Disney Considering More 2D Animated Movies In Its Future (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Disney logo

The co-director of Disney Animation’s Wish revealed whether the company would look into creating new 2D animated movies.

Wish sports a unique look. While it is 3D animated, its style is directly inspired by the many 2D movies that came before—though it's been a while since Disney Animation launched any 2D animated films. Nonetheless, Wish has received positive reviews thus far

The last Disney Animation movie in 2D was 2011’s Winnie the Pooh and The Princess and the Frog before that. Since then, the studio leaned fully into 3D animation, producing hits such as Frozen, Moana, and Encanto.

Will Disney Do More 2D Animation?

Star from Disney's Wish

In an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Wish co-director Chris Buck commented on whether Disney Animation would ever consider dabbling in 2D animation again.

The filmmaker exclaimed that the studio would “absolutely” look into including 2D animation in their future movies, noting how the character of Star in Wish was actually 2D in early tests:

“I 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.”

Speaking on the unique style of Wish, Buck spoke about how the movie was the product of an ever-evolving style:

“The 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.”

What 2D Animated Projects Could Come From Disney?

If there was ever a time for Disney Animation to release a new 2D animated film, the 100th anniversary probably would have been the best time to do so.

However, seeing as how part of the purpose of Wish was to celebrate the studio’s legacy as a whole, it’s understandable why it felt it needed some 3D representation in there as well.

Sadly, in 2013, Disney laid off nearly all of its hand-drawn division. Given that, it's hard to see how there’ll be any notable increase in 2D projects anytime soon.

Wish could have easily been the spark that lit another 2D-animated creative flame, but there still doesn't seem to be much movement on that front. After all, there are certainly people who would love to see a proper sequel to something like The Princess & the Frog.

At least there's Tiana, an upcoming Disney+ series that will follow the titular princess of that fan-favorite film. Though, no further details are known. However, one can assume the project will be in 2D like the original movie.

Disney’s Wish hits theaters on Wednesday, November 22.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.