Given the brilliant computerized animation seen in Disney films such as Moana and Frozen, it’s easy to forget that for a majority of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ existence, each frame of these movies was once drawn by hand.
However, in a short compilation of nearly 50 of these Disney classics, viewers can really tell the difference between the still backdrops and 2D movements of Snow White and the pop of 3D animation in Zootopia.
Bora Barroso, an editor and screenwriter studying in Madrid, compares early and present-day Disney animations in his Vimeo edit, “The Evolution of Disney Animation (1937-2016).”
Throughout the short, you can see how Disney transitioned from still backgrounds with detailed middle grounds and moving foregrounds (how they used to make 2D animation look 3D with the multiplane camera method), to overall scene movement with The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Pocahontas, then to full computerized animation with Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons.
In 2013, Disney laid off a majority of their hand-drawn animation team. It’s a damn shame, too, because while most animation has moved toward complete computerization, compilations like these make you nostalgic for childhood memories of watching Cinderella and The Jungle Book on VHS.
H/T A.V. Club