Disney: story of an animation’s legend

Walt Disney: the genius from whom everything started

 

Walt Disney is one of the most known person worldwide.

Everybody has heard about  him or his fantastic characters at least once in life. Mickey Mouse, Goofy  and Donald Duck’s adventures go along with us since childhood, and even nowadays they are able to bring a smile on the face of who is not a child anymore.

He revolutionized the motion picture industry, bringing on the screens, in an original way, old and new stories that have begun part of our culture. But let’s see who was Walt, what he created, which legacy left us and what have become today the world he imagined.

Born at the beginning of the last century, he will become the greatest innovator in the movie industry. His infinite imagination leaded him to create fantastic worlds in which the happy ending is an obligation. Infact, he readjusted positivetely all the tales he produced, maybe in order to exorcise his childhood’s pains, when he was forced to work in fields or when, during the night, he helped his father delivering newspapers.

To escape from these conditions, he found a job as images-cutter in Kansas City in a company which worked with animation. Probably, thanks to this experience, young Walt had his first stroke of genius, that will lead him to be the legend he is even now. The insight was to find a way to move those static and motionless images printed on paper in order to create the first full-lenght animated movie with sound, that would have surely revolutionize the world of drawing. Using a borrowed movie camera, he started his first experiments and with his tenaciousness he opened a studio in where he realized his first short movies, that opened him the doors of Heaven.

He sent his works to the distribution companies and the Universal was the first in  realizing the potentiality of this big innovation: thanks to this fact, he was shortly able to open a proper production studio, but things suddenly changed when Universal changed its summits. Forced to cut the budget considerably and trapped into Universal’s contract, which had the ownership of his characters indeed, he decided to create an all his own brand new character: ladies and gentleman, here you are Mickey Mouse. It was 1928 when a short animated movie called “Plane Crazy” was shown for the first time in a theatre of New York: the main character was a funny mouse that kept the spectator smiling. From this moment everything started to go downhill. He produced “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” that gave him an income of 8 million dollars (a huge amount of money for the time), he opened the Studios in California (the studios are still there even now), won his first Oscar with the short movie “Flowers and Trees”, opened the first entertainment resort (Disneyland) and realized the first show for television.

His death, in 1966, had a global wide appeal and the announcement was spread worldwide.

Walt Disney Company: the biggest multinational corporation operating in entertainment

 

Today the Walt Disney Company is the biggest multinational corporation operating in entertainment, divided into four parts: the Walt Disney Studios, dedicated to music, cinema and theatre; the Disney Park & Resort, for the management of entertainment resorts; the Media Network, dedicated to television; the Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, for the merchandising branded Disney, internet, mobile, social medias and videogames.

The greatness of this huge company is doubtless due to its founder’s first intuition, but it have had a continuous evolution even thanks to the choices of his successors, that have  maintained the “world of tales” always present and majestic using specifical marketing strategies.

Infact, even if grounded to a classical production for a long time, the animation by hands, the company has had the courage to change perspective and adapt itself to social and tecnological changes happening in the last years. After some “flop” of the latest animation movies at the box-office, the Disney Company has decided to start a new path, creating and developing fully computer-animated movies.

The bond with Pixar and the revolution of animation

 

The first movie realized with this new technique has been “Chicken Little”, produced and released in theatres in 2005.

The process of the modernization  of production’s techniques in Disney’s animation is due to Pixar, a new movie production company specialized in CGI, and the first in realizing a full-lenght movie with computer graphics.

Born from a unit of Lucasfilm, the company was acquired by Steve Jobs, the father of Apple Company, and became indipendent with the name of Pixar Animation Studios. Even developing great level animations, the main intent of Pixar  was to promote computers. Animations were infact used to show the great performances that computers could reach. Meanwhile, Disney was working to a new full-lenght movie and decided to cooperate with Pixar.

From this collaboration is born the first full-lenght animated movie fully realized with computer graphic: Toy Story (1995). From this moment all the Pixar’s full-lenght movies have been realized in partnership with the Walt Disney Pictures Company. In 2006 Pixar become a complete property of  the Walt Disney Pictures Company, bringing to life masterpieces as Inside Out or Finding Dory.

The last full-lenght movie branded Disney-Pixar, has been recently released in theatres of Mexico and United States and will be released in Italy on the 28th of December. We are talking about Coco, the movie that brings with itself many peculiarities.

RenderMan: one of the most advanced rendering software developed by Pixar

 

Mention of honor for the software developed and used by Pixar for the realization of its masterpieces, software that has brought something more to the movies. We are talking about RenderMan, one of the most advanced and versatile rendering software, that is also a plug-in compatible with the most important 3D animation software, like Maya.

This software has been used to create some of the most spectacular visual effects of Hollywood’s productions, like Avatar, Titanic and Lord Of The Rings, for example. This innovative software let his developers win an “Oscar for merit” for their contribution to computer graphic applied in movies. Recently it has been realized a version of the software that includes all its skills.

Nowadays RenderMan is available for everybody for a non-commercial use.