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Animation 1990 to Present Day

Steve Cavalier | Thursday April 16, 2009

Categories: Film, Animation, 1990 to Present Day, Other Topics

The Digital Era

The 90’s Disney Boom

While the British features stumbled in and out of the cinemas Disney stormed ahead with their animation revival which had began with Roger Rabbit. In the two decades since Walt Disney’s death their feature output had become decidedly patchy. Some high points had been ‘The Aristocats’ (1967) and ‘The Rescuers’ (1977) and by the time of ‘The Fox and the Hound’ (1979) the ‘Nine Old Men of Disney’, the original animators who had been the backbone of the company, were on their way out. They were being replaced by a new hierarchy, new talent both recruited from the Roger Rabbit studio in London and rising stars from the lower ranks at Disney. The next three films were a difficult transitional period until they found their feet with ‘The Little Mermaid’.

The Little Mermaid’ (1989) was a classic princess story with a sassier modern take and some great musical numbers. After this cleaned up at the box office came ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (1991), another fairy tale love story with a modern attitude and another smash hit, featuring some fantastic character animation of the Beast by Glen Keane. ‘Beauty’ was the first animated film to be nominated for an Oscar for best picture and featured some nicely blended computer backgrounds in the famous ballroom scene. ‘Aladdin’ (1992) did even better still, with the genie character stealing the show, voiced by Robin Williams (who like with the Jungle Book actors was allowed to improvise freely) and animated by Eric Goldburg. The biggest hit of all however, and the peak to their 90’s success, came with ‘The Lion King’ (1994), a version of Hamlet set amongst a pride of Lions, featuring some super-slick African inspired design and animation and some great spectacle including a the stampede scene, which was another great example of computer aided graphics blended with traditional animation.

After ‘Lion KingDisney tipped...

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