The Next Disney?

Not sure if Miracle Mouse can have the same clout as our buddy, Mickey, but this studio is making the 2D attempt. Personally, while I enjoy classic 2D animation, I think Tom and his band of merry men are living a dream. There comes a certain point when you need to embrace the future, and ideally, without putting the past behind you. It reminds me of a conversation Burnt, Cybergosh and I had with two ILM folks. They “grew up” building models, cutting their teeth on practical effects but as technology emerged to improve the Hollywood FX machine, they’ve shifted their focus towards CG development.

They could have just as easily sat and made models for the next twenty years, but regardless of whether you like it or not, it’s not the future for entertainment. I absolutely think there’s a place for 2D animation, but that’s one tight niche. We’ll see it if works for them.

The press release follows after the click.


FORMER DISNEY ANIMATORS BAND TOGETHER TO PRESERVE AMERICAN ART FORM OF 2D ANIMATION

~One-of-a-Kind Animation Studio Draws Inspiration from Disney and Announces Amazing Projects in the Works~

Richfield, WI – June 6, 2006 – When Disney closed its 2D animation studios in 2003, the future of the art form in America, as well as employment prospects for 2D animation artists looked bleak. Now, in 2006, Tom Hignite’s Miracle Studios, which is comprised of some former Disney and Warner Bros. 2D animators, is in the final stages of
completing their first book and continues to work on their ultimate goal of a feature film project.

“I have been a lifelong fan of Disney animation and as an artist and businessman, when I learned about Disney closing its 2D animation studios, I saw an opportunity,” stated Tom Hignite, president and founder of Tom Hignite’s Miracle Studios. “We’ve been able to put together a remarkable team of animators whose resumes include work on
such films as ‘Mulan,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and ‘Lion King’ and we’re looking forward to adding a Miracle Mouse(r) title to their credits in the near future.”

Miracle Mouse: Cranky’s Miracle, which is available now for pre-sale on the Miracle Studios website, is a delightful 28 page illustrated children’s story that follows Miracle Mouse(r) and his beaver friend Okey Doky(r) as they help their cranky friend to see everyday Miracles. The book gives a first glimpse into some of the new characters and the story inspiring a new feature film project – which will be partially funded from proceeds from book sales. The first 1 minute, 15 seconds of the film is slated to enjoy its premiere in Wisconsin at the 2006 Paradeof Homes in July and will be available for download on the Miracle Studios website shortly thereafter. Following this premiere, the studio will continue work on the film as they seek additional funding and investors to complete the project.

To that end, Miracle Studios is also a full service art studio specializing in print illustrations and classic 2D animation. Tom Hignite’s Miracle Studios is uniquely poised to offer exceptional work for businesses and ad agencies seeking such services. “How many companies have their illustrations or commercials produced by artists of this caliber?” Hignite proudly boasts. “We’ve been able to keep some of the most talented artists working in the field they love while keeping 2D animation alive in America.”

About Tom Hignite’s Miracle Studios
Tom Hignite’s Miracle Studios was formed after Disney closed its 2D studios in 2003. Artist and businessman, Tom Hignite, saw an opportunity to keep the magic of 2D animation alive and hired an elite team of artists who had helped create classic 2D animated films for Disney and other studios. The team forms a full service art studio
specializing in print illustrations of all types and 2D classic animation. In addition to contract work from businesses and ad agencies, they have produced commercials featuring Miracle Mouse for Hignite’s Miracle Homes, and while working on their book Miracle Mouse: Cranky’s Miracle, continue to work on the ultimate goal of a full-length feature film.

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6 Responses to “The Next Disney?”

  1. Cybergosh says:

    As it says on Filmore’s bumper sticker, “Save 2D Animation”.

    Good for them.  Although I predict it will be Pixar, in the most ironic move in entertainment history, that will eventually bring back the traditional animated art form.

    There is nothing quite like it.

  2. MDHuff says:

    Okay, animation is one thing.  Yes, I agree that 3D is the only game in town.  I didn’t like the way GEORGE looked.  You’re right.  BUT when it comes to building models, that’s a different kettle of fish.  Models should be built and used in live action (“big-atures” I think Weta calls them) so don’t don’t don’t say model building should go the way of painted cells…

  3. Eros Welker says:

    “Models should be built…” why? Why should they be built? Because they looked great twenty years ago? The whole point is technology is bringing us to a place where a guy or more accurately, team of people, don’t need to create a miniature.  They can create it as a digital object, exploit it in every which way but loose. 

    Models aren’t going anywhere yet, at least not in the next 20 years.  By that point, who needs sets? Until the day Hollywood can get away with merely shooting on green screens (or better yet, solely with digital actors), and it comes off convincing (fuck you Sky Captain), I don’t think we have to worry much about this.

  4. Cybergosh says:

    Models should be built because the ships of Zathura look better than the ships of anything else these days.

    And I happened to like the way George looked.  It felt refreshingly timeless.  Something that could have been animated in the 40’s.  I liked that film a lot.  And George was a return to top form by The Welker.

  5. junktape says:

    Totally agree.  Look, art is open to all kinds of tools and some artists are gonna work better with them than others.

    BUT—I firmly believe that models have a MUCH stronger presence when used as an element than pure CGI if only because of the way they absorb and reflect light.  It’s hard to put a finger on, but something with true physical presence simply looks more real (so far) and I use movies like Zathura and LOTR as great examples.

    I forget the name, but there is a word for the human instinct which helps us identify something dead from something real.  It’s a built-in instinct designed to keep us (as animals) away from others who may be sick or dead.  Anyway, I’ve been told it also is the same instinct that made us creeped out by the characters in Polar Express.  LOL, no shit.

  6. MDHuff says:

    Junk is right.  There’s just something about natural light.  Maybe we register it on a subconscious level.  Hollywood should stop faking it and start making it!  Or something like that.

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