One thing you could always count on before in the film industry was Disney regularly spinning out cartoon movies, but it appears as though the format they have become synonymous with is no longer relevent, as the American studio claimed to have ‘no current plans’ in the field of hand-drawn animated cinema.
Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger summarised: “To my knowledge we’re not developing a 2D or hand-drawn feature animated film right now. There is a fair amount of activity going on in hand-drawn animation but it’s largely for television at this point. We’re not necessarily ruling out the possibility [of] a feature but there isn’t any in development at the company at the moment.”
Instead, the belief is that live-action and Pixar-style CGI features are the current trend, the latter format having been used directly by Disney in recent years for films including Chicken Little, Bolt, Tangled, and Wreck-It Ralph (the latter of which has so far grossed over $435m box office), compared with their most recent ‘traditional animation’ films The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh, grossing just $267m and $33m, respectively.
While it is unlikely to be a permanent death of ‘Disney animated movies’ in the way that people know (and love/hate), it does seem to be thinning out, especially since most of the popular fairy tales, fables, and adaptations of classic stories (along with pointless sequels to all three) have been covered by the company since 1937. All the trailers from Disney’s 40-strong back catalogue of features can be seen below, along with some of their CGI attempts, and their latest effort Wreck-It Ralph: