Ahead of its 100th anniversary in 2023, Disney is releasing the six-part Disney+ documentary series “Sketchbook” to spotlight six of their top artists as they show viewers how to draw some of the most iconic characters in Disney history. ‘business. However, the show goes beyond an educational resource as the artists discuss the collaborative process behind the animation and the many people involved in creating a character like The Genie from “Aladdin” or Olaf from “Frozen “.
In addition to the new show, this renewed commitment to hand-drawn animation has come in the form of a 12-month training program led by Walt Disney Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee and President Clark Spencer. The six animators chosen from more than 2,000 applicants will be mentored by 2D animators Rachel Bibb, Mark Henn (who draws Simba from “The Lion King” on “Sketchbook”), Randy Haycock and 2D director-animator Eric Goldberg (who is featured in the show’s Genie episode) as they focus on animating and cleaning up characters and effects. In an interview with IndieWire to promote the behind-the-scenes docuseries, Goldberg shared his excitement for a renewed interest in hand-drawn animation:
“I’ve been a long-time advocate for training people to hand-draw, and as CG movies became more and more popular, that idea became less and less important to the studio. But now we have an atmosphere and a group of people who recognize that it’s part of the legacy here, and having content that requires hand-drawn animation is absolutely brilliant, thank goodness we have people who can do both here, but commit really to train a new generation is a wonderful thing and I think perfectly appropriate for [us].”
Unfortunately, while Goldberg says upcoming 2D projects “run the gamut from legacy to originals to hybrids and will include features and series,” he doesn’t go into detail on where and when we’ll see the beloved animation style next. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” camp because, as a lifelong Disney fan, I’m rightfully excited to hear these new developments, especially since they are just in time for the 100th anniversary. However, I will keep the excitement level around five for now until something is announced. At that point, I’ll be more than happy to go up to eleven.
An intimate educational documentary series, “Sketchbook” takes us to the offices and into the lives of talented artists and animators. Each episode focuses on a single artist teaching us how to draw a single iconic character from a Walt Disney Animation Studios film. As we learn the stages of drawing these characters, we also discover that the artists themselves each have a unique story to tell about how they got to Disney and the character they got. selected. From the creators of “Chef’s Table,” this exclusive experience will give viewers of all ages a new understanding of how these beloved characters come to life on screen while introducing them to a new cast of real-life characters along the way. .
Disney’s “Sketchbook” will premiere April 27, 2022 on Disney+.