The Princess and the Frog

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Re: Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Post by scofo » August 14th, 2008, 3:24 pm

Dusterian wrote:Style? Disney's feature films have always tried to be anything other than (i.e. better than) cartoons, I don't think they would ever purposely go for a cartoony style.

I may actually not like many modern Disney films, but I doubt it would be (all) because of the animation. Atlantis, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear are all said to be bad and I don't think Atlantis was very good, but from what I've seen of all their animation, it looks exceptional, the best. If Disney was getting bad in story, they stayed fantastic as far as animation.
The Princess and the Frog is hardly a cartoony film. Just because the alligator is a little more plump - doesn't mean it's all of a sudden a UPA or Warner Brothers cartoon. In Disney's films, have you ever noticed that the main characters appear to have a more realistic design, in comparison to the villains, side kicks and the rest of the film? Maybe not so much in the early years (1940's through the 1950's) but it's predominantly visible in their films. Below are a few I grabbed from the internet.

Image

Just to be clear, I said the heroes tend to be more "safer" and less of a push in the designs, often trying to simplify a realistic human. Now take a look at the villains, the shapes are much more dynamic and provide the viewer with more of a character than the "heroes".
Dusterian wrote:But you see, I'm kind of worried. When you get rid of everything that has to do with something, and then try to bring it back, it won't be the same. Yes, I'm talking about how they got rid of all the animation stuff, and are attempting to bring it back. Don Bluth and James Baxter may have been former Disney animators, but for whatever reason, neither were able to capture the same Disney quality in the films they worked on (any Don Bluth film, and Enchanted). Of course, Bluth probably wasn't striving for straight-up Disney...but he still had to rely on lots of rotoscoping (Disney never quite rotoscoped, they traced over pictures for reference but they didn't do any tracing for actual animation, just some pictures to look at), and we all know Enchanted was trying to be straight-up Disney (unless, because it was melded with live-action, and because it could risk making Disney look bad, as they were poking fun at Disney's fairy tale animation, they went for an un-Disney look so sharp people could say, "This isn't Disney!" and still love the superiorly animated fairy tale classics).
Actually, they did rotoscope an Actress for Snow White, but for later films only relied on footage as a reference for the animators:
Year 1937 was the beginning of Walt Disney’s rotoscoping milestone. Disney animators have delicately employed the tedious art of rotoscoping in the classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs film. After Snow White, rotoscoping was used in more Disney films and this includes Cinderella in 1950’s.

However, some of the Disney animators looked down at rotoscoping, since some referred to it as a “crutch” for the artists who lacked the skill in animation. Grim Natwick even said that rotoscoping was only used as basis for their work; however the elaborate portions in creating an animation were done beyond rotoscoping.

Later on, Disney didn’t used rotoscoping for the actual tracing rather they use rotoscoping in studying human and animal motion.
And I the point about Enchanted seems to be a little askew - they weren't mocking themselves, at least not in terms of design. Alphonse Mucha was a heavy influence for the designs. Gisele is considered a princess (if your fact was true, I doubt they would add her).
Dusterian wrote:Basically, I'm worried Disney films will never have the same quality and magic or whatever they had that they used to have. Unless enough people from the Eisner days or earlier remember exactly how to make good Disney animation again. Thanks for making me feel better with the "rushed" idea, though.
It's been about 15 years since The Lion King, and only 4 years since the last traditionally animated film - I doubt they "can't remember how to do it". Also, Eisner didn't control the creative side of the film - just the business.
Dusterian wrote:It's right to ask what different people think are the classics, because if we're talking about the kind of classic that is good, has gone through time, and has long-lasting appeal, then it differs.
A classic is something that is symbolic of what the studio strives for - I don't think "The Great Mouse Detective" qualifies as such, but Snow White, Pinocchio, 101 Dalmations, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast are staples to Disney.
Dusterian wrote:My list could surely change, but this is basically what I think Walt Disney, the Disney studios, and the public regard as the classics and have made into the classics. Alice wasn't really liked by Walt, not sure about the studio, but it wasn't really liked by the public either, and today it's not really considered a good movie. It just has really great creativity, design, and animation. Kind of like Sleeping Beauty, except Walt actually intended it to be his masterpiece, and the film had more of a story and was more of a movie than episodic Alice in Wonderland. Fantasia is episodic and less like a movie, too, but that's definately a classic masterpiece, if not by the public, by Walt, the studio, and the whole company.
From the quick research - I've found nothing but the opposite of Walt's opinion.

One last thing, you say that the new people can't achieve what was in the past but the directors of Aladdin and Little Mermaid are in control of this film, so don't be so quick to judge, it's not even the real trailer.

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Post by James » August 14th, 2008, 6:20 pm

Small observation to add to the "can't remember how to do it" idea. Even on CG films it all starts (for months and maybe even a year or longer) with drawings and hand drawn animation before they begin any programming.

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Post by ShyViolet » August 15th, 2008, 1:31 am

Neat article on Princess! :) (focuses a lot on supervising animators)


http://www.laughingplace.com/News-ID512290.asp

(Thanks to Animation Nation.)


Here's a cool pic:

Image
“Ahh, fresh victims for my ever-growing army of the undead.
Sir, you have to let go of the button.
Well, son-of-a-bi-“

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Post by Whippet Angel » August 15th, 2008, 3:02 pm

Here's an article that includes a bunch of lovely stills ^___^

www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/the-prin ... ocence.php

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Post by Ben » August 16th, 2008, 11:56 am

Dusterian wrote:I don't think they would ever purposely go for a cartoony style.
Actually, Dumbo was very much created with a purely cartoon style in mind. It was a short, breezy movie that was intended to have a fast turnaround. The various units on the film worked as if they were creating an cartoon short, which is also why Dumbo has so many sequence fade outs. Like The Jungle Book nearly 30 years later, the result turned out to be one of Disney's brightest, most outrightly entertaining films.

Years later, the animators on Aladdin said they were going for more of a loose cartoon style, and again Dumbo was suggested as the kind of feel they were going for. With The Emperor's New Groove, the intention was very much to go for the 1950s Warner Bros. Looney Tunes style, while more recently, Chicken Little was an attempt to do a "cartoon" in a CG medium.

Dusterian wrote:Disney's official list of the classics was put up recently on their Walt Disney Animation Studios' web site. It includes pretty much every theatrically released animated film made by them.
Not quite, and not by a long shot. It includes the films created by the original Nine Old Men, then Feature Animation (incorporating the Florida unit) and now WDAS. There are a variety of features not included in this list. These WDFA/WDAS films have been consistently known as "The Classics" since 1980s marketing days. There are reasons why Dinosaur and the last three shouldn't be there, since they are CG animated and not "classical" animation, but then this is a continuation of that original crew's work. Look for The Princess And The Frog to be added to it.


On the look for Princess/Frog, it very much follows the style of Musker and Clements' projects. As has been pointed out, the heroes and heroines often go for a more realistic look, since we the audience need to be able to relate and associate with them. With the villains and sidekicks, two things are important: that we hate the villain and that we love the sidekick. Visual elements have always been used to "help" those subconscious feelings. With the plump croc (alligator?) he's obviously intended to come off as a jolly uncle or something, and visually that's what this says, just as with a multitude of other caricatured Disney co-stars.

Besides, Disney's been doing enough hand-drawn stuff, and their animators have been kept going strong on other projects (often for other studios). Animating is not something you forget how to do, and the "Disney tone" of the film is resting on the shoulders of two of the studio's best.

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Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Post by Dusterian » August 17th, 2008, 9:31 pm

Cool, lots of responses and info and thoughts!

Okay, well scofo, I did notice that the main characters tend to be done more realistically, basically serious characters get more serious designs. And yes, everyone looked more serious in the 40's and 50's...which is what I prefer (lately I've realized...I hate Jafar's design! But I love Andreas Deja and his work in general). Also, this is probably why people usually love the villains and sidekicks more than the heroes and they seem like more interesting characters than the heroes. Also, the heroes usually are more good, usually more good than the sidekicks, and good is boring. Of course, this is arguable, but it's an observation I'm sure you can see.

As for what you said about rotoscoping...I swear Disney never ever actually rotoscoped the same way other studios did. I wonder if there's a "good" way to rotoscope and a "bad", more "cheating" way to rotoscope, and only people who care note the difference. But I read Cinderella's poses were never traced, at least right into the actual animation, I even wrote the quote from Marc Davis in here. I think that quote that you found was from someone who generalized and didn't know exactly how everything was done. Actually the quote is confusing. It says "they rotoscoped in the animation", the Grim Natwick says, "no, rotoscoping was only a basis for the animation", and then it says later "rotoscoping was only used for studying". If you ask me, rotoscoping only being used as a basis and for study were pretty much the same thing and they never actually used a tracing from live-action in any animation.
scofo wrote:And I the point about Enchanted seems to be a little askew - they weren't mocking themselves, at least not in terms of design. Alphonse Mucha was a heavy influence for the designs. Gisele is considered a princess (if your fact was true, I doubt they would add her).
Well, yea, they weren't mocking themselves in design, the movie didn't really look very good in design, it didn't look very Disney, and thank God, because then when people watch real fully animated Disney films they will see real Disney films are not like that, and much better. I like the swirls and things that were art nouveau inspired, but the actual looks of the characters were un-Disney and eyesores, though I don't know if the big hands and other features that went off were an animation or a design problem. Yes, sometimes they looked better, and more Disney like, depending on the scene and shot. But take one look at Narissa as a hag and she may look like the witch from Snow White to casual viewers but the Disney fan wonders what that's doing in a Disney movie. Or they should. Yea.

As for Giselle being considered a princess...nope. She's not in the Disney Princess official line. Disney was planning on it, but they said they would have to keep paying royalties to use Amy Adam's likeness and for whatever reason, they didn't want to, my guess is because the princess line is everywhere so they'd have to pay a lot all the time.

Also, I personally would not accept her as a Disney princess. She is not one of them. She was based more on one person than any of the other princesses, pretty much meant to look exactly like one actress, just in a cartoon (hence paying the royalties). She's supposed to be a cross between all previous Disney princesses and Amy's own spirit, she's more like a representation of a Disney princess than an actual one. She comes from Andalasia, just beyond the Meadows of Happiness and the Valley of Contentment. Real Disney fairy tale kingdoms were set (roughly) somewhere in real places, like Snow White in Germany, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast in France, and Aladdin in the Middle East. In fact, the whole idea that a Disney kingdom exists in a parallel universe rather than actually could have happened long ago is un-Disney. I prefer to think, and the movie doesn't negate it, that the magic well also time travels. Not to mention the suggestion that Giselle's world is a 2-D cartoon while the real world is, well, the real world. Disney films were supposed to be believed to be real and to have been able to happen sometime in the real world. Saying Giselle's world isn't the real world is un-Disney in itself. Yes, now we say, well, they're unrealitsic fairy tales, but back then Disney wasn't presenting them like that.
scofo wrote:Also, Eisner didn't control the creative side of the film - just the business.
I know. I just said "from the Eisner days", meaning the way animation was done during Eisner's days.
scofo wrote:A classic is something that is symbolic of what the studio strives for - I don't think "The Great Mouse Detective" qualifies as such, but Snow White, Pinocchio, 101 Dalmations, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast are staples to Disney.
Uh...do you mean every classic for anything must follow that sense of the word? Because lots of different studios make lots of different types of movies. I think you're specifying Disney classics, in which case, all the films you and I listed still fit.
scofo wrote:From the quick research - I've found nothing but the opposite of Walt's opinion.
Kay. Well, no one here's backed me up yet, but I found in many places and from many people the information about how Walt felt about those films. Where did you ever find anything saying Walt liked Alice in Wonderland?!

BUT your last quote about the people who worked on those past great films making this one gives me some hope...it's just...ew that alligator, and that firefly...and then, that slightly more cartoony animation.
James wrote:Small observation to add to the "can't remember how to do it" idea. Even on CG films it all starts (for months and maybe even a year or longer) with drawings and hand drawn animation before they begin any programming.
WOW! Thanks for that info! Any chance some scenes in 2-D animation match almost exactly the animation in CGI? Like a hand-drawn scene of Marlin and Dory swimming looking the same in the finished CGI film? But anyway, I'm talking about forgetting how to do Disney animation! Disney's was the best, and was never bad. I'm sure there's something in their animation that only they have, that they could have gotten rid of along with all the stuff that made their animation.

Ben, well, I can't quote your whole post, but yea, you're right, those films were chosen to be more cartoony. Okay, well, then I will amend what I said slightly.

I'm sure Disney would never purposely choose a cartoony style for a classic fairy tale. That goes along with how I don't feel Aladdin is like a serious, classic fairy tale in the same league as the others. If The Princess and the Frog is not meant to be a classic fairy tale, okay...but, they said it was. Pictures with Tiana and some others look classic, while others, like ones with the alligator and firefly...far from it. And, like I said, the animation in the teaser...not up to par, rather toony. I know, I know, it's only a teaser...yea, let's hope it's only for the teaser.

Your info on the official list...well, I hope you'll help me a little more on that subject. I thought it didn't matter if different studios did it, as long as it was all Disney animation! Yes, they had different names...but they were the same thing, just with different names! I mean, Walt Disney's turned into Walt Disney Pictures, and there's no seperate lists for those. Also, when you said "There are reasons why Dinosaur and the last three shouldn't be there, since they are CG animated and not "classical" animation, but then this is a continuation of that original crew's work", did you mean the same artists who did the films just before the CG started, that same Disney animation crew worked on the CG films? Well, that's why I say they can be counted. Though if I had it my way, I'd probably forget the CG film's, too, but it makes sense to me to keep them. So you wish the CG films they made would not be included, like me?

Yes, you're right, the film looks to have some serious main characters and less-so side ones. But they're really on the wacky side, those side ones. I already compared Peter Pan's crocodile to this one's alligator. Peter Pan wasn't quite a fairy tale, though featuring a fairy (I know, pixie) and other fairy tale elements, I wouldn't mind calling it a fairy tale, and that crocodile looked more classical and like it could fit into a fairy tale than this bad-looking alligator.

But, thanks for the glimmer of hope about keeping the Disney "tone".

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Re: Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Post by James » August 17th, 2008, 10:57 pm

Dusterian wrote:
James wrote:Small observation to add to the "can't remember how to do it" idea. Even on CG films it all starts (for months and maybe even a year or longer) with drawings and hand drawn animation before they begin any programming.
WOW! Thanks for that info...
I need to add a feature to the forum that let's you ignore certain users...

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Post by Ben » August 18th, 2008, 8:42 am

Ouch! ;)

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Re: Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Post by Once Upon A Dream » August 18th, 2008, 12:50 pm

Dusterian wrote:As for Giselle being considered a princess...nope. She's not in the Disney Princess official line.
Hey! she is a Disney Princess! (She have been added her and if you want another exmaple-New Halloween Giselle costume calls her "The newest Disney Princess",she is a Disney Princess alright).
Just defenting Giselle.
On topic-The prince's name is Laveen on Naveen?.
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Post by Vernadyn » August 18th, 2008, 5:51 pm

I really enjoyed that Laughing Place article. It's cool to see some of the heavy hitters of the so-called "second animation renaissance" get together on something big again. It's been awhile since we've seen any substantial animation out of Andreas, Mark, Ruben, and Duncan. Eric Goldberg and Nik Ranieri have done good work in other areas, but I'm really looking forward to their return to hand-drawn. And I'm probably one of the select (nerdy?) few who know about Randy Haycock, Mike Surrey, Anthony DeRosa, and Bruce Smith.

Some people know sports players. I know animators. (Okay, that sounded a little creepy, but I've already lost all chances of salvaging my reputation as a normal human being.)

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Post by Hewylewis » September 1st, 2008, 12:37 pm

I just hope this film does start another renaissance. Because I'm so worried about what the critics are gonna say about this movie.

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Post by Once Upon A Dream » September 1st, 2008, 1:14 pm

Like what? I don't see why they can bash this film but we"ll have to wait.
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Post by Meg » September 3rd, 2008, 1:36 pm

Hewylewis wrote:I just hope this film does start another renaissance. Because I'm so worried about what the critics are gonna say about this movie.
I would say the financial earnings are going to be a much bigger factor in a possible renaissance than good or bad reviews...The Iron Giant, for example, was adored by the critics but unfortunately made next to nothing at the box office, and became one more film showing that traditional animation was a ‘lost cause’ compared to CGI.

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Post by Hewylewis » September 3rd, 2008, 1:48 pm

*Gulp* Now I'm even more nervous. I just hope we see more 2d films afterwards.

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Post by Meg » September 3rd, 2008, 1:51 pm

Same here Lewis! :)

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