Disney Animated Review

22 September 2023
The Disney Animated board game is a splash of co-op magic, where you'll work together to create classic films. From the off, Disney Animated starts with the charm offensive. I defy anyone who plays this not spend time looking at the care and attention that has gone into the quality of components on offer. Everything, from the cel character cards to the power tokens, are designed to push all of those nostalgia buttons and make you want to get the game to the table as fast as possible.

What is Disney Animated (Board Game)?

You’re all animators trying to finish the film you are working on before deadline. Unfortunately, the main villains of these films are trying to stop you completing their film and therefore prevent their untimely demise. You must work with others to finish the various parts of your film, from the background to the characters, then finally collect enough ink to meet certain conditions which will bind the villain into the film itself, sealing their fate.

A game board showing the Evil Queen and Aladdin. A hand holds a card that says "Background", which lays along side similar cards saying "sound" "ink and paint"and "animation".

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How do you play Disney Animated?

Mechanically, on your turn you’ll be selecting an action from a line of available options, letting you draw animation cards you can use as currency, collect ink, background pieces, or use magic, which acts like a joker and allows you to select any other action. Finally, there is sound, which brings in your own particular power. If you’re animating Aladdin, it will allow you to use the genie token, while the Seven Dwarfs are there to help boost you if you are completing the Snow White film. The sound effects are designed to help you work together as a team. On selecting your action, you’ll move it down the action queue and lessen its value if immediately used again, so it’s important to talk to each other about what each player needs that round.

While the aim is to complete each of the scenes you are individually working on, you’re also trying to take care of a number of calamities that the villain of that round has released to stall your efforts. You can offset them by either trading in your animation cards/ink or by making sure you’ve carried out a particular action that round. Fail to do so and you’ll be punished, potentially advancing the deadline even further to failure.

As you play, you’ll start to unlock the powers of the heroes you’ve placed in your scene, which in turn will make it easier for other players to reach their goals. It is fair to say that unless you seriously drop the ball in Disney Animated, you shouldn’t have too many problems winning most of the games that you play. Once you have a few games under your belt, it is actually more rewarding to up the difficulty by increasing the number of calamities on each round. It never reaches Pandemic levels of panic and some may see the mechanics after a few games as being too straightforward.

Gameplay image showing Snow White's cottage with animals on a game board, with blurred cards behind it featuring other Disney films like the Playing Cards from Alice and Wonderland. A hand is holding an image of Snow White on perspex above the board.

What do we think of Disney Animated?

It really reaches its full potential when players are planning the moves for that round like a precision operation, trying to figure out the mini puzzle to reduce the calamities and make sure everyone is reaching the point of completing their scenes. I see why they picked the classics that the older generations are going to love and can see potential expansions on the horizon.

Everything, from the rulebook to the storage solutions, oozes a level of quality that I really appreciate. It’s classic Disney and even those looking for something slightly more complicated, who’s going to miss the chance to have a trip down memory lane? All together now: CRUELLA DE VILLE, CRUELLA DE VILLE…

Review by Richard Simpson

Should You Play Disney Animated?

Yes - Disney Animated exudes quality and will suit those looking to play a cooperative game with beloved characters.

Play Disney Animated if You Liked...?

Disney Villainous.

Both games are great for those wanting their Disney fix, with Animated better if you prefer to win through teamwork.

On The Box

Designer: Prospero Hall

Publisher: Funko Games

Time: 40-60 minutes

Players: 2-4

Ages: 10+

Price: £35

What’s in the box?

  • Studio Board
  • 5 Background boards
  • 45 Background tiles
  • 5 Action boards
  • 15 character cel cards
  • 4 reference cards
  • 16 Paint tokens
  • 12 Magic Tokens
  • 5 Villain tiles
  • 5 Action tiles
  • 40 animation cards
  • 20 wooden special tokens
  • 25 calamity cards



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