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Pencils vs. Pixels

Strike Back Studios

Associate Producer Mindy Johnson


Courtesy Strike Back Studios (2023)

‘Mulan’s’ Ming-Na Wen to Narrate Annecy-Bound 2D Animation Documentary ‘Pencils vs Pixels’
By K.J. Yossman

Ming-Na Wen, who voiced Mulan in Disney’s animated feature of the same name, is set to narrate a new documentary titled “Pencils vs Pixels.”


Co-directed by Bay Dariz (“Hypochondriac”) and Phil Earnest, “Pencils Vs Pixels” is a celebration of 2D hand-drawn animation.


The documentary, which will have its world premiere at Annecy International Animation Film Festival next week, will explore the Disney-led 2D animation boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s which was soon eclipsed by the dawn of computer animation. But, as the film shows, a resurgence of 2D animation suggests there is still hope for the medium.


The documentary features interviews with the great and good of the animation world including Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc”), John Musker (“The Little Mermaid”), Tony Bancroft (“Mulan”), Jorge R. Gutiérrez (“The Book of Life”), Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”), Glen Keane (“Beauty and the Beast”), Tina Price (“Hercules”), Lorna Cook (“Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”) and Kevin Smith (“Clerks: The Animated Series”) among others.


The doc is a collaboration between Minutehand Pictures and Hideout Pictures. It is produced by animator Tom Bancroft (“The Lion King”) and Bay Dariz and executive produced by Shannon Houchins, Noor Ahmed, Christopher Joe. Jhemma Ziegler co-produces.


The film has been acquired by Strike Back Studios, who plan to release the film later this year.


“Because of my 34 years in the animation industry, mostly as a Disney animator, I still meet people that ask me: ‘What ever happened to 2D animation- why did it go away?,’” says producer Tom Bancroft. “‘Pencils vs Pixels’ finally answers that question. Through passionate stories by artisans that made the films that people still treasure today, this film will give viewers the never-before-told answers of what happened to the hand-drawn artistry that is 2D animation.”



Courtesy of Strike Back Studios

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