Disney Confirms It’s Not Done With 2D Movies

Disney making 2D movies
Credit: Disney

For decades, Disney was known for its visually stunning animated movies. Since 1923, the studio has created some of the most well-known and beloved animated films of all time, like Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), Aladdin (1992), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and so many more. Of the ten most successful 2D (AKA hand-drawn) movies ever, Disney takes seven of those spots, including The Lion King (1994), which ranks number one.

The Lion King

Credit: Disney

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As technology has gotten more advanced, traditional hand-drawn animation has somewhat fallen to the wayside. Most animated films are now made through computer animation. But that doesn’t mean that the love for hand-drawn animation has diminished. Fans are constantly asking Disney to go back to the type of filmmaking that they know and love.

Lately, Disney has become known for its computer-animated movies and live-action remakes. But does that mean that it has decided to move completely away from 2D animation? Not according to Frozen (2013) director Chris Buck.

Disney announces Frozen 4

Credit: Disney

Related: Elsa to Marry a Woman in Frozen III. Fact or Fiction? 

Buck has been a part of the Disney family for decades and worked on more than a dozen Disney animated films, including¬†The Fox and the Hound (1981),¬†The Rescuers Down Under¬†(1990),¬†Pocahontas¬†(1995), and¬†Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas¬†(2004). He is also the co-director of Disney’s newest animated film,¬†Wish, which used 3D animation but was inspired by Disney’s classic 2D animated films.

Wish movie

Credit: Disney

When asked about whether Disney would ever return to 2D animation, he confirmed that the studio was definitely considering making more movies in the classic animation style.

‚ÄúI 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.”

‚ÄúThe nice thing is, we started with some shorts, you got ‘Paperman’ and ‘Feast’ and ‘Far From the Tree’ that sort of explored the look that we adapted, and we kept evolving. We had never done it in full feature before. So that was going to be a challenge. I would say absolutely. You just don’t know what the next thing is going to be.‚ÄĚ

Disney Wish movie trailer

Credit: Disney

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Although¬†Wish¬†is not 2D animated, it will honor the 2D movies that came before it. Buck has revealed that the movie will be full of “legacy nods” that eagle-eyed Disney fans are sure to appreciate.¬†Wish¬†will be released in theaters nationwide on November 22, 2023. It will star Ariana DeBose as Asha, Chris Pine as King Magnifico, and Alan Tudyk as Valentino.

Disney's 'Wish' reviews not great

Credit: Disney

One of Disney’s last animated movies was¬†The Princess and the Frog, which was released in 2009. Disney is currently working on a Disney+ series based on the original film and, from images shared by Disney, it looks like the show will be animated in 2D, just like the movie.

Disney has a number of films scheduled for release next year, but most of them will not be animated movies. There are only 2 animated films scheduled to be released next year —¬†Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever¬†and¬†Inside Out 2. However, both of those films will be completely computer-animated.

Inside Out 2 most watched Disney trailer

Credit: Disney/Pixar

Disney’s other upcoming releases are¬†Deadpool 3 and¬†Mufasa: The Lion King.¬†Deadpool 3¬†will be live-action and¬†Mufasa: The Lion King will be mainly created by CGI.

Would you love to see Disney make more 2D animated movies? Let us know in the comments!

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!

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