Animating a Disney Original

TechMDinc Gives New Life to an Old Artifact

If you’ve watched a single Disney movie, you know brooms, candlesticks and teapots can spring to life in the blink of an eye. TechMDinc engineered a similar magic trick by bringing to life an authentic Disney Studios animation desk for The Walt Disney Company Argentina corporate office in Buenos Aires.

The office features a number of Disney artifacts, including a sturdy wooden desk used by professional animators in the 1950’s. As visitors approach the desk for a closer look, they step onto a barely noticeable pressure-sensitive mat that secretly launches the adventure. With no touch screen, start button or obvious interaction, line drawings begin appearing on the desktop and merge into animated footage from Disney features. Scenes from some of Disney’s most beloved films are set to music to captivate guests and instill a sense of wonder.

Assembled at TechMDinc’s Burbank location, the animation desk had many requirements. It had to be easy to ship and easy to maintain, while delivering great technical quality and preserving a sense of magic. The team used the same technical approach as they would for an onboard ride technology package – fitting the required hardware into a single box with just a few simple connectors. Then, they modified the desk drawers to create a false facade behind which the technology package is installed. A hidden video projector, paired with a specially-designed rear projection surface that replaced the animator’s disk in the center of the desktop, displays the stunning imagery while a modified vintage radio plays back the experience’s soundtrack.

From client collaboration to thoughtful and inventive planning, and from technical reliability to ease and elegance of use, the Disney Animation Desk is a unique illustration of TechMDinc’s process.

We would like to thank our collaboration partner Jeff Kurtti and the Walt Disney Company, the primary creative producers on this project.

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