Disney Animation Is Trying Too Hard, Needs to Tone It Down

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(L-R) Upset Character Elsa looking at Disney Castle Brand Image with Logo on it

Credit: Inside the Magic

After a rough 2023 and 2024 stuffed to the gills with sequels, Disney Animation is missing some magic when it comes to crafting original content.

Logo for Walt Disney Animation
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Things at the Walt Disney Animation Studio have been significantly less magical this year, as the company combats a year of box office blunders and what many consider its “Flop Era.” That said, the groundwork is already present for Disney to get back up and try again.

Related: Op-Ed: Disney Animation Remains Untouched by Disney+ Purge

As the studio announces several new sequels to successful films like Inside Out (2015) and The Lion King (2019), there has been little to no development in the way of new and original material from Disney Animation. Although nothing has been announced yet, fans might not need to be as worried as they think.

Time to Pump the Breaks for Disney Animation

@gavillain

Replying to @thekingoftrains #greenscreen Also, yes, obviously Disney has always taken artistic liberties with the properties they are adapting. But never to the extent that we have seen over the last 15 years, and that’s the kicker. #disney#disneyanimation#disneyanimationstudios#fairytales#cinderella#wish#rayaandthelastdragon#thelittlemermaid#aladdin#101dalmatians#classicdisney#mythologyandfolklore

♬ original sound – Evan Villain

TikTok creator @gavillain is a Disney aficionado that has spoken at length on Disney and its projects before, but his take on the current state of Disney Animation raises an interesting point. The studio has been trying too hard to reinvent the wheel due to the success of films like Tangled (2010) and Frozen (2013) that feature similar elements. Repackaging that formula has effected Disney greatly, but the best course of action might be to simply tell a more basic fairytale.

Related: Immersive Disney Animation is Nightmare Fuel

Inside the Magic has covered the subject of the next Disney fairytale before, and it might be the next logical step given Disney’s success at the box office with the theme. As @gavillain states,

“Disney’s whole thing was really about taking well-known stories and then adapting them to a visual media so that the audience could enjoy them like never before.”

When asked for further comment, the creator responded with the following thoughts.

“Disney became such a treasured household name because they cared about quality and they knew how to tell familiar stories that spoke to the universal themes in all of our lives. And while it’s great that they are trying to spread out and try new things, I think it’s really important that they don’t forget the reason why they became so beloved in the first place. At the end of the day, the fans just want to see Disney do well and to make the best Disney movies that they can, and it’s my opinion that the best way to do that is by trusting their roots.”

Consider the most recent Disney fairytale adaptation, Frozen II. Billed as the most successful animated film of all time, the movie took inspiration from a historic fairytale and even Norse mythology, but added Disney’s classic touch to make it something special. $1.325 billion at the global box office isn’t chickenfeed, after all.

Moana and Maui
Credit: Disney

Another example would be Moana (2016), which took from Polynesian culture and mythology to tell its story about a sea-faring princess and her quest to restore the Heart of Te Fiti. Raking in $643,331,111 at the global box office, Tamatoa clearly wasn’t the only thing shiny about this reimagined myth.

Related: Disney Animation Enters Oscar Race After Multiple Flops

Disney’s identity crisis might have landed the studio in a rough spot, but that doesn’t mean it’s curtains for the House of Mouse. Patterns happen for a reason, and the sooner the company realizes that box office billions are linked to Disneyfied fairytales, the sooner fans can expect a spike in magic again.

What do you think Disney’s next move will be? Tell Inside the Magic about it in the comments below! 

 

 

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