© 2013 Disney. All rights reserved.

THE HISTORY OF
DISNEY ANIMATION
In 1937, the Walt Disney Studios released its first fully animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and pioneered a new form of family entertainment. More than seven decades later, Walt Disney Animation Studios continues to honor its heritage through animated films that combine beautiful artistry, masterful storytelling and ground-breaking technology.
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San Fransokyo, the fictional metropolis in which the film is set, is actually based on a caricature of property data collected from maps obtained from San Francisco's Assessor-Recorder's office. Three times as complex as any setting from previous Disney animated films, San Fransokyo features 83,000 buildings, 216,000 street lights, and hundreds of thousands of residents. The setting is so large, in fact, that the environments from all three of Disney's previous animated films (Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen) can fit into the city of San Fransokyo.
BH6 clocked 199,000,000 render hours. By comparison, Tangled clocked 11,500,000 render hours, Wreck-It Ralph clocked 21,900,000 render hours, and Frozen clocked 62,800,000 render hours.
Director Patrick Osborne had been shooting one-second videos of his meals for a couple months when he noticed patterns forming — his life reflected in the food he ate. "I wanted to tell a story through the different meals a person eats," says Osborne. "I was interested in how the food alone could reveal that someone's life situation has changed. There's something cool about that."
In order to capture the look of production designer Jeff Turley's concept art, the filmmakers developed new techniques, including a way to break up the edges of shapes on screen. "Jeff used certain paper textures throughout his artwork that made the edges feel less harsh," says director Patrick Osborne. "It looks like ripped paper—but it's challenging to do it in 3D animation because the texture doesn't automatically move with the shape."
Filmmakers invited a real-life reindeer into the Walt Disney Animation Studios, observing the animal's physical makeup and mannerisms, which were later caricatured in the making of Kristoff's reindeer buddy Sven. The reindeer showcased an unexpected technique for taking care of an itch on his ear: he used his back legs—like a dog might do. Sven later adopted the technique.
The character of Kristoff was largely influenced by the Sami people, who are indigenous to parts of northern Norway. The Sami are known for herding reindeer, which may explain why Kristoff's best buddy is a reindeer named Sven. Filmmakers visited a Sami-owned reindeer husbandry business in Roros, Norway.
"I loved the idea of making a Mickey film that felt like a newly discovered 1928 short," says director Lauren MacMullan. "I decided not to have Mickey talk much, because he didn't in those early shorts. We used Walt's voice initially as scratch, but it sounded so perfect. It put us right in that era. Our assistant editor Danya Joseph started to hunt within existing Walt recordings for lines that would fit our story needs, and we were able to tailor our dialogue to reflect what we had."
To create new model sheets for each of the characters, 2D animator Eric Goldberg studied the early Mickey films and pulled frame grabs to find the poses he liked best. For each model sheet he created, he would give the character what he called "a uniform Ub Iwerks pass," and make sure that they looked authentic to the 1928 period. As the CG rigs and models began to take shape, Goldberg played a key supervisory role, doing draw-overs to help achieve the look that director Lauren MacMullan wanted.
In order to visually identify the three unique video game worlds that the movie primarily takes place in, Art Directors Mike Gabriel and Ian Gooding created a unique shape language for Fix-It Felix Jr., Hero's Duty, and Sugar Rush. Fix-It Felix Jr. was comprised of squares, Hero's Duty was constructed with triangles, and Sugar Rush was inspired by circular shapes.
The filmmaking team used different animation techniques for characters within Fix-It Felix Jr., Hero's Duty, and Sugar Rush as an addition to distinguish between the different game worlds. The Fix-It Felix Jr. characters had an 8-bit, staccato influence, the Hero's Duty characters were intended to have hyper-realistic movements, and the Sugar Rush characters had an exaggerated, cartoon-like feel to how they moved.
The film features over 180 unique characters that were created for the film. In comparison, Tangled had 64.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Paperman won the Oscar in 2013 for "Best Animated Short Film." This is the first win in this category for the studio since the 1969 short "It's Tough to Be a Bird."
Looking back at other digital techniques that were created to combine 2D and CG animation like Tarzan's "Deep Canvas," Software Engineer Brian Whited designed a new program called "Meander" which allowed the filmmakers to create the film's unique hand-drawn look in a computer-generated environment. Won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
Tangled marks Walt Disney Animation Studios' 50th full-length animated feature.
A CG animated feature, which raised the bar for human animation in the CG world.
Special software had to be created to simulate movement for the hair since no one had ever animated that much hair before. Her 70 feet of golden hair contained more than 100,000 individual strands.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “I See the Light.”
Bolt's original title was ‘American Dog.’
Bolt was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year.
Bolt was Disney’s first animated feature to be conceived and designed for 3D.
The Princess and the Frog was nominated for 3 Academy Awards for Best Original Song for “Almost There” and “Down in New Orleans,” and Best Animated Feature Film of the Year.
The Princess and the Frog was based on an original story by Ron Clements and John Musker.
Chicken Little was Disney's first complete CG-animated feature film.
Chicken Little was the first to be presented in Disney Digital 3-D.
Meet the Robinsons is based on the book by William Joyce.
Brother Bear's working title was ‘Bears.’
Brother Bear was created at the Disney Feature Animation Studio in Florida at Walt Disney World.
An early version of Home on the Range was titled ‘Sweating Bullets.’
Home on the Range's voice talent Ann Richards was formerly the Governor of Texas.
This was the first animated feature where the backgrounds were all painted by computer.
The "Deep Canvas" technology that was developed for Tarzan was used to create a new process called "Virtual Sets" that allowed the production team to create 360-degree sets for animated environments. This enabled them to use live-action cinematography techniques in an animated world.
Primarily produced at Disney’s Feature Animation studio in Walt Disney World.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Emperor's New Groove was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, “My Funny Friend and Me.”
The original title for Emperor's New Groove was ‘Kingdom of the Sun.’
Atlantis: The Lost Empire directors based the design on the style of cult comic book artist Mike Mignola who served as an artistic consultant.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire Atlantean's had an original readable, speakable language that was created by linguistics expert Marc Okrand.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Levine provided the soundtrack for Fantasia 2000.
Fantasia 2000 was a longtime pet project of Roy E. Disney, receiving his personal supervision.
Dinosaur composited CG-animated dinosaurs against live-action backgrounds for its unique look.
The production team developed a 3D painting/rendering technique dubed “Deep Canvas” to produce 3D backgrounds. The software was able to track brushstrokes applied in 3D space and allowed the computer-generated backgrounds to retain a traditional animation aesthetic.
Animator Glen Keane designed the character of Tarzan, drawing inspiration for Tarzan’s persona from his teenage son, Max, who loved performing fearless skateboarding stunts and watching extreme sports, such as snowboarding. Thus, Tarzan seemed to ‘surf’ through the trees.
Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture.
This film won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, (“You’ll Be in My Heart”.)
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.
In order to create the 1,800+ Hun soldiers, the production team developed a new computer software tool called Attila which allowed them to have each of the Huns move independently of one another without having to meticulously animate each of them.
The is the first film to be primarily produced at the Disney Feature Animation Studio at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida
The film features the first use in animation of the process of morphing, wherein an object is made to smoothly transform into another, utilizing computer technology.
A field trip to Greece and Turkey in the summer of 1994 gave artists a firsthand look at landscapes, ancient sides, and an opportunity to hear expert accounts of classic Greek mythology.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Go the Distance” written by composer, Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel.
At various stages of the production, the creative team for Pocahontas consulted with Native American scholars and storytellers to incorporate authentic aspects of the Powhatan culture into the film.
The look and style of Pocahontas was inspired by the filmmakers’ numerous visits to Jamestown, Virginia, as well as by extensive research into the Colonial period.
Pocahontas won two Academy Award for Beset Original Score and Best Original Song for “Color of the Wind.”
In Pocahontas, the use of strong vertical and horizontal imagery in the design springs from the tall, vertical shapes of the Virginia pine forests and the vast horizontal landscapes.
The Huntchback of Notre Dame was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is from the Victor Hugo epic novel, first published in 1831.
Won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”
Also nominated for two additional Academy Awards for Best Original Song for both “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata.”
The main locations for the film, including Pride Rock and the Gorge, are modeled after Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya.
The project originated a number of years earlier under the title, ‘King of the Jungle.’
Actual live lions were brought to the studio, for the animators to study.
Computer-generated imagery enabled the filmmakers to create the amazing magic carpet ride through the Cave of Wonders, the intricately patterned flying carpet, and the stunning tiger head cave.
Won two Academy Award for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “A Whole New World.”
Also nominated for 3 Academy Awards for Best Effects, Best Original Song for “Friend Like Me,” and Best Sound.
Eric Goldberg, the Genie’s supervising animator, was heavily influenced by the curved, fluid caricature style of artist Al Hirschfeld.
The art directors were inspired by Persian miniatures and Arabian calligraphy.
Art Directors traveled to the Loire valley in France, and studied great French romantic painters, Fragonard and Bouchard for inspiration. The ‘Be Our Guest’ sequence used Computer-generated imagery, along with the creation of a striking three-dimensional ballroom background, allowing dramatic camera moves on the animated characters as they danced.
The film won two Academy Awards: one for Best Original Song (“Beauty and the Beast”) and the other for Best Original Score.
This was the first animated feature to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
Portions of the film were animated at Disney-MGM Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The first Disney animated classic essentially to be a sequel.
Five key members of the creative team traveled to the Australian outback to observe for themselves its unique beauty. The used photos from Ayers Rock, Katherine Gorge, and Kakadu National Park.
This was the first animated feature completely produced with CAPS (computer animation production system) which allowed the film to be created entirely using computers.
First feature done all in CAPS. Also since Jim Jordan, who had voiced the albatross Orville in the original ‘The Rescuers,’ had passed away it was Roy E. Disney who suggested the character of Wilbur, Orville’s brother, as a replacement. The names of course, were a play on the Wright Brothers.
First Disney animated feature based on a classic fairy tale in three decades (since Sleeping Beauty). This film turned to the famous story by Hans Christian Andersen.
This was the last Disney feature film to utilize hand-painted cel animation. It was also the first to use the newly-developed CAPS process (computer animation production system) to generate artwork for a few sequences. This was essentially a digital ink and paint system that allowed artists to create and catalogue their work using computers.
In 1992, the Disney/Pixar team that developed CAPS won an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Scientific and Engineering Award.
Won an Academy Award for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “Under the Sea.”
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Kiss the Girl.”
Disney artists had considered an animated film of ‘The Little Mermaid’ in the late 1930s and illustrator Kay Nielsen prepared a number of striking story sketches in pastels and watercolors. Kay Nielsen received a ‘Visual Development’ credit on the 1989 film.
The Great Mouse Detective animation took just over one year to complete. This remarkably short production span was possible due to new efficiencies in the production process (such as video tests and computer assisted layouts and graphics), and an increased emphasis on story development prior to the start of production.
The climatic scene in The Great Mouse Detective where Basil faces Ratigan in a final confrontation inside the turning and thrashing gear works of Big Ben. The 54 moving gears winches, ratchets, beams and pulleys were literally drawn by the computer.
The Great Mouse Detective is based on Eve Titus’s book, Basil of Baker Street.
The Great Mouse Detective capitalized on the CGI (computer-generated imagery) techniques used for producing The Black Cauldron as layouts were done on computers and the climactic sequence within the interior of Big Ben relies heavily on computer-generated animation.
Oliver & Company designers went to New York and photographed street scenes from a dog’s perspective -18 inches off the ground- getting stares from passerby but providing excellent reference material for the lay out artist.
Oliver & Company is Howard Ashman’s first Disney Feature film.
Oliver & Company was the first film to have its own department set up expressly for the purpose of generating computer animation.
The Fox and the Hound marked the premier effort of a new generation of Disney animators who would, in a few years create ‘The Little Mermaid,’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast.’
The Fox and the Hound featured the song, ‘Best of Friends,’ by Richard O. Johnston, son of animator Ollie Johnston.
Fox and the Hound was based on a story by Daniel P. Mannix.
The Black Cauldron won an Academy Award for the Development of the Animation Photo Transfer Process.
The Black Cauldron was the first film to use the new technological breakthrough - APT (Animation Photo Transfer) process. This was the first major change in the Studio’s method of transferring the artist’s drawings to a cel since photocopying.
The Black Cauldron was 12 years in the making.
The Black Cauldron was the first Disney animated feature to utilize CGI (computer-generated imagery) for creating such elements as the cauldron, bubbles, and a boat in the film.
Based on the original books by A.A Milne.
The film’s animators produced approximately 330,000 drawings, 14 sequences with 1,039 separate scenes and 750 backgrounds.
The film was based on two books by Margery Sharp, The Rescuers and Miss Bianca.
Nominated for an Oscar.
The Aristocats was the first feature-length animated cartoon completed without Walt Disney.
The Aristocats has 1,125 separate scenes using 900 painted backgrounds.
Robin Hood was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, “Love.”
Robin Hood's song composer George Bruns, sought to capture the flavor of the period by using medieval instruments such as French Horns and harpsichords, and occasionally just a mandolin.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “The Bare Necessities.”
This is the last animated feature Walt Disney supervised.
Based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale.
In 101 Dalmatians, the famous Twilight Bark used to rescue the puppies was later adopted as the name for the newsletter for Disney Feature Animation.
101 Dalmatians won a BAFTA Film Award for Best Animated Film.
101 Dalmatians was the first feature to solely use the Xerox© process for transferring the animator’s drawings to cels. This process sped up production greatly.
The Sword in the Stone songs were written by Richard M. Sherman, and Robert B. Sherman.
The Sword in the Stone was based on a book by T.H. White.
This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.
The film had an overall stylistic look conceived by artist Eyvind Earle, today known for his paintings and Christmas card designs.
Based on the Charles Perrault version of ‘Sleeping Beauty.’
The idea for the film came from a short story by Ward Greene entitled ‘Happy Dan, the Whistling Dog.’
A 1940 script introduced the twin Siamese cats eventually known as Si and Am; they were then named Nip and Tuck.
Walt Disney planned as early as 1935 to make this film, arranging in 1939 with the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, who had the rights to the play bequeathed by author James M. Barrie, for permission. Not until 1949 did production actually began.
Cinderella was nominated for 3 Academy Awards for Best Original Score, Best original Song and Best Sound Recording.
Cinderella was the studio's most successful release since ‘Bambi.’
Alice in Wonderland was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.
Alice in Wonderland had been on Walt Disney’s mind since 1933, when he considered a live-action version starring Mary Pickford. He shelved the project after Paramount made a version.
Animation for this film was reused from ‘The Old Mill.’
In Fun and Fancy Free the song ‘I’m a Happy Go Lucky Fellow’ was originally written and recorded for ‘Pinocchio.’
Jim Macdonald began doing the voice of Mickey Mouse in Fun and Fancy Free when Walt Disney became too busy.
Saludos Amigo was nominated for 3 Academy Awards for Best Original Score, Best Original Song and Best Sound Recording.
The Three Caballeros was nominated for 2 Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Sound Recording
This film nominated for 3 Academy Awards for Best Original Score, Best Original Song and Best Sound Recording.
Based on the book written by Felix Salten.
The animators heard lectures from animal experts, made field trips to the LA Zoo, watched specially filmed nature footage shot in the forest of Mane, and even studied the movement of two fawns that were donated to the Studio.
Fantasia was presented in Fantasound, an early stereo system, devised at the Disney Studio, but which required theaters to be specially equipped.
Because of the expense of the Fantasound, Fantasia only opened in 14 theaters.
Fantasia received two Special Awards for the film’s outstanding contributions to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures as well as its unique achievement in the creation of a new form of visual music widening the scope of the motion picture as entertainment and as an art form.
Dumbo is from a story by Helen Aberson and Harold Perl.
Dumbo had been scheduled for the cover of Time magazine at the time of its general release, but was replaced due to the tragic event- Pearl Harbor.
Dumbo won an Academy Award for Best Music; Scoring of a Musical Picture.
From an original serialized story written for a children’s magazine by Collodi (the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini.)
Many film historians describe the film as the most beautifully realized and technically perfect of all the Disney animated features.
This film won an Academy Award for Best Original Score and Best Song, “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Walt Disney was presented with an Academy Honorary Award which featured a large Oscar with seven smaller ones next to it.
First full-length cel animated feature in motion picture history.
First feature-length animated feature to utilize the multiplane camera.
THE HISTORY OF
DISNEY ANIMATION
In 1937, the Walt Disney Studios released its first fully animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and pioneered a new form of family entertainment. More than seven decades later, Walt Disney Animation Studios continues to honor its heritage through animated films that combine beautiful artistry, masterful storytelling and ground-breaking technology.
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