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Film Critic Slams Disney’s Animated Film Problem


Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios is gearing up for the premiere of strange world, an original film coming in November. But a film critic says The Walt Disney Company isn’t doing enough to promote the film.

Strange World's Ethan Clade
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Dave Lee Down Under has 125,000 subscribers on his movie review YouTube channel. On Tuesday, Lee responded to a strange world advertisement from Walt Disney Animation Studios:

Disney just doesn’t know how to market the originals. And everyone wonders why they depend so much on proven intellectual property. Even Walt knew – that’s why he built Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland 4 YEARS before the movie and commissioned a novelization of Lady & Tramp for release 2 YEARS before

Sleeping Beauty was Disney’s most expensive and cutting-edge movie at that time (apart from Fantasia) and Walt knew it was a VERY RISKY sell. So he subliminally raised public awareness of history and intellectual property using the most elaborate marketing tool in his arsenal – Disneyland.

According to Lee, Disney doesn’t do well at marketing original stories. Many commentators agreed. @NCLuke1024 replied:

I hope this movie is good because they didn’t do a very good job with the marketing. They’ve somewhat revealed what people are predicting the moral is going to be, and the jokes (they’re not really jokes) featured in the trailer are mixed and pretty sweet.

@ScratMarcoDiaz said that although the marketing was poor, they relied on director Don Hall to make a good movie:

Hopefully the film does well, even with limited marketing. Big Hero 6, which is from one of the Strange World directors, managed to do well, even though not many people knew about the original comics the film was based on.

Despite the criticism, many recent Disney Originals have fared well. Walt Disney Animation Studios Encanto (2021) grossed over $40 million opening weekend and became one of Disney’s most successful titles in years.

Safer strange world

The main character, a farmer, of Strange World and his dog panting with excitement.
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

In the latest trailer, the Clade family is recruited by the President to travel to a strange new world… where the youngest Clades meet their missing explorer grandfather for the first time! From Disney:

The voice cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission; Dennis Quaid as Jaeger, Searcher’s larger-than-life explorer father; Jaboukie Young-White as Ethan, Searcher’s 16-year-old son who yearns for adventure; Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and Searcher’s partner in all things; and Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, the fearless leader of Avalonia who leads the exploration of the strange world.

Qui Nguyen is the co-director/writer of Strange World, and Roy Conli is the producer.

strange world of disney
Credit: Disney

“Inspired by classic adventure stories, strange world is an original animated adventure/comedy about three generations of the Clade family who overcome their differences while exploring a strange, wonderful, and often hostile world,” the film’s director, Don Hall, said in a statement to The Walt Disney Company.

Do you agree with Dave Lee?