Disney Animation Studio Software

Remember Disney Animation Studio Software?

Before I talk about Disney Animation Studio Software, I would like to talk a little bit about animation in general. Traditional animation seems to be falling by the wayside. Personally I feel that it’s the stories that are a bit weak rather than the major influx of CGI films we’ve seen in the past 18 years.

Wreck-It Ralph could have been a traditionally animated film and still wildly successful because of its fantastic story. I’m not here to argue about the shortcomings of past 2D animated films, though, I’m here to take you back to the days when traditional animation was still considered a great force in Hollywood and when the merging of 2D animation and computers was brand new.

In 1990 Disney was an animation powerhouse and they were churning out some of the greatest animated films that I can remember. Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King were all released in the 90s and I loved every one of them. I was also infatuated with computers at the time. My dad had gotten us a brand spankin’ new 486-50Mhz computer and boy was it a hum-dinger. Being an art student I wanted to find software that was artistic and then Disney released the Disney Animation Studio Software for the Amiga and Dos computers, so I had to have it.

I spent hours creating all kinds of animations with this program. It had a pretty easy learning curve and anyone could make a simple animation within minutes. With a lot of patience and artistic ability you could create some really impressive sequences in its 320×240 resolution glory.

Watch Disney Animation Studio Software in Action

I’ve since lost this piece of software and it’s one of the more difficult to find nowadays. There is a couple available on eBay, but buying it and setting it up on new hardware might prove challenging just for a bit of fleeting nostalgia. There is software out there, however, that is very similar to Disney Animation Studio and it’s free and multi-platform. It’s aptly named Pencil and is a lot of fun. It’s great for the armchair artist who would like to see their drawings come to life.

Those who wish to get it can go to www.pencil-animation.org.


Martin Touhey goes by the screen name Sleepyeyed and has a passion for retro things of all kinds. One particular passion has led him to the creation of a documentary film about his favorite video game - Dragon's Lair. See the teaser at https://vimeo.com/37600315

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8 thoughts on “Remember Disney Animation Studio Software?

  1. earblast says:

    I bought that and remember never really doing anything with it for whatever reason.

  2. I’m always pleased to find new people who enjoyed using that program.

    I should try loading the Amiga verison into UAE and see if it works there. You’d have far better luck getting that to work than trying to resurrect the DOS version…

  3. iPadCary says:

    @Leo L. Schwab
    Holy CRAP! lol
    Are you THE Leo Schwab who, along with Bruce Granofsky, is the star of the AMIGA demo world?!?

  4. I would pass this software all the time and wonder if I had the skills to actually use it. It looked fairly intuitive, but I still don’t think I could pull anything creative off with it.

  5. OlderGamer says:

    and one of the authors of Disney Animation Studio. Maybe ewhac can share some stories like why it was originally called “Onion”.

  6. Ibraul says:

    I had this software back in the 90’s for my amiga.

    But I was on Amazon and saw it for 5 dollars. So I purchased it and it’s coming. I just received my 3d animation degree and became really nostalgic.

  7. Ha! Man, I remember this software…I did my very first bouncing ball animation on it like 25 years ago!

    I wish I still had that.

    It was super-easy to use, before the days of YouTube tutorials or Internet forums, I could use it pretty much off the bat.

    Didn’t it come with example files, if I remember correctly? I learnt a lot just by looking at that stuff.

    It set off my love for 2d animation that I still have today. Thanks for sharing

  8. John William Kusler says:

    Hi 2dAnimator,
    Re your post dated June 29, 2017. It is now September 02, 2017 by my watch (which is a little fast, 2 minutes or so). At any rate, I am older than dirt and have an old tower case that I am doing CPR on. I have Windows 98SE up and running with Doom II under DOS on a 5 gig drive that I had to beat with a ball peen hammer to get it to work. What a hoot! It has been a long time since I have worked on the DOS command line.
    OK, I have the 4 disk, 3.5″ set of the Disney Animation Studio and the Users Manual to boot. I do not know if the disks are good to go but, no guts no glory. I have a working CD ROM (CD not CD/DVD), a 3.5 floppy disk drive, and a USB ZIP drive(to the best of my knowledge, Windows 98 was the first to support USB) and I am working on getting a 5.25″ drive up and running.
    If you have interest, reply. -JWK-

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