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by Royston

Cartoons are about ideas, not tools

February 1, 2010 in Comment


Traditional animation: Disney’s The Princess and the Frog

You may have read about the new Disney film The Princess and the Frog, which is out this week. What you may also have read is that it is “a return to hand-drawn animation”.

Bloghorn would like to dispute this by pointing out a simple fact: cartoons drawn digitally are still hand drawn.

The tools may have changed, but it takes as much creativity and drawing skill to create a cartoon digitally as it does using pen and paper. Pixar Animation Studios did not create such awe-inspiring digital films as Toy Story and Up by hitting a key or clicking a mouse.

The Princess and the Frog is, rather, a return to traditional methods of animation, and it’s good too see that these can co-exist alongside digital.

What’s notable is that Disney’s first 2D animated film in five years appears now that Walt Disney Animation Studios is being run by John Lasseter, the creative force behind Pixar and a man who knows that it’s not the tools you use that matter, it’s the ideas and creativity.

Or, as Bob Mankoff, Cartoon Editor of the New Yorker, once put it: “It’s not the ink, it’s the think.”