Classic Disney Toons to Big Screen?

In an interview with Daily Variety, Pixar principal John Lasseter said that the studio is dedicated to creating more original short films, but would also like to release classic Disney cartoons as preludes to animated features shown in theaters. Lasseter hasn’t said which titles he’d like to see back up on the big screen, but the sentiment is in keeping with his reported desire to bring Disney back to it roots and thrust 2D back into the spotlight.

Disney has kept the hand-drawn fires burning to some degree with animated shorts. The most recent of these is Roger Allers’ The Little MatchGirl. Adapoted from a Hans Christian Andersen tale, the film is one of five nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Animated Short. Also up for the award is Pixar’s Lifted, director Gary Rydstrom’s 3D look at how an alien learns the art of abducting a human.

Lasseter told the trade that while there’s no real market for animated shorts, the medium serves as a great training ground for new talent and gives audiences more bang for their buck. “With every Pixar film, we want a short in front of it,” he says. “We want to overdeliver."

With every new movie, Pixar builds on techniques it first developed with the 1986 short film Luxo Jr. Like the Oscar-winning 1997 short Geri’s Game, which pushed the envelope with skin textures and cloth simulation, Pixar’s mini films continue to offer a venue for experimentation and advancement of techniques. Considering rumors about Lasseter’s intentions with Walt Disney Feature Animation, we could likewise see 2D shorts ushering in a new era of hand-drawn features at the Mouse House.


Leave a Reply