Film Critic Says Disney Does Not Know How to Market Original Films

Strange World
Credit: Disney/Pixar

In recent years, a lot of people have come to believe that Disney pretty much only makes live-action remakes, which isn’t entirely untrue. Disney has become heavily reliant on live-action remakes like The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, and more. However, there are a number of original movies that have been released in recent years like Turning Red, Lightyear, and the incredibly popular, Encanto.

Credit: Disney

While little marketing strategy is needed to get people into theaters to see live-action remakes, more effort is needed to get people interested in an original movie. Unfortunately, with the rare exception of Encanto, Disney has struggled to find major success with its newer original films. One film critic shared that he believes that it is because Disney has forgotten how to market original films.


Credit: Disney

Rotten Tomatoes Certified Critic Dave Lee took to Twitter to share that Walt Disney knew that risky original movies needed special marketing strategies in order to be successful.

Disney simply don’t know how to market originals. And everyone wonders why they’re so reliant on proven IP. Even Walt knew this — it’s why he built Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland 4 YEARS before the movie & commissioned a Lady & Tramp novelization for release 2 YEARS before

Sleeping Beauty was Disney’s most expensive & avant-guarde film to that point (with exception of Fantasia) & Walt knew it was a VERY RISKY sell. So he subliminally made audiences aware of the story and IP by using the most elaborate marketing tool in his arsenal — Disneyland.

Sleeping Beauty was not the only animated film that Walt had to figure out how to market to the audience. Lady and the Tramp also underwent a 2-year marketing campaign. Both Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp are now considered iconic Disney animated feature films.

Lady and the Tramp was the studios first animation based on an original (or not well-known) story. This scared the hell out of Walt so he commissioned a novelization that was sold as “the book the movie is based on” & released it 2yrs before to create the illusion of familiar IP.

While Disney has a number of live-action remakes coming down the pike — including The Little Mermaid and Snow White — they also have some originals set to be released, including Strange World, The Haunted Mansion, Elemental, and Wish. What remains to be seen is how Disney chooses to market those films and how successful they end up being.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!