Jonathan Wilson
6 days ago


In honor of the frustrated fowl's 90th birthday today, a new hand-drawn short was created for the occasion.

One of the most iconic quacks in cartoon history is back, as the legendary Disney character Donald Duck celebrates 90 years by starring in an all-new animated short, D.I.Y. Duck, written and directed by master animator/incoming Disney Legend Mark Henn. The hand-drawn animated short will debut on Sunday, June 9 on Disney+, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ YouTube, Disney Channel and Freeform. The film marks Donald’s first standalone starring role since the 1961 short The Litter Bug.

This new short includes dialog by Clarence “Ducky” Nash, who originated the voice of Donald in the 1934 short, The Wise Little Hen, and voiced the character for the next 50 years. Donald’s vocal gestures and assorted wise quacks in D.I.Y. Duck are delivered by way of archival voice recordings of Ducky Nash.

D.I.Y. Duck is produced by Emmy Award-winner Dorothy McKim, and was created by the hand-drawn animation team at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Jennifer Lee, Disney Animation’s Chief Creative Officer, executive produced.



https://www.animationmagazine.net/2024/06/disneys-donald-duck-rings-in-90th-anniversary-with-new-hand-drawn-animated-short/ 

Making of featture:

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S. C. MacPeter
6 days ago
They really gotta stop with these little projects for the hand drawn team, and give them something longer with more budget. This felt cheap and underwhelming, too short to build up any true suspense, flat by economy in character and background design, and the effort put into using archival voicework and music, while inspired, just felt cheap as the music doesn't fit the action well, and Donald not saying any true words just made it feel cheap.

Someone told me earlier "it's the best they can do", which is only half true. This is only the best with the budget and restrictions Disney gives the team. If Disney wasn't focused on their brand and let the artists call the shots on bigger budgets, I think these little projects wouldn't come and go ala the Oswald short from 2022 and the Goofy pandemic shorts
nickramer
5 days ago
To be fair, I feel like this was more like a test for the new animators that wasn't originally intended to be shown publicly.
S. C. MacPeter
5 days ago
I understand wanting to like this, trust me, I did too. But that's simply not what happened; why make an entire story for such a test? Everyone who worked on this is most definitely talented to the right standards, but the Mouse isn't throwing them the budget to do something of quality. This feels like a step down from the charming but not too special Oswald, which felt like a stepdown from the Goofys that were funny and better animated, but needed to be twice as long. Hopefully Disney gets this feedback loud and clear, they did listen to the criticisms to the Cinderella and Sword in the Stone transfers from long ago, and have now done extremely pleasing 4Ks directly in response to the issues. This is just Disney focusing on brand and trying to look good with "a new hand drawn animated short for the first time!" like the last two times without allowing for anything remarkable to happen
ToonStar95
5 days ago
Yeah, I'm kinda disappointed this kind of stuff (commemorative stuff, collaborations, etc.) seems to be the most the 2D people are being allowed to do. Yes, this idea had the potential to be 7 minutes, and the pacing does seem a tad sluggish, but this seems to be the best that three old guys (one of whom just retired), a handful of trainees and a barebones artistic and technical staff are being allowed to do right now.

Mark Henn said in an interview that the 2D division was severely downsized after Winnie the Pooh because, besides money, the hand-drawn and CG films have totally unique pipelines, so Disney might as well have been operating two smaller studios under the same roof. Once Upon a Studio is a unique case because, by design, both units had to be on the same page to make it work.

If Disney wants to do a new hand-drawn feature, they'll need a sharp increase in artists trained in the 2D pipeline, a rarity in the U.S., as CG is now the standard and that's what many animators are being taught nowadays; in fact, hand-drawing kinda requires more skill and training than moving around a digital puppet.
nickramer
5 days ago

I understand wanting to like this, trust me, I did too. But that's simply not what happened; why make an entire story for such a test?

Originally Posted by: S. C. MacPeter 


Doesn't that happen a lot at Cal Arts?
S. C. MacPeter
5 days ago
There's a big difference between a student film and a professional production, I think you would understand that. Again, I think everyone involved is talented but not given the budget to do better. I'm really not interested in continuing the conversation from here, but I'd like to share something by artist Dave Alvarez, who as a professional artist gives a unique dissection onto the design:

Every effort of 2d animation should be celebrated.
I'm pretty sure that everyone involved in the new Donald Duck short gave their 100% in making it.
Take these only as observations from an outsider.
Everything is in the small details.

Dave Alvarez wrote:



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nickramer
4 days ago
Okay, okay. I just assumed the way how it was oddly set up that it evolved from some sort of exercise. You didn't need to go over all the details on why it didn't work.
S. C. MacPeter
4 days ago
I just think its better to say why something doesn't work rather than just say "its bad" like a good critic, that's all

A friend shared with me two pieces of interest that I think should be shared without much opinion. First is this interview with Director Mark Henn  where he talks a little about the short. It sounds like something that was meant to be more ambitious but fell apart due to corporate and budget. It also seems that it was mainly done in order to keep the extra talent on Once Upon a Studio at work before they ran out and they left. This all makes sense and feels reflected in the final product

Second is another new Donald birthday cartoon  as apart of one of Disney's webseries, that I actually found a little more entertaining. Give it a watch, its more fun
nickramer
4 days ago

I just think its better to say why something doesn't work rather than just say "its bad" like a good critic, that's all

Originally Posted by: S. C. MacPeter 


...Except when it's not too bad in my opinion.

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