Where are the 2d animators

It’s always interesting to see where 2d artists have gone after the decline of traditional, hand-drawn animation for feature films. That might seem an odd thing to say considering that recently a hand-drawn Pooh movie opened in theaters, but also keep in mind that it was animated in Disney’s Japanese studio, which has since closed.

The documentary Dream on Silly Dreamer follows this and similar tales as they unfolded in California and Florida. It will be making the festival rounds, and hopefully will show up in a city near you soon.

Masa Oshiro, who worked on July Films’ My Little World, is probably typical of many animators who have left the industry for a while, or for good. I found this snippet from his bio particularly revealing, a strange unintended mix of humor, hope, and sadness: “As the industry shifted from traditional to 3d animation, Masa left to pursue designing and sculpting small collectables.” (Those are cute turtles, though.)

And then there’s Andreas Deja, perhaps the last of the master animators at Disney who refuses to give up his pencil. He’s working on the direct-to-video Bambi II, trying to infuse as much quality into it so as not to shame the creators. Surprisingly, early stills from the film don’t look half bad, even if the mere concept should be cause for concern. Keep up the good fight, Andreas.

Don Hertzfeldt is in a category all by himself. His latest Animation Show festival hits Austin this weekend and will be a must-see.