Monday, 21 December 2015

Waking Sleeping Beauty - The Silver Age

As part of my research into the history of animation I watched the documentary 'Waking, Sleeping Beauty', which explores the silver age of Disney Animation Studios and how much the studio crashed in this time. After Walt Disney passed away the studios went through a time where they produced films that were mediocre and didn't have the same magic as they had once had and in the time period between 1984 - 1994, things had to change in the Disney Studios, otherwise they would end up bankrupt. Roy E. Disney decided that instead of relying on the same people that were already present in the Disney Studios that he would bring in people from the outside that were more business smart to bring more money into Disney. This was when the animation side of the studios were shunned away to another building and at this point the animators felt as though they were soon to be fired. The reason being for this movement was due to previous Disney animated films were failing and not doing very well in the film industry, as well as costing a lot of money to produce. Things had to change otherwise the animation side of Disney would soon have to be completely scrapped, so they had to come up with new ideals and techniques. They started to bring in things like Broadway musical scores to make the animations more interesting and entertaining, where they also brought in people like Alan Menken to encourage this. Menken inspired a lot of the animators as even though he had only been given the treatment to 'The Little Mermaid', he had written all the songs straight away so that they could be animated to. They also decided to bring in computer generated graphics into Disney's animations to give a new technique and look to the films, this really pushed the whole genre of animation as this was something new in the industry that Disney decided to push first. By coming up with all these new ideas and techniques, Disney started to flourish again as a company and soon they created 'The Beauty and the Beast', which was to be one of Disney Studios most successful animations. Although Disney did have a downfall in this time period, they still managed to bring it back with the main help of people like Micheal Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg who even though were not the talent and the animators behind the great films, but were instead the driving force of the company and the people that managed to save Disney from crumbling. They did this by asking the animators to come up with new techniques and ways of doing things instead of always thinking 'what would Walt do?'.

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