises to power in the industry and remembering all the love he had for Spongebob, Venture Bros, Teen Titans and Adventure Time lovingly brings it back to the much celebrated accolades of those who said it was dead. Just sayin’…

    • Mike really dude? When did I say 2D animation is dead? I never did. I said 2d Traditional Animation is dead. Big Difference man. The cause of death is shortsightedness and greed. All the shows you tried to discredit me with are NOT 2D traditional. 2DTHDA does not use wacom, adobe, toonboom, nothing like that. It will never come back if no one is teaching it to the next generation. These kids are so arrogaNT that they reject any suggestion you make them.

  • z-k

    DOOM and GLOOM!

    Remember, you read it here first.

  • Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. This is great! People are talking about the 2D Traditional dilemma we here IN THE US are facing. Those of you that are against what I am proposing, I invite you to join me as my guest on the Man vs. Art Podcast http://manvsart.com so that you can share more of your incredible insight with me and perhaps educate me on what an animator is supposed to be.

  • Kyle Landry

    Why don’t these old 2D animators instead dedicate their time to making a kickstarter campaign for a movie they would like to make. What a waste of time this is…

    • mick

      If you care why don’t you do that? With all the technology available now, an affordable full studio’s capability on a lap top and a seemingly inexhaustible tide of diploma waving graduates rolling out of every other college on the planet you’d think there would be more content, more fresh blood on the scene. perish the thought, let someone else start a kickstarter and then maybe… just maybe hand over 5 dollars and sit whinging about a two bit joke someone made…

  • A animator’s concerned 2 cents

    A funeral for 2D personality animation for 2D personality animators? Are 3D personality animators allowed? They need to know how it goes because they’ll need that experience when motion capture kills 3D character animation. Oh and motion capture people should come too because they’ll need that experience for when actors finally are able to project their performance into the digital realm without the extra cost of motion capture artists. And invite actors too to the funeral because one day hopefully computers will one day have the AI and visual realistic graphic to tell their own stories without the needed expensive of multimillion dollar actors. And hopefully computers realize that visuals and audio is quite expensive, and computers can tell each other stories thru 0s and 1s at a much cheaper cost. And bring your computers and laptops because they’ll realize one day, their stories without 23456789, their binary stories aren’t very good and just give up on stories. Don’t invite the studios though because all they care about is profits, and don’t invite the public because all they care about is cheap entertainment. The funeral will be the Death of Film.

    It’s a joke. But here’s my two cents on the issue and I’m fine with being wrong. Please call me out if I am, disagree, maybe my facts are wrong. I want to be wrong about this but this industry worries me and I have to say this. I don’t understand why there’s a funeral for 2D and I don’t think there should be. And people are arguing about Anime and Flash and 3D animation lowering the standards of everything. Anime is awesome and I’ve seen awesome Flash and awesome 3D animation. Don’t we all know people who work in all these mediums as friends? Yet we can claim their work requires less talent than our own? Really?! And others not as argumentative are talking about Europe carrying the torch of 2D animation. If so, they’ll need a funeral too soon. From what I gather, Europe more often than not finances films thru multiple partner studios across multiple countries and even still, they often require government funding because Europe can’t compete against American productions with it’s enormous 300 million population to build its audience to return profits on high budget culturally American films which dwarfs the average European country which typically has far less than 50 million people to create an audience from with their own unique culture and can’t justify the costs of American style expensive film making to spread their work. And if that weren’t enough, the US’s ability to convince Asia to help lower the cost of much of what it does by getting high quality work with Asia’s cheap workforce. And with all that the US can flood the world with content and force Europe to fund their films with their own people’s tax dollars if they want culturally relevant programing. And I’ll tell you, it’s not about the evil American capitalist sytem doing this, like people always claim. That’s making it a moral dilemna and avoiding the problem in my opinion. And we could blame Europe too if you make it a moral dilemna or anyone you want. When I was younger and naive, I worked on a TV project that was funded by European tax dollars thru the government funded national TV station… in America, because the studio convinced me and a bunch of friends to make a film with full creative control by ourselves. Well they didn’t tell the European government who thought natually that a European studio with help from a European government would naturally use Europeans in their country to make the film. And the film involved that country’s culture and used that country’s voice talent to tell a story about their country. And the studio expected a bunch of young Americans not to just introduce their own culture into the project. We tried to avoid that but the studio didn’t care, and they really only cared when the TV station review process pointed out things that obviously weren’t European and confused them why a European studio made up of European workers would do that. Yet some Americana made it thru when I saw it air because both the studio’s and government funded TV station couldn’t pick up on all our unconcious decisions, and there were a lot because we basically ran the project and the studio just sat back, collected the government fund and didn’t care that we were Americans and not Europeans who had the cultural experience to make this project much easier. And I’m sure those European kids who watched it probably have no clue how that program was made. This is just my personal experience, I’m not saying all production run like this. But honestly I don’t follow how Europe can save 2D animation on a large scale, not just releasing a film here and there and having directors like Sylvain Chomet champion 2D and realize if he honestly wants to continue directing, he needs to switch over to 3D. It’s not a moral issue, and he’s no traitor. The Illusionist was a beautiful film and one of my favorite movies. But you have to view it as a director making a brilliant film. It wasn’t going to save 2D, no more than it was goin to save silent films or magicians, it was just a beautiful and I’m glad he made it and he can make films in 3D and I’ll watch them gladly because I don’t care if he’s creating jobs for people like me who’s a 2D animator, I want to watch good films and he delivers that. Then there’s the group that thinks TV animation will save 2D animation. Seems to me, just following the pattern of things over history, 2D productions are moving toward less sophisticated techniques closer to Southpark(which is a fine show but I’m talking about technique which you have to admit is not as sophisticated compared to full animation. You know the reason you do the job, not the reason you watch the show.) than a few studios doing 2D full animation bucking the trend before Asia’s equipped with the computer knowledge to do that type of animation like they do Spongebob and every other fully animated television program that’s been done for American animated television for the last 30 years. Everything is not the same over time and I think you can save things but not by claiming everything is the same. Photography didn’t kill painting people say. Well if you were a portrator artists who’s clients came to him only because they wanted to be documented, you probably took a hit in revenue. Because you had to recognize that people had a more accurate way to document themselves with photos. What could you offer that the camera couldn’t was the question now? The artist had to adapt and acknowledge change to save his medium and they did. So photography had a profound affect on painting even if painting sitll exists today. It’s like seeing someone listenig to classical music and claim it’s back like in the roaring 19th century, all the cool kids are listening to it. It’s as valid a style of music as any other genre, but what it’s not is popular music.

    In all this for everything in the film industry, why isn’t the public the villian? A villian that needs to be educated on how their films are made. The general public thinks animation is all done on the computers. Why blame Disney PR for not make people aware of all the hard work involved in an 8 hour day of work with a 5 minute behind the scenes video. Behind the scenes special features is entertainment and much of a day’s work of an animator is as boring as everyone else’s job. Besides how’s that different from when they thought drawing was easy or fun? And remember the story about the Warner Brothers writer who told his grandmother he was writing for Bugs Bunny, she told him she thought Bugs Bunny was funny without needing writers? It’s antecdotal but ask the average person, “From a women’s civil rights perspective, what major role did women play in the production of cartoons made from roughly the 1930s thru 1980s.” and they probably wouldn’t have a clue what you are talking about. They would ask if we were still taking about children’s cartoons, civil rights is a heavy issue for the fun filled world of animation. That’s like a huge inspiring story of what women went thru and on average, nobody in the general public really knows about, just thinks Bugs Bunny was vaguely made at some point in the past. This should be in the general history books in my opinion alongside any other struggles. I don’t know much about feminism but somehow I was talking to a friend and the topic came up and she said that sometimes she disappointed in how little progress women have made and whether it was worth it. Well I’m not a woman and I didn’t feel adequate confirming or denying what she was saying. So I just told her a story about women in animation from them being able to enter the work force and being inkers and painters and how they were true artists regardless of how they were treated, classified and denied the right to work the same jobs and ironically created the final picture that everyone who ever saw those cartoon saw. Most of the public has never seen the drawings created by the highly paid men until xerox process which even Walt thought looked cheap to what the women did :) I love the animators from the Golden Age and respect them greatly but to me that’s sort of poetic justice in general for men for not caring about what women experience in life. If the male animator wanted his drawings up on screen, there was a lowly paid job with littel job security available called Inkers and painters who did a marvelous job inking and painting beautiful drawings to go on the big screen, And I went straight ahead to end on Brenda Chapman, who worked at the highest level alongside the still male dominated industry making some of the top grossing films of all time, like when she was head of story on Lion King and a co-director on Prince of Egypt, which if anything can be said, one of the most important didn’t really upset the three major religious faiths the story comes from with the 3 directors own take on the film, and I ended on her getting an Oscar for Brave, which regardless of politics or whether Pixar or Brenda was right in what happened, who cares, in the larger picture, she’s a leader in the field and an inspration for women. My friend had no idea about women’s struggles in animation and she was quite proud of women during the Golden Age of Animation and what Brenda Chapman achieved. She figured cartoons were just made by cartoonists. And that’s what most think. The public didn’t even grasp animation in the beginning at all. Gertie the Dinosaur was said to be an illusion, not a series of drawings when it was first seen. It’s because the public has never known or really cared how or why their films are made a certain way so they are just along for the storytelling ride. They aren’t stupid, they are just like everyone else. Most people have no clue how most other people do their jobs or the obvious aspects of their work, or what kind of history it has. Because everyone has a life and they can’t live everyone else’s life and interests. But they should know something about what others do or be able to emphathize with others because that’s a problem in my opinion. I’ve no clue on how to educate the public on how animation is done but for a start, people could tell their friends when certain things happen. The public wants quality films, trust me. Ever have a friend say that Life of Pi was thought provoking and an amazing movie. Well I have and I told them exactly how that profitable amazing movie was made and how it bankrupted the largest visual effects studio in the United States, Rhythm and Hues. I didn’t wait until the Academy Awards while the general audience just wants to see their favorite actors like Samuel L. Jackson on stage to break the news. How was the public even to respond to the visual effects artists if they could have made their point on stage. The average person didn’t know who they were, they were getting an award for an amazing film and yet they were expected to understand what happened? I’m glad they didn’t get to say what they wanted, they needed 2 hours to get across the whole situation of what happened. We know how film works, the public is starting at zero with its understanding. But they need to understand if they like that film because a film like that shouldn’t even exist if it couldn’t be manage properly. No disrespect to the director and I’m sure he made a wonderful film but if I bought an unneeded source of survival food like cookies from a cookie factory and my friend lost his job on that purchase for some reason I didn’t understand but the cookie factory remains and returned, does it really matter how delicious that cookie is? I need to figure out how my purchase caused him to lose his job. Maybe just talking to friends isn’t enough, I don’t know. I like seeing even the protests on facebook that people do but I wonder if it’s that effective in the way it’s set up. A green square protest is fine on Facebook but isn’t there a better non inside joke to tell the general public you are protesting? It’s hard for the public to realize that the lifelike environment is actually a green screen in real life and that’s because the artists did his job correctly. But a green square profile pic forces the general public to ask you, “Why do you have a green square for a profile pic? What’s that all about?” They need to see a pic and just know in my opinion, like if you had a well known logo for your favorite political candidate and there’s not enough engagement with the public for them to know our inside jokes. All the general public knows is that films cost millions of dollars, and Hollywood rake in billions in profits and they just wonder why they are being had by rich people and how can they avoid the predatory practices of Hollywood, or watch it online in a few months on Amazon, etc. and that’s driving down the cost of everything. And the studios are just following along trying to make the public happy. How can the public know what’s happening if they have no idea how anything in Hollywood works? For that matter, outside of Hollywood, because we know a lot of it is done overseas in places like Europe and Asia and by other states in the US, all by artists as qualified to do the work as anyone in California. You can blame the European governments for falsely believing the studios are setting up there to help the local community and wasting money, resources, and the talent of its people on temporary often low wage work and which brings the local government nothing in the long run. Or you can blame the people of Asia for accepting poor and abused working conditions and taking precious jobs away from Americans but it’s the public. Those foreign animators and governments aren’t getting rich off the system, they are being had by the studios, and the studios ultimately are being had by the public which is everyone of us. All Hollywood studios talks about is box office revenue, no real desire to talk about how a movie is actually funded or if it made a profit thru creative auditing practices. How is that helpful to the public who have no idea how to break down the costs of the film? Government just promise jobs from the studios, they don’t have a desire to explain how movie production will be funded with tax payer dollars or how its citizens will benefit. Well then the public just thinks Hollywood is coming to town, we are going to be rich and famous. And artists just want to talk about art and don’t have a desire to explain that it’s a JOB, with actual work involved, that’s just as stressful as any other job the general public may work. And the public just thinks we have dream jobs that don’t requrie unions, health care or any real planning toward retirement. The public is driving governments, studios, and western artists and third world artists to do all this and all four groups just blame each other for what’s happening. I don’t know how to solve this problem but it makes me sad to see people blame Disney like they should go out of business to save 2D animation. They tried to save it. Princess and the Frog was a good move, but it wasn’t that great. If Avatar undercut its funds like I’ve heard animators say, well I didn’t particuarly like Avatar that much but it wasn’t horrible, it was good like Princess and the Frog. In one sense, Princess and the Frog was not that interesting to me because o fhow it dealt with racism. People said it was hinted at. Nothing was hinted at during the period of the film. That film was intentionally set in one of the most racially divided times in American history with a old fairy tale that could have been set in anytime for the historic first attempt on a major Disney animated picture based around African Americans. I’m not saying kids have to deal with that controversial subject matter but if Jazz is that cool that you have to set your film in that time, it will be look a bit odd that you avoid that topic The way it avoided the topic of race was masterful, A Prince from Maldonia. Where is Maldonia on a map and why did no magic come from that world? Interracial marriage is fine but wasn’t in the Jazz Age and to avoid it by making a character where you just avoid his race or country of origin is bizarre. But it’s a cartoon and he might as well be a fictional character from a fictional country in a real country because his job is sort of fictional to Americans. Americans have no concept of royalty that’s based off experience. And he had the honor of teaching and African American woman in the 1920s how to relax and have fun in life. In 1920s, an African American, who was also a woman worked too hard according to the Prince’s philosophy on life. I’m not saying they had to deal with race but without dealing with race in a setting where it did matter and doing it so well that the film didn’t even seem like it was the first African American Disney animated film, it probably resembled most of the Disney library people already have on DVD, musical princess movies. In my opinion, they went to see a musical princess movie and made it profitable and Disney and the animators were hoping they were going to see a 2D film after almost a decade of its absense or perhaps the first African American movie from the studio’s standpoint and were disappointed with the lack of enormous profits. Yet Disney tried again with a Winnie the Pooh movie, and put Paperman into production. Most non animators I know think Paperman was hand drawn because they know I do hand drawn animation and know the slightest bit that lines around the character suggest it was drawn by hand even in the digital age. But most, like a lot of people just thought it was computer animated like everything else and not that revolutionary. They aren’t that concerned about that stuff, they just want a good film to watch. If Me and my Shadow contains 2D animation for the shadow, good luck convincing the public that the shadow is 2D animated with some groundbreaking new technology. I mean they were all over the multiplane camera Disney invented and more than just be happy to see his films give an illusion of movement that’s pedestrestrian and not very exciting in real life, they wanted to tour the studio and figure out how that massive camera works because they had to know how a film was made, right? Or was that just future animators reading that stuff and trying to figure out how to making a rudimentary camera like the great Walt Disney. If you don’t work in animation, you don’t need to know about techniques but you need to be aware that actual people with lives, families, etc. works these jobs and it isn’t all glamourous like they think, it’s really just a job, a good job, but a job at the end of the day. Sorry for my long rant but I honestly don’t understand a lot of what’s going on in this industry, why things are going the way it is and I just want answers about its direction. I don’t like what I’m seeing. But I’d say if there’s a funeral, it needs to be for the death of movie making magic. Because there’s no magic in storytelling in any of the arts, it’s actual work like every other job. Enjoying your job or being creative doesn’t mean you are having fun. It’s work and an uninformed public who needs stories told to them isn’t helped by keeping that myth alive.

  • If they haven’t talked about “the end of Classical Animation” in serious way (like Disney with closing the 2D division) I’d find it humorous and I might smile. To me, this is very insulting not only to the traditional-animators, but to the legends of this Golden medium. I wonder what artists like Richard Williams could say when he see this .. ?

  • I think its a great idea… If this doesn’t get any laughs its probably residual effects of the twilight saga fans from the past few conventions. OR, just that San Diego sucks and when in San Diego you suck too?

  • OtherDan

    Typo: “drying” = relying on.
    @Raul, I think you’re right old school traditional animation is dead. Besides the changing attitudes of management and newcomers, I think technology is largely behind the demise of paper to pencil. I think what Mike was talking about is that working on a Cintiq and posing characters (as I am also doing) is essentially traditional animation with modern tools. There are advantages to working digitally too. And, the principles you are talking about remain.

  • mick

    if ADHD some how translates to ‘whining entitled stiffs’ then I concur.

  • Pencil and paper gone? How else do you explain those pencil tests that I keep seeing? If anything, paper and pencil are very essential to hand-drawn animation, even the post-2000 digitized stuff. I saw pencil tests from THE MIGHTY B!, for crying out loud! It’s still being used, and I’m glad it is.

    I may not work at some major studio, even though I occasionally work on animation (I’m also a cartoonist, who, if you must know, *always* uses pencil and paper, because that’s how I get my best results!), and I’m sorry if some of us lost our cool over this funeral thing, if it was meant as a simple joke, but if it’s any consolation, we also haven’t given up on pencil and paper, either. I have a good Bamboo Fun tablet (even though I don’t have the advantage of *seeing* how I draw like on a Cintiq), but for me, that will never replace pencil, paper, and even ink. As for animation, maybe *cel* animation deserves a funeral (although cel animation is scarce today; a friend of mine is, in fact, working on a cel-animated cartoon short independently), but even Disney had to make do with the digitized tools in their recent 2D work.

    As for my animation credits, it’s way too early for me to do anything major just yet (even though I do have the tools for it), as one of two comic projects I’m working on lends itself to hand-drawn animation, though both are still a work in progress. (And mind you, I would love to do such a project. But it’s something I may have to do all by myself, even if I lose my sanity in doing it! And I’ll be sure to use paper and pencil. ;) )

    • The first sentence of your second paragraph confirms what I suspected from the start. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      As for those pencil tests you keep seeing, when are they due for theatrical release? I hope the artists producing them were paid well. no? oh you mean amateur work. Hmmmm.

      Every amateur seems to think that just because they copied the Preston Blair walk cycle (and didn’t realize it was incomplete) that they are Glen Keane Jr.

      I didn’t read the rest of your off topic nonsense. Why? We’re talking about animation. Not whatever makes you with a Everyone is an expert huh? Whatever.

      • You need to redo that last part, I didn’t understand it.

        Otherwise, break a leg on your mock funeral. That’s all I’ll say to you.

  • Once again, you’re sensationalizing the whole thing like 2D animation is completely dead. It’s not dead, especially not at Disney. They have that 2D Mickey Mouse short coming out, and if that’s successful during its attachment of this year’s Frozen, then maybe Disney could begin production on that hand-drawn Mickey, Donald, and Goofy movie Burny Mattinson has in development.

  • realteruchan

    Are we talking about a process? This process where images were drawn with pencil on paper, traced with ink onto cels, with real paint applied on the backs of these cels, and backgrounds on canvas with real paint? This process where physical items in the real world were placed in front of a camera and photographed? If so, then RIP, because it is long dead and will never return. All the mention of current 2D shows in the world, which probably go directly to the computer after the pencil drawings are done, assuming they aren’t totally drawn on Wacom tablets from the start, isn’t going to change the fact that this traditional process has died the death, given up the ghost, and shall never return.

    In a world where Flash animation is barely economically viable done entirely in the states, it is impossible to consider an entirely traditional process ever getting past the bean counters. Cars, shoes and DVD players will be manufactured entirely in the US before that happens.

  • I just noticed your reply, I didn’t see it at that time. And it got me wondering about your tone, especially as I didn’t say anything rude to you personally, (and not just with me, I read all your replies to others). You got a problem with communication man (which obviously you’ll deny). How long I’ve been an animator? 15 years, and after seeing your work, I’d say (way) before you.

    Respect yourself (and the network) to be respected. Peace.

  • Yakko

    Things like this make me so sad; I’ve always wanted to be a 2D animator, and these kinds of events aren’t helping this art form survive in popular media. Fewer and fewer shows are being done in 2D animation – though many are still being produced, praise the Lord – but whatever happened to feature films?

    I’m kind of sad that most 2D animation comes from the web now – I’m still happy it’s popular though – and not as much aimed towards broader audiences (although that really depends on the show itself, for the most part, it’s uncommon to see young or old people tune in to watch cartoons on Youtube or other sites).

    I wish 2D animation had just as big a place as 3D does; they’re both amazing art forms and each one can do things the other can’t. So why not have both?