Wreck-It Ralph smashed box office records for a Disney animated film in its opening weekend, and won over critics and audiences no less. With its creativity, heart and passionate storytelling, Wreck-It Ralph signals Walt Disney Animation Studios is back in the game, so to speak. This edition of Disney In Depth will explore what has led up to this new hit for the studio, as well as what awaits.
Many individuals say the Disney Renaissance began with 1989’s The Little Mermaid, with following entries Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King reaching even greater heights – everyone seems to leave out the forgotten The Rescuers Down Under. Regardless, this represented a period of unparalleled imagination and inspiration within the studio, continuing for several years to follow. Then came the slump. Audiences were no longer interested in musicals, so it seemed, and Disney animation switched gears into the sci-fi realm with productions like Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Treasure Planet. Computer animation emerged, and with that advent Disney entered the new arena with misses like Chicken Little and the awkward-yet-smart Meet the Robinsons. None of these performed all that wonderfully. It had appeared as though Disney lost its touch. But the studio had some exciting developments up their sleeve.