It takes a special company to break into the film industry, and an extraordinary one to make history. For a film company to achieve both – and to continuously hit both ideals time and again – is remarkable. There are only a few film-making companies that have successfully done so. Disney is not only one of them, but it arguably the most famous film-making empire in the world. Throughout the decades, Disney has given the world countless marvels of cinematic magic. Generation after generation have been charmed by the wonder that is Disney, and it is this wonder that keeps the film company thriving. Disney has pioneered many new eras of film into being, and now is no different. Currently, there is a new era of CGI animation in town, and Disney is bringing it to film lovers all over the world. In the last few years, we saw the beginnings of this stunning new phase in animation play out in Disney feature films (think The Jungle Book, and Tarzan, for example). CGI is not necessarily a new concept in film, but it was the first time that feature films used mostly – if not entirely – CGI animation to create not only the background and the special effects, but many of the characters in the films as well. It was the dawn of a new era for Disney, and for film.
Now, we are in a place where Disney is pouring out the films with more energy and exhilaration than ever before. This latest phase for the film-making empire perfectly encapsulates animation and videography, using both foundations to create the extraordinary pieces. Already this year we were gifted the highly-anticipated Avengers: Endgame from Disney and Marvel, as well as Dumbo. Further, we are poised to receive the live-action, CGI masterpiece Aladdin, followed by animation sensation Toy Story 4, a remake of one of the world’s most beloved films, The Lion King (this time, a live-action piece using CGI animation at every angle), and finally, Frozen 2, Maleficent 2, and a live-action version of Lady and the Tramp. It is a wonderful time for Disney, but these films must live up to the hype if Disney wants to be able to continue their surge in creative expression. It goes without saying that bringing any films to audiences around the world is hard work, and it is never harder work than it is when the films are driven by animation. This is something that Disney knows all too well.
From the video editor for everyday use (think youtube creators or small businesses), to the animators that bring CGI characters to vivid life on the silver screen (and everyone and everything in between), to make a short video – much less, a full feature film – is a time-consuming process. For even a single film to be in production and make it to theatres, takes months – even years – and a creative team that often ends up in the hundreds of people. Now, as CGI takes centre stage in many of Disney’s new films, there is a necessity to bring the best every time to create the desired effects, and it is a notion that is not lost on Disney’s shoulders. Used to being on top, Disney Studios is determined to keep their place in the industry. Currently, the studio is in the advantageous position of having a solid reputation that spans decades and decades, and this adds to the pressure. Any film or creative feature that comes out of Disney must live up to the legacy, the quality, the creativity of Walt Disney himself. Or else what is the point?
The films coming out of Disney this year have seen mixed reviews (Endgame being globally positive, and Dumbo being decidedly less so), and so where exactly this year’s weaponry of animation films is going to take them is yet to be seen. However, with so many more films still yet to make it to theatres this calendar year, it is likely that any (if any) slips the animation studio makes will be forgotten among the other successes of its reach. It truly takes an army to create a Disney feature film, and the army is always hard at work creating the next big thing, the next historically-infamous success story. Disney Studios has had an impressive view years behind the screen as well. Acquiring both Marvel and Pixar into its creative arsenal, Disney is in a position of power on multiple levels. In the industry, it is rare for a film company to excel so vastly that they can acquire not one, but two of the other inherently successful film companies within a short period of time. Disney has accomplished exactly this, and the results have proven to be, so far, incredibly exciting.
For decades, the entertainment and film industry has been dominated by the likes of Disney Studios, the powerhouse that is responsible for works of cinematic art like Alice in Wonderland, Cars, Toy Story, and The Lion King. This is a film company that has somehow managed to not only seamlessly survive multiple eras, but prove itself to be a force to be reckoned with throughout them. Today, Disney has reached its next stage of evolution. The introduction of a body of multiple CGI-dominated feature films to the world has meant that Disney has had a very busy few years. If these films prove to be as successful as the film empire hopes they will be, the work is not likely to slow down any time soon. The film industry right now seems to be dominated by the release of Disney-produced movies left, right, and centre, and the world is loving it. For generations, Disney has given the magic to the world, and we are more thrilled by it all than ever. If ever there was a film company that can keep this momentum going – and continue to make it sing – it is Disney Studios.