Friday, 28 February 2014

Essay Research 1: Get a Horse!

The essay which I have chosen to write is on the trend of reviving old franchises, and it's possible effect on the future of the industry. 

'Get a Horse!' is a 2013 animated short which takes visual cues and animation style from the classic Mickey Mouse cartoons of the 1920s. While there is a largely CGI element to the cartoon and it's main focus is computer animated characters interacting with traditionally drawn ones, the 2D elements of the short are deliberately designed to feel and move as if the animation was produced in those very early days.
Footage is artificially aged with film grain and blurriness, and initially starts out in a 4:3 aspect ratio before cleverly shifting to widescreen. The production goes as far as to use archive recording of Walt Disney's original portrayal of Mickey Mouse to make it even more authentic, and the inclusion of the original title card from Mouse animations from 1928-1930.

The project came out of Disney's desire for new Mickey Mouse products for television, while the final result was 2013's Mickey Mouse series which combines retro visuals with more contemporary animation production, 'Get a Horse!' is Disney's first attempt in a number of years to straight-up emulate an older animation style, to the point the film was originally announced as a 'lost' Mickey Mouse cartoon which featured Walt Disney as the voice, when in reality it was almost a recreation using new or archived material, rather than a unreleased cartoon produced at the time.

What 'Get a Horse!' means to my essay is that even the giants of animation such as Disney are in on the trend of reviving the past. It's not as if this short's going to be the most profitable and attaching it to Disney's biggest film of the year is going to bring in far more viewers and far more money, but seemingly the reason it exists is as a nod to the era it's self, made and directed by people who have an appreciation for the old work.