Friday, July 07, 2006

2d Resurgence Whets Producer's Appetites

Hi gang! Animazing here! Here's an annotated fairy tale for you:

Once apon a time the Magic Prince
(i.e.: Michael Einsner)
left the Magic Castle
(i.e. The Disney Company)
and the New Magic Prince came into the Same Magic Castle
(i.e.: Joe Lasseter came to work for Disney),
and the New Magic Prince declared that the Old Magic Prince had banished the Court Jester to the dungeon, although the people clamored for him, and this was wrong so it's time to free the Jester.
(Lasseter saw that Einsner had stopped making hand drawn cartoon films, even though people like them, and this was wrong so it's time to free the cartoon films.)
And the people rejoiced.
(people went to the movies).

And they lived happily ever after.

It's a great story, but how will it play out in real life?

I asked several studios what they think of the coming resurgence in hand-drawn feature animation.

First up, PixelStrike Animation head Joe Frankenbaum:

"Man we've been waiting for something like this. We have 2 scripts that have been collecting dust since the "Lion King" boom. One- "The Princess and the Poo". It's like "The Princess and the Pea", but with a contemporary spin. The princess meets a little alien called "The Poo", who speaks by farting! Good songs by Hamilton Baumbach- he did some Off-Broadway that was nicely reviewed. Hasn't done much since we recorded the songs back in '98, but we still own them, so they're good to go. Lots of sidekicks. I think we can get Dane Cook to play a stork, and there's a humming bird that's right for someone with a lot of energy- I'd like to say Dave Chappelle, but nobody has signed anything yet. "The Poo" is played by a four dollar fart machine.

Second, is "Sherlock!" a wacky musical take on the great public domain hero. Baumbach did some songs for that. We're looking at Ashlee Simpson as the love interest, and Tim Curry as Moriarty. Lots of sidekicks. We want Joe Rogan as Sherlock's magnifying glass, and Jim Gaffigan would kill as Sherlock's pipe- he could whisper asides to Sherlock, like "Is that really a good clue?!?"

I laugh when my wife goes "Enough with the sidekicks! Even the sidekicks have sidekicks!"- but you gotta have 'em.

We're just going to sit low and wait for the first few hand drawn features to come back, then we'll roll out the big guns and come out blazing!"

Next up: Kim Delazny from ToonMotion Pictures:

"I'm so glad the hand-drawns are coming back. I've been dying to get this one made:

"The Cowboy Princess". It's a musical about a russian princess who hides out in the old west and pretends to be a boy.
It's got everything: great musical numbers, funny sidekicks, and a climax that takes place on train tracks inside an abandoned mine.
There can't be any of that 'gun fighting' and 'whiskey drinking', and the Natives are college educated or pretty much non-existent in our version of the old west, but the musical numbers are to die for.
We have Bill Engvall and Ron White as horses.
And because it's animation, we had to get some magic in there, so we have Andrea Martin as the Water Witch of the Western Wood. She's 'spook'-tacular!
Girls like princesses, and boys like cowboys, so a princess acting like a cowboy will enchant both demographics!"

What can I say?
It looks like hand-drawn animation will pick up right where it left off!
Spook-tacular, indeed!