Hollywood is full of sequels and franchises, and that’s surprisingly the one thing animation giant Disney still struggles to do.
disney and Pixar have gone from rivals to partners, but there’s one thing the former still doesn’t do as well as the latter. Disney’s animated films are currently on a winning streak, with its new film Encantowritten by hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda, being a huge success. The company is finally catching up with Pixar with its movie quality, but it still lags behind in one area.
The company started making animated films in 1937, starting with one of Disney’s best films. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which marked the history of cinema. Since then, the company has continued to release anime in abundance. Its movies are constantly compared to Pixar’s, due to the companies’ proximity, but there’s one thing Disney still doesn’t do as well as Pixar: sequels.
Disney’s sequels, compared to Pixar’s, mostly fall flat. After the Frozen phenomena, it seemed like the company couldn’t fail when releasing a sequel. The sequel was arguably Disney’s biggest attempt at making a follow-up movie, and while Frozen 2 actually made more money than the first one, it probably didn’t live up to its predecessor. Ralph breaks the internet was another great sequel that also failed to encapsulate the uniqueness and joy of the first film, as well as introduce plot holes in Ralph’s timeline. The big leap from being situationally placed in the video game world to something as vast as the internet has caused the film to lose a lot of its heart and overall it’s not as much favored than the first film.
Disney’s experience with animated sequels in the past has mostly been with straight-to-home video releases. In fact, Disney’s only authorized theatrical sequels are the aforementioned two, and the The Rescuers Below. In the middle of Cinderella trilogies and The little Mermaid prequels, theatrical sequels seem to be more of an issue for Disney animation. Comparatively, Pixar has done a plethora of toy story films, all profitable and widely acclaimed. The Incredibles 2 was also a hit, basically set up for a Frozone spin-off, and Finding Dory was also a strong film that corroborated the themes of the first film while introducing something new. Disney cursed itself somewhat with its straight-to-home video releases, as they came across as more like cheap cash grabs, and didn’t bring the experience of making a good, worthwhile sequel. Pixar’s sequels, however, capture the magic of their original films, being well thought out with great effort.
Disney, unfortunately, hasn’t outgrown its reputation for direct-to-DVD sequels, even in the nearly 100 years it’s been around. Pixar, although some argue that it is now just a Disney+ studio, remains moderately successful in all of its works, including the sequels. Although its offerings have improved over the years, disney still has some work to do when it comes to the quality of its anime sequels matching its original releases.
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