Google has just released its top search trends for the year 2023, and Disney fans’ online inquiries are definitely represented in those trends. But some of the results might surprise those who love all things Disney.
Google Trends By Year
Every year, usually in mid-December, Google releases its list of the top most-trending searches of the year. Categories range from people, actors, and movies to news topics, music, deaths, and more.
Each year’s list serves as a digital time capsule of sorts for the year, as it gives insight into what was happening during the year, what movies played a big part of the year in entertainment, which celebrities passed away during the year, and which music defined the year.
According to Google, information for the year was compiled from searches beginning on January 1, 2023, and ending on November 27, 2023.
Trending Disney-Related Searches of 2023
Because Disney owns numerous companies, entities, and IPs, Google’s top searches usually include various Disney films, Disney actors and actresses, and more.
As 2023 has been a year of big Disney Company and Disney Parks news, fans might expect to see topics like Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World Resort, Bob Iger, Disney CEO Bob Iger, Splash Mountain, Mickey Mouse, Disney’s rights to Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willie, or Disney Plus among the most-searched Disney-related keywords on Google’s lists. But not one of these terms made the list for 2023.
People and Actors
In 2022, Captain Jack Sparrow himself, Johnny Depp, was the #1 most-searched actor on Google. The second most-searched actor of 2022 was searched more for the “slap heard ’round the world” than for his acting prowess. It was, of course, actor Will Smith, who has many acting roles to his credit, including the role of Genie in Disney’s live-action Aladdin (2019).
In 2023, the top-trending actors and people with ties to Disney include Marvel actor Jeremy Renner, who suffered multiple near-life-threatening injuries in January 2023 when his snowplow rolled over on top of him at his home near Reno, Nevada.
Actor Pedro Pascal also ranked among the top ten most searched people on Google in 2023. Recently, it’s been said that Pascal, who is best known as the voice–but not always as the physical actor–under the helmet in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, a Star Wars spinoff created by Jon Favreau, may not return to portray the famed bounty hunter in the upcoming fourth season of the series.
In 2022, the top most-searched Disney-owned movies in Google Search were Thor: Love & Thunder, which was the #1 most-searched film title across the board, whether Disney-produced or otherwise, and Disney’s 60th feature-length animated film, Encanto (2021), was the fifth-most-searched Disney-owned movie on Google.
In 2023, the top ten most-search Disney-related movies were The Sound of Freedom (#4) and Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) (#6). Though the second Avatar film is owned by Disney, as it’s part of 21st Century Studios, The Sound of Freedom was only once tied to Disney.
The film was shot during the time when a deal was being struck between Disney and 20th Century Fox. When the acquisition was complete, Disney reportedly shelved the project, after which Angel Studios fought to purchase the rights to the film and then released the film in 2023.
In 2022, Disney stars made the list of the top 10 most-searched news topics. “Johnny Depp verdict,” related to the actor’s anti-defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, was the seventh most-searched news topic, while “Will Smith Oscars” was the ninth most-searched news topic, referring to the 94th Academy Awards, during which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the face during the live televised broadcast.
Celebrity deaths are always of interest to fans who want to pay their respects to those who’ve departed and reminisce about their favorite films starring those celebrities. And, quite frankly, fans use Google to search for what happened to the celebrity that resulted in his or her death, especially when it’s a young person or someone who wasn’t notably ill or failing in health.
In 2022, beloved actress, funny girl, and Disney Legend “Betty White” ranked as the #2 most-search death, while “Bob Saget” was the fourth most-searched celebrity death for the year. White passed away on December 31, 2021, at the age of 99, just weeks before a nationwide 100th birthday celebration was to take place in her honor at theaters across the country.
Saget, who became known as “America’s dad” because of his role in the Disney-owned ABC sitcom Full House, passed away at a hotel in Orlando, Florida, while he was on tour in the Sunshine State.
In 2023, “Matthew Perry” topped the list of the most-searched celebrity deaths on Google. The 54-year-old actor, who was found dead in the hot tub at his Pacific Palisades home on October 28, was best known for the role of Chandler on the NBC sitcom Friends. Perry also had Disney credits to his name, including The Kid (2000), starring Bruce Willis.
Perry also worked as a co-creator and executive producer on the sitcom Mr. Sunshine, which was created for the Disney-owned ABC television network in 2011.