In its storied history of technical trailblazing and making dreams come true for those of all stripes, Walt Disney Animation Studios has been inconsistent at best when it comes to character complexity and thematic significance. That is, until recently.
Disney’s most iconic animated characters of the pre-Renaissance are marked by passivity, or, at their worst, one-dimensionality. Interchangeable heroes innocuously save the day. Archetypal villains enter frame with a single antagonistic goal and leave without having undergone legitimate arcs. We see these tropes evolve, but they are not the ones plaguing the most idolized and cherished of this canon.