Clements, Musker developing drawn Disney feature

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Ron Clements and John Musker

Ron Clements and John Musker

Co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker are working to develop Disney Animation’s next hand-drawn feature film, an official division of the Mouse House has confirmed.

“Sorry, we can’t tell you what that is,” said Wednesday’s post, which came from the Facebook page of the highly secure Disney Animation Research Library. The now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t message had been deleted from the page by Thursday.

No further announcement has been made by Disney.

However, the Big Cartoon DataBase lists The Name Game as a “possible 2D animated film” directed and written by the pair, with an estimated 2014 release year.

Clements and Musker have co-directed The Great Mouse Detective (1986), The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1992), Hercules (1997), Treasure Planet (2002) and The Princess And The Frog (2009) — the last marking a return to 2D hand-drawn animation.

Their first collaboration was on The Fox And The Hound: Clements was a supervising animator on the 1981 feature film, while Musker was an animator. Both provided additional story on The Black Cauldron(1985).

Clements’ feature debut at Disney was as an animator on 1977’s The Rescuers.

The Disney Animation Research Library houses over 65 million pieces of animation art produced by Disney’s Feature Animation Division over a period of over 70 years. The collection — housed in a location that’s secret to all but a privileged few — contains the world’s largest archive of animation art, ranging from conceptual design work to reference photographs.

On Sunday, Clements confirmed in an interview with Steve Hulett, business representative of The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE, that he and Musker are working on a new project with hand-drawn animation. He doesn’t know when it will be completed, as he says that it’s in early development.

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