By Yasmeen Ali
Lucasfilm Lighting/FX intern Alexandra Shaulis believes Disney's animation is the closest to magic she can find in the real world. “As a man with a mouse and a dream once said, ‘It's kinda fun to do the impossible.'"
With its newest release, "Frozen 2," Disney has yet again swept the audience off their feet. Disney Animations continues to expand its repertoire to attract demographics of all types. Walt Disney Animation Studios is known for recreating the nostalgic fairy tales we’ve grown up with since 1923.
Artist Chihiro Takogawa expressed her thoughts on the movie: “It was visually striking and beautiful. It was a movie I could have as an inspiration as an artist.”
Takogawa and Shaulis are part of a large community that posts their art on social media platforms such as Instagram. The online art community is composed of artistic creators who use references for their artwork and offer commissions online for the public who might want to buy their artwork. Their content covers a variety of topics from social issues to fan art of classic animated characters.
Disney's social media posting influences the art community with their visual environment and character design compositions that you can find on animator's Instagram pages and other social media platforms. For example, after the release of "Frozen," the animators posted the process of developing the characters and scenes of the movie.
In 2013, Disney released the first "Frozen" movie, which took over the internet with its beautiful graphics and award-winning music. Many artists drew inspiration from the film as they had from Disney animations from the past.
Shaulis said, “In Frozen 2, the scene where Elsa runs up the frozen water as it crashes down is a visual effects dream. I love her determination, and the detail in her animation.” After watching the movie, people believe Disney's attention to detail in their films has improved tremendously.
Art Credit: Chihiro Howe Takogawa
Disney’s Animation studios have slowly improved their animation technology as the years have gone by. In their new movie "Frozen 2," the animations are immensely detailed to the point where fans have been able to discern the stitches and fabric textures of their clothes.
The variety of fans who are attracted by Disney's technological and artistic improvements include young aspiring artists such as high school students. Many creative minds from different kinds of students at Summit Public Schools: Tahoma have been impacted by Disney’s animation.
Tahoma junior Carolina Lopez, a self-taught artist, described her fascination with their visual improvements: “I think Disney has tried ... to make their work adapt to the new 3D views and makes it look a lot more realistic stylized but still in the realm of realism.”
Art Credit: Chihiro Howe Takogawa
Many artists on social media and students at Summit Tahoma considered Disney as an essential part of how they grew up. They have animated inspirational, iconic stories in order to convey a life lesson to future generations that people love, and it all started with Walter Elias Disney.
Walt Disney was an American animator, producer, and showman, most known for his creation of Mickey Mouse. His movies commence with a short introduction of the classic mouse whistling a tune on a steamboat before transitioning into a scene of a dream-like castle with another one of his characters, Tinkerbell, flying over the castle. He presented innovative stop motion animations that many have come to adore as a part of their childhood.
Art Credit: Alexandra Shaulis
Disney’s legacy continues today through a production studio targeting younger audiences, attracting aspiring artists as well. In addition, the studio includes short films, such as “Paperman”, “La Luna”, and “Feast”, for people to enjoy before watching the movie.
The story “La Luna,” which was released in 2011, portrayed a boy sailing with his father and grandfather to where the moon meets the sea. When they arrive on the moon he is conflicted about whether to follow his father or grandfather when arranging the stars. Many were captivated by the film’s luminous effect of the stars against the night sky. Tahoma junior Aurylina Nguyen said, “The stars were nicely animated and smooth for a short film.”
Through the hard work of animators, the art community strives for increased quality in their fan art and other creations to match professional work.
Takogawa explained in an email interview, “There are many artists and animators who want to get into Disney, and I think Disney's art style (particularly Glen Keane and concept artists like Jin Kim) has become the mainstream style among those animators and aspiring animators.”
Photo Credit: Chihiro Howe Takogawa
Visual Arts teacher Mathew Scicluna said, “Disney’s visuals aesthetically are incredible and amazing and their art team is spectacular.” However, Disney does not always leave a positive impact on people. According to Mr. Scicluna, when asked about Disney’s animated shorts, “I don’t always agree with their political stances and their messaging subliminally that comes out of their movies.”
Although Disney has been popular for its animated films and innovative stories, some have interpreted their success as a huge industry focused on profit. Due to the increase in the technology used in Disney films, they have been able to reach breakthroughs for CGI and 2D art. “I think that CGI is being pushed really far and Disney is on that cutting edge because of how much money they have to invest in that,” Mr. Scicluna said.
Art Credit: Alexandra Shaulis
Tahoma junior Sophia Nguyen said, “Even though their animation technology might not be the best, it will always be associated with the best because Disney’s influence is immeasurable. They are the apex predators, regardless of their animation is the best or not.”
As the company continues to improve, people can see its heavy impact on today’s society, bringing about an era in which Disney is the dominant animation studio.
However, Disney will not always be the pioneer of animation, as more companies have growing access to technology. On the other hand, Disney will always spark inspiration in many artists as they enter the animation or art industry.
As Sophia Nguyen said during the interview, “It has permeated human culture so much all around the world. Disney is so deeply embedded in our culture that you can’t help but see it everywhere.”