Disney has released a new version of its classic Thanksgiving painting, showing Mickey and Minnie Mouse around a dining table celebrating the holiday with a number of familiar Disney characters. While the original painting was hand-crafted and retained the cartoonish design of the animations, the nightmarish “updated” version leads some to believe that it might’ve been created using AI.
Twitter/X account DiscussingFilm posted a side-by-side comparison of the original Disney Thanksgiving painting with the new one, showing some noticeable changes between the versions. Upon closer inspection, eagle-eyed commenters recognised some patterns usually associated with AI-generated imagery, such as one utensil on the table that doesn’t resemble a fork or a knife but a weird hybrid of the two.
Others simply pointed out the unsettling faces and expressions on the Disney characters as being quite uncanny and, by all accounts, pretty terrifying. One user compared it to the haunted animatronics of Five Nights at Freddy’s. Apparently Disney was trying to go for the look of the Disneyland suits in the new painting and it doesn’t really work.
Disney has released a new Thanksgiving painting, however the new version is seemingly created with AI. pic.twitter.com/O7JLAv4MfN
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) November 23, 2023
“Man, comparing them side by side, you can just feel the soul being sucked out,” wrote one user. Another wrote, “You could do this by photographing a bunch of the actors and actresses in suits from Disneyland and it would have more personality and emotion than the blank eyed stares I see before me.”
The artist or studio behind the new Thanksgiving painting hasn’t been named. It’s possible that the image wasn’t created with AI and the artist simply attempted to take a creatively different approach to the painting by modernising the character designs, though many firmly believe that AI was involved in some way.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Disney was accused of using AI-generated artwork in its projects. Earlier this year, some promotional material for Loki season 2 was called out for potentially being made with AI. The opening of Secret Invasion is believed to have been created with AI as well.