Disney’s Animated Studio Facing Possible Overhaul

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Disney Animation Reboot

Credit: ITM

Despite the hype of projects from Marvel, Star Wars, and original content from Disney+, the company has been met with some severe criticism regarding its latest animated feature, Strange World. The backlash has gotten so bad that not only has the film been considered the company’s biggest flop, but some fans are calling for a massive reboot for Walt Disney Animation Studios.

strange world teaser trailer man holding water balloon
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney Animation Studios has created some of the most beloved animated films of all time. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Lion King, nearly every fan has a favorite Disney movie/character. While some films have done better than others, not every Disney project has been a winner. That’s not such an awful observation when looking at the total of 61 animated features that have graced the screen. However, none have sunk quite so low as their latest feature.

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Strange World wasn’t for everyone, and that’s putting it nicely. Not since The Black Cauldron has a Disney project been so panned by critics and viewers alike. When The Black Cauldron bombed in 1985, it was such a commercial and financial failure that there were talks and rumors of the Walt Disney Company abandoning its animation department altogether. The difference between that film and Strange World, however, is that Disney’s black sheep at least made nearly half its budget back. Considered by some to be “Disney’s worst movie,” there will definitely be some drastic measures taken at the studio.


The film and the backlash isn’t just bad, it’s a problem. The studio has been known for opening the eyes of an audience and introducing them to new and creative storytelling methods, as well as giving voices to new perspectives and characters. However, recent Disney films, like Strange World, have deviated from the standard and successful Disney formula.

Related: NBCUniversal CEO Bashes Disney, Claims Universal Animation Is Better

Jesse Lab from The Escapist makes an excellent point concerning Disney’s plots by saying,

 “All of Disney’s conflicts now are interpersonal dramas. The problem with Strange World is that the film is nothing but character drama with the main plot; the world’s energy source dying becomes second to healing the family’s fractured dynamic. It’s a message that Disney has been pushing since 2013’s Frozen…”

It’s not about the animation style, the direction, or even the “first gay Disney character,” but the constant stream of deviation away from the traditional Disney movie plot. It’s fine to try something new, but Disney’s traditional fairytale narratives work for a reason. Just because there’s a new generation of fans out there in the audience doesn’t mean the studio has to pander or play to them specifically. At this time, it’s unknown how soon Disney will return to their roots, but there will definitely be some major changes if Walt Disney Animation wants to bounce back from this.

How do you think Disney Animation should change? Tell us in the comments below!

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