Thursday, November 5, 2009
Disney's "Princess" - Method vs Application
Does an idea have to be anything new in order to be innovative? Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” will be its first hand-animated full-length film in six years. Obviously the animation techniques of hand-drawn films are nothing new, but the context of the animation has changed. Over the past several years, moviegoers have seen an influx of 3D movies – not only fancy 3D graphics like those seen in Shrek, but movies that require the use of special glasses such as Meet the Robinsons or, currently, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. In an era when movies literally pop off the screen, a film that features a traditional animation style has the potential to stand out as something different, even new-feeling.
I think that this movie represents innovation because it breaks from the current norm. It seems to me that old ideas, methods, and technology, if applied in a new situation or context can be considered innovative. Old ideas can be solutions to new problems, causing the application of these old ideas to be innovative.
Disney’s return to old animation techniques seems to indicate that as a production house, it is open to free-thinking – or at least is now. In 2003, Disney made a commitment to computer-based animation after several “hand-drawn flops” (Smith). The studio has changed this strategy, though, acknowledging that this films failed on account of poor writing, not bad animation.
Can an idea exist separately from its application? In my mind, to consider Disney’s return to hand-drawn animation as innovative implicitly states a separation between the technology, method, etc. and its application. Both can be innovative independently.
Smith, Ethan. "For 'Princess,' Disney Returns to Traditional Animation Style." Wall Street Journal 2 Nov. 2009: A1. Print.