Disney Animated – Drawn to Success
During the golden age of animation, Disney commanded the silver screen.
Join the legendary team at Walt Disney Animation Studios to complete classic Disney films before the villains of those films stop them from being made!
Disney Animated is a cooperative game for 2-4 players published by Funko Games and designed by Prospero Hall. Build the background, place the characters, and finally, end the villains’ evil ways by putting them in the movie.
If everyone can make their movies and banish their villains before the deadline, you win together!
Disney Animated features five movies players can choose, with unique player boards, backgrounds, Character Cell cards, abilities, calamities, and villains.
Each player picks a different movie and sets up their player area with their movie-specific boards, characters, and tokens, plus a magic token and three random Animation cards.
Combine all players’ Calamity cards to form the Calamity deck. Stack the movie villain tiles and put them on the Studio board. Then flip a number of Calamity cards face up according to the difficulty level the group selects.
Put the Deadline token on the start spot of the deadline track and shuffle the Action Tiles and put them on the five Action spaces. Put the ink tokens on the Studio board, too. Finally, put the Animation deck on its spot on the Studio board.
In Disney: Animated, players take turns removing Calamity cards and working towards completing their films. In turn, each player will:
- Select an Action Tile
- Do the Tile’s Action
- Slide Action Tiles
- Place or Use Characters & Remove Calamity
Once all players have gone, the villain acts with the remaining Calamity.
1. Select an Action Tile, 2. Do the Tile Action
The primary action on a player’s turn is picking an Action Tile. The five actions correlate with different parts of building a movie. The power of each of these tiles depends on its Action space.
- Animation – Draw Animation Cards according the Tile’s Action space.
- Background – Place background tiles on the player board, one square per point of power on the Action space. This can be a single tile or a combination of tiles.
- Ink & Paint – Take paint tokens from the Studio board according to the Action space value.
- Sound – Use the player’s special Sound power.
- Magic – Spend a Magic token to use any action as if it was at the Magic Tile’s Action space.
3. Slide Action Tiles
After using the Action, place it on the “1” Action space and slide all other Action tiles up one space, filling the gap.
4. Place or Use Characters & Remove Calamity
Discard the necessary paint tokens to place a Character Cel card on its completed background. Then use the character’s power. Or, discard the indicated Animation card to use the power of an already-placed character.
Once a player has filled their background and placed all of their characters, flip their Action board to show the requirements for capturing their film’s villain.
Then, discard cards or paint tokens to remove Calamity cards. If a player has used the Action on a space represented on a Calamity card, remove those as well.
After all players’ turns, move the Deadline token up one space on the deadline track. Then, make sure each player discards down to at most seven Animation cards.
The villain on top of the villain stack does their Calamity Effect once per remaining Calamity card.
Finally, move the villain to the bottom of the stack and refresh the Calamity cards for the next round.
If the team can put all of the villains back into their movies, you win!
When first setting up Disney Animated, I wondered at so many pieces to be arranged between the common and player specific components. While there is a little bit to set up, the mechanics of the game are incredibly smooth.
It’s remarkable how faithful Disney Animated feels to it source material. Although the plots of the movies don’t really come into play, each action players take feels critical to the development of the films.
It’s also very easy in a game like Disney Animated to be selfless – using your special “Sound” ability to give other players perks so they can have truly heroic actions. These moments of altruism feel great, but they do remind you that you’re cooperating at arms length.
The biggest downside to Disney Animated is that none of the players’ actions build on each other’s within the context of each movie. Although players can work together for success, my work on Fantasia will never contribute directly to the completion of 101 Dalmatians (no matter how cute Pongo is.) This is probably due to the modular nature of the game. Since any combination of movies can be used, the movies are fairly siloed to themselves.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it means you’ll be cheering people’s victories more than marching forward arm-in-arm. The unique Sound abilities of each film and the unique Character abilities do provide a huge amount of replayability as you discover the ways these abilities can help everyone in different ways.
Speaking of help, Disney Animated isn’t necessarily an easy game. We played the Standard difficulty every time, and barely won by the skin of our teeth.
Our kids enjoyed playing, but didn’t love the game. It can get a little long with four players, and these classic Disney movies don’t have as much influence on them as more modern fare would.
Regardless, Disney Animated is a fun, well crafted homage to classic Disney animated cinema, and it is truly a delight to play. We were impressed with the game from the beginning and honestly surprised at just how much we enjoyed it. If your family enjoys cooperative games and you, too experience the nostalgic pulls of vintage Disney animation, you owe it to yourself to give Disney Animated a try.
Funko Games provided The Family Gamers with a promotional copy of Disney Animated for this review.
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Disney: Animated - Drawn to Success
Number of Players: 2-4
Age Range: 10+
Playtime: 20 minutes per player