tania: (CD - Zakiya: I don't think so.)
I've been hearing a surprising amount of vitriol directed at the Australian Disney studio in the last day or so. Phrases like "cheap lousy sequels" have been bandied about. Some people have applauded the shutdown based on the fact that the studio was turning out nothing but sequels.

I am so fucking sick of uninformed opinions... but hey, that's what I get for reading Livejournal.

Let me explain something to you about the operation of the Sydney studio. We did not write the films. We did not storyboard them. THOSE activities were reserved solely for a creative team of Americans, and we didn't get a say. Believe me, we wanted one. There's nothing we'd all have loved more than making our own film from scratch - and our studio had the talent to carry it.

There are people who see a badly-written animated film and blame the studio that animated it. Again and again I've heard nothing but criticisms of the Sydney studio, but the fact is, they were -amazing- artists. Incredible. And they got better and better with every feature. Disney films made in America had a production time of roughly three years. You know what they got in Sydney? Less than one. Despite this, toward the end of the Sydney studio's run, the animation itself - and the cleanup and inbetweening - was of a quality EQUAL to that of the modern Disney films. In some cases, it was superior. Did you know that 'The Lion King 1 1/2' (or 'TLK 3', depending on where you are) actually contained snippets of animation from the original Lion King?

Perhaps you did know that... but what is NOT widely known is that those snippets had to be re-cleaned up and re-inbetweened because the quality didn't match what we were producing.

Don't be blinded by the fucking terrible, unoriginal stories we received from the US, guys. If you're a good artist, you should be able to compartmentalise the story from the animation and view them as seperate entities; judge each on its' own strengths. Sit down with one of those sequels - 'Three Musketeers', 'Lion King 1 1/2', or the upcoming Bambi sequel. Switch off the sound. Watch the animation, and then maybe you'll start to realise what a precious resource has just been culled for the sake of the mighty fucking dollar.

Before you condemn the Disney name, realise that the creative people - the HEART of Disney - are all gone. The heart was Walt himself. The heart was people like the Nine Old Men, people like Glen Keane and the new blood of the 90's, and people like the emerging talents in Sydney. Don't judge them, don't condemn them; they were used. Condemn the executives who lived like parasites off the legacy that Walt left behind. My friends in Sydney were used and sucked dry, and now that they've been stripped of their jobs, what are they going to come online to find? People saying that it's about time someone put a bullet through Disney Animation's head?

Charming. Way to go.

*grumbles* And now, I'm off to watch 'House'. Only he can match the bitter cynicism I feel right now. Oh look, there's a woman onscreen vomiting blood. I can relate. -_-

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Tania Walker

August 2008

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