Brad Bird On The Value of Bringing Disney-level Quality to Hand-Drawn Animated Movies

Brad_Bird_Iron_Giant_Special_Edition_TrailerToonzone News reports on Brad Bird’s (The Director of The Iron Giant and The Incrediblesrecent Collider interview: Bird “thinks traditional, 2-D, hand-drawn animation is poised for a comeback, but the only way it can do so is if it breaks into different genres than the musical format that dominated it until the advent of CG.” Bird thinks traditional animation could do any genre, including an effective horror film:
Via Collider:

“[T]here’s never been a horror movie in animation executed at Disney-level quality and hand-drawn. I’m not talking about CG; I’m talking about hand-drawn, but it doesn’t take a lot to imagine how cool that would be. If you think of the scariest parts of Snow White or Pinocchio or Fantasia with Night on Bald Mountain, you could do something really scary in animation, and I think if you did it right, if you did it with all the art that Spielberg did Jaws, I think that it would be an amazing experience because there’s something intuitive about when people are drawing directly with their hands.”

Bird makes some interesting points in the interview, including praising Disney’s old practices, for theatrical hand drawn animation, of keeping together a cohesive production team from one film to the next in hand drawn animation:

The problem is that every time people have deviated from the Disney playbook in hand-drawn animation, they’ve done so with staff that are nowhere near Disney-level talent or Disney-level budgets. So you have things like Heavy Metal, which not all of them are great, but a couple of them are really interesting, but they didn’t have the money or the artists to pull them off at the level that maybe they should’ve been pulled off. Where as in live-action film there are all kinds of new films being done in different genres where people can really execute an idea at a top level. It’s just that animation rewards grooming a team and keeping a team in place. That’s why when studios try to emulate Disney on the quick-and-cheap they always fail, because Disney has refined their animation team over years, they have a history of it, people go to Disney and know that there’s going to be a job after the movie, there’s going to be another movie. And when you assemble animation teams the way you do a live-action film, you’re often struggling a bit to get a cohesive team together, so if you have a team that works well together, you’re hoping for another film so that you can refine the team.

There’s certainly validity to that outlook. Having said that, I think Bird is speaking on more of a feature-film tier of quality to require a groomed, cohesive Disney-level team to tackle a genre film. I don’t think the absence of a tight-knit, seasoned Disney level crew should preclude hand-drawn animated genre films from being produced. Given the outlets available to audiences these days with home video, rental services like Redbox, television, streaming services like Netflix, and digital download, among other avenues, I think the future yields more and more chances to see a variety of well-financed hand-drawn animated genre films. With the advent of and continued strength of crowd funding like Kickstarter, studio-financed films aren’t the only game in town to “execute an idea at a top level.”

Collider has their “full interview” with Brad Bird coming soon. Also coming soon? My graphic novel Intercept Now! Also, also coming soon is The Iron Giant: Signature Edition theatrical release, which hits cinemas on September 30th and October 4th via Fathom Events. If you haven’t seen the film before, you really should treat yourself and see it on big screen to get the best viewing experience possible. This is one of the best theatrically-released hand drawn animated films ever, and it was indeed produced with Disney-level animators, offering up some truly amazing and inspiring animation; not to mention some truly iconic character design and production design:

Phil Bourassa Talks Character Design On “Son of Batman” DTV

One of my favorite character designers, Phil Bourassa, tweeted about a featurette from DC Comics’ recent Son of Batman DTV, which you can view above. The featurette is a really neat insight into Phil’s approach and sensibilities toward character design for animation. Phil has an attention to detail in his character designs that is really refreshing. Even going back to his character designs on Young Justice, Phil puts a lot of care toward the practicality of a costume design and where certain elements come from, what purpose they serve, and what history they have, such as Phil’s insight into Robin’s hood in the featurette.

Reading Phil’s interviews over the years and referencing his character design work has really helped me turn my eye toward those areas of character design and what to keep in mind while designing. It’s really helped me as I fleshed out the cast of Intercept Now and how I’ve approached the aesthetics and design elements of my series.

For more insight into Phil’s approach toward character design, check out The World’s Finest Interview with him about his work on Young Justice.

Make sure to follow Phil on Twitter and check out his DeviantArt page!

For more info about Son of Batman, check out The Worlds Finest Online for Reviews, Backstage Content, and much much more, and make sure to follow The Worlds Finest on Twitter!

Brad Bird’s Test Trailer For Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” Surfaces Online

Toonzone News reports that Brad Bird’s Test Trailer for The Spirit has surfaced online!

Make sure to the article to see the full trailer!

Not familiar with Will Eisner’s The Spirit? Visit Eisner’s official website to learn more about this influential series and the other amazing works Eisner authored!


The Making of Glen Keane’s “Duet”

Discovered this video Via toonzone news:

A behind the scenes look at the making of Google ATAP’s Spotlight Story, “Duet”. Directed by Disney Animator Glen Keane, “Duet” is a celebration of life through the hand-drawn line. The “Making of Duet” shares the team, the technology and the art behind the creation of this beautiful interactive film.

Glen Keane created over 10,000 drawings to create this beautiful love story. Check out the “Making of Duet” video and see how the team transformed one of the most beloved art forms into a virtual world for your mobile phone. #SpotlightStories #Duet

BookTube Wednesday #3

Welcome to the newest weekly feature on Weibblog! BookTube Wednesday will spotlight a selection of #BookTubers from Youtube! BookTubers vlog about reviews, news, and opinions about books! If you’re a self-publisher looking to get your book(s) reviewed, it’s definitely worth looking into the #BookTube community has to offer!

Top 5 Favorite Stephen King Novels & Dr. Sleep Review by comicbookgirl19

ECCC 2014: Jeff Lemire talks TEEN TITANS EARTH ONE by ComicVineVideos

March Book Haul! by Katytastic

March Wrap Up & April To Be Read by Bookables

Apr 1: Weibblog Twitter News Round-Up

Welcome to another edition of The Weibblog Twitter News Round-up! Today’s top stories are from Kevin Cullen, Making ComicsDiandra Mae, & more! You can follow me on Twitter here!

Continue reading “Apr 1: Weibblog Twitter News Round-Up”

Speed Drawing #3: Scarlet Witch (The Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Weibcomics Speed Sketch featuring SCARLET WITCH from Marvel Comics’ The Avengers: Age of Ultron! Scarlet Witch, The Avengers, Ultron, and all related characters and indicia are property of Marvel Comics and Disney, 2014.


I drew this piece based on the Scarlet Witch concept art Marvel released last week. In recent set photos from the upcoming sequel’s shoot, her outfit is slightly different, but I opted to go with the concept art design as I thought the white dress would go well with the rest of the colors in her outfit. I referenced what her stockings and boots looked like in the stock photos but streamlined them. Continue reading “Speed Drawing #3: Scarlet Witch (The Avengers: Age Of Ultron)”

Mar 17: Weibblog Twitter News Round-Up


Welcome to another edition of The Weibblog Twitter News Round-up! Today’s top stories are from Renée Kurilla, Chris Robertson, Becca Edwards, & more! You can follow me on Twitter here!

Continue reading “Mar 17: Weibblog Twitter News Round-Up”

Speed Drawing #2: Rocket Raccoon!

Welcome to the latest installment of The Weibcomics Speed Sketch featuring ROCKET RACCOON from Marvel Comics’ Guardians of the Galaxy! Rocket Raccoon, Guardians of the Galaxy, and all related characters and indicia are property of Marvel Comics and Disney, 2014.

20140305_165923000_iOSI did a few thumbnails to arrive at this pose. The initial inspiration for this pose was a superhero pin-up by Bruce Timm, which I thought would fit Rocket’s posture pretty well. It took some tweaking to settle on his proportions, as I thought I drew his head a bit too small at first and had to resize it. The costume he’s wearing is based on his live-action iteration in the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer. I really like how almost gentle and pup-faced rocket is standing in rest in the trailer, so I wanted his face to have a bit of that quality while still retaining Rocket’s gruff attitude. Continue reading “Speed Drawing #2: Rocket Raccoon!”

Mar 3: Weibblog Twitter News Round-Up

Welcome to another edition of The Weibblog Twitter News Round-up! Today’s top stories are from Joanna Penn Sarah CrosbyKaren Pokras Toz, & more! You can follow me on Twitter here!

Continue reading “Mar 3: Weibblog Twitter News Round-Up”