Disney has been in the animation game for a long time, but did you know that there are technically two different animation studios that work under the Disney name?

It is true – there are both Disney Animation Studios and Pixar. Both of which have extensive rosters of titles on Disney+. How easy is it to tell the films from each other apart and which studio they are from?

In recent years, Disney Animation has been responsible for popular titles such as ‘Encanto’, ‘Frozen’ and its sequel, ‘Meet the Robinsons’, ‘Big Hero 6′, and many others. Many of us grew up with films that came out of Disney Animation Studios as it also includes all of the classics such as ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and ‘Aladdin’.

On the other hand, Pixar is behind titles such as ‘Soul’, ‘Onward’, ‘Turning Red’, and most recently – ‘Lightyear’. Pixar started back in 1986, with its first feature release being ‘Toy Story’, in 1995.

After doing some digging, it was interesting to hear that the different studios have approached storytelling and the general themes of their films are slightly different. According to an article, written in 2018, by Impacting Culture, Pixar focuses more on the idea of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” while Disney Animation films are more centered around the concept of “once upon a time…” Recent offerings though, by Disney Animation, for example, ‘Zootopia’ and ‘Meet the Robinsons’, break with that tradition a little bit, choosing not to follow the fairytale formula.

It is also worth noting that until 2007 with ‘Meet the Robinsons’ release, Disney Animation relied solely on hand-drawn animation. This film marked the switch to Pixar’s more CGI form of animation from the beginning.

Another key difference that has been pointed out in multiple articles through online research is the musical element that is found in many Disney Animation films. They have almost always been musicals – ‘Moana’, ‘Tangled’, ‘The Lion King’ (animated), etc. This has also seen a shift in recent years as both studios continue to branch out and explore new storytelling concepts.

Both studio divisions have also recently expanded their episodic content offerings on Disney+ with the new Baymax series from Disney Animation, a ‘Big Hero’ 6 spin-off,  and the ‘Monsters at Work’ series, a ‘Monsters, Inc’. spinoff, from Pixar. Both of which are available right now to check out.

Let us know if you like the titles from Pixar or Disney Animation better, and which one(s) stand out to you!






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Megan Ribovich

Megan is a Disney enthusiast that enjoys checking out the latest movies, television shows, and Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is the classic "Beauty and the Beast".

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