The live broadcast of the highly acclaimed awards show, The Academy Awards, featured the likes of Walt Disney Animation Studios- sweeping the animation awards and taking home Oscars for Big Hero 6 and Disney's Feast, winning the Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short Feature Oscars. I am privileged to give a huge congratulations to Disney Animation for their week deserved awards sweep! More on what this means for the future of Disney Animation after the break!
After the success of 2013's Frozen, Disney is having an amazing awards circuit run. The amazing success and reviews for their two awards contenders, Big Hero 6 and Feast, have added to amazing new renaissance that Disney is experiencing. Thanks to the new creative leadership from Pixar constructors John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, Disney Animation has changed from an executive driven studio to a director driven studio, an exiting new direction for the once struggling studio. Following in the unprecedented legacy of Walt Disney, Lasseter and Catmull have done an amazing job of not only bringing their Pixar sensibilities to Disney, but also sharing that leadership and building new creative heads in house (at both studios). This new breeding of talent based inside their perspective studios has enabled Lasseter and Catmull to continue to manage both animation studios incredibly successfully, resulting in groundbreaking and timeless films.
Although Disney Animation does not have a feature coming out in 2015, they will be back in 2016 with not just one but two features, both of which look incredibly creative, resilient, and timeless works that definitely can stand the test of time. It's pretty safe to say that the 2016 Oscars will be a tie-up between Pixar's Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, the first time in the studio's history of releasing two features in the same year. However, the 2017 Oscars should be a little more interesting. Pixar will be releasing Finding Dory, while Disney Animation will be releasing Zootopia and Moana. I think it's safe to say no matter what happens, The Walt Disney Company does not have to worry about their animated projects for at least foreseeable future. And although we don't know much about what the slate will look like in five years, it's also safe to say that The Walt Disney Company will remain the king of animation for a very long time.
As for Disney's Feast, the short film that coincided with Big hero 6 not only on the silver-screen but also on the blu-ray combo packs, the short's success is very telling of the creative look of the future of Disney Animation. There has been talk for the past couple years since Moana has been announced that there is a possibility of the Paperman/Feast look being applied to a feature film. While we don't have any confirmation, I would place my bets that we will see the 2D-3D conversion on a Disney Animated film in the near future. While it may not come with Moana (and surely not Zootopia), Disney's other projects including Giants and the in-progress King of the Elves could be exciting contenders. Either way, I know that many people would be intrigued to see Disney explore new techniques with story telling and the look of their features. The future of Walt Disney Animation Studios is very bright, and I am very excited to see the studio prosper in the way that Walt could have ever imagined.