After the very expensive Sleeping Beauty failed at the box-office the company was in debt, and there was some talk of closing down the animation department at the Disney studio. Although Walt Disney had been expanding the studio into other mediums such as live-action films, television and theme parks, he still had deep feelings for animation since he had built the company upon it. He wanted to continue producing animation at the studio, but he needed to cut the cost.
Cartoon Movie Poster of 101 Dalmatians
Ub Iwerks, in charge of special processes at the studio, had been experimenting with Xerox photography to aid in animation. By 1959 he had modified a Xerox camera to transfer drawings by animators directly to animation cels, eliminating the inking process and preserving the spontaneity of the penciled elements. The introduction of xerography eased graphic reproduction requirements, but at the price of being unable to deviate from a scratchy outline style because of the new (and time and money saving) technology’s limitations.