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. In my opinion, 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 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.
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.
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