Creator behind viral Disney Instagram filter reveals how the program chooses characters

The creator of a viral Instagram trend has some bad news for fans of his Disney-centric filter.

Widely available for anyone with the latest version of the Instagram app, the "Which Dinsey?" effect assigns one of the studio’s classic animated characters to users via an animated graphic that appears above their heads.

Except there’s just one problem: The process is completely random. That’s what the filter’s creator, Arno Partissimo, revealed to Insider on Tuesday.

Partissimo, a photographer, videographer and digital content creator told the outlet that his Instagram feature — which includes characters ranging from Simba ("The Lion King") and Elsa ("Frozen") to Ursula ("The Little Mermaid") and Jafar ("Aladdin") — makes all of its selections by chance.

"There is no artificial intelligence, it’s totally random," Partissimo told Insider. "People who are really angry have to just try it again and it could be different."

Plenty of Instagram users had previously theorized that the filter was random, but some viral videos seemed to contradict that belief.

Zelda Williams, the daughter of actor Robin Williams, went viral late last year after the filter matched her with Genie from the animated film, "Aladdin," a character voiced by her late father. The video of her sentimental reaction has since been viewed more than 5.2 million times on Twitter alone.

Other celebrities, such as Shaquille O’Neal (he got Quasimodo from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame") and "Frozen" star Idina Menzel (she got Flounder, a fish from "The Little Mermaid"), have also shared their experiences with the filter. But, as it turns out, there’s no rhyme or reason behind the outcome.

Similar filters, which assign users to a Harry Potter character, 2020 prediction or font style, have also become popular in the weeks since "Which Disney" went viral. Partissimo didn’t create those effects, but it stands to reason that they’re likely just as random.

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