Brought to Life: CGI For Disney Movies
By Zach Kersh
Some of your favorite Disney characters will come to life in 2019. Disney has prepared some heavy-hitter movies to be showcased in 2019. Among them are Dumbo (March 29, 2019), Aladdin (May 24, 2019), and Lion King (July 19, 2019). All three movies are live-action films.
Contrary to their original releases, all three movies appear as if they were a real-life setting. This is possible due to the recent surge of animation.
CGI (computer-generated imagery) is used in almost all theatre movies nowadays. It is animation that can be applied to raw footage in order to create fictional images. Previously, Walt Disney Studios created animated films with traditional 2D animation. However, since these movies are so popular, they have been recreating previous films.
2D CGI was first used in the movie Westworld (1973) by HBO, which incorporated CGI to show how a robot saw the world. Later on, in its sequel, Futureworld (1976) by HBO, was the first film to apply 3D CGI, which used CGI for an animated hand and face. After Westworld and Futureworld, multiple movies were created that devoted large amounts of money towards CGI. After these movies flopped at the box-offices, CGI began to develop a risky image.
Since it was a new technology, the cost was high and the risk of the movies critics was higher. Directors were fearful of damaging their reputations and therefore stuck to tradition and simply use raw footage in their movies.
However, the course of CGI was altered forever when 20th Century Fox’s “The Abyss” (1989) hit theatres. The film won an Oscar and Felix for best visual effects. In addition, it holds the Guinness World Record for most Oscars won for visual effects.
The Abyss picked up the CGI revolution through photorealistic CGI. This is the “real-life” effect in which the upcoming Disney films will included. Glenelg Sophomore Niko Garbis believes, “These movies will be interesting to watch because of the way they look. Some people think it won’t be a different experience, but I disagree.” The majority opinion is that by appearing more lively, the movies will generate more interest and excite viewers.
Walt Disney Studios’ first CGI film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). This pioneered a new form of family entertainment with its first fully animated feature film. More recently, with the modern technological advancements of CGI, Disney’s movies have been given a different perspective.Disney’s overall goal for the three new films are to bring a relatable feel through photorealistic CGI. They hope to bring a wider perspective to the movies which previously were showcased in 2D.
In a survey conducted, 75% of people state they would be in favor of seeing all three movies in theatres. Glenelg Sophomore Russell Henggeler explained, “I haven’t seen all three animated movies, but because of the new movies coming out I’m going to see [the three originals].” The general consensus is that the movies will be a big hit to both the watchers and at the box office.
Expect to see many more Disney movies recreated with photorealistic CGI. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see new movie ideas created with this form of 3D CGI. It will be engaging to compare the movies that were first released with 2D CGI to the modern movies first released with 3D photorealistic CGI.
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