‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Aladdin’ Co-Directors Currently at Work on New Hand-Drawn Animated Film

With so many computer animated films coming out in the near future from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, hand-drawn animation has seemingly been put on the back burner. But this week, Disney’s Animation Research Library revealed an interesting hint that a new Disney hand-drawn animated film may be coming in the near future.

On their official Facebook page, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Animation Research Library wished a happy birthday to Ron Clemens, an animator, writer, and director who has served as the co-director on such classic films as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Princess and the Frog. In their birthday post, the library team also revealed that Clemens and his directing partner John Musker may be adding a new film to their credits sooner than we thought. The complete Facebook post reads:

On this 25th of April, we wish Artist-Writer-Director Ron Clements a Happy Birthday! Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Ron joined Disney Animation as an apprentice to Frank Thomas (one of the Nine Old Men of Disney Animation) and made his feature debut as an Animator on THE RESCUERS.

Joining John Musker, Ron and John (as they’re known at the Studio) have co-directed THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN, HERCULES, TREASURE PLANET, and PRINCESS AND THE FROG. Ron and John are currently working to develop the next hand-drawn feature at Disney Animation. (Sorry, we can’t tell you what that is.)

This report has not yet been confirmed by any other division of the Walt Disney Company, but its posting by an official Disney source seems to pretty much guarantee its validity. As big fans of classic hand-drawn animation, we’re so excited to hear about this project, and can’t wait to see a brand-new traditionally animated film on the big screen. Stay tuned for more updates as this project develops.


Leave a Reply