Disney Returns to 2D Animation, Fans Doubtful About Studio’s Future

in Disney, Movies

Ariel gasping in The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

Disney’s latest animated film, Wish, will hit theaters in just a few weeks, but the film has had almost nonstop controversies since being announced.

The film was originally heralded as the combination of 100 years of Disney animated history and promised a stunning blend of 2D and 3D animated scenes throughout the film. However, as more information and various trailers were released, it soon became clear that Disney fell short on its promises. The release of the film’s trailers faced criticism for appearing half-rendered and unfinished, with many saying that the film has fallen short as a 100th-anniversary film.

Asha from Disney's 'Wish' standing in front of a door
Credit: Disney

And there are complaints about the fact that Asha seems to be yet another adorkable Disney princess, with fans claiming that Disney isn’t doing anything original or imaginative with its films anymore. Wish has continued to release snippets of its songs in an effort to promote the film, which seems to have backfired. The release of the song, “This is the Thanks I Get,” sung by the film’s villain, King Magnifico (voiced by Chris Pine), has many Disney fans wondering what happened to the once-iconic songwriters that Disney used to employ.

The film’s premise of blending 2D and 3D animation has been the subject of several conversations in the last several months, including claims that the Walt Disney Animation Studio would never again return to a fully 2D animated film. Recently, however, comments from Wish’s co-director Chris Buck seem to prove otherwise. In an interview with The Direct, Buck addressed the film’s use of 2D animation, saying that it was “inspired, obviously, by the legacy and the 2D animation,” and stated that the “studio would ‘absolutely’ look into including 2D animation in their future movies.”

Snow White singing to Doves on a wishing well
Credit: Disney

Reactions to this claim have been mixed, with several Disney fans longing for the day that Disney returns to its 2D roots, but others reluctant to believe it. “Yes they’re going back to the good old days,” shared @tommydangermou3. “I’ll believe it when I see it because it’s been almost 15 YEARS since the last big 2D animated film,” @itsthatonenerd posted to X/Twitter. @JackLoxtile agreed, saying, “Then why haven’t they made any more 2D movies in over a decade (with 2011’s Winnie the Pooh movie)? Why has it been strictly 3D movies and live action remakes? I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“Ok, REAL 2D movies or your unrendered Wish BS?” questioned @moviehowler. Some even decided to make a meme out of the situation, with @BenjaMage posting the following:

Clearly, fans want a return to the animation style that put the Walt Disney Company on the map in the first place. While some studios are using 3D animation in new and creative ways, like Sony’s Spider-Verse franchise or DreamWorks’ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022), Disney isn’t taking those same creative liberties. Instead, fans are upset because the studio continues to create characters that look alike, sound alike, and act alike.

spider-man-across-the-spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

It’s possible that Disney’s reluctance to lean into 2D comes from a profitability standpoint, but as the studio continues to draw criticism for its constant 3D animation as well as its live-action remakes of its beloved 2D films, the studio is struggling to maintain its popularity with fans anyway. Hopefully, Buck’s comments are indicative of the Walt Disney Company actually listening to its fans and a hint of what’s to come from the future of the studio.

Do you want Disney  to return to 2D animation or do you prefer the recent 3D styling? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! 

in Disney, Movies

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