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Love original animated Disney movies? Too bad, Bob Iger says they plan to "lean on sequels" for a while

Sequels for days.

On the left, Joy from Inside Out squished up against the other cast members. On the right, Bo Peep, Woody, and Buzz from Toy Story 4 all stood next to each other.
Image credit: Disney

Don't get your hopes up for more unique animated Disney films, as it sounds like the house of mouse is going to rely on sequels for a while.

It's not exactly a secret that these days, Disney is more interested in capitalising on pre-existing IP than trying to make waves with a new idea. We've seen that best with the decade long flogging of the dead horse known as Frozen, and in the clear cash-in that is Toy Story 4. Unfortunately, those of us that like something original over a pointless sequel don't reflect what the wider audience wants, and our wants certainly differ from what Disney's plans are. The company recently held its quarterly earnings call, where CEO Bob Iger spoke about various plans the studio currently has for its upcoming project, including on the animated front (via Variety).

When asked about Disney's focus on sequels and originals, and how the focus appears to be more on franchise films, Iger said "We're gonna balance sequels with originals. Specifically in animation, we had gone through a period where our original films and animation, both Disney and Pixar, were dominating. We're now swinging back a bit to lean on sequels." Iger specifically made note of Toy Story 5, which received a June 19, 2026 release date last month, and the upcoming release of Inside Out 2, and how both films have an increased value because they cost less to market due to being a pre-existing IP.

The CEO also pointed towards technically original films like next year's Thunderbolts, and this year's Deadpool & Wolverine and 2025's Captain America: Brave New World as an example of having original films and sequels. "It'll just be a balance, which we think is right," Iger said. Personally, I wouldn't exactly call Thunderbolts an original film given that it features multiple cast members from earlier Marvel films, and also, it is literally an MCU title, all of which constantly build off of each other. But hey, I'm not the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company that mostly produces slop these days, so what do I know?

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