Moana Shows Just How Disney Keeps Hand Drawn Illustration Alive

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Disney fans who have adored Disney princesses know the beauty of 2D animation. And even though 3D and CG movies have exploded the scene and overshadowed the 2D animation practice in films, that doesn't mean that the company has forgotten about it.

In an interview with CBR, upcoming Disney 3D movie Moana animation team revealed just how the art of hand-drawn art lives in the studio. In a surprising reveal, it was confirmed that one of the interesting characters, Mini-Maui, was actually animated by hand.


While most of the movie is composed using the computer, Mini-Maui made use of both 2D and 3D animation. The living tattoo is a charm in the movie, as he interacts with Maui, voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. What's even more fun about creating Mini-Maui is that the creators were able to give him the kind of personality that matches his actions in the movie.

"One thing that's great about this studio is the history of drawing. [Drawing is] how we communicate between departments."

Apparently, Mini-Maui is there to not just bring some lighthearted fun into Moana, but to also be the voice of reason and goodness for Maui.

More importantly, as far as animation is concerned, Mini-Maui proves that the evolution of drawings and the retaining of the art of drawing can still be conducted in animated movies today.


Moana will arrive in theaters on Nov. 23. It's directed by Ron Clements and John Musker and stars Auli'I Carvalho and Johnson.

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