Bring Back the Classics

Reese Bennett, Columnist

When Walt Disney Studios first started making movies, they used traditional drawing and 2D (two-dimensional) animation to bring their stories to life. Walt Disney, the founder of the movie company, created films such as “Bambi,” “Snow White,” and “Sleeping Beauty” with this technique. Now, however, all of the movies that Disney creates are 3D (three-dimensional) animation, such as “Finding Dory,” “Coco,” and “Zootopia.”  When I say 3D, I don’t mean the kind of 3D where you pay for an expensive ticket at the movies to wear glasses and have the movie seem as though it’s actually around you. This kind of 3D animation is where the characters have shape and appear dimensional, versus 2D animation, which is practically just an animated drawing. The 3D animation movies are incredible, and Disney shouldn’t get rid of them, but it’s not an uncommon wish that they’d bring back the classic style of 2D animation.

2D animation is unique. Each movie was given its own personality with the 2D animation, and was just as enjoyable to watch as the movies made nowadays. Because it is animated drawings, there’s a wide variety of styles and paths it could go down. I draw often in my free time, and I observe other artists around me as well. If you pay attention, it is easy to see that everybody has a different style. Disney hand-drawn animators all have their own style that make each movie special, and you just can’t get quite that same stylization with 3D. Take “Lilo and Stitch” for example. The movie has a distinct style. Then, compare it to “The Aristocats.” They’re both 2D animations, yet the styles for the humans and animals are so different. There are a couple of characters in recent movies that have exemplified creativity, such as Maui in “Moana” or Baymax and GoGo in “Big Hero 6,” but computer-generated animation has its limits, believe it or not.

However, there are also some incredible things you can’t achieve with 2D animation. For example, detail. The backgrounds in movies such as “Moana” are exquisite. The amount of detail in the ocean alone makes the movie much more real and amazing. No one can argue Disney also did an incredible job with 2D backgrounds though, such as the scenic shots in “Bambi” or the cities and landscapes of “101 Dalmatians.” Nonetheless, 3D animation gives objects, human or not, more depth and texture. There is an endless surplus of details captured in 3D animation treasured by fans of Disney and posted on the internet to see, such as the pores on characters’ faces and reflections of characters in the whites of eyes. Plus, not all classics are 2D animated. It’s still a different kind of classic, but 3D animation has produced movies like “Monsters Inc.,” “Toy Story,” “Up,” and “Wall-E” that many people grew up with and love.

Maybe some people think the time of 2D animation is over. 3D animation has done better in the box office, it takes a shorter time to animate, and it seems to fit more into this time period, but there’s no denying it wouldn’t hurt Disney to try 2D animation again. Although it may have not racked up as much money as 3D movies like “Tangled” and “Frozen,” “The Princess and the Frog” earned $267,045,765 in the box office, and was labeled as successful by Box Office Mojo. This movie was released in 2009, and as 2018 comes up, Disney could definitely make an even more successful and quality 2D movie. They should mix it up a little with both 3D and 2D animation to please the audiences that miss and love the traditional hand-drawn style from Disney’s Golden Age.