In the past few days, many articles across the internet ranging from Time to Business Insider have been keen to point out Disney’s recycling of scenes in its animated features over the years. Want to see it for yourself? Watch this video:
Stunning, isn’t it? Choreographed movement in the smallest details from Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, Robin Hood, The Jungle Book, and The Aristocats seem to flow into one each other perfectly.
It is no secret or surprise that Disney story boarders and animators have stuck with what works over the years. The Disney Formula is something that some writers have developed, as described by the website Film School Rejects. Although that piece only focuses on Renaissance films, there is a point to be made: Disney knows what works best and they stick with it.
The Disney recycling issue has nothing to do with reusing specific cells of animation: it is clear from the Time video that there are different characters performing the same actions. It is understandable to reuse backgrounds in films and to some extent, to reuse similar images. But what is so troubling is the fact that these films have redone the exact same scenes to the very motions. That begins to beg the question: what separates these Disney films? Are Disney films unique and independent of each other?
Surely they are independent, but this “discovery” at least tarnishes some Disney films’ stylistic and narrative originality.