The Oscars: Clements & Musker Talk More Princess and the Frog
Bill Desowitz: Now that you're back from the international press tour, what's the response been?
Ron Clements: I would say the response we've gotten everywhere has been just really gratifying. The people who saw the movie certainly seem to really like it and we've gotten a lot of letters.
John Musker: The other night we went to the NAACP Awards. We were nominated for best picture, but didn't win -- Precious won. But just walking the press line, there were a number of African Americans who expressed really heart-felt and genuine gratitude for this movie and for the groundbreaking aspect of it with Tiana, and that was very rewarding.
BD: What about the response from fellow animators around the world?
JM: Well, that's interesting: I spoke to Miyazaki for an hour when we were in Japan. But, of course, he never watches Disney movies [laughs], so… We talked about his movies, mostly. But we saw it in Dublin with some of the guys behind The Secret of Kells from Cartoon Saloon, and they were very enthusiastic about it and very encouraging and at the Academy [nominations] luncheon as well. Also, Nicky Phelan, who directed Granny O' Grimm, which is one of my favorite shorts this year, was very nice and enthusiastic about the hand-drawn aspect of it. And certainly they've been enthusiastic about hand-drawn animation around the world.
JM: Yeah, there were a lot of students that turned out in Dublin at the IADT and they were very enthusiastic.
BD: What did they ask you?
JM: They still ask about the future of 2D and what were the biggest challenges in making the film. But certainly there seems to be a great love of 2D. I just spoke at Leonard Maltin's class and a graduate class at USC and they have a passion for 2D and want to come and work at Disney. Some of them can do CG but hand-drawn is really what they want to do.
BD: Even though the domestic box office didn't meet expectations, you've done well overseas. But I hope they're not blaming 2D again.