Disney returns to its animation roots with upcoming film

It’s been five years since Disney last put forth a hand-drawn animated movie. Some former Disney and Dreamworks artists have taken it upon themselves to do the honors with the creation of Hullaballoo. With computer-animated films such as Frozen and Planes: Fire Rescue at the front of the industry, we’re seeing the art of hand-drawn animation slowly dying out. Disney veteran James Lopez, however, has decided to go against the grain and create a new 2-D animated film. Lopez has also worked at Warner Bros. and Dreamworks and is the creative genius behind The Lion King and The Emperor’s New Groove.

With a team of voice actors, modelers, animators and composers, Lopez is set to create the Hullabaloo, a steampunk superhero story. This film depicts the story of Veronica Daring, a young scientist on a journey to rescue her kidnapped father, an inventor.

So how will a steampunk animated film appeal to the masses? Steampunk is an emerging genre that is not yet too popular, setting the future film apart from other typical animated movies. The innovative theme will introduce new aspects from an emerging art world, while integrating with the old art form of hand-drawn animation.

The film also abandons the idea of the damsel in distress. Instead, we see a woman on a mission to rescue her father. Although this may be reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, there is to be no love story interrupting the journey of the film. Daring instead finds friendship in fellow inventor Jules.

By forsaking classic plot clichés, the creators of Hullabaloo are to have a sure-win with the film. In an age where all movies seem to be sequels and remakes, it is a breath of fresh air to see novel works in the process.

Lopez and his team needed to raise $80,000 to produce a film short with hopes of this leading to a feature-length film. They have already raised over $300,000, proving there is still a considerable market for traditional, hand-drawn animated film. The concept art that has been released looks amazing; it will be a disappointment if the animation team is unable to go through with this project.

Hopefully, Lopez and his team will be able to pull off their project and remind children and adults alike how tremendous and meaningful hand-drawn animated films are.