There’s a reason that Laughing Place trusts our seasoned pros to review Funko Games and doesn’t ask me to take on the responsibility…I’m not good at multiplayer games! That said, we were recently in a pinch and Funko’s new Disney100 Animated wound up on my doorstep forcing me to step into the world of tabletop games for the first time in probably a dozen years.
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You should know going in that my lack of tabletop gaming experience was truly a hindrance and the fact that we didn’t complete the game according to game play is 100% user error, not the fault of the publisher. Fortunately, these snafus didn’t affect my enjoyment of the game. Additionally, I was so impressed with the quality of the packaging and game boards (more on that later) that that alone makes my experience with Animated a positive one.
Animated is a cooperative game meaning that players are encouraged to talk things out, give suggestions and work together to complete the game. While each player has their own turn and goal, they can discuss the best course of action for the desired outcome: defeating the Disney villains! This isn’t a competition so no one person will be declared the winner at the end of the game. This particular game hails from Prospero Hall and is published by Funko.
The game is designed for 2-4 players ages 10+ and length of play varies based on the number of players. It should take about 20 minutes per person so anywhere from 40-80 minutes for a complete game. The goal of Animated is for each player to finish making a classic Disney movie and defeat that movie’s villain before the Studio deadline. Completing a movie means setting the background and placing the characters in the film before adding the villain to the story.
There are five films featured in Animated: Snow White, Fantasia, Alice in Wonderland, 101 Dalmatians, and Aladdin. Each film has its own board with nine removable background/backdrop pieces, three character cels, 1-7 character tokens (based on the film), five calamity cards (issues dealt with on each turn), and of course a villain. In this case The Evil Queen, Chernabog, The Queen of Hearts, Cruella, and Jafar respectively. The game also comes with tuck boxes for the films so you can store all the pieces (except the villain card) in one place making for quick set up and easy clean up.
In addition to the Movie game boards, there’s a main Studio Board that acts like a central hub for all players. The Studio board has a spot for various “actions tiles:” Animate, Magic, Sound, Background, and Ink and Paint; and it also houses the “Ink and Paint” jars, Magic Tokens, the Disney villain card, “animation” cards, and the dreaded deadline.
While there’s no benefit for being first, the player with the oldest film gets to start things off and then action will continue around the table clockwise regardless of films being “made.” The person “making” Aladdin might not be the last to play, but they will never go first since there are no films after it in this game. But the same token, if Snow White is being “made,” that film will always go first.
On each player’s turn they will complete four steps: Choose a Studio action tile; Perform that action or take a Magic Token for later; Slide the action tiles; Place or use characters and remove calamity. After each player takes their turn, they enter the Villain round completing the action required for the current villain who’s messing things up at the Studio. If they can safely defeat the villain in that round, the villain goes to the bottom of the pile and the next villain (in movie release order) will be battled in the following round. Some villains may be dealt with for multiple rounds. The Deadline tile is moved up one space regardless of the featured villain. The game continues in this order with all players completing their actions in each round, removing calamities if possible and attacking the villain.
Eventually players will complete their film’s background scene and can add the designated character cel(s) over the sections as they are completed. Once the movie board is complete, players can work to remove the villain from the Studio board and add them to their movie. This requires select tokens and actions and this especially is where teamwork can help players come up with the best strategy. The game is over when all movies are complete or the Studio Deadline is up.
As I write this review I feel like I have a better understanding of the game, but there are still a few things that I haven’t grasped, especially when it comes to drawing animation cards, and dealing with the calamity cards. The instruction booklet has a lot of information and excellent visuals, but my brain isn’t making those connections. Inside the instruction booklet is a QR Code leading to the Funko site that is supposed to have a video about gameplay, however I couldn’t find it.
While I can’t attest to successfully completing one of these films, I can talk about the amazing quality of the game itself. If you’ve ever purchased something from Apple, you know that the unboxing and setup process is an experience in and of itself. Everything you touch, the way things open, the sound and weight of each piece has a distinct feel and meaning and the same can be said of Animated. Both Kyle and I were greatly impressed with the packaging, and all pieces included for the game. Nothing is flimsy or cheap and all images are detailed and complete. We especially love the character “cels” that are placed on the movie game board.
Don’t let my misunderstanding of this game deter you. I might not have succeeded in “making” a Disney film on my first outing, but I’m eager to get back into the “Studio” and try again. The quality of the game parts and pieces are an experience themselves and I’m certain Disney fans of all ages will enjoy working together to bring each movie to life.
Funko Games’ Animated is available now from our friends at Entertainment Earth and sells for $34.99. We received this game for free for the purpose of review.
Disney Animated Game – $34.99
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While the official anniversary doesn’t come until October, Disney100 is taking place throughout 2023! Stay up to date with the latest news, merchandise, content and park offerings by checking out our Disney100 tag.