Check Out This Loving Tribute to 2D Animation

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There are two houses of thought when it comes to the current state of 2D animation. There are those who feel that 2D animation continues to thrive on TV, the Internet, and in areas outside the US. Then there are those that argue that a industry-wide renaissance in 2D animation is still a possibility. Either way you lean on the subject, there’s no denying that traditional animation is where it all began. This industry wouldn’t be where it is now without the incredible work that was born from the tips of many an animator’s pen.

With all that being said, I bring you this neat little tribute (courtesy of The Animation Guild blog) that celebrates the legacy of traditional animation:

The video begins with this quote from Eric Larson, one of Disney’s legendary ‘Nine Old Men’: “There are only two things that limit animation. One is the ability to imagine, and the other is to draw what you imagine.”

From there we are treated to an eclectic montage featuring footage of 2D animators shown working and commenting on their craft and moments from a wide-ranging number of 2D-animated works.

And when I mean “wide-ranging”, I mean just about every 2D animated feature ever produced is showcased in this video. From the various Disney films to Studio Ghibli classics to Glen Keane’s most recent Duet and everything in between. The creator even makes the odd choice of including a few anime shows and one non-Studio Ghibli production (Five Centimeters per Second), but it still serves to get the video’s central point across.

From beginning to end, this was obviously made by somebody who is staunch supporter of 2D animation and the continued existence of its craft. This is readily apparent when the last clip the creator uses to close out the video is from Hullabaloo, an Indiegogo-supported animated project that was reported on last September to a universally enthusiastic response.

But alas, even as we look back with a sense of nostalgic joy, supporters of 2D animation will have quite the uphill climb if they want to challenge the now industry-wide norm of CG animation.

As cynical as this sounds, this may only happen if (as Steve Hulett points out in his post) two or more hand-drawn features gross $600+ Million at the box office. Furthermore, said features would have to have stories that grab audiences in order for that to happen.

In conclusion, I honestly don’t think that hand-drawn animation will fade away. But for there to be a big-screen comeback, a film would have to do very big numbers and draw in just as many people.

What do you think? Do you like the video? Would you like to see hand-drawn animation make a comeback to the silver-screen?

Edited by: Morgan Stradling

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About Brandon Smith

Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.
  • Beautiful. But I didn’t see anything from the Emperor’s New Groove. Or even the old Winne the Pooh. 🙁

    • Tim Tran

      You aren’t expecting the guys to cram in every single piece of 2D animation in history are you?

  • Chelsea Robson

    That video made me so happy. 🙂

    • Baymax

      Me too. It was very emotional and showed how animation could be. I am very glad I took the time to watch this. This tells people to not forget 2d animation and it does. You are my idol, Chelsea. I tell my friends about you. You are very funny. Did you take comedy class?

      • Chelsea Robson

        Haha, Well, thank you! I wouldn’t call myself a comedian but I thank you for the compliments just the same!

  • Fadi Antwan

    Beautiful. Please don’t let 2D die in the U.S.

  • Jack

    I loved that thing! 2D animation can be so beautiful with style but except for Lego Movie 3D animation looks waaay too much the same.

  • Oh this is just so sweet, and made me teary eyed a little since well I miss 2d so much for their classic style but don’t get me wrong I always love any kind of animation but 2d has grown up with us and its sad to see it die, but hopefully we all can keep it alive!

  • Made me cry! Very unique tribute to include the inspiring quotes from the artists, & it was great to see less popular films too like Garden of Words. Or unfairly forgotten treasures like Balto..
    Kinda hoped to see even more unique looking feature films like Cartoon Saloon’s, or Princess Kaguya, or TekkonKinkreet, but I guess I could go on. 2D has endless visual possibilities, even more in the short film realm. Still this video was sooo beauuuutiful & well done! I know there are whole generations of people who would love to see more local 2D theatrical films, and can appreciate the unique qualities & feelings it can offer. alongside its CG cousins.

  • This was a beautiful tribute to 2D that was edited so well and had fitting music to go along with it. Only in the past few years have I realize what a labor of love it is indeed to create hand-drawn animation and am still amazed how Disney got started with “Snow White” back in the 30’s. It looks like GCI is here to stay mainstream for profit use and time efficiency but I hope that 2D can continue to exist in different forms of media: television, special shorts and promotions, etc.

    I’m so glad they used moments from movies such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Prince of Egypt” because those are two of my favorite 2D films. They are beautiful to watch (especially scenes such as the Beast’s transformation or the splitting of the Red Sea) and also emotionally compelling stories told through film.

    • rbrtck

      As much as I love hand-drawn animation, having grown up with it, CGI is just as valid an artistic medium. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but I have to say that CGI is no less painstaking, and if anything quantitatively seems to take more work (time or money or some of both) overall to achieve the same level of refinement. And as much as I’d love to see the return of hand-drawn theatrical feature animation (alongside CGI), in my view being done in CGI in no inherent way takes away from any movie. Maybe studio executives view CGI as being more profitable in this era (whether that is actually true or not), but that’s beside the point.

  • dylanmentis

    makes me even more excited for Hullabaloo!