In the late 1970s, Don Bluth was considered the top new talent at Walt Disney Studios — but he found it incredibly frustrating working on safe Miller-era fare like The Fox And The Hound. He wanted animated films to go dark, to take risks, and he felt the only way to do that was to strike out on his own.
So, that’s what he did. He founded his own independent studio, took half of Disney’s animation department with him and they started work on The Secret Of NIMH. It was only the first wild step in a career fulled with highs, lows and surprising twists, from unexpected success with video games (Dragon’s Lair) to working with Spielberg (An American Tail) to getting stuck making incomprehensible kiddie fare (A Troll In Central Park, Rock-A-Doodle).
It has unfortunately been a long time since we’ve seen a new feature from Bluth…part of the problem lies with the industry shift to 3D animation for features. But Don’s not dead yet, and he’s about to give it one more try….Don Bluth Studios has officially been reborn, with the goal of reigniting 2D animated movies.
The announcement was made on Facebook by Lavalle Lee, the man chosen as vice-president of Bluth’s new studio. “This new company is going to be establishing NEW characters, NEW ideas and NEW projects!” Lee said enthusiastically. “If you were to tell me 10 years ago, that I would be Don’s second in command, I would [have] said, “Yeah right!” This is incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to start showing all of you what we have cooking!”
According to Lee, the development process at Don Bluth Studios will not be a secret one. “We will be POSTING up a storm and showing you all our progress. Be ready!” We are.