Leading animation houses should promote and preserve animation talent by holding a competition to create Fantasia-like shorts which would then be short-listed to appear before major theatrical releases like Wall-E, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, etc.
The group of semi-finalists would spend a summer on their creations at a design shop like Pixar where they would be mentored on the pro tools by the best in the industry. At the end of the season, one short (or a few) would be selected to accompany an upcoming movie release.
- The work of the entire season would be archived and made available online / via disc for entertainment and study.
- A single company like Pixar could sponsor the event single-handedly, but a wider association of animators (ASIFA) could easily assemble and participate (e.g. ILM, DreamWorks, Pixar and others), fueling healthy competition and cooperation.
- Global participation could certainly be encouraged.
- "Animation cook-offs", and other challenges designed to focus on a particular element of animation (depicting emotion through stance and body language; traditional sketch cartooning vs. rendering and implementing mo-cap; cueing to musical and programmatical events etc.) with reasonable time limits would mix up the talent group a bit to expose different approaches to creativity.
- While pre-recorded music would be an obvious tribute to Fantasia (Tchaikovsky's 3rd movement from the 6th Symphony would be awesome!!!), student composers could undergo a similar competition and/or partner with the design teams to produce brand new creations.