Brad Bird’s return to animation has been all but confirmed with recent statements he has made about Incredibles 2 during the Tomorrowland press junket. But now, the always-surprising Bird has revealed in an interview posted online tonight that he hopes to return to hand-drawn animation sometime after he finishes the second Incredibles.

Bird, who has directed beloved hand-drawn projects like The Iron Giant and Family Dog, dropped the hint about his grand career plan to former Disney directors/animators Tom and Tony Bancroft during an interview on their Bancroft Brothers Animation Podcast. He explained to the Bancrofts why he wants to go full circle and return to the medium that he started his career in nearly forty years ago:

A lot of the projects that I want to do beyond [Incredibles 2] are both live-action and animation, and I would love to do another hand-drawn thing.

As wonderful as CG is and can be, and I really enjoy it, and I enjoy being able to move the camera, and I enjoy the control over lighting, and really tiny movement that you have in computer generated stuff, there’s an itch that is not scratched that only hand-drawn can really scratch in me.

There’s a sense of wonder that’s very specific to me about hand-drawn animation where it kind of announces its artificiality at every moment, and yet, if you do it right, you can make people disappear into that world just as well as you can into CG. I miss that, and I would love to do somewhere down the line, to return to a hand-drawn film.

The entire interview is worth a listen. Brad goes into detail about his childhood interest in animation, describes at length his role on the earliest seasons of The Simpsons, and offers interesting observations on the structure of the Disney classic Lady and the Tramp. Click on the image below to listen to the entire podcast.


Brad Bird at the “Tomorrowland” premiere, May 9, 2015. (Photo: Helga Esteb/

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