- Pencils vs. Pixels explores the history and future of 2D animation.
- Renowned animators and industry professionals share their experiences and insights.
- 2D animation remains relevant despite computer technology advancements.
Strike Back Studios and Hideout Pictures have released the trailer for Pencils vs. Pixels, a documentary focusing on 2D animation. Narrated by Ming-Na Wen of Mulan, the film delves into the world of hand-drawn animation, tracing its journey through the Disney Renaissance and the computer animation revolution.
The documentary features commentary from notable animators and industry professionals, such as Seth MacFarlane, Alex Hirsch, Peter Docter, John Musker, Tom Bancroft, and Lorna Cook. Bancroft, a co-producer of the film, shared his thoughts on the documentary with Variety: “Because of my 34 years in the animation industry, mostly as a Disney animator, I still meet people that ask me: ‘What ever happened to 2D animation – why did it go away?’ ‘Pencils Vs Pixels’ finally answers that question.”
The film takes viewers through the animation boom of Disney’s Renaissance era, highlighting classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. The introduction of computer technology into the industry, primarily with Disney and Pixar’s release of Toy Story in 1995, raised questions about the future of 2D animation.
However, Pencils vs. Pixels also showcases the resurgence of 2D animation in contemporary films like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and DreamWorks’ The Bad Guys, which combine multiple styles and hand-drawn elements. The documentary, co-directed by Bay Dariz and Phil Earnest, is set to release digitally and on demand on November 7.