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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