Brad Bird (‘Tomorrowland‘,’Ratatouille’) has finally been busy with animation once again with the release of ‘The Iron Giant: Signature Edition‘ and working on ‘The Incredibles 2‘ though it seems he may also want to do another hand drawn animated film. Bird is a huge fan of animated films as his history in film making shows and he thinks that it still has bold new levels which it can be taken to.
When talking about 2D animation he brings up both why there isn’t so much of it as well as hints to where he may want to see it go:
“I actually think it’s a lot more valid than other people do. I think the industry tends to like to think in the narrow sort of mindset of a businessman, and businessman absolutes, and movies really exist in a much grayer region of dreams and stuff like that, and instinct is prized in movies, it’s not prized with the businessmen in movies, but movies themselves often reward instinct rather than pie charts. And what has not been done is that there’s been no American animation done on Disney-level quality that has really gone into different genres.”
So different genres you say? Which ones in particular could he mean?
“For instance, there’s never been a horror movie in animation executed at Disney-level quality and hand-drawn, I’m not talking about CG I’m talking about hand-drawn, but it doesn’t take a lot to imagine how cool that would be. If you think of the scariest parts of Snow White or Pinocchio or Fantasia with Night on Bald Mountain, you could do something really scary in animation and I think if you did it right, if you did it with all the art that Spielberg did Jaws, I think that it would be an amazing experience because there’s something intuitive about when people are drawing directly with their hands.The problem is that every time people have deviated from the Disney playbook in hand-drawn animation, they’ve done so with staff that are nowhere near Disney-level talent or Disney-level budgets. So you have things like Heavy Metal, which not all of them are great, but a couple of them are really interesting, but they didn’t have the money or the artists to pull them off at the level that maybe they should’ve been pulled off. Where as in live-action film there are all kinds of new films being done in different genres where people can really execute an idea at a top level.
It’s just that animation rewards grooming a team and keeping a team in place. That’s why when studios try to emulate Disney on the quick-and-cheap they always fail, because Disney has refined their animation team over years, they have a history of it, people go to Disney and know that there’s going to be a job after the movie, there’s going to be another movie. And when you assemble animation teams the way you do a live-action film, you’re often struggling a bit to get a cohesive team together, so if you have a team that works well together, you’re hoping for another film so that you can refine the team.”
That makes perfect sense. Trying to put together the initial team would be quite an undertaking. You would almost have to have a multi-picture deal in mind when initially setting things up to begin with. That or a guaranteed payday to those involved.
So while he is going to be using CGI animation for quite some time to come as he has ‘The Incredibles 2’ and more live action films on his plate we can expect that eventually he’ll do another hand drawn piece.
“But for someone like me who wants to move back and forth between animation and live-action, that becomes its own challenge, but I absolutely think that hand-drawn animation is valid and I actually hope to do one in the future with a large budget and a longer schedule than we had on Iron Giant.”
Bird makes quality animation that is enjoyable by children and adults alike so one can only hope that he is able to secure the time and funding for whatever he has in mind here. If he ends up wanting to do horror as well I know that I’ll be first in line to check that out.
Source: Slash Film