The story and planning took four years, but the actual animation was completed in only a year. This remarkably short production span was possible due to new efficiencies in the production process (such as video tests and computer-assisted layouts and graphics), and an increased emphasis on story development prior to the start of production.
All of the moving clock gears were created in a computer "room" and then the hand drawn characters were added, making this the first Disney film with computer animated elements. The movements of the clock's gears were produced as wire-frame graphics on a computer, printed out and traced onto animation cels where colors and the characters were added.
125 artists were involved in making the film.
When Disney re-released the movie in 1992, they gave it the title of "The Adventures of the Great Mouse Detective". When the film was released on video, the title on the box was back to "The Great Mouse Detective", but the title card in the film itself reads "The Adventures of the Great Mouse Detective".
Budgeted at 14 million, the film brought it almost 40 million in its first release. After the failure of The Black Cauldron, this return to basics proved to be a success, and infected the studio with the pride it once had. The new senior management of the company- primarily Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg- were convinced that their animation department was still a viable part of the company.
In December 1984, during the production of this film, the animation department was moved out of the the original Walt Disney Studios Animation Building on the lot in Burbank, California. The animators were moved to the Air Way facility in nearby Glendale, California. Following corporate restructuring, the animation department was spun off as a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Studios known as Walt Disney Feature Animation (later Walt Disney Animation Studios). Walt Disney Feature Animation would returned to the Burbank studios lot in the Roy E. Disney Animation Building crowned with the Sorcerer's hat in 1995.
This was the 26th film in the official Disney list of animated films.
The Great Mouse Detective Production Information
Traditional, Hand-drawn Animation.
Alternate Title: "The Adventures of the Great Mouse Detective."
Foreign Language Title: "Basil Détective Privé (French)."
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