Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida opened in Orlando at the dawn of the Disney Renaissance. As a member of the crew, Mary E. Lescher witnessed the small studio’s rise and fall during a transformative era in company and movie history. Her in-depth interviews with fellow artists, administrators, and support personnel reveal the human dimension of a technological revolution: the dramatic shift from hand-drawn cel animation to the digital format that eclipsed it in less than a decade. She also traces the Florida Studio’s parallel existence as a part of The Magic of Disney Animation, a living theme park attraction where Lescher and her colleagues worked in full view of Walt Disney World guests eager to experience the magic of the company’s legendary animation process.
A ground-level look at the entertainment giant, The Disney Animation Renaissance profiles the people and purpose behind a little-known studio during a historic era.
About the Author
Mary E. Lescher (1957-2019) was an animator, art historian, and museum curator. She worked as a cameraperson and scene planner for Walt Disney Feature Animation and DisneyToon Studios from 1989 to 2006. The exhibits she curated include Collectibility: Art and Commodity from the Disney Renaissance and The Florida Studio: Disney Art and Artifact.
"Adds significantly to the canon of Disney commentary. Mary Lescher was part of an interesting experiment--the creation of a working animation studio that doubled as a theme park attraction--and she was there at a crucial point in the history of animation, when the industry was on the brink of a technological revolution thanks to the development of 3-D digital tools. She chronicles that experiment, as well as the various changes swirling around animation, in an effective and even fond manner, letting us see behind the scenes."--J. P. Telotte, author of The Mouse Machine: Disney and Technology