Access the Disney Animation Vault with New Interactive iPad App

Walt Disney Animation Studios has partnered with Touch Press, the digital book publishers behind Elements and Leonardo DaVinci: Anatomy, to create Disney Animated, a new premium iPad app that provides “unprecedented access” to the art and technology behind all 53 of Disney’s animated feature films from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the upcoming Frozen.


Disney Animated, which is available today in the iTunes app store for $13.99, contains 750 interactive illustrations, over 400 short animation clips and 350 backgrounds, concept drawings and storyboards. “The promise of Disney Animated is that it is a serious work about the history and present day practice of making animated feature films, in which the medium is finally able to speak for itself, where every image from every film is in fact a short clip, complete with sound, music, and life,” explains Theodore Gray, Touch Press COO and co-author (along with Disney’s Dave Bossert) of the new app.

Disney highlighted these app features in its press release this morning:

  • The Story of Animation: How Disney animated films are brought to life, from early concept and story development through layout and background, animation, visual effects, sound and music and final assembly — with every illustration on every page touchable and interactive, including the ability to peel back the layers of animated scenes to reveal work-in-progress animation steps and visual effects layers.

  • Interactive Workshops: Hands-on interactives allow fans to experiment with iPad versions of authentic Disney animation technologies and share their creations via email and social media. Fans can animate Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph using a straightforward but powerful 3D animation package adapted from real Disney software and control a swirling snow visual effect from the upcoming film Frozen.

  • Disney Animation History in One Place: A comprehensive timeline of all 53 animated feature films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, including animated clips of favorite characters and recently uncovered historic trailers.

  • Unprecedented Access: Disney Animated contains over 750 interactive illustrations, including more than 400 short animation clips, over 350 high-quality images from Disney’s archives, including backgrounds, concept art, character sketches, and super-zoomable storyboards, 3D rotational photography of rare artifacts like the maquette of Hyacinth, the dancing hippo from Fantasia, and a unique Color Map that displays a sophisticated color summary and thumbnail frames from every scene from every one of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 52 released feature films in a single iPad image.


  • http://twitter.com/RacattackForce Racattack_Force

    Wow, just…not going to lie, the fact that Disney is releasing an app like this is completely and utterly fantastic. Pretty safe bet that this will quickly become a must-have for anyone desiring to enter the field of animation.

  • J.K. Riki

    This seems like a cash-in to get one more thing with the “Disney” name on it into the hands of the masses. And also I don’t care one bit, I am buying this the first moment I can because as an animator this sounds terrific!

    Oh what I would give to have a spare key to their archive… Mmm…

    • Theodore Gray

      For what it’s worth, I did not do this project for the sake of cheap exploitation. Disney, like any large corporation, is a study in contradictions: This app happens to concentrate on the good and wonderful things they have done and continue to do. You might like my blog post on the subject: http://www.touchpress.com/blog/

      • Alfred von Cervera

        Sir, congratulations, you just have made my day. I hope that still form Tramp is part of an animated rough. Thank you for doing this wonderful app.

      • J.K. Riki

        Cool, thanks for the inside scoop! :)

      • Rich

        Hi Theodore,
        Great app – it’s refreshing to see the medium viewed from the technical standpoint rather than from the more generalized view of the medium – “anything animation related has to be geared towards kids”.

        It’s certainly a great idea to try and approach the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of animation using the technological available, moving away from a descriptive book and text/image form to a medium much more suiting to studying animation (i.e. moving images!) Like you state, every animator seems to begin his or her journey inspired and them determined to find out more – leading usually to a book like the IOF. Maybe today’s ‘future-animators’ can look to things like this too.

        Will this be a standalone, one off release – or will it be updated with new material and additional ‘tips and tricks’ from time to time after release?

  • Alex Dudley

    Almost makes me wish I had an iPad. I hope a Android version comes out someday.

    • Allie

      Ditto.

      • http://samfilstrup.tumblr.com/ Sam

        Agreed

        • mistrrhappy

          So, buy a used 16GB iPad 2 for the few things that you can’t get on Android. No law against it. No Android Police will knock at your door, LOL

          • http://samfilstrup.tumblr.com/ Sam

            Why would I do that? I already own a tablet and as nice as the program is its not worth going out and buying a used or even new iPad. My income isn’t that disposable.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      We always get shafted.

  • Tim Hodge

    Very, very cool.
    It be nice if they also created a digital version of “The Illusion of Life” with clips and pencil tests and interviews with the old artists. Meanwhile, this will do very nicely! I hope other studios follow suit!

    • Dlongarzo

      Actually, in the app they present the complete unabridged 12 Principles chapter from Illusion of Life – AND THEY ANIMATE THE ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS!!! Very cool!

    • Theodore Gray

      I would *love* to do a full version of Illusion of Life in app form, but in the mean time we were able to include in this app a full unabridged copy of the Twelve Principles chapter from IOL. All the multi-frame images in original have been turned into animated clips you can flip frame-by-frame, or play through.

  • Jeff

    OK Pixar, Your Turn!!!

  • Tony White

    As I just posted on my Facebook page… Sad Disney is now nothing but a virtual museum of past greatness! I am grateful for this app actually – but its a shallow gratitude, knowing they have no taste for honoring the fine legacy that their great founder left in their trust and who’s name is still on their paychecks!

    • zac leck

      I don’t understand this comment. This app is a virtual museum of past greatness… and has no taste for honoring it’s legacy. How is it doing both?

      Seems to me that this app is all about honoring it’s legacy by including all 52 of their animated features.

      • Drew Petursson

        I believe the point Tony White’s making is that their current behaviour as a studio doesn’t honour their legacy.

        It’s that they’d rather sell an idea of themselves pointing backwards to how great they were, rather than risk attempts to achieve that greatness now.

        Some might consider that an unfair assessment of modern Disney (I don’t), but his point isn’t a contradiction.

        • jmahon

          I guess the proper way to honour that legacy would be to release a huge spool of film and a leatherbound book, and a cassette tape for commentary, then?

          they might not be doing the same things as they have before, and I miss 2D animation as much as anyone, but do the movies they’re creating today and the incredible advances in technology they’ve engineered for Tangled and now for Frozen not count anymore or something…?

  • tom bancroft

    Sold!

  • Alexei Baboulevitch

    Does anyone have this app? The trailer doesn’t make it clear if it’s targeted at kids, or if it’s genuinely an interesting app for animators and animation nerds.

    • Fabs

      I already downloaded it and i can say it´s amazing!
      Its targeted at animators and disney geeks.
      It has a lot of information and extras. Download it! the best buy in the app store.

    • Jason Sokoloff

      Think of it as a coffee table art book. Kids might like it — my 10-year-old is fascinated — but it is really for anyone into the history of Disney animated films. Not just “interesting,” though. A must-have really.

  • official moderator

    Hey, I animated that scene of Zazu flying up to the cliff in the beginning of Lion King– just three years before they fired me. Memories.

  • Ralleo

    Damn you Disney…. *sigh* take my money… Awesome app btw, grabbed it the instant I read this article. Lots of content and very interesting reads.

  • Grady Williams

    I hate when stuff like this comes out on the Ipad and I don’t have an Ipad, someone should write a program to allow you to use ipad stuff on a PC or android. Ignoring the dorkyness of the acting in the promo, I’m considering an Ipad at this very moment.

  • Chris

    Beautiful app. A couple of observations via the color maps: The Martins and the Coys is still missing from Make Mine Music, despite mention in the summary, and Pecos Bill is still missing his cigarette in Melody Time.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Who’da guessed? :-P

  • Jen Hurler

    This isn’t EXACTLY a problem, but I’m hesitant to get it because I have an iPad mini as opposed to a full iPad. This seems best suited for a larger surface. In the same way the Disney art book Archives Series are beautiful, large coffee table books, I’d love to see this on as big a display as I could!

    • Theodore Gray

      It’s actually fine on an iPad mini. One of our team uses a mini exclusively and she’s perfectly happy with it that way.

  • Tomm

    It’s excellent! Love it

  • Drew Petursson

    This is getting into the “is Disney a good company or a bad company” discussion that I’m trying really hard not to have. What I’m trying to do is clear up this misunderstanding:

    ‘I don’t understand this comment. This app is a virtual museum of past greatness… and has no taste for honoring it’s legacy. How is it doing both?’

    Of course it’s not doing both. Tony White didn’t say it was doing both. The app is fine. Nobody said the app was bad, or that the app is somehow dishonouring the Disney legacy. The accusation is that DISNEY THE COMPANY is not living up to the legacy celebrated in the app. The actual complaint was that, even though the product looks good, this is more of the same “Disney living in the past” rather than “Disney as a company living up to its past ideals”.

    What you’re mistaking for a contradiction is a comparison. The app appears to do SUCH a fine job of honouring the Disney legacy that it almost forces a comparison between what Disney once stood for to what Disney is now.

    I don’t think we all disagree as much as you think we do. You’re making a bunch of assumptions based of of a miscommunication.

  • Caitlin

    No sign of it in the app, particularly not in the timeline!

  • Theodore Gray

    Nope, and neither is Mary Poppins, because neither of them is a full-length, fully-animated feature film by Walt Disney Animation Studios. That’s the very specific definition of what we included, because you have to draw the line somewhere.

  • christopher

    is there any way to get this stuff without an ipad, i dont have one… i’d love to go through all the short clips and history though…

  • Christopher

    I love the way you draw. How do you draw like that? I hope you keep on drawing.

    Ps (love drawing too)