Disney’s biggest flop has forever changed its animation

Dubbed a $100 million flop, Disney’s latest animated film, Strange world, he’s been fired with a less-than-pleasant reputation since his dismal debut. Scheduled to premiere on Disney+ just a month after hitting theaters, the movie could get a second wind when it becomes more widely available to a broader range of viewers.

That being said, the damage to Walt Disney Animation has already been done. What some fans, both casual and longtime, don’t realize is that the studio has been permanently changed by the poor reception of this movie. The fallout from the Disney disaster won’t end once the film is safely tucked away on Disney+, where it will no doubt get lost in a sea of ​​other movies. As sure as a massive paradigm shift is headed for Walt Disney Animation.

Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal) with the dog Legend.  Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

People can name names, point fingers, and talk about what went wrong, what went right, and what he did Strange world what it became, but the results remain the same. This was much more than a financial failure for Disney. Critics can blame the marketing, blame the direction, blame the accepting father-son story arc, and even blame Disney for adding their “first gay character,” but the point is that the movie didn’t work. more levels than one. It’s not that Disney tried something new that didn’t work, it’s just that they tried to push too many things over the course of a movie, and too many cooks ended up burning down the kitchen. But how bad is it Strange world, And should it really be considered Disney’s biggest bombshell?

Related: ‘Strange World’ Is More Than A Failure, It’s A Problem

When it comes to failed Disney projects, the name that immediately springs to the surface is The Black Cauldron. Known as the black sheep of the Walt Disney Company, the black cauldron was a dark fantasy film inspired by the Prydain Lloyd Alexander series, and it was definitely the darkest project Disney had undertaken at the time. This tale of swords, sorcery, and undead minions was certainly a new adventure for Disney, and the company was definitely experimenting with more artwork. While something of a cult movie today, the project was the studio’s biggest flop. The film bombed so hard that it even jeopardized the future of Disney’s animation department. Not only that, but he shared some eerily similar qualities with Strange world.

King with horns in the black cauldron
Credit: Orlando Sentinel

Time Strange world may lack swords, witches, and undead evil sorcerers played by John Hurt, it shares more qualities than some fans might think. Both movies had a fantastic world, experimented with more adult themes, and came on the heels of blockbuster Disney projects. The difference? the black cauldron recovered about half of its original budget, not including inflation. Keep in mind, the black cauldron it also had more against it, namely Jeffery Katzenberg bringing a pair of scissors to the final reels of the film. So what does he do Strange world so different, and why is the audience so much more critical than that of a movie that almost got an R rating and supposedly nearly killed the Disney studio?

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As stated above, there are a number of features that fans can blame for. Strange world failure, but the consensus seems to agree on three main things: marketing, excess, and the “woke” movement. Actually, it could be a combination of all three, but that doesn’t change the fact that the final project didn’t work. As evidenced by the financial blow dealt by the film’s mediocre debut, Disney not only tried and failed, they tried too many failed elements and ultimately collapsed.

treasure planet
Credit: Disney

Some Disney fans are comparing the failure of Strange world to other Disney sci-fi movies like Atlantis: The Lost Empire Y treasure planet, both supposedly share a common curse with the most recent animated flop. They suffered a lot in the marketing department. Actually, that might be true to a degree, as the Strange World ads and commercials didn’t exactly offer enticing visuals to entice viewers to watch. at least something like atlantis it had Mike Mignola’s artwork and a mysterious premise to tempt audiences into theaters. However, many of the movie’s advertisements and advertisements were simply too vague to convey anything more than the bizarre adventures of one family in a sci-fi setting on a strange alien planet.

Related: Can Disney+ Save ‘Strange World’?

Building off of that earlier statement, another immediate criticism of the film is the fact that it simply tries to do too many things at once, resulting in a mix of plot points and themes that kill a singular identity. Is it a coming-of-age story? A father-son reunion story? An animated expedition movie in the style of Jules Verne or Indiana Jones? There really isn’t a solid answer, and that makes the movie fall flat on its face. Throwing ideas at the wall may work in storyboard sessions, but not in the final project.

In addition, the themes and motifs shown in Strange world are common tropes seen in multiple (arguably better) Disney movies. The plot centers on a family of explorers (atlantis Y duck tales) who have to learn to put aside their differences to explore an unforgiving landscape and overcome adversity (The Incredibles). That doesn’t even mention the repeated motif of father and son understanding each other (a silly movie), a defense theme of the surname (Little chicken), and more than a few family elements shared with James Cameron. Avatar. Simply put, the movie comes off as rehashed and half-baked.

Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White) in Disney's 'Strange World'
Credit: Disney

Of course, there’s no escaping what many viewers consider the film’s biggest flaw, its “awakening.” Of course, by “wake up” most critics and viewers mean the inclusion of Disney’s first gay character, Ethan Clade. However, while the inclusivity is certainly commendable on Disney’s part, this choice does nothing to further the narrative. In short, it’s having a gay character simply for the sake of having a gay character akin to the token minority trope, and that doesn’t do the studio any favors either. Now that the dust has settled, what does all this mean for the future of Disney animation?

Now that Bob Iger has retaken control of the company, there will be some changes at Walt Disney Animation. Shortly after reclaiming the job from him, the CEO stated:

“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are…”


“I fundamentally believe that storytelling is what drives this company, and is at the core of how we organize our businesses.”

This isn’t just aimed at the corporate side of the Walt Disney Company, or even the theme parks. There are going to be some big changes coming to Walt Disney Animation, and they’ll happen much sooner than many probably expect. As seen after the black cauldron, a new team of artists and animators is definitely looking for new management in the near future. anyone who has seen sleeping beauty awake You will know that the heat is preparing to boil the team behind Strange world. The return of a more directed approach to traditional storytelling may be beneficial, but it won’t come without some cutbacks.

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Disney animation studios logo
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

With all that in mind, that doesn’t mean Disney Animation is down and out. On the contrary, both Disney and Pixar already have two new projects underway in the form of Wish Y Elementary. Given that the former is a supposed return to traditional animation and fantasy/fairytale narrative, it could be the lifeline the studio needs to shake off the bitter taste of Strange world.

This is completely speculative, but Disney made a massive comeback after their last big flop. After all, history tends to repeat itself. It might stand to reason that the next two movies could be the start of a new Disney renaissance. However, viewers and fans will have to wait until both are released before any real change can be predicted.

Related: ‘Strange World’ Has a Secret Tribute

In financial terms, Strange world it’s Disney’s weakest link, but calling it the worst movie the company has ever made might be going too far. Its plot and characters aren’t downright obnoxious, they’re just not focused enough or too unique compared to what the studio has released in years past, but that doesn’t mean it should be burned at the stake. Its addition to Disney+ could guarantee it a new crop of fans and viewers, and it could even become Disney’s next cult movie if the right people see and enjoy it, but for better and worse, the film has left a mark on the study. that will not be forgotten

Strange world it just tried to do too many things, cater to too many niche audiences, and lost the classic Disney identity in the process. Hopefully, Iger’s mission to bring Disney’s focus back to creative storytelling and traditional motifs will help lift Walt Disney Animation Studios out of the mire and mire that the film has unfortunately caused. In the end, the film was a downfall for Disney, but also a springboard into learning what works and what doesn’t for an ever-changing audience.

You think Strange world What was really the worst Disney movie? How do you think the study can be changed? Tell us in the comments below!

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