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Disney Animated review – The world is a carousel of color

In his time making films, Walt Disney did a lot to advance the world of animation. From using technicolor, layered animation cells, tracing images of moving objects, and other techniques, Disney released the first full length color animated film with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Since then, Disney has been on the forefront of animation, creating iconic films and cementing their characters in modern canon. In the Disney’s Animated board game, players get the chance to get involved in the animation process.

 

Disney Animated is a cooperative game designed by the creative team, Prospero Hall. Prospero Hall has been on the forefront of taking other independent properties and creating beautiful board games with faithful cardboard representations of the subject matter. In Animated, 2-4 players will take on the role of the animators behind one of five popular Disney films trying to complete the films by the studio deadline while dealing with the calamity caused by the films’ villains.

 

Overview

 

A game takes place in rounds and each round has a Player Phase and the Villain Phase. Each player will finish a full turn before moving on. At the start of each round, a number of calamity cards will be set out from a combined deck representing the villains of each player’s chosen movie. The number of calamity cards is based on player count and the difficulty chosen by the players.

On a player’s turn, they will select one of five action tiles from the center board. Each tile is located on a numbered space, 1-5, that represents the power of the action. The five actions are:

  • Animation: players draw new animation cards
  • Background: players place background tiles on their movie board according to the action power
  • Ink & Paint: Players take paint tiles from the center board.
  • Sound: Activate your movie’s special sound action
  • Magic: Take any of the above actions.

The power of each action tile depends on where the tile is located on the sliding scale. After taking actions, unused action tiles slide to the right, essentially gaining one power, and the used action tile goes to slot one. Before ending their turns, if an area of the movie background is completed on the player board, players can spend paint tiles to add characters unlocking special powers. These unlocked powers can be used once each per player turn by discarding animation cards. Players can also choose to discard paint tiles or animation cards matching the symbols on calamity cards to discard them.

After players finish their turns, the Villain Phase begins. First, the deadline marker moves one space up the deadline track and players discard their hand of animation cards down to seven. For each calamity card remaining in the display, the active villain will enact their calamity effect. These effects always move the deadline marker up another space and can either discard animation cards from players, discard magic tokens, or take away special effects from specific movies. At the end of the Villain Phase, the active villain is moved to the bottom of the villain pile and a new villain is revealed.

 

Throughout the game, if players can place all of their background tiles and draw all three of their characters, their film is only missing the villain. Players will flip their action boards giving them one final task. This will consist of specific animation cards, paint tiles, and conditions from their sound tokens. If they can discard the cards and tiles, and meet the sound condition, they can complete their film on their turn.

 

If all players can complete their film before the deadline marker reaches the end of the track, the players win the game. However, if the deadline track reaches the end without all completed films, the players will lose.

The Movies

Snow White and the 7 Dwarves (1937)

  • Heigh Ho: For the sound action, the player has seven dwarf tokens that they can give out to players. Players can spend dwarf actions to increase the value of their action tiles by one for each token returned to the Snow White player.
  • The Queen: For each calamity card, players collectively discard two animation cards from their hands at random. If they match, they have to advance the deadline marker another step.
  • Placing the Queen: To complete the film, in addition to the cards and tokens, all dwarf tokens must be given out to players.

Fantasia (1940)

  • Sorcerer’s Apprentice: For this sound action, the player places a music token above an action space without one. If a player takes a tile with a music token, they may return it. If they do, the tile stays at the same space instead of returning to space one.
  • Chernabog: This enemy will, in any combination, remove three music tokens from action tiles or discard three cards.
  • Placing Chernabog: To complete the film, in addition to the cards and tokens, all five music tokens need to be placed on action spaces.

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

  • ‘Twas Brillig: For this sound action, the player draws two animation cards and places the Cheshire cat above an action space. When a player chooses a tile at that spot, they may return the cat token. If they do, the player may choose another player to take the same action at the same value.
  • The Queen of Hearts: This villain will discard a card from the animation deck. If the symbol is a heart, the deadline will advance.
  • Placing the Queen of Hearts: To complete the film, in addition to the cards and tokens, the player must have 10 animation cards in their hand

101 Dalmatians (1961)

  • Kanine Krunchies: For this sound action, the player can take up to X value of black, white, or wild paint tokens. For each token taken, the player gives other players Kanine Krunchies tokens to other players. Players can discard Kanine Krunchie tokens to use as a wild paint can or a magic token.
  • Cruella De Vil: This villain causes players to discard paint or Kanin Krunchie tokens when activated.
  • Placing Cruella De Vil: To complete the film, in addition to the cards and tokens, each player must have at least one Kanine Krunchie token apiece. 

Aladdin (1992)

  • Friend Like Me: For this sound action, the active player chooses another to receive a magic token. The active player puts the special genie token above one of the action tiles. When another player takes a tile where the genie token is located, the Aladdin player and the other player can take a special extra action
  • Jafar: For each calamity card, players must collectively discard one magic token
  • Placing Jafar: To complete the film, in addition to the cards and tokens, the Genie token must be placed above the 5 action space.

 

Gameplay

The gameplay of Animated is fairly straightforward and serves as a great introduction to the cooperative genre. Players can mix and match different films to use the special sound mixing and character abilities to make some fun combinations. The game is also scalable to the desired difficulty based on player count. This adjusts the number of calamity cards the players must collectively take on each round. As players learn the films and their special abilities, players can increase the puzzle the game throws out. This scalability also allows newer and more experienced board gamers to find the right fit. The biggest complaint is that there are not more movies to explore, but there is certainly room to grow given the Disney canon of material. Player count can also change the gameplay. At two, the game moves pretty fast, but three seems to be the sweet spot for our group. This way you get more special actions and sound mixing abilities to choose from. 

 

Production

Prospero Hall and Funko games get a lot from the price point of their games. Each of the boxes are lined with thematic artwork front to back. Each of the films comes with a tuck box that holds the unique wood tokens, calamity cards, background pieces, and overlays. Each film also comes with a unique sideboard, double layered player board, and villain card. Each of the film components uses art directly from the film in conjunction with other stylistic choices inspired by the individual films. The cardboard used for the action tiles and the magic and paint tokens is also of high quality. The box is also well designed to allow for all elements of the game to fit nicely without a lot of excess moving around. This well rounded design has become a standard for the Funko games and Prospero Hall design teams.

Lead Tabletop Editor | [email protected]

Dan is an educator from Colorado. Growing up as an Air Force dependent gained him lots of new perspectives on the world and a love for making new friends, especially over a good board game. When not at school or playing a board game, Dan is probably at the gym, attending a local sporting event, or performing or attending theater. Dan loves heavy euros, deck builders, living card games, and great solo rules.

80

Great

Disney Animated

Review Guidelines

Animated is a great introduction into the cooperative genre of games. For fans of Disney, this is a great entry into the wide variety available to consumers. With a simple ruleset, difficulty scaling options, and multiple combinations of films to play through, Animated is a game that can get back to the table often.

Dan Hinkin

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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