Disney Buries Multiple Projects in New Campaign

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An image collage featuring characters from multiple projects. On the left are two blue-skinned Na'vi from "Avatar." In the middle are characters from Disney's "Frozen," including Elsa, Anna, and Olaf. On the right is the Mandalorian, a character from Star Wars.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Whether the studio is at a record high or an all-time low, Disney’s grip on our collective culture is not shaken. Although the studio might be emerging from a recent “Flop Era,” the House of Mouse is going to great lengths to remind us what it can accomplish “beyond storytelling.”

Shared by @ScottGustin, Disney’s newest sizzler reel used to promote how much the company has expanded beyond the realms of film and television gives the viewer incredible sequences from some of the studio’s top performing projects, namely Frozen II (2019), Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), and scenes from The Mandalorian on Disney+. While this might be an incredible Display of the worlds the studio has created, it also might be a massive coverup.

Related: Leaning Into Sequels, Disney Revives Two More Pixar Franchises

By little exaggeration, Disney is coming out of a creative funk after some seriously lackluster performances in 2023. As CEO Bob Iger makes some serious cuts on corporate and production levels, the studio just released the above footage to display Disney’s tremendous success despite recent criticism. As grand and elaborate as the imagery of Pandora, Arendelle, and the Star Wars galaxy might be, it’s not hard to interpret this as smoke and mirrors.

Beyond Storytelling Campaign Distracts Fans From Damage Control

The image features a large assortment of movie and TV show posters, forming a colorful background mosaic. In the center, prominently displayed, is the Disney+ logo, indicating that the platform offers a wide variety of content.
Credit: Inside the Magic

2023 was not a good season for The Walt Disney Company, and recent developments from the studio are relying excessively on media and franchises with an already established fanbase, such as the list of sequels, including the upcoming Inside Out 2 (2024) and  Frozen III, Toy Story 5, and Zootopia 2. Disney also emphasizes established worlds like those seen in Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as demonstrated by Star Wars: The Acolyte and Marvel projects like X-Men ’97 and Deadpool and Wolverine (2024).

Related: Canceled Marvel Series Moves to Rival Streaming App Amidst Disney+ Upheaval

These projects are all exceptionally interesting and bound to attract more than a few interested parties. However, the roster seems to lack an original concept from Disney. It’s not that Disney isn’t coming up with new ideas, but there is a difference between “new” and “original.” So what’s Disney really up to?

What Lies Beyond

Rey and Chewbacca at 'Star Wars': Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

Given the additional footage of Disney’s fandom outside the films (namely the parks), another way to interpret this new campaign is that Disney is shifting its focus to go “beyond storytelling” in the sense of going beyond the films. It’s no secret that the theme parks are Disney’s bread and butter and logically the biggest money maker, so it might be the case that the company is trying to push attention to projects away from their weakest links.

Related: Mickey Mouse and Cinderella Prepare for Historic Vote That Could Alter Their Appearances at Disney Forever

It might sound like tin-foil-hat territory, but Disney is notorious for immersive experiences at the theme parks. It wouldn’t be too out of pocket to suggest that this may hint at bigger and better things for Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort. Only Disney’s marketing team knows for sure.

Much of this might be pure speculation, but it’s not like Disney hasn’t toyed with its audience before. The depiction of the studio’s top-performing films and shows, paired with the very visual responses from its fandom, demonstrates a clear understanding of where its strengths lie. Something’s happening at the House of Mouse, and it needs fans’ support. The only question is, what comes next?

Is “Beyond Storytelling” an imaginative ad campaign or a distraction from Disney’s recent shortcomings? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

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