Select members of the media, mainly those with a long lead time for publication, were invited by Disney to see an early print of the 50th Animated Feature to be released by Walt Disney Animation Studios – Tangled. The film was about 60 percent animated with the main songs done, but no final score.
While early previews are not an unusual move for an animated film, it is generally only done with the general feeling about the film is a positive one. For Disney to do this they must feel they have a real winner on their hands. From the accounts I’m reading on line, it was also well received by the critics, with murmurs of Academy Award even being passed around.
Of course, we’ve heard this before. The word on the street from early screenings of The Princess and The Frog was that it really returned to the heart and art that Disney animation was known for. But it still under-performed in the box office.
What Disney Animation really needs to do is revamp their marketing of the animated features. Getting critics on board early is a good step toward building a buzz for the film, but they can’t be afraid to do things big. I still remember when they released the opening credits of The Lion King in theaters. That was a great move.
More on the screening at Deadline Hollywood.