Disney is widely renowned for its songs and soundtracks in many of its movies. From “Let it Go” in Frozen to “Under the Sea” in The Little Mermaid, Disney has become established as a creator of highly successful song-based cartoons. But in recent years, Disney has shifted its focus from song-based superhero movies such as The Incredibles and Wreck-it-Ralph to live action adaptations of classic Disney stories. This begs the question: does Disney no longer need songs in its superhero movies?
Disney has a long history of success with musicals. Broadway has seen the smash hit musicals: The Lion King, Aladdin, Newsies and of course, Frozen. Disney has also profited from their animated renditions of musicals such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Even live action adaptations of these classic Disney stories still rely on the power of the music to bring these timeless tales to life.
However, in recent years, Disney has shifted its focus to live action remakes of classic Disney stories and to developing its Marvel Cinematic Universe. This has resulted in a large number of superhero movies without songs. For example, the latest Avengers movie, Infinity War, made a whopping $2.048 billion at the box office with no songs to be found.
Disney is no stranger to animating superhero movies. ‘The Incredibles’, for example, was released in 2004 and follows the Parr family as they fight crime and attempt to prevent the evil Syndrome’s plan of world domination. The movie grossed $633 million worldwide and contained several breakout soundtrack hits. Similarly, Disney animated superhero movie Wreck-it-Ralph, released in 2012, spanning across multiple video game genres, and featured the song “When Can I See You Again” by Owl City, which has become a fan favorite.
The success of The Incredibles and Wreck-it-Ralph demonstrate that Disney doesn’t always have to rely on live action remakes in order to make money. They can create catch songs and soundtracks to be used in animated superhero movies, effectively driving up interest in the movie and setting it apart from the pack. Fans of such superhero movies often cite the destruction of the song and its power to emotionally engage the audience as one of the biggest factors in its overall success.
Disney’s successful musicals and superhero movies demonstrate that songs are still a major part of Disney’s success. Without their classic songs, many of its movies would not have had the same level of success. On the other hand, live action remakes can also be highly successful as demonstrated by Infinity War. While Disney has moved away from animating superhero movies, it is worth considering how much of an impact songs can have in making a movie memorable and profitable.
Influential songs in superhero movies
Songs can be incredibly influential in superhero movies, creating iconic musical moments that are remembered by fans for years to come. For example, the theme song from The Incredibles, composed by Michael Giacchino, has become a fan favorite since the movie’s release in 2004, spawning several covers over the years.
The theme song from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ by Hans Zimmer has also become a fan favorite and has been praised for its emotional intensity. In an interview, Zimmer recalled “It was horrible to be honest. I thought, ‘How am I going to treat the character of a superhero?’ So I had to figure out a way of musically describing this character who is a vigilante and a hero and sometimes a criminal.”
Other memorable songs from superhero movies include “Unstoppable” from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie. These songs, in addition to many others, demonstrate how essential songs can be in creating powerful moments and emotional engagement in superhero movies.
Comparison to other genres
It is no secret that Disney has become synonymous with musicals over the years. The company has seen incredible successes with musicals such as The Lion King, Frozen, and Aladdin. But in comparison to other genres such as drama, comedy, or action, musicals appear to be few and far between.
When comparing the number of musicals to other genres, it appears that musicals only make up a small percentage of movies released by Disney each year. According to data from The-Numbers.com, of the top 50 animated and live action movies released by Disney in the past decade, only 8 of them are categorized as musicals. This indicates that while Disney has seen success with musicals in the past, they are still a small portion of the company’s overall output.
This trend is not only seen in Disney productions, but in all major studios. According to data from BoxOfficeMojo, of the top 100 movies released by major studios in the US in 2018, only 10 are categorized as musicals. This demonstrates that while musicals have had successes, they are still a small percentage of the genres released by major studios.
This data supports the notion that while songs have been major factors in the success of Disney movies in the past, they are no longer essential components of the company’s productions. With the vast majority of Disney’s releases being live action or superhero movies, the company has shifted its focus away from its song-based movies.
Innovation from songs in superhero movies
Many fans of superhero movies have criticized Disney’s shift from song-based to live action remakes. However, some see the innovation and experimentation from these new adaptations as a major benefit. These adaptations often combine elements from the original with fresh storylines and visuals not seen before in Disney’s movies.
For example, the latest live action adaptation of Aladdin is a great example of Disney’s experimentation. Though the movie still heavily relies on its well-known songs, its storyline and visuals are new and innovative. This approach has been met with both praise and criticism, but it is clear that Disney is utilizing its classic songs in order to create something completely new and refreshing.
In recent years, Disney has also experimented with the use of songs in its superhero movies. For example, Wreck-it-Ralph contains a catchy pop song (When Can I See You Again) that captures the essence of the movie and draws its audience in. Similarly, The Incredibles used a classic big-band styling to express its exciting and dynamic world filled with superheroes.
It appears that though Disney is no longer releasing song-based superhero movies, they are still experimenting with the use of songs in their movies. By utilizing its classic songs in newer productions, Disney is able to create something both familiar and adventurous.
Disney’s new focus
It seems clear that while Disney’s song-based superhero movies may have taken a back seat to its live action adaptations, songs are still a major part of the company’s successes. While Disney may no longer be producing full-length musicals or song-based superheroes movies, it is still utilizing its classic songs in order to innovate and experiment.
Disney has shifted its focus to live action remakes in order to capitalize on the success of their classic songs and stories. With the animation industry becoming increasingly competitive, Disney is now relying on its classic stories in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Though Disney is no longer producing song-based superhero movies, it is clear that songs are still a major factor in the company’s success. With the recent shift to live action adaptations of classic Disney stories, it appears that songs are still as important as ever in the success of Disney movies.