For more than a decade now, hand-drawn animation has been tougher and tougher to come by. But at least one artist continues to work in the traditional technique: Glen Keane, a former Disney animator who helped design many of the company’s iconic characters (including Ariel, the Beast, and Aladdin).
Keane’s talent has come to life yet again in his latest animated short, “Duet,” which debuted recently at Google’s I/O conference. The beautiful story unfolds through a fluid ballet of lines—which may call to mind the “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence in Dumbo—telling the story of two people and their connection to one another from birth into adulthood.
Despite being an advocate for hand-drawn animation, Keane has in the past discussed his desire to blend it together seamlessly with CG technology and advance the artistic possibilities of both techniques. This collaboration with Google’s graphic engineers for its Spotlight Series, made by bringing together the digital and hand-drawn worlds, is more proof that that goal can be achieved.