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Disney Veterans Gather to Save 2D Animation from Extinction with ‘Hullabaloo’

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Hullabaloo: A 2D-animated steampunk movie that might help keep hand-drawn animation alive.

When I read about this project, I was giddy with excitement. As it turns out, James Lopez (The Lion King, Pocahontas, Paperman), Rick Farmiloe (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin) and other Disney animation veterans have gathered to face a challenge that has been in need of attention for a long time now–keeping hand-drawn animation alive.

We all know that the sheer amount of outstanding CGI movies is overwhelming. Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney–they all went with the flow of time and worked like madmen to create even more complex and more capable techniques to animate in 3D, to make characters even more … alive. The results are surely breathtaking. How To Train Your Dragon, Frozen, Up–those are just a few big names that have already achieved the status of classics in animation history.

But slowly, not only I have come to realize many studios and companies seem to be forgetting something–the thing that started it all – hand-drawing frame by frame to create a flowing movement.

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Every animation fan will agree with me that the traditionally animated movies have nostalgia, a certain feeling that no other media can imitate. And though we are already on our way to combine both the heart and warmth of 2D with the stunning visuals and the depth of 3D (for example with Meander, the program invented by Disney and first used on the short Paperman), it still feels like the huge impact 2D features once had is gradually fading away.

And that’s where Hullabaloo strikes.

The formerly mentioned animators and filmmakers, led by James Lopez, who have already been featured on top-notch Disney productions, have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money, so they can make their idea a reality. Not only could this be the kickstart for a huge 2D animation renaissance, the movie also promotes a lot of things that are still missing from the big (animation) screens, such as:

  • Steampunk: a fashion/art/architecture movement where the Victorian Age meets futuristic technologies. To put it shortly, it not only looks totally awesome, but also deserves much more attention.
  • Female protagonists: Two of them, actually. And they both seem to be talented mechanics/engineers. Girls who beat their opponents with wit and intelligence rather that head-on violence–sounds perfect to me.

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Check out Lopez explaining Hullabaloo in this video below, where you can also see sketches, designs and animation for the film:

Here’s a quick summary of the plot:

Hullabaloo is the story of Veronica Daring, a brilliant young scientist who returns home from an elite finishing school to find her father–the eccentric inventor Jonathan Daring–missing without a trace! The only clue left behind points Veronica toward Daring Adventures, an abandoned amusement park used by her father to test his fantastical steam-powered inventions. There she discovers a strange girl named Jules, a fellow inventor who agrees to help Veronica in locating her missing father and discovering the secrets of his work.” (…)

Through indiegogo.com, the team is aiming to get as many people as possible to donate money, so the project can be put into action. The whole campaign started August 27th and ends October 1st 2014. Donating will give you many exclusive perks, like web content, e-books, an art book, concept art material from the movie, actual animation cells and so on, depending on the sum you donate. They are nearly halfway to their goal of $80,000, so just $1 can make a difference, so I beg all of you to spread the word like wildfire, put it on every social network in existence and simply share, share, share.

Or even better: donate, and keep supporting the project in any way you can.

If the team reaches their $80,000 goal, they have stretch goals that will include producing a second and third short and full orchestra recordings for the soundtrack. According the the creators, if the shorts take off, they could turn the project into a web series, TV series or even feature-length animated film. How cool would that be? To see 2D animation brought back directly by its devoted fans.

A little money can go a long way, and if James Lopez and company should succeed, we will get an amazing 2D animated movie which features clever female protagonists, a Steampunk inspired world and most importantly–we will help hand-drawn animation rise from the ashes and keep the nostalgia alive.

To stay up to date on the latest happenings of Hullabaloo, check out the project’s Indiegogo page, website and Facebook page.

What are your thoughts about ‘Hullabaloo’? Will you donate?

Editor’s note: This is a user-submitted post from one of our readers, Lisa-Marie Hillardt. Here at the Rotoscopers, we do not believe that traditional animation is dead. If you look around, it’s still found everywhere in shorts, TV shows, independent and foreign films. However, you can’t deny that in mainstream feature-length American animated films, they are not as prominent as it used to be. Any reference in this article to “saving” 2D animation is meant to refer only to it in that context. 

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  • Bring it on!

  • Rothbert

    Female protagonists missing from the big screen? Really? Forgot about all of the Disney princess movies? Frozen? Tangled? Brave? I think it should be rephrased as “Female protagonists who aren’t princesses.”

    • rikkibarnes

      Disney princesses aren’t the only ones that get a presence on the big screen either…

      MK from Epic, Mrs. Nesbitt from Secret of NIHM, Anastasia, Coraline, Susan in Monsters vs Aliens, most of the Studio Ghibli films have female leads as well…

      Then we have the likes of Mulan, Lilo, Vanellope (technically a princess but that’s only shown at the end and it’s not a focus of her character), Alice, and a few other heroines in Disney films that are not royalty.

      And the big screen in live action has had many female leads, especially in recent times… Ripley from the Alien franchise, Sarah Connor in Terminator, Katniss in The Hunger Games, Tris in Divergent, The Bride/Beatrix in Kill Bill, etc.

      Despite that, it’s always nice to see new additions to this ever growing list. Hullabaloo looks spectacular and it definitely needs all the support it can get. If everyone interested donates at least a dollar to this, the goal will likely get met. Let’s work towards getting this made!

    • I think the point the author was trying to make was female protagonists who are engineers/scientists/etc., not just females in general.

  • First of all: Thank you so damn much, Rotoscopers, for posting my article! (Yes, I’m Lisa-Marie Hillardt), I am seriously jumping around in my room out of sheer joy! I am so glad Hullabaloo is getting more attention, and I still believe we animation nerds have the power to put this project into action! I’m so excited!

    and @Rothbert: It’s not just the fact that they’re females, or princesses. It’s more about the fact that they’re engineers, they’re mechanics – those are professions that are usually reserved for men. It is refreshing to see that those ‘Steampunk Ladies’ slowly become a big part of the animation scene (I want to mention Asami Sato from The Legend of Korra here – she was introduced mainly as a beautiful, elegant love interest for Mako, but turned out to be not only a skilled pilot, racer, fighter and engineer, but also a very strong, important supporting character (especially for Korra during Season 3.)
    We (and by we I mean girls all over the world, children or teens) need those kind of girls, who show us that we can do anything a man does, no matter what anyone says.
    There is no profession that is reserved only for men. We can be doctors, scientists, mechanics or pilots, too – that’s the message. A message that I believe to be very important in this day and age, for women all over the planet.

    • You are welcome! Thank you for submitting such an awesome piece. It’s hard to keep up on all the different smaller projects, so it really means a lot when someone so passionate about one submits so everyone can know about it.

      And turns out this piece is a hit! Over 115 retweets on Twitter! DANG! People really want to save 2D animation! 🙂

      • No no no, thank YOU. You can’t believe how honored I feel having my article posted on your totally awesome website. And I love that you included the Youtube clip and the development art, I didn’t even know some of this stuff until I saw it here .. you guys ROCK, and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to write for you guys! 🙂

        • Devika Arora

          this is amazing! kudos <3

    • AnimatedMadness

      *Starts throwing money at the screen frantically*

      A disney – style 2D animated Steampunk project?

      1. Awesome!
      2. Why hasn’t this ever been done before?
      And 3. TAKE MY MONEY! THIS MUST BE DONE!

      • Luna

        Disney + Steampunk (+ and extra of space :D) = Treasure Planet 😉 It has been done before. Now, that aside, 2D short film made by former Disney veterans: Count me and my money in!

        • AnimatedMadness

          I gotta disagree, “Treasure Planet” wasn’t Steampunk! *chuckle* To fly around space they used solar sails. To burn the rockets, I believe they used coal or some sort of combustible material. And I’m pretty sure that all those holograms and cyborgs weren’t steam-powered. Now, “Steamboy”? That was Steampunk. Steelehouse Digital’s “The Sky High City of Steel Puff”? That is Steampunk. “Treasure Planet” is more sci-fi territory.

          • Millie Batgirl Skittles

            Treasure planet actually IS considered steampunk given the going theme throughout the movie that the main source of power (Even the robots) was mechanically based. (Steam/coal/windup) Steampunk in definition is not literally limited to steam, but to the absence of modern forms of power/electricity, reverting back to a psuedo-modernized western feel.

          • Sov

            I like to think of it as SpacePunk. Retro human technology mixed with futuristic alien tech. Much like Dieselpunk and cyberpunk this is closely related to steampunk.

        • Millie Batgirl Skittles

          My thoughts exactly.

          • AnimatedMadness

            Guess we can agree to disagree. 😛

            We can also all agree that we are really REALLY excited for “Hullabaloo!”

          • costume-girl

            steam punk is a throwback to the Victorian era. It is meant to be an alternate history for if technology advanced at a faster pace. That being said treasure planet is set in a futuristic would which makes it impossible to be steam punk.

    • Kreion

      I agree that there the message that a woman can do anything as well as a man is one that needs to be understood by the population at large…but the less needed it is to actually use female protagonist as a selling point. You said that they are missing from the big screen yet Tangled, Frozen and Brave come instantly to mind? Granted there are arguments to be made there, and there’s not a 50/50 male/female distribution of protagonists but still – the current is already moving that way. Still it’s undeniably a good thing to have more…though I generally prefer a set of male and female protagonists(regardless of which one is the ‘main’) rather than all male or female but that’s just preference. Also I’d agree that there’s a disappointingly low number of animated films where the girl isn’t a princess – hopefully projects such as this will help that.

      One point…as someone who enjoys Japanese animation it’s pretty irritating to see a lot of talk about how 2D animation is dead. I understand that the article is meant for the west but it wouldn’t be hard to specify that.

      • Cody Hunter

        when they speak of 2d animation being dead they are talking about ones that adhere to the 12 principles of animation also considered full animation. I also love watching anime,however it doesn’t apply because they do not follow the true rules on animation. It is a kind of animation and i do respect it, it just isn’t the same.

        • Dick Magnum

          They’re general guidelines and principles, not THE absolute true rules of animation. Also, they wrote that 30-some years ago. Times change, and it’s already shown in the modern animation methods of the east and west respectively.

          But to say 2D animation is dead just because 3D is prominent here and not every anime studio has the budget of a Miyazaki film seems kind of arrogant.

          • Cody Hunter

            if you even bothered to read my other comment i said some exceptions are their movies, and the rules of animation are still being used in 3D animation,we were taught them at our school because the only difference between 2d and 3d is the medium. i was in no way being arrogant, i was giving her an answer to why people are saying, It is still going on but is dying due to cost. I am in love with 2d, and am almost done with my animation degree.

          • Cody Hunter

            Also, i was giving her the reason my teachers gave me, they are former disney animtors, also some are from major game studious.

      • Cody Hunter

        There are some exceptions like their movies, but for the most part it’s just not there.

    • IalmostAgree

      This looks awesome! I miss the 2D animation and love Steampunk! Though, I do know of one profession that IS reserved for me and for good reason. My job. I am an Infantryman in the US Army. Besides combat roles though, women can do anything.

      • IalmostAgree

        men* not me lol

    • Osj

      I agree with you completely! My daughters are barely 3 and I have already introduce them to Steampunk, robots and classic cartoons. I hope to inspire a love for engineering because of characters like Asami.

    • beefsquad

      Wow!!! Maybe one day they’ll make a movie to show that non-white women are capable of being mechanics too!!! oh wait, don’t tell me…. is there a one, single token black person already? because you know, it’s not like they deserve the same representation as white women or anything….

    • Corey Herron
  • Ella

    yES YES YES PROMOTE THIS. I need this to be a thing.

  • Laura

    This is AWESOME! It kinda reminds me of Bioshock Infinite 🙂

  • Nathan C.

    *inwardly squeals*
    Please please please please do well! I want hand-drawn animation back in cinemas so badly. Hopefully, a major studio can get behind this too.

  • Brian williams

    This needs to happen!

  • Ariel

    I can’t wait!!!!!!

  • There isn’t enough ‘yes please’ in the world. I was starting to just accept that we’d maybe never get another full length, 2D animated feature (despite the new technology of Paperman, Duet etc).

    • There’s a lot of traditional animation in foreign and independent films, but it seems the larger American studios just seem to have abandoned it. I’m not giving up hope though. I feel we’ll see another 2D film in the next 10 years.

  • Carolyn D. Wiesner

    Not to take away from how cool this particular project looks, but didn’t Disney already do a “steampunk” 2D film? It was called Atlantis. Actually, I think Treasure Planet was in a similar style as well.

    • Megan

      Treasure Planet was more closer than Atlantis, but still, neither was quite steampunk.

    • JustinJun

      Treasure Planet most definitely was steam punk in my opinion. Still can’t wait for this project

      • Technically Treasure Planet was steampunk-influenced sci-fi, not steampunk proper. But that’s a different debate. All that really matters is that movie was cool, but so is this one!

        • Laver

          yeah cars are definitely steampunk too

  • Steve Henderson

    Great article. I agree that this project deserves as much attention as possible, I’d love to see more animation with strong female characters in the lead especially something as well crafted as this 2D hybrid project is looking to be. The action scenes look awesome and I look forward to finding out more about the story.

    The only issue I have with this is the fact that projects such as this are saying they wish to “save 2D animation” which is a load of old nonsense. 2D animation is still incredibly healthy with hundreds of shorts, TV specials and series that can be seen at animation festivals worldwide, even 2D features are still relatively healthy anywhere outside the US, what is a dying art is 2D TRADITIONAL AMERICAN FEATURE animation which this project isn’t – it is a short.

    I’d love to see this film succeed because of it looks incredibly well made with a unique world setting and strong vision, but please, this project and others don’t have to keep churning out the same “2D animation is dying” line every time a project like this wants to be made. Sell it on your abundant strong points not some mythological weaknesses.

    • It Is dying, even the famous studio in Japan Miyazaky is going down right now! soon there won’t be any 2d features movies and that’s what is happening in hollywood now! Every one is going for 3d, actually i study 2d – the thing is that Disney used to teach in their studio new interns now they don’t because 2d department is not there any more, so soon even if they want to bring the old style 2d they did they can’t make the same quality and they have to spend a lot of money to train new people and that won’t happen. So In fact there are nor 2d animation movies anymore. Japan is having problem also i truly hope that 2d continues because it’s way better than 3d

      • Steve Henderson

        It isn’t dying. There is more to 2D animation than Disney and Studio Ghibli features (which isn’t going down, just restructuring). If you think otherwise then study harder. There is a wealth of 2D animation available elsewhere.

        • I don’t know what do u mean by restructuring if there’s isn’t as many 2d animation as used to be!? a lot of people who go into 2d animation studies ends up with no job , a lot of companies now is closing that’s in term of 2d animation only, if we are talking about quality Disney is the best by so far and as i said if the information of how to reach that quality isn’t passed then it’ll talk a lot of money to train a whole new people to it so it’ll be harder with the passing time to do so. and don’t get me wrong i support 2d animation and i want to be an animator but it’s just the truth, and all the companies now going for 3d for sake of more money. Even Japan who produces a lot of anime has a problem and outsourcing to other countries , Avatar is being drawn in Korean animation studio. it’s dying but i won’t it’s truly dead if people still wants then there’s hope . The 2d industry is not how it used to be 10 years ago and if it continue to be like this it’s going to die

          • Steve Henderson

            No it isn’t. People see animation as 2D vs 3D which is ludicrous. 2D still exists. When cel animation was created in the 1910’s did all the stop motion and chalkboard animators worry that they were going to go out of business? When Rugby was created after someone picked up a soccer ball and ran with it did soccer die? Things evolve from other things and CG (3D) is just another branch of animation. Theres room on the tree for all. If animators cannot find work then they’re not good enough, its a competitive market and only the best can thrive. 3D isn’t only made because it is cheaper, there are some incredibly talented people working on 3D films, it takes just as much knowledge and training to animate a 3D character well as it does a 2D one.

          • No one said 3d is bad ,no one said that people who works on 3d aren’t talented, but what’s happening here is companies do prefer making 3d instead of 2d for money reasons! saying that 2d animators if they can’t work they are not good enough that’s absurd because many 2d companies is closing , and many talents goes for other things in arts and more people are turning to practice 3d more than 2d, if you lose a good hand now u will need a lot of money to train new people in the future that’s what i keep repeating it for you but it seems you don’t get the point, traditional is very hard and needs daily practice and to reach a feature quality that’s very very hard. anyway Thanks your reply i enjoyed talking with you even if our opinions are not the same and in the end we both like 2d and we wish to see more great things of it 😉 Thanks again!

          • Steve Henderson

            You said “for the sake of the money” which can easily be interpreted as not as good as/not as talented as 2D. Companies do not create productions in a certain medium to save pennies theres more to it than that, also it isn’t necessarily cheaper to make a CG film in 2010 Princess and the Frog (2D) cost $105 Million whereas Toy Story 3 cost $200 Million. Obviously all productions differ but this myth that CG is cheaper and thats why 2D is “dying” isn’t correct at all. I wouldn’t worry about the art of 2D dying also, go to an animation festival you’ll see plenty of 2D films in a vast array of different styles light up the screen. The Disney features will be around forever to inspire future generations.

          • Look here 3d is never as good as 2d, and 2d are harder than 3d, and people who work in 2d are more talented and use their hand more and the base for 3d is again 2d and drawings, THE FACT IS THERE ARE NO MORE 2d Feature movies, can you take this as a fact!! The only studio that used to produce after diseny is GHIBLIS STUDIO and it’s closing down, i don’t see a point of this discussion really, u r only mad because they said 2d is dying let’s say it’s in my opinion dying, does it really matter to you to convince me with your thoughts only?. It’s dying until we see it in the movies again and i hope this will be the end of the discussion. Thanks for your time. Good day

          • Steve Henderson

            1. There are loads of 2D features, you’re not looking hard enough, look to europe, japan etc, just cos’ Disney are not making them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

            2. CG is never going to be as good as 2D and 2D is never going to be as good as CG because they are different things mediums, apples and oranges. You wouldn’t accuse sculpture of being worse than a painting would you?

            I’m not mad, I am trying to inform you that 2D is alive and kicking in feature form, seriously go and have a look for it, I recommend you search for Song of the Sea and get giddy about that coming out, there are many others also in shorts and features you won’t be disappointed 🙂 If you’re not interested in the truth and wish to continue thinking negatively about 2D because Disney are not doing it then that is fine by me I’m not telling you how to live your life.

          • I know song of sea and i do watch animation more than you can imagine by the way. saying it’s dead it doesn’t mean there are no people who makes it any more it simply means it’s out of production and the movies are getting fewer and fewer, there will always be short movies and movies that goes to festivals but a whole production isn’t there any more.
            also i am not looking at it negatively i am just seeing the reality. plus i do love 2d animation and i study it for the sake of my passion for it, regardless if it will stay or not. if it’s not dying it’s good for me don’t you think 😉

            Again thanks for reply and your time

  • Brier Rose

    I’m a huge fan of Tangled and Frozen. I think they are both beautiful 3D films and I love them to pieces, but I think the key to a second Disney Renaissance is to bring back their full length hand drawn animated movies. Even if it was every other year or every few years, it would give people something to look forward to.

    After just watching Aladdin the other week, there’s something about hand drawn animation that’s just so amazing, especially to think that it was all done by hand and had to be drawn by someone. Think up a really good story, find a really good fairy tale or book and turn it into a full length hand drawn animated movie.

    I know it’s not that easy and it takes so much time and money that they’re afraid they’ll fail and never recover the loss, but someone’s got to try it. The directors to Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King all thought their movies weren’t going to be huge hits but they were. If Disney can come up with a movie that has a good story and the same type of quality as the three movies mentioned above, it would help the company greatly. And I’m talking about that kind of quality, with minimal computer interferance, unless needed for special effects (like the ballroom scene and Belle’s dress in Beauty and the Beast, or the Wilderbeast Stampeed in TLK). Even Mulan, Tarzan, and The Emperor’s New Groove handled the use of computer special effects nicely without detracting from the hand drawn animation.

    No one can do a full length animated film like Disney. It’s what they’re good at, and I think it’s time that they return to their roots, even if it’s every other year or two, between their 3D films.

    • Sarah

      Um, look up Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, by far the leaders in animation. Beats Disney, no matter how much I love Disney, and grew up with them, Studio Ghibli is magical on a whole other level.

  • Anonymous

    Yes! Read about this before, and it looks awesome! BRING IT ON! (tossing money at screen).

  • Winged Being

    I kind of want to ask if there’s anything I can do to help. xD I was sadly only really taught the basics of 2D animation, as even animation schools feel it it outdated and focus more on 3D. I don’t really get why they think 2D is dead, 2D is pretty much all that comes out of Japan, and anime is huge in this country; there is a reason why!

    • Cody Hunter

      when they speak of 2d animation being dead they are talking about ones
      that adhere to the 12 principles of animation also considered full
      animation. I also love watching anime,however it doesn’t apply because
      they do not follow the true rules on animation. It is a kind of
      animation and i do respect it, it just isn’t the same.There are some exceptions like their movies, but for the most part it’s just not there.

    • Cody Hunter

      Also the reason for switching is cost efficiency.

      • Not really… 3D can be just as expensive or more so than 2D. Because you have to pay for all kinds of software and machines that can handle it, and people to do the work. Unless you are outsourcing everything… (and even this isn’t always cheaper), you probably aren’t getting a lower cost.

        • Cody Hunter

          it’s because it takes many more people to do a 2d than a 3d, also it is easier to make a change in 3d than 2d in the pipeline,i am giving you the reasons that i got from old disney animators who teach me from school, I would love for it to make come back.

          • Alright, I’ll agree it is easier to change something in 3D than 2D, but their is Digital 2D as well, not just hand drawn 2D; where you can often make changes pretty easy. All hand drawn… yes, it can take a lot longer and a lot more papers can be thrown out and ruined due to those changes and have to be redone. I was thinking more money than time wise. And it also depends on the number of people you have on your team. Because if you have a small team 3D is still going to take you forever… because you have to build your sets, your props, random objects, your characters, do the materials… it does still take time.

            If they didn’t mind a bunch of animation students helping them out, I’m sure 2D animation could have a come back; there were a lot more people at my animation school that still did 2D and preferred 2D over 3D.

  • dylanmentis

    Wowowow. This is the coolest thing I ever seen! This needs to happen! Look at all the beautiful work that has been achieved already, plus the plot sounds intriguing.

  • Indeed Podcast

    This is simply AMAZING. We are going crazy on the news of this and will talk about it on the next show. We will send what support we can by donation and word of mouth. What a beautiful world you are creating here. The color, life and characters are so alive in the clips you gave. Keep it up!

  • Dayle Irving

    geeze, i wish i had the money to Donate right now, but no job at the moment. But stil steampunk! I’d of had a steampunk style wedding if i coudl have afforded it 😀

  • Ilpalazzo

    Female protagonists? No way! Get outta town! Really? That’s so innovative! /sarcasm

  • JustinJun

    Donated!

  • Mr.Sixes

    Not supporting it…

    • DavidisALLright

      All right..wanna a virtual high five? A dinner?

      So you just this… impulse to let everyone here know about it, right?

      • Mr.Sixes

        Right above the small gallery of pictures “What are your thoughts about ‘Hullabaloo’? Will you donate?”
        …..So take that snark and return to sender.

    • AfroWarrior27

      Suck…

      • Mr.Sixes

        why because I voiced my opinion when asked?

        • AfroWarrior27

          Yes. 🙂

          • Mr.Sixes

            mmmmh intolerance

          • AfroWarrior27

            Yes.

          • AfroWarrior27

            Yeah.

  • Katy Snowdon

    this looks amazing

  • brandon

    It looks cool, but I must confess to being one of the few people who’s not going completely nuts about it.

    I think this idea would work great…as a TV series. Doing a feature film means finding a distributor (one who agrees with the idea of putting 2D animation back in theaters) and stepping into a very competitive pool with other animation companies.

    And besides, 2D animation is still alive and well on the small screen. Putting this on Netflix would be a stroke of genius.

    • Except that they’re not trying to make it a feature film. The indiegogo page says they’re making a “short film” with the chance for additional “episodes” if it reaches enough stretch goals.

  • Jaclyn Cullen

    This is a seriously cool project – and in addition to Mr Lopez there are a TON of cool people already attached (Bruce Smith?! Minkyu Lee?! IM DYING OVER HERE). I’m on a serious budget after a month of expensive travel but I may have to scrounge up SOMETHING to help get this thing going.

    Minor quibble that since it’s not going straight to feature length the “save 2D” thing is a teeny bit overblown, but if that push is helping more people find the project then I guess I can’t complain that much.

  • Laurent Donnay

    It is a very nice project. We, TouTenKartoon Canada inc., would be more than happy to help any manners.

  • JayArby

    The 2D animation looks great, but it wasn’t pure 2D, unfortunately. 2d should not be mixed with 3D IMO. (Some of the sets/vehicles/etc. were computer-rendered)

    • Ed Rhodes

      When Disney did “101 Dalmations” the car was a real model filmed and merged with the background. (It shows up best where the car hits the snow bank and you can see the “snow” isn’t animated.) You use the tools that work.

      • JayArby

        I’m objecting primarily to the visual result. It doesn’t look right to me because of the totally disparate style of the computer generated elements. I have nothing against using the tools.

    • Brittany Kay

      A lot of animated features since the mid/late 80s has had some help with CGI. The only problem I have with the CGI here is that it doesn’t blend in well at all. It looks weird to see 2D characters in a 3D background and its throwing me off constantly. I feel like they need to do a better job meshing the 3D models with the 2D animation otherwise uncanny valley will kill the film.

      • Marbles471

        Ironically, in my opinion one of the relatively few times it was blended well was way back in the ancient days of “Great Mouse Detective” and “Oliver and Company.” The reason it blended so well in those cases is because the computer animation was created in wireframe form, then transferred onto animation cels as Xeroxed outlines—-just like the animated characters were. They were then colored using exactly the same paints that were used for the characters. So the textures didn’t clash at all.

        There have been successful blends since then, of course, done after cels were long gone, but part of the reason it’s harder to cite examples is because when things meld well together, you tend NOT to notice, and that’s the way it should be. It’s the stuff that doesn’t meld well that sticks out and sticks in our memories.

        • JayArby

          yeah, the Emperor’s New Groove used a similar process that worked really well for certain elements.

        • Great points!

      • Brier Rose

        Totally agree!

    • Brier Rose

      Exactly what I was thinking. I’d prefer to see traditionaly animated films that are done like like Aladdin, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas where they did use some 3D, but it was only done for certain special effects and props i.e. the magic carpet, the stampede, Belle’s dress, canoes etc. The way they did it for those films was almost like layering the 2D with the 3D so it didn’t have that jarring “I’m a CG animated effect!!!” type of feeling like some of the 2D/3D blended stuff you see now.

  • WinterGriffin

    Sometimes I get the feeling people see 2-d vs. 3-d animation like Vinyl vs. CDs or mp3. As if the only main people are unhappy to see less 2-d is personal nostalgia, and that the shift to 3-d computer animation is just technological progress. But that’s totally the wrong way to look at it. 3D animation is awesome but it can never hope to achieve what 2-d can. Just like 2-d will never be able to do many of the things 3-d can. They’re different mediums with different aesthetic vocabularies, advantages and disadvantages. And by leaving 2-d in the dust you leave behind an entire mode of expression making movies as whole that much less diverse.

    • Marbles471

      You nailed it. The whole way this issue is framed really bothers me. They’re two different mediums. CGI is not a “progression” beyond drawn animation. No more than oil painting is a “progression” beyond watercolors.

      For somewhat related reasons, I refuse to refer to this medium as “2-D animation.” To me it’s a shallow, thoughtless term, partly because it was only invented as a way of deferring to CG—-in other words, letting CG’s existence dictate the framing. “Hand-drawn,” or just “drawn” is what I call it, and always will.

      I wish I could donate to this project. I’d LOVE to see it gather a lot of attention and really turn out interesting and compelling. Here’s hopin’!

  • Haley TheRadiant

    This looks like a great idea and a great cause, my first love will always be 2d animation, and I hope it can still be alive somewhere!

  • Jorpho

    I can’t read about professional animators desperately trying to keep 2D animation alive without thinking of Mike Nguyen (“The Iron Giant” and a whole bunch of other things). Except he’s been working on his film for fourteen years now and there’s still no sign of release…

  • Nelson Guerrero

    Yes! I will donate. looking forward to this project to life. Also Please this name in mind. This man mans name is Kevin Kliesch. He’s an amazing composer with an excellent background of of working as an orchestrator for many film projects. His projects even including disney films and those disney films he served as an orchestrator for are Enchanted(2008),Tangled(2010), The Muppets(2011), The Paperman Short and Frozen. He evan has composed a few critically acclaimed projects such as Tangled Ever After Short, 2 DC animated Projects, Currently composing the music for Disney Juniors Sofia the First and last in my opinion one of his greatest works in orchestra The Reboot for Waner.Bros ThunderCats(2011). Believe me i wouldn’t kid with you about this man. He’s amazing for what he dose. If ya like check him here’s his website. Still in the works, but it’s still enough for you to know. http://kevinkliesch.com

    I’m telling you this because not only do i love his work, but believe his work should be just right for this project. If already got someone else in mind then what hey. Just saying that ya should keep him in your list.

  • musicgeek

    The villain (I presume) looks like a relative of Dan Backslide from the classic “The Dover Boys.” All in all, looks like a cool project.

    • Brier Rose

      That’s exactly what I was thinking!!!

  • Ed Rhodes

    My only complaint is by doing this, they won’t be able to do “Girl Genius” since the formats are similar (“similar,” I am -NOT- claiming any rip off here) Well, if it DOES become a hit, maybe Dreamworks will look to “Girl Genius” as competition.

  • Guy Incognito

    Proof God Exists

  • Cheyenne Allen-Hinds

    Nostalgia Critic sent me. This looks AMAZING!

  • Ai Coil

    I want another 2D renaissance for Disney! I very much do not like 3D animation. We need more 2D Disney! and this is such an amazing concept 🙂

  • Tom Islava

    I hope these shorts go well! As much as I like 3d animation, I really want 2d animation to stay alive. With that said, I was pretty disappointed with Princess and the Frog. While I loved the animation, the characters, and the music, my main problem was actually the script itself! To me the story and the dialogue, while good, felt pretty half-baked. It didn’t really feel that overall sharp, spontaneous, or even that dynamic, at least not to me. It felt pretty predictable. I think that was one of the reasons why Princess and the Frog didn’t do as good as we hoped, while films like Tangled and Frozen did the opposite. I’m sorry, but this is a case of tough love. I hope you guys do great. Keep up the good work.

  • It’s been a while since I’ve seen a 2D animation film. I hope there are more to come.

  • Southpaw Twisters Jenni

    Ohman, I can’t wait to see this in action. 2D animation is by far my favorite medium. This project MUST succeed! It breaks my heart to see so many studios moving away from it.

    Count me, and some cash, in!

  • Target

    this will be epic, comparable to Japanese top class amines i’m looking forward to see it come to light wish I had the financial standing to donate towards it

  • Nessam

    While this is an awesome project and I’m very excited for it, I really feel the way it is portrayed as the salvation of 2D animation is just… not right. While Disney and Dreamworks have decided to focus on 3D, those are just 2 studios. Big studios, granted, but all the articles I’ve read about Hullabaloo make it sound like 2D is already dead and buried and this project is attempting to revive it or something. 2D isn’t dead yet!

    Have you not heard of beautiful traditional films “Song of the Sea” and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” heating up the race for the Oscars? What about popular American series “Avatar the Last Airbender” and “The Legend of Korra”? You all call yourselves big animation fans, but you’re never looking beyond of Disney and Dreamworks? Which by the way, is precisely what is making the market such a difficult one to create new 2D movie and series for. So called fans won’t watch them if it doesn’t come with a Disney label! I doubt Hullabaloo would have been funded if Disney animators hadn’t been working on it.

    Don’t get me wrong, they should be doing the project of their dreams and it,s an amazing thing that they’re getting their funding, but all I’ve been hearing the last few days is “let’s save 2D!” 2D is still very much alive. If you like animation so much, open your horizons. 2D is adapting and changing. Features like “Song of the Sea” use the full potential of traditional “flat” media to create completely unique visuals that 3D just couldn’t recreate. There is more to animation than the Disney style.

    A lot of TV series now use cut-out 2D animation, which while it isn’t the same as traditional, also has given a lot of jobs to animators all over the world who previously were not hired because a good part of the work was being done in China or Korea for a fraction of the price. With new cut-out techniques, the work’s being brought back home and studios are hiring more and more animators.

    • Sarah

      THANK YOU!!! I was a little angry that no one else mentioned Avatar and how are these people into 2D animation but they haven’t even acknowledged Studio Ghibli? There is more to traditional animation than Disney.

      • Nessam

        Yeah especially since Hullabaloo is an animation SHORT. 2D feature movies are rarer these days, that’s true, but 2D shorts are really common! I’ve been to animation festivals all summer and I’ve come across tons of amazing 2D shorts and a few full lenght movies as well. Hullabaloo is a fun project and I’m glad it’s doing so well, but all these journalists claiming that one 2D short is going to bring about a new golden age of 2D are just proving how little they know about this industry… Traditional animation would have been saved a long time ago if people paid attention to what’s being done outside of the big mainstream studios.

        • BTW, this was a user-submitted post by one of our readers. We accept posts from our readers who want to share their thoughts on certain topics.

          We as a Rotoscopers staff definitely know that 2D animation is not dead. Especially in independent films, TV and shorts. Our “Indie-mation” section for independent animation highlights a lot of these traditionally animated projects that don’t usually get mainstream attention.

          http://www.rotoscopers.com/category/indie-mation/

      • I agree that 2D animation is not entirely dead. But in features, it is dying. Yes, there is Studio Ghibli, but even Ghibli’s future is uncertain with Miyazaki retiring and no set gameplan for features at the moment. It’s quite sad to be honest.

        I’m also a HUGE Korra fan, but also, that show is coming to an end. Nickelodeon is steamrolling through both Book 3 (and, just announced, Book 4) without giving the series justice. I doubt it’s the fact that the show is traditionally animated, but Nickelodeon doesn’t seem to believe in it.

        The reason I’m excited for this project is because it has the potential to maybe become a feature. It seems that right now we’ll get a handful of shorts, but, if it takes off, there is the change that it could become a feature. And that’s tremendously exciting. Still a long shot based on the current state of feature-length traditional animation, but I hope not. I hope the big studios have all watched the excitement for ‘Hullabaloo’ with interest. Who knows. Maybe one of the big studios will see the potential (and HYPE) and pick it up. I can only hope.

  • Sarah

    2D Animation is NOT dying….apparently Disney is ignoring the fact that Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender is hugely successful and still going strong and it is some of the BEST animating I’ve seen done in an American series in a long time (even if it was animated in Korea). And it has strong female protagonists, especially in the sequel series The Legend of Korra. Sooo, I have a feeling Disney legends are hopping on an opportunity to profit seeing as how 2D animation is still sought after by the public…

    • Nessam

      After Princess and the Frog didn’t do so well, Disney concluded that 2D wasn’t cool anymore. Of course that’s a load of bull. Princess and the Frog didn’t do so well because the story was lacking. I’m guessing they will understand that one day and give 2D another try. In the meantime, the best we can do to support 2D is to watch what’s being done. Like you said, Disney are NOT the only ones doing animation in America, and certainly not in the world! There are plenty of great 2D movies, TV series and animation short getting made every year!

    • I think the notion that “2D animation is dying” only relates to feature animation. 2D animation is still alive and well in TV, shorts and independent/foreign films. Aside from Studio Ghibli, it’s largely absent from American features.

  • Cody Hunter
  • James “Prince” Hood

    As much as I’m in love with hand drawn animation, I am not exactly fond of this project. However, that’s not the main reason why I’m here commenting at this moment. I have nothing against the Disney style (although I will admittedly say that I’m not a huge fan, just an opinion), it just sort of irks me when an article such as this names a bunch of Disney 2D animators and immediately labels them as the ‘saviors of animation’.
    Saviors of animation? I will not deny that these very souls are creative, inspired and hard working people who have touched many hearts from their classic films and continue to this day. Nevertheless that begs me to question, what about the other hundreds of animators all over the world who have equally created their own quality animation these past couple of years? Are they neglected because they don’t work for a prestigious company such as Disney or simply that the company is always portrayed as the rite of passage for anything animation.
    Maybe I’m just missing the point entirely..

    • I agree that there are thousands of animators around the world that are contributing to the art form in their own way. But many are doing it on a small scale (like Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi’s ‘The Dam Keeper’ for example). Or it’s TV. I think people want to see 2D revived for the masses.

      Hullabaloo is currently set for shorts only, although I can’t help but think the hype of this project could lead potentially to a feature film, which could bring 2D animation back into the spotlight.

  • Aliscen Khaw

    former disney veterans!!screams!!! I really miss 2d films and working with toonboom is so much different than hand drawing which I love~~

  • Fan

    I love the idea of bringing 2d animation back to life. Notice that this is only dying in America; in Europe, Latin America and Asia 2d animation is still strong and awesome.
    My only concern about this project, is how digital this looks, you want to revive that traditional feel for animation, yet this looks too similar to Princess and the Frog, even to Zoids for that extent. And I know today is impossible to make this kind of projects with traditional tools, but with such bad 3d effects and bad 2d coloring you are not giving this any outstanding vibe.
    Taking The Princess and the Frog as reference again, I liked the movie, loved Ray, but the coloring and lightning effects were very under Disney’s quality. The shading is soft and carelessly done, the textures just feel pasted and the light invasive. Please do take some digital painting intensive practice/workshops before taking this project ahead…. I insist, I love this project, I love 2d animation, but Marvel comics, Cartoon Network animations, Gainax and even digital era Simpsons have awesome coloring and lightning effects, that Princess and the Frog did lacked a lot….. and so this project seems to lack /:

  • Winds of Autumn

    I may not be able to donate as I am tight on money, but I am spreading the word where ever I possibly can! I have been a 2D animation fanatic since I knew what it was! When I was 6, I discovered that I had more fun watching a movie frame by frame & then watching it through at normal speed with sound than I did just watching the movie like a normal kid! Animation has always & forever amazed me, & while I can’t animate a thing myself, I do love to draw & sketch. I hope I never see the day when 2D animation is truly extinct, & I will do all in my power to prevent that tragedy. Good luck on this, & I will keep spreading the word! Thank you so much for making a comeback to show people what traditional animation can really do! CGI can be great, but it will never possess the heart that comes through with 2D, & that is what truly draws me to it.

  • iWill

    If only I knew earlier this was happening… I just found out about this whole project and all I can say is ‘thank you’ to all these brave people who dare do what not even Disney itself does anymore. Everything seems right with this, and there’s no better choice for a comeback in hand-drawn animation than steampunk. I hope they were able to make this happen, I’m praying for tfilms like ‘Hullabaloo’ to be made. Because there’s really nothing as magical than a computer-assisted hand-drawn animated film; except perhaps a stop-motion film.

  • Zachary Schiferl

    Seems like it surpassed the amount of money needed… Someone plz consider creating a group, that is dedicated to continuing animations, that were/abandoned/given up, or dead. Think of Scooby doo mystery the crystal cove one, or talking friends(tom and angela type, you know, on disney.com) they ended that,someone continue all the good old shows!! (2d,3d, 09852903850943509234—d just CONTINUE THE SHOWS!!!!!!!)