Being out here in LA has some great perks. Some people say the weather and warm temps is one of those things. Not so for me. Granted, I am LOVING the colder weather the "WINTER" brings to so cal, but it's just not winter without a CHANCE of snow. No, one of the perks for me is being so close to where Disney created his masterpieces. Last week, I got to go see a preview screening of Disney's return to the traditional hand-drawn animated feature with "the Princess and the Frog".
My buddy, Casey, and I bought tickets for the special event back in late October. This event was only the second time the Walt Disney studio was being open to the public for a movie screening. The last time was when Fantasia opened for the first time.
Casey is one of the first animator friends of mine out here in LA who is as big of a Disney fan as I am. We got to the studio and parked and then followed the "frog print crowns" to the magic.
We followed the tracks to a warehouse type area where we checked in and bought concessions.
We then walked across the studio lot to where the theater was at. Near the theater entrance, Mickey Mouse was on hand for anyone to take photos with. After handing over or cameras, we went into the theater and found our seats. We had paid a little extra to get reserved seats (not fully by choice since all the general admission ones were sold out, but at least we got a cool lithograph and Mardi Gras beads for that extra cash!).
The pretty packed theater was filled with children in boaster seats (which I overheard someone say Disney had run out of because the showing we were at had more children then adults). At first, I was thinking the row of school kids behind us were gonna be distractions, but as soon as the Disney logo came on and Aniki Noni Rose began singing the first song from this musical film, they were glued to the entertainment, as well as their seats.
I am not going to go through the whole film, because honestly, you just need to see it for yourself, but I will say this. This film was inspiring for my animation buddy and I. We both wanted to leave the film and get home to animate something. Both of us have dreams of animating on a Disney feature film and this film is just the type of film I want to be attached too. It was brilliantly drawn and animated. The music was MUCH better then I thought it was going to be, honestly. I connected with multiple characters, more then I thought I would. Yes, there might be a few things that I didn't feel were perfect, but after years of not knowing if I'd ever see a 2D animated film from "THE 2D" studio..this was a sign of a new revival.
After the film, we followed the frog footprints to the sound stage where I believe 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was filmed to meet the Disney Princesses.
While Casey and I just kinda walked through the activities, I did snap some photos of the royalty. There was also some other movie memorabilia
in part of the room, along with an area where an animator from the film was giving lessons on how to become an animator.
After we picked up our lithographs, we headed back to the car and left the event.
The film opens up today nationwide. I'm not worried it won't do well, but I really hope it just blows the competition outta the water. "New Moon" step aside..Princess Tiana wants some time in the bijou moonlight!