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Disney announces bold, edgy R-rated feature animation

After the successes of its latest animated musical Frozen (the movie made $397,979,972 domestically according to Box-office Mojo ) Walt Disney Animation Studios announced it is beginning a production on a 2-D animated film and that it will aim for an R-rating. Yes, you read that right. Disney is breaking its long tradition of making family friendly films and is going to aim directly at mature audiences.

John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Disney Animation Studios and an animator himself, said the move came after a period of deep thought and discussion with executives.

“I really think its time for Disney to go in a new direction,” said Lasseter. “Since the studio’s inception in 1923 Disney has stuck to family-oriented animated films and now I think it’s time for a change.” Lasseter said that his decision was influenced by all the adult animation coming out of Europe and Japan. “While making Frozen I took stock of the animation being produced around the world and saw how many of it was aimed at adults and was actually successful,” said Lasseter. He pointed at the successes of movies like Ghost in the Shell (Japan) and Persepolis (a French-American production), which were popular but at the same time tackled deep philosophical and social themes. He suggested, “The Disney brand is begging for intellectual enrichment, and nudity/graphic violence are sometimes the only way to communicate the most powerful themes in fiction.”

As for the movie itself, Lasster wants it to be done in traditional 2-D Disney style. However, he did add that they will be trying out some new animation techniques. The movie is titled The Crystal Palace and it is suppose to be a fairy tale for adults with an original script. The movie will not be based on any one fairy tale per say, but it will contain what people consider to be the “standard elements” of one Lasseter said.

Production is not open to the public, but we do know the movie will feature a princess protecting her brother from a suitor who is secretly a witch. From this synopsis, it is safe to assume the film will tackle themes such as female alienation in the modern world, and the existential angst of Generation Y.

This step may seem unorthodox for people who grew up watching family friendly Disney movies, but I think this is a step in the right direction. Like it or not, since the 1950s Disney movies have been mostly done by the book. Don’t get me wrong, films like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast were beautiful, but they did not take any major risks or make any huge breakthroughs in animation or philosophy. By announcing this new feature, Disney has shown it is still willing to push the envelope.

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    maryDec 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm


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Disney announces bold, edgy R-rated feature animation