It has been a massive year in the landscape of entertainment and film. So far in 2019 we have seen the best consecutive (a streak that continues even now) months of cinematic releases and new seasons of the world’s favourite television shows. And that is just the film and television facet of entertainment. In this landscape, it is all about pushing the boundaries and efficiently bringing to vivid life the next iteration to the highest quality possible. And the latest and greatest in entertainment technology CGI (computer generated imagery) does exactly that. And at the forefront of this new frontier is beloved Disney. But to understand why Disney is dominating now, it pays to look back at the history of entertainment and film technology.
1972 signals the dawn of a new beginning
While computer animation in entertainment and film was first introduced in the 1970s as visual effects and short animals, created through the layering of 3D images, it was in 1972 that the pivotal turning point really took place. Pixar co-founders Ed Catmull and Fred Park created the first prototype of a digitally-rendered 3D hand. This virtual hand was brought to life using a technology that would go on to become the strong foundations for countless effects and film masterpieces that would follow.
1995 brings CGI to full-length features
In the beginning, CGI was a technology that was used relatively sparingly. 1993 saw the first physically-textured CGI film ‘Jurassic Park’ released, but the film was still mostly real-time filming with some stunningly realistic visual effects layered over some of the scenes. In 1990, however, the release of Disney and Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’ signalled the beginning of a new revolution in entertainment and film. The first feature-length film to be created entirely using CGI technology, ‘Toy Story’ was a remarkable achievement in its time. Even today, it is a wonder that is timeless, having spurred on three sequels and still being a beloved favourite the world over.
Fast forward to 2019, as Disney takes the lead yet again
Looking at the movies playing now and in recent months, it is abundantly obvious to anyone that has not been living under a rock that Disney has been dominating the entertainment industry in 2019 thus far. And, with several highly-anticipated feature films, in addition to its brand new on-demand home entertainment streaming service, Disney+, still due for release this year, that reign is not likely to simmer down any time soon. Disney’s masterful command of the latest iteration in CGI technology has been a prominent force in all its most beloved recent releases, from the Marvel and Star Wars universes, to Disney (and Disney and Pixar) masterpieces like ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Toy Story 4’, and ‘The Lion King’.
This is an entertainment and film empire that knows its audience, and has long commanded the entertainment and film technologies that have created decades of the highest quality entertainment possible. And now, as Disney continues to surge through a strong year at the box office, it is further cementing its position as the world’s most beloved entertainment empire. If only one thing is certain, it is that this reign is far from over.