Disney back to drawing!


Disney returns to hand-drawn animation! Thank goodness.

There’s a beauty and a personality to hand-drawn cartoons that CGI just can’t replace. Don’t get me wrong, I love what can be done with digital animation. But to let it completely replace other styles of animation that have their own strengths? A waste. Since Disney started incorporating CGI into their animation, I can’t say their films have improved much. I still prefer classics like The Rescuers and One Hundred and One Dalmatians to the show-offy Aladdin or The Lion King. Disney’s tradition is time-honored and full of amazing feats, and there’s a cetain “wow” factor when you know that each cell was lovingly hand-crafted. I’m glad it will continue.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Nick

    How many non-screened films have played at the Cannes film festival (out of competition)? Kind of an odd place to focus one’s screenings…

    Also, don’t forget that Alfred Hitchcock’s _Psycho_ was also not pre-screened for critics, but only because it didn’t want to give away a major plot point… which would make sense if only 40 million people didn’t read the darned book.

  • Brian Friesen

    Given how highly calculated the marketing of this film has been, and how closely tied it is to the DaVinci Code-related publishing machine, I wonder what the other strategic reasons are behind the decision. Perhaps they are trying to avoid a firestorm if the film is found to be more damaging than some viewers had assumed – or perhaps the studio execs are finding that the “dialogue” is breaking down (or should we call it a “polylogue?”). This seems to be an example of how hype and opening-weekend mania makes it nearly impossible to actually experience a film for what it is. Mostly what you are watching or engaging is the hype.

  • Trent

    What? Are you saying you didn’t like Ultraviolet?

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Bias aside, the fact remains. What are the other films that haven’t been screened for critics this year? Let’s think back through that list of instant classics…

  • Seventh Leper

    usually a clear sign that it sucks

    Not that you’re biased in the matter. ;)

  • Drew

    calvin college is a rare Christian college which is very intentional about not promoting the false dichotomy of the “sacred” and the “secular” within the arts, especially the popular arts.
    Not to brag about my alma mater, but this past school year also featured sufjan stevens, victor wooten, dennison witmer, Jeff Tweedy, over the rhine, and we still have Jenny Lewis, Low and Nickle Creek coming. Ken Hefner-director of the student activities office, is a huge reason Calvin gets these shows, he and the school take culture and the arts seriously.

  • jasdye

    Quoting Mr. Newman:

    “Themes of racial reconciliation can make for great film. Glory Road was a good example of a movie of this type.”

    Huh? did he even see Glory Road? does he know how preachy and second-hand and cliche and NOT true-to-life that movie is?

    and we’re NOT supposed to air our dirty laundry in public? really? if we can’t be honest about a real problem (which, by the way, this film addresses very well, if not a bit preachy) that we really aren’t addressing in the church, then why should the world hear us when we come to them talking about forgiveness and grace and truth?


  • Gene Branaman

    I don’t follow this stuff all that closely but I’ve had it in the back of my mind that Pixar would break out into hand-drawn animation within 3 or so years. Now, with the Pixar/Disney merger, the don’t have to!

  • Nate

    Calvin College just stepped up a few notches in “colleges that rock”. Good for them.