Disney’s animation style is distinctly recognizable even though it has evolved and introduced different techniques. Globally loved characters have come to life in vibrantly colored hand drawn animation, equally stunning computer animation, and even stop motion. But the art style used in the upcoming Disney Princess movie Wish has fans divided about what Disney animators were thinking.
The character and film design in Disney’s Wish incorporates its trademark fantasy, whimsy, and anthropomorphic storytelling, but its animation style is something fans are focussed on. Princess Asha’s magical story will involve BOTH 2D and 3D animation. 2D animation notably has yet to be used since 2009’s The Princess and the Frog, while 3D has been implemented for hits like Frozen (2013), Tangled (2010), Moana (2016), and more recent projects.
The most interesting aspect of Disney’s animation style in Wish is the seemingly “watercolor” visual elements, which resemble a moving painting. The watercolor hand-drawn art is combined with CGI technology like never before, and while many find the result innovative and beautiful, others are accusing Disney of theft.
Fans of the wildly popular Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023) praised the innovative and creative art style of the various types of animation incorporated into the character-driven film. Critics are drawing parallels between the animation style of Disney’s Wish and certain scenes in Sony’s Spider-Verse sequel and even the design of Universal’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022). But are Disney animators in the wrong?
Here’s what social media thinks.
This looks pretty darn good but the artstyle is kinda strange, it’s like they wanted to pull a Spiderverse or Puss in Boots 2 but didn’t fully commit
This looks pretty darn good but the artstyle is kinda strange, it's like they wanted to pull a Spiderverse or Puss in Boots 2 but didn't fully commit
— 3D Bluray Enjoyer (@DeaditeBoi) April 27, 2023
For those saying #spiderverse and #pussinboots “INSPIRED” this style for #wish NOOOOOOO, disney has begun and experimented with this style a decade ago until now starting with Paperman, their most beyond the stars project
But Paperman looked better than this. 😐
— 𓍊𓋼𓍊 ジニー 𓍊𓋼𓍊 (@immamoonkin) April 27, 2023
I don’t know who is the art director, but fire him. You clearly are trying to hop in the 2D-3D from Spider-verse and Puss in boots and I don’t know why you are failing since you used that animation for a short more than a decade ago.
I don't know who is the art director, but fire him. You clearly are trying to hop in the 2D-3D from Spider-verse and Puss in boots and I don't know why you are failing since you used that animation for a short more than a decade ago.
— Cubeta Malvada (@Malvada_Cubeta) April 29, 2023
Two of these posts mention Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning Paperman (2012) short, known for its unique blend of traditional hand-drawn animation and computer-generated graphics. Check out a trailer for it below and see what you think.
Does Disney deserve the theft accusations? Or did they actually think up this animation technique first?