Disney Goes Back To Their Roots, After Major Flops

anna from the Frozen series (left) smiling at Snow White
Credit: Disney, Canva

Disney may be returning back to classics.

Disney classic films, or Disney Animated Classics, represent animated storytelling’s rich and timeless legacy. These films have played a pivotal role in shaping the childhoods of generations, creating magical worlds and endearing characters that have become cultural icons.

Growing up, children or adults have all watched classic films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), Mulan (1998), and Tarzan (1999), just to name a few.

'Beauty and the Beast' Belle and Beast dance in the ballroom

Credit Disney

Disney has continued creating new films, which often revolve around themes of love, friendship, bravery, and the triumph of good over evil. Disney fans from all around the world recognize character faces like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy to princesses like Cinderella, Snow White, and Ariel; these characters have transcended the screen and become cultural phenomena, recognized and loved worldwide.

Disney classic films cover a wide range of themes, catering to audiences of all ages. While some films focus on the magic and wonder of fantasy worlds, others explore deeper and more mature themes. Films like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast address issues of identity, responsibility, and love, adding layers of complexity to the storytelling.

Disney's the lion king

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

While Disney is widely known for its successful and iconic films, not every movie produced by the company has been a box office hit. It’s essential to note that the definition of a “flop” can vary based on different factors, including budget, expectations, and critical reception.

Disney made major changes to the animated films, starting with Frozen (2013), Moana (2016), and Encanto (2021). These films stepped away from the classic 2D animation and were fully 3D. These movies were hits around the world. Frozen warmed fans’ hearts and taught them to “Let it Go,” and Encanto fans learned that “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

encanto family

Credit: Disney

Disney’s newest film, Wish will debut November 22, 2023. Wish is different than the normal 3-D Disney films as they went back to the classics with 2-D animation, at least in its tests. Wish is directed by Chris Buck (who directed films like Tarzan, and Frozen) and Fawn Veerasunthorn. Wish is about a girl named Asha, who pleads to the stars in a moment of need after she senses darkness in the Kingdom of Rosas.

The Direct got a quote from the director Chris Buck about dabbling in 2-D animated films again. While Wish still used -3D in the film, the idea that Disney is dabbing with the idea of making 2-D films such as the classics is interesting due to the backlash and flops Disney has faced.

“I think, absolutely. This film was inspired, obviously, by the legacy and the 2D animation. And the look has a somewhat 2D look with the lines on the characters. We did early tests with Star as 2D. But yeah, I think we keep exploring.”

Princess Asha and the wishing Star in Disney's 'Wish' movie

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company’s ability to adapt and create diverse content has allowed it to recover from setbacks and continue to be a dominant force in the entertainment industry.

About Brittni Ward

Brittni is a Disney and Universal fan; one of her favorite things at both parks is collecting popcorn buckets. While at Disney World Resort, Brittni meets the princesses and rides Kilimanjaro Safaris. At Universal, Brittni enjoys the Minions and watching Animal Actors on Location! When not at Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando, Brittni spends time with her family and pets.