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Princess and the Frog five minutes

PrincessandtheFrog.jpgThe Princess and the Frog has appeared online in the form of a five minute clip, and it's looking Disney through and through. However the surprising thing is the film isn't finished, but it's been released none the less.

There's something magical that happens when the hand drawn images return, with it returns a little magic of cinema and that Disney feeling.

I started watching the Princess and the Frog first five minutes ready to switch it off, it had already ticked all the boxes marked Disney and that was enough for me. Cute, politically diverse, princess on the wrong side, and so on. It was a wonderful world that was a little down, just waiting for that Disney lift at the end.

Then something happened and something magical returned to the screen, I thought that somehow the video player had broken, but actually the magic of animated cinema returned.

It was actually the fact that the film is unfinished and for a good portion of the opening you're watching various stages of drawings animated together, some complete with artist's notes, and that's rather beautiful.

On the first part it's a very clever move by Disney to release it this early and market that old style animation appeal, but there's something else here too.

CG animation and completed and polished hand drawn animation is so difficult to tell apart these days that the magic of animation has gone. Unless there's something fantastical and huge about the animation then we end up looking at films from two different processes that seem exactly the same at the end, and that definitely has made the hand drawn animation lose it's charm.

It's an element that Wallace and Gromit still retain, because there's no way (yet) to recreate that on screen feel of stop motion animation without looking as though it's computer generated. You can't full the audience on that one, and so there's a charm and a beauty that stays with that type of film.

Now, with CG being so close to hand drawn animation, that feeling has slipped, and as the hand drawn frames appeared and the notes across the page flickered, it took me right back into that world and reminded me of the work going on and the beauty behind it.

Unfortunately, come the finished film, that will be lost again. For now though you can see The Princess and the Frog clip right here through /Film.



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