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Pencils Return to Disney
July 27th, 2006

Variety (July 27) and IMDB are reporting officially what insiders have been talking about for months: namely that John Lassiter has given the greenlight to John Musker and Ron Clements to create a hand-drawn animated feature at the Walt Disney Studios. They will develop the Frog Princess, and Alan Menken, the composer of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, will provide the music. Gloria en Excelsis Deo! The trades are already pooh-poohing the effort, restating the latest corporate-think that traditional films will fail to draw audiences ( pun, I know...). But I think by the time the film will be done, in serveral years time, it would have been long enough from the days of the big 1990s musicals that this will seem novel. And like Leonard Maltin has said " The problem is nothing that another Lion King couldn't fix."
Not that I am against all CG animation, I'm directing a CGI film right now. It just would be good to see some balance. Let artists instead of the market have the choice of whether to tell a story 2D or 3D.
I salute Walt Disney management for their courage and wish Ron & John all the luck!