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AegisXIII

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I am not sure we already have a topic about that, but what are your thoughts about latest Disney's productions in term of quality? (not a risky topic that one)
And by Disney I mean classic Disney movies, not anything like Star Wars or Marvel.

For me, I still struggle with the shift to CGI. I found more heart to the hand drawn old school movies even though CGI allows to play a lot more with contrasts and colors.

In term of writing, I feel more and more out of touch with the characters.
The lack of villains or proper enemies is the main issue for me. Every recent movie I watched, I wasn't sure who should be the boss should this world be ported into Kingdom Hearts, which makes it more realistic but also kind of boring.

Also, Disney movies used to make me travel and forget about my life. Now they just try to be as relatable as possible to our daily life/struggle with not so subtle metaphors that it feels uninspired.

I do not know if I am becoming old or if the quality/target audience has changed along the years, so let me know what you think.
 

AR829038

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I think Disney puts out a number of quality movies from their animated department, but yeah, they just never really amount to the old Renaissance era films for me. Part of that is obviously nostalgia, and there's no helping that. But there's a few other big factors to it.

One is, like you said, the villains. 90's Disney and Classic Disney had some unforgettable villains that really owned and drove the story. No kid will ever forget Hades, Jafar, Maleficent, Ursula, Scar, Lady Tremaine, or the Evil Queen. But I can't quite say the same for the big lava monster from Moana, or Hans from Frozen, or the villain from Coco, or the sheep from Zootopia. Every now and then the new era of Disney will give us a memorable villain like Mother Gothel or King Candy, but those are few and far between, because modern Disney stories are more focused on the heroes, and most villains are either twist villains now or so incidental that they barely warrant a name. And don't get me wrong, some of the stories don't really need villains. Encanto is a great movie, and it has no clearly defined "bad guy" in the traditional sense. But Disney used to be so known for their bad guys, and it's a shame to lose that. It's like if the Reese's company decided to start making chocolates without peanut butter in it, it just wouldn't feel right.

The other thing is, yes, I'm thoroughly tired of CG animation at this point. It isn't the same, and no matter how good they make it look, it never will be the same. The reason Disney keeps using CG is because CGI artists in Hollywood don't have unions, so they can get taken advantage of and worked harder for cheaper wages than traditional hand-drawn animators can. If they unionized, maybe we would see a return to 2D animation again, because then one form of animation wouldn't be more inherently cost-effective than the other. Another side effect of this trend is that mainline Disney and Disney-Pixar have now become almost indistinguishable from one another. Pixar used to be THE domain of CG animated masterpieces, and Disney was left to do the hand-drawn movies. You had two sides of the same coin that could complement each other. But now, I can't tell when what I'm watching is a main Disney movie or a Pixar movie anymore, and that bugs me.

Third, I think Disney has thoroughly been ruined by politics. AND NO, I don't mean in the way that people say when they whine about "Wah, Disney is too woke now, wah!" Although I will admit that Disney has become really bad at pandering with phony progressivism like black Ariel or background gay characters, the problem is actually more complicated than that. I think Disney as a company has a split soul. On the one hand, you have the artists and animators and creatives behind all the projects, who are genuinely progressive and want to tell stories that are bold and inclusive and break boundaries, but then you have the corporate suits and the executives who are mainly conservative, and they want to keep Disney a "traditional" "family-friendly" company. So they'll pander to liberal sentiments when they think it'll earn them a quick buck, but they'll never go all the way with it and release movies that actually genuinely challenge people's preconceptions, because that would invite too much controversy of the kind that isn't profitable. Getting people shouting at each other over black Ariel on Twitter is A-okay because that gets people talking, but any movie that actually seriously addresses problems like racism or sexuality or real progressive values is a bridge too far. And this results I think in a lot of half-assed watered-down attempts at connecting with the younger generations that really fall flat. Which is ironic, because I think a lot of the millennials who grew up on 90's Disney probably were introduced to concepts of gender-fluidity from Mulan and became more comfortable with queerness because of the charming queer-coded villain characters.

Another problem is I think just pure neglect. I get the strong feeling that Disney is no longer putting their A-game into their main animated department. They've spread themselves out over so many different studios, and it's clear that they are relying more heavily now on Marvel and Star Wars to keep the brand going. No animated Disney movie is ever going to match the profits of something like Avengers: Endgame, for example. And as long as those franchises are bigger and more profitable and more expansive, that's where all the money is gonna flow.

It honestly partly makes me wish Disney would be broken back up into its constituent elements again, so that they could stop leaning on bigger live action franchises that weren't theirs to begin with and go back to doing what made Disney famous in the first place, which is animation. I think the great merging of the company is probably the worst thing to happen to it since the big slump between Walt Disney's death and the Renaissance. I can't tell you how sick and tired I am of seeing Disney jerk themselves off to how many properties they own. It used to be cool thinking that you could have crossovers between Darth Vader and Marvel and other stuff, but they don't really take that much advantage of that possibility. They just gloat and brag about owning it, as if to say, "haha, look how much of a gluttonous unstoppable corporation we are now! Nobody will ever out-profit us again!"

I know old Disney wasn't exactly a pure company and that they were driven by corporate incentives and profit motives too, but it really feels like it was different. It felt like they still cared about putting out great animated movies first and foremost before anything else.
 

Sonofjafar

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My main problem with Disney is their attempts to make us forget how good their previous animated works wereso that they can say that *insert current modern movie here* is the best. The whole point of Frozen was to harshly criticize the Disney Princess movies of the past, every movie since then has tried harder and harder to make the classic Disney villain go extinct, the live action remakes add nothing of value or substance, and quite frankly Disney becoming more progressive is going to just piss off the conservative fan base and give the liberal fanbase more reasons to call hypocrisy

I know old Disney wasn't exactly a pure company and that they were driven by corporate incentives and profit motives too, but it really feels like it was different. It felt like they still cared about putting out great animated movies first and foremost before anything else.

Also while you’re not wrong about Old Disney not being a pure company (with the money they make how can they not be) I know that Walt would never flat out buy ips from people after him losing Oswald to Universal. And Mary Poppins doesn’t count cuz PL Travers held on to the rights until after Walt died
 
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AegisXIII

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I think Disney puts out a number of quality movies from their animated department, but yeah, they just never really amount to the old Renaissance era films for me. Part of that is obviously nostalgia, and there's no helping that. But there's a few other big factors to it.

One is, like you said, the villains. 90's Disney and Classic Disney had some unforgettable villains that really owned and drove the story. No kid will ever forget Hades, Jafar, Maleficent, Ursula, Scar, Lady Tremaine, or the Evil Queen. But I can't quite say the same for the big lava monster from Moana, or Hans from Frozen, or the villain from Coco, or the sheep from Zootopia. Every now and then the new era of Disney will give us a memorable villain like Mother Gothel or King Candy, but those are few and far between, because modern Disney stories are more focused on the heroes, and most villains are either twist villains now or so incidental that they barely warrant a name. And don't get me wrong, some of the stories don't really need villains. Encanto is a great movie, and it has no clearly defined "bad guy" in the traditional sense. But Disney used to be so known for their bad guys, and it's a shame to lose that. It's like if the Reese's company decided to start making chocolates without peanut butter in it, it just wouldn't feel right.

The other thing is, yes, I'm thoroughly tired of CG animation at this point. It isn't the same, and no matter how good they make it look, it never will be the same. The reason Disney keeps using CG is because CGI artists in Hollywood don't have unions, so they can get taken advantage of and worked harder for cheaper wages than traditional hand-drawn animators can. If they unionized, maybe we would see a return to 2D animation again, because then one form of animation wouldn't be more inherently cost-effective than the other. Another side effect of this trend is that mainline Disney and Disney-Pixar have now become almost indistinguishable from one another. Pixar used to be THE domain of CG animated masterpieces, and Disney was left to do the hand-drawn movies. You had two sides of the same coin that could complement each other. But now, I can't tell when what I'm watching is a main Disney movie or a Pixar movie anymore, and that bugs me.

Third, I think Disney has thoroughly been ruined by politics. AND NO, I don't mean in the way that people say when they whine about "Wah, Disney is too woke now, wah!" Although I will admit that Disney has become really bad at pandering with phony progressivism like black Ariel or background gay characters, the problem is actually more complicated than that. I think Disney as a company has a split soul. On the one hand, you have the artists and animators and creatives behind all the projects, who are genuinely progressive and want to tell stories that are bold and inclusive and break boundaries, but then you have the corporate suits and the executives who are mainly conservative, and they want to keep Disney a "traditional" "family-friendly" company. So they'll pander to liberal sentiments when they think it'll earn them a quick buck, but they'll never go all the way with it and release movies that actually genuinely challenge people's preconceptions, because that would invite too much controversy of the kind that isn't profitable. Getting people shouting at each other over black Ariel on Twitter is A-okay because that gets people talking, but any movie that actually seriously addresses problems like racism or sexuality or real progressive values is a bridge too far. And this results I think in a lot of half-assed watered-down attempts at connecting with the younger generations that really fall flat. Which is ironic, because I think a lot of the millennials who grew up on 90's Disney probably were introduced to concepts of gender-fluidity from Mulan and became more comfortable with queerness because of the charming queer-coded villain characters.

Another problem is I think just pure neglect. I get the strong feeling that Disney is no longer putting their A-game into their main animated department. They've spread themselves out over so many different studios, and it's clear that they are relying more heavily now on Marvel and Star Wars to keep the brand going. No animated Disney movie is ever going to match the profits of something like Avengers: Endgame, for example. And as long as those franchises are bigger and more profitable and more expansive, that's where all the money is gonna flow.

It honestly partly makes me wish Disney would be broken back up into its constituent elements again, so that they could stop leaning on bigger live action franchises that weren't theirs to begin with and go back to doing what made Disney famous in the first place, which is animation. I think the great merging of the company is probably the worst thing to happen to it since the big slump between Walt Disney's death and the Renaissance. I can't tell you how sick and tired I am of seeing Disney jerk themselves off to how many properties they own. It used to be cool thinking that you could have crossovers between Darth Vader and Marvel and other stuff, but they don't really take that much advantage of that possibility. They just gloat and brag about owning it, as if to say, "haha, look how much of a gluttonous unstoppable corporation we are now! Nobody will ever out-profit us again!"

I know old Disney wasn't exactly a pure company and that they were driven by corporate incentives and profit motives too, but it really feels like it was different. It felt like they still cared about putting out great animated movies first and foremost before anything else.
Wow. I think I agree with pretty much everything you just said, especially the "Disney is too woke" thing.

Disney sucks when it comes to its treatment of diversity. How many first gay kiss have they advertised? And why is a gay kiss part of their marketing campaign? It feels completely artificial because they are planning on the fact that people will fight about it and increase the movie's visibility. I am really convinced that this phony campaign methods are turning neutral people who do not care about diversity issues that much into angry haters because all they can see is phony messages and a decrease of quality in storytelling. So they simply connect one as the cause of the other, while the real culprits are a lack of vision and bad marketing.

The movies from the renaissance were lacking in term of representativity, no one can deny that, but at least they had a message and values that were far more diverse in my opinion. Mulan and Aladdin were dealing with "be who you are not what people expect of you". You can be of any minority and feel represented. At least I think it's better than being forced to relate to a character because he belongs to the same minority than the viewer.
 

Sonofjafar

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Wow. I think I agree with pretty much everything you just said, especially the "Disney is too woke" thing.

Disney sucks when it comes to its treatment of diversity. How many first gay kiss have they advertised? And why is a gay kiss part of their marketing campaign? It feels completely artificial because they are planning on the fact that people will fight about it and increase the movie's visibility. I am really convinced that this phony campaign methods are turning neutral people who do not care about diversity issues that much into angry haters because all they can see is phony messages and a decrease of quality in storytelling. So they simply connect one as the cause of the other, while the real culprits are a lack of vision and bad marketing.

The movies from the renaissance were lacking in term of representativity, no one can deny that, but at least they had a message and values that were far more diverse in my opinion. Mulan and Aladdin were dealing with "be who you are not what people expect of you". You can be of any minority and feel represented. At least I think it's better than being forced to relate to a character because he belongs to the same minority than the viewer.
This is what I was trying to say with the political fanbases. Disney is trying to hard to relate to people that it seems phony to the people who want it, despite still driving the conservatives crazy
 

Rodin

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I am not sure we already have a topic about that, but what are your thoughts about latest Disney's productions in term of quality? (not a risky topic that one)
And by Disney I mean classic Disney movies, not anything like Star Wars or Marvel.

For me, I still struggle with the shift to CGI. I found more heart to the hand drawn old school movies even though CGI allows to play a lot more with contrasts and colors.

In term of writing, I feel more and more out of touch with the characters.
The lack of villains or proper enemies is the main issue for me. Every recent movie I watched, I wasn't sure who should be the boss should this world be ported into Kingdom Hearts, which makes it more realistic but also kind of boring.

Also, Disney movies used to make me travel and forget about my life. Now they just try to be as relatable as possible to our daily life/struggle with not so subtle metaphors that it feels uninspired.

I do not know if I am becoming old or if the quality/target audience has changed along the years, so let me know what you think.
I don't mind the new approach because I became more character driven as I got older. The old movies had fun villians but not fun leads. The new movies are the opposite. They just need a better middle ground.

For KH, I'd say just give them new plots like what 3 does. It's what the 90s Alladin and Hercules did. The movie rehashes only work in the first game so new plots are the way to go.
 
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Oracle Spockanort

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I read a bunch of you whining about “politics” in Disney and I immediately turned my brain off because of it.

Bob Iger recently said it best: “I think there's a misperception here about what politics is. Some of the subjects that have been proven to be controversial as it relates to Disney have been branded political, and I don't think they are."

There is plenty to criticize about Disney’s attempts at diversity and how lackluster they have been, or how uncreative their live action remakes have been, but to go “well it’s gonna upset the conservatives!” like yeah of course any progressive change that doesn’t cater to cis, straight, white, Christian ideals is going to piss off conservatives. Doesn’t mean Disney should stop and be like “oh sorry guess we’ll go back to pretending minorities don’t exist and make milquetoast projects for a bunch of repressed, bigoted people”

Like, get over that weird notion you all have. What you are conflating to “politics” is not political at all. You know what has been political? Iron Man and other Marvel films pushing military propaganda, paid and financed by the US military. All of Star Wars is political from top to bottom. I learned more about taxation from the prequel films than I did in my government classes in school. God damn I’m pretty certain the old Scrooge McDuck comics had a lot of political commentary in them.

And you know what, The Little Mermaid is filled with commentary on gay longing. People suspect that Hans Christian Andersen was secretly romantically attracted to a man when he wrote the story, and used the story as a way to mourn his unrequited feelings. Generations later the music is filled to the brim with it from Howard Ashman, who was a gay man and poured his own complex emotions as a gay man into the lyrics.

Most of Disney’s works are directly influenced by WW2. Many of the early shorts were war propaganda.

If I had time I could keep going on and on about Disney and its relationship to politics and what is and isn’t political, but I can’t but I just wanted to express how utterly baffled and disappointed I am in users here conflating certain subjects in Disney films as “politics”.
 

Elysium

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I don't really judge a film's quality by what period it comes out in. I think sometimes we put on nostalgia goggles and are harsher about newer films. I think something like Frozen is as good as any of the films I grew up with; same with Encanto, TP&TF, and Raya. Most of the films Disney has put out since The Princess and the Frog have been "good," other than Wreck-It Ralph and Big Hero 6 to me. I think those two are their weakest releases in recent times. At worst, some of the newer films have a sort of bland, factory pipeline-like quality--Moana, for example. That's not the same as "bad," it's just not as interesting for me as it could be.

Medium--such as hand-drawn animation, 3D, or live-action--isn't really indicative of a film's quality. But I do have a preference for hand-drawn animation, I find drawings and paintings to be beautiful in a way 3D seldom is. 3D too often in most films seems to attempt to simulate real life to the point it feels like why not just make it in live-action? I do love stop-motion films like Laika though, they have a different feeling from real life entirely. I prefer when 3D films take risks stylistically at least. I think that's why I've been a little more satisfied with PIXAR films lately--like Turning Red and Luca--because they take more risks stylistically since Lasseter was removed. WDAS is doing the same. True, I think the aesthetic they chose for Strange World is kind of ugly, hopefully they won't keep doing that one, but what they're doing with Wish (the whole watercolor effects) sounds really pretty...

As far as villains, the answer's sort of the same. A film doesn't need a villain to be good necessarily, although I do have a preference for them in WDAS films. I just don't care for the repetitious Twist Villains who lack all flavor. I think Hans is the only one from WDAS that even worked for me, they make you really hate that character almost as much as Scar. No, wait, King Candy was another decent one. But most of them are like Bellwether from Zootopia, forgotten almost the minute after they leave the screen, having left no impact. Disney films have never been in the same league as Ghibli as far as presenting "mature" themes with nuance and lack of villains, imo, that's why most of Disney's attempts to make movies without villains end up delivering a sort of boring experience in comparison. Disney movies are more about big, flashy moments of emotion to me, whether it's a next level song (usually of the "I Want" variety), a tragic death scene, or a villain losing their shit--those are almost always guaranteed to be highlights in a Disney film.

I do agree that PIXAR and WDAS became indistinguishable from one another. That started with Lasseter and PIXAR employees taking over WDAS, but it still felt slightly separate overall. For example, Zootopia feels like a straight PIXAR film, the only thing that saves it is Judy being a classic Disney heroine with her "impossible" dream, innocence and good nature. Only recently, things have started to become even more blurred. Coco felt a bit too much like WDAS with Miguel's love of music and his family's reaction. And now something like Turning Red feels just like a WDAS film with all the female characters and an almost Lilo & Stitch-type of modern world quirkiness.

As far as politics or whatever, I think that's something spurred on by a Republican figure like DeSantis latching onto a "liberal" company like Disney to make a name for himself nationally, now every online conservative troll attacks Disney because they're following the leader so to speak. I don't think modern films are any more "liberal" than they ever were. I mean, you could put the '90s films under the same microscope and find all the same supposed "flaws." Aladdin, Mulan, Hunchback, and Pocahontas having people of color either as the full cast or at least split in half with White characters (and Hercules has the Muses); all the major female characters are stronger, have more agency, and showed a wider range of emotions than any Disney had made before that time (and to be fair I'd say the same was true for the male characters--Aladdin, the Beast, and others for example wipe the floor with characters like the princes from Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella as well as Mowgli or Peter Pan). There's a regular theme of the other characters "learning from" the female character in the '90s films. Whether it's Triton learning not to hate humans from Ariel, the Beast growing into a good person and human being again in order to deserve Belle rather than a self-centered monster, John Smith understanding to see value of life for its own sake rather than its monetary value through Pocahontas, Esmeralda being a figure of true compassion versus Frollo being a hate-filled hypocrite, all of China bowing to Mulan after she's saved them all, etc. Themes of environmentalism and bigotry abound ("The Mob Song" in B&TB, "Colors of the Wind" in Pocahontas, Triton's reaction to Ariel being in love with a human as a metaphor, everything in Hunchback).

Rodin said:
The old movies had fun villians but not fun leads. The new movies are the opposite.
I'm not sure I agree with that. I mean, true, when there was a great villain, they usually outshined everyone else in the Walt Era films (see Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella). But they were much closer to even in the '90s films. Ariel is almost as strong a protagonist as Ursula is a villain to me, Hercules and Megara as much as Hades, Belle and Beast as much as Gaston, Mulan as much as Shan-Yu, Pocahontas and Tarzan far outclass Ratcliffe and Clayton. I think only Frollo in Hunchback and Scar in The Lion King eclipse the protagonists entirely for me. And even of the last films that had major villains, I'd say Tiana is on level with Facilier and Rapunzel is much stronger than Gothel. Whereas someone like Moana probably wins the contest of strongest character in her film not because she's stronger than '90s protagonists--I'd argue she's not as good as many of the '90s protagonists--but because there simply is no villain available for the audience to prefer to her. And oftentimes I believe a strong villain makes a strong protagonist, when the protagonist has to deal with the villain themselves anyway.
 
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Rodin

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It depends on the story. Villians are more necessary in action stories than other genre. A love story or a family drama doesn't need one although you could have one. Plus there are movies that work in spite of a bad villian like the early MCU films. The reason people like Loki is he was the only rememberable up until Zemo or Ultron. That depends on who you ask.

I don't mind the political stuff either but that aspect could work better in a new story than cramming it into an old one. But that's also true of Belle's baggage with her missing mom and the new villians in the Mulan one.

That's more about how to incorporate new elements than what they should be. Adapting the movies as tv shows would've been a better way to serve the past and the present themes to me.

I don't mind the race bending of Ariel but I don't mind creating a new character to fill that spot. There are African folklore that have mermaids in them. I learned a Chinese folktale in elementary school that reminded me of Snow white.

It's more of preference. Like I don't mind Shang-Chi getting the spotlight in the MCU but I rather have skipped him over for newer Asian characters. Up until recently I found him outdated and cliche similar to why I don't like Sora or Kairi.
 
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Face My Fears

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Honestly, DISNEY has been failing recently with quality films and stories.

The last good DISNEY film, in my opinion, was ZOOTOPIA back in 2016. My main reasoning for that is it was the last one to really show character growth. This was a film that actually worked without some constant antagonist like Jafar. Moving on to other films after ZOOTOPIA...

MOANA: Desperately needed a proper villain to draw out Moana's growth. Also, the twist at the end was super obvious.
Ralph Breaks The Internet: A sequel, so it already had a rocky start, this was better than the others, but still the story wasn't as interesting as it could be.
FROZEN II: Another sequel. On top of that, the songs were nowhere as good or as memorable as the first one, and the story was bland and predictable.
Raya and the Last Dragon: It was a fun film, but the story didn't really stand out and was predictable.
Encanto: Again, another fun film, but the story was pretty predictable.

I cannot comment on STRANGE WORLD, but after hearing reviews I'm hesitant to watch it.

As much as I want to say that their films have lame villains nowadays, I don't think that's the real issue. I think it's the characters - specifically the main characters - are just not interesting or memorable. Moana was outshined by Maui and Raya isn't that memorable. Maribel was interesting, but just not on that iconic level. Compare any of those characters to Ariel, Cinderella, The Beast, Belle, Stitch, Peter Pan, Pinocchio etc.

They can make characters memorable if they actually give them development throughout the film. That's why I think Joy is memorable and INSIDE OUT is a standout film from PIXAR. I don't think you need to be a kid to enjoy these movies. I loved Big Hero 6 and Wreck-It Ralph as an adult. There shouldn't be an age requirement for a good film. It shouldn't be assumed that a kids' movie is crap and/or should be allowed to be crap.

Using KH as a litmus test of sorts of what DISNEY wants to promote, I can actually see them forcing in Raya, Moana, and Encanto over quality films likes Aladdin, Little Mermaid or Lion King JUST to push those characters that didn't really stick with modern audiences. It's been a year and I don't see people repping Raya or Maribel anymore, but I still see people around that may have merchandise for older DISNEY films.
 

BufferAqua

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I will never in a million years understand why someone would find black Ariel to be "pandering". Yes, Disney has made weak attempts to include proper representation, but do we have to accuse them of doing that for EVERYTHING? That's literally the same bullshit conservatives put into your brain, that ANY attempt at inclusivity is just trying to earn "brownie points" or "pander to an audience". I absolutely disagree with any of those statements, because I think black Ariel is important in many different ways.

Let's look at the roster: SEVEN of the official Disney princesses are white. Jasmine and Mulan are PoC, but have some historical inaccuracies when it comes to their culture (in their movies, I mean). Pocahontas is an entire issue in herself for obvious reasons. Raya is a complex issue. Tiana and Moana are fantastic, but are we going to ignore all of these problems here? Besides, black girls ONLY have Tiana, East Asian girls ONLY have Mulan, SEA girls ONLY have Raya, and so on. Ariel being black is a great idea because not only is she an iconic character, but because such an iconic character can make black girls happy to be represented.

Like, the TikToks of black girls loving the new Ariel? THAT is Disney's audience right now, not us. We aren't even its primary demographic and even if they are technically "family films" we shouldn't act like they were made with us in mind. Little kids aren't going to give a fuck about "marine biology" or "woke pandering" unless their parents force them to. I'm sorry if this topic of black Ariel has been beaten to death, but it irritates me.

All in all, I fully agree with Dandelion and Ethy. We aren't children anymore, and we never will be ever again. Who knows? 20 years from now the Revival Era will hold the same weight like the Renaissance did.

Also, Disney movies used to make me travel and forget about my life. Now they just try to be as relatable as possible to our daily life/struggle with not so subtle metaphors that it feels uninspired.
I understand this and personally I do prefer the more fantastical and outlandish Disney films, but I do think relatable childrens' movies are important. Not only for more mental health awareness but discovering your own individuality, which are things I believe kids should learn imo.

There shouldn't be an age requirement for a good film. It shouldn't be assumed that a kids' movie is crap and/or should be allowed to be crap.
I agree that kids' movies should be made with quality, not only for kids but for families. But you also have to understand that some Disney tropes/films are really less impactful due to age and not much else. Plus there's nostalgia-bias to consider.
 
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palizinhas

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It's the same with SW - people get mad that SW isn't catering to them anymore, but SW is a series for 11 year olds.

People who were adults when the prequels came out hated on it a lot, and now adults who were kids when the prequels came out love that trilogy.

Frozen's 10 years old next year, and it's a massive pop culture icon to this day. I'm sure Encanto will be in a similar role 10 years from now. Those are classics the same way Lilo and Stitch was to me, but to a new generation. It's cool.
 

AegisXIII

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Indeed it is probably the nostaligic effect. What's funny is that I do not remember crying to a disney movie as a child (except Bambi duuh), but I cried to all recent movies they made. And yet, I cannot tell you the name of any of the characters nor sing you any of the songs. But it also come from the fact that as children we would watch the same movie fifty times I guess. We were not easily bored.
 

AR829038

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I will never in a million years understand why someone would find black Ariel to be "pandering". Yes, Disney has made weak attempts to include proper representation, but do we have to accuse them of doing that for EVERYTHING? That's literally the same bullshit conservatives put into your brain, that ANY attempt at inclusivity is just trying to earn "brownie points" or "pander to an audience". I absolutely disagree with any of those statements, because I think black Ariel is important in many different ways.

Let's look at the roster: SEVEN of the official Disney princesses are white. Jasmine and Mulan are PoC, but have some historical inaccuracies when it comes to their culture (in their movies, I mean). Pocahontas is an entire issue in herself for obvious reasons. Raya is a complex issue. Tiana and Moana are fantastic, but are we going to ignore all of these problems here? Besides, black girls ONLY have Tiana, East Asian girls ONLY have Mulan, SEA girls ONLY have Raya, and so on. Ariel being black is a great idea because not only is she an iconic character, but because such an iconic character can make black girls happy to be represented.

Like, the TikToks of black girls loving the new Ariel? THAT is Disney's audience right now, not us. We aren't even its primary demographic and even if they are technically "family films" we shouldn't act like they were made with us in mind. Little kids aren't going to give a fuck about "marine biology" or "woke pandering" unless their parents force them to. I'm sorry if this topic of black Ariel has been beaten to death, but it irritates me.

All in all, I fully agree with Dandelion and Ethy. We aren't children anymore, and we never will be ever again. Who knows? 20 years from now the Revival Era will hold the same weight like the Renaissance did.


I understand this and personally I do prefer the more fantastical and outlandish Disney films, but I do think relatable childrens' movies are important. Not only for more mental health awareness but discovering your own individuality, which are things I believe kids should learn imo.


I agree that kids' movies should be made with quality, not only for kids but for families. But you also have to understand that some Disney tropes/films are really less impactful due to age and not much else. Plus there's nostalgia-bias to consider.
I'm going to push back just a LITTLE bit against some of this.

The thing you have to remember about Disney is, THEY'RE conservative too. They're just conservative from the other side.

The people who make the movies might be progressive, but big decisions ABOUT those movies get made higher up by executives who have absolutely no regard for artistic integrity or progressive agendas. The decision to do stuff like make Ariel black is a calculated cynical ploy to garner artificial attention through backlash. I'm not siding with the conservatives online who whine and bitch about this stuff, but I am saying they're not doing it for altruistic or creative reasons, and we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking otherwise.

The ironic thing is, Disney's ANIMATED movies are legitimately progressive nowadays, like Encanto, Moana, Raya—there's actual representation there combined with progressive messages, even if it isn't 100% culturally accurate. But sometimes, and especially with the live-action remakes, Disney will purposefully color-code a once-white character simply to manufacture outrage in order to get buzz going for a movie that probably wouldn't have done very well otherwise (because let's be honest here, putting "black Ariel" aside, the trailer for the new Little Mermaid looks like shit just like every other garbage Disney remake). It's a cheap, easy ploy, and sadly progressives tend to fall for it over and over again. Personally, I'm not so perturbed about Ariel being black as I am about the REASON why she's been made black. I don't like corporate cynicism masquerading as progressivism. I think it pushes progressive activism back when we lower the bar to just "make white characters non-white or make male character female, etc." There's actual progressive messages to spread in kids films, and better ways of delivering it, so we shouldn't let people settle for this crap and think that shallow identity politics equals real progressive change.

As for not liking the new Disney stuff because of age, I reject that proposition. First of all, I love some of their newer movies, like Encanto, Moana, Wreck-It Ralph, etc. I just don't love them as much as the 90's movies in large part because of the CGI style and lack of memorable villains. But it's not really down to a nostalgia thing or an age thing. I have the same feelings about modern Disney vs. 90's Disney as I have about 1980's Disney vs. 1950's Disney—I wasn't alive for either of those latter eras, but I hold the Walt Disney-era films to a much higher regard than the ones made after his death and before the Renaissance. There's great stuff to be found all around, but the energy just feels a little off at times, and there's a smaller ratio of great to not-so-great films in their roster.
 

Chie

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I would agree that Disney is extremely conservative (by default, since theyre a world-controlling megacorp), but the key here is that the people higher up this thread were talking about why the movies were bad instead of good now (or worse - why it's a bad business decision!). So what's the solution to that? The only non-hypocritical thing to do would be to make openly right-wing capitalist films -or- completely downsize from a megacorp to just a movie studio. The latter's not going to happen and I don't think the former is a good thing.

Ultimately I don't think there's any reason to think too hard about whether Disney's movies are getting worse or not. Sometimes good directors and good writers do good work under an awful corporation. (The same applies to Square Enix, on a smaller scale.) That's what's more important.
 

BufferAqua

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The decision to do stuff like make Ariel black is a calculated cynical ploy to garner artificial attention through backlash. I'm not siding with the conservatives online who whine and bitch about this stuff, but I am saying they're not doing it for altruistic or creative reasons, and we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking otherwise.
Just because Disney may not have altruistic intent doesn't mean we shouldn't find value in black Ariel anyways. It has been much more than a ploy to people. Dunno, I'm very tired of people finding ways to try and make people not excited about actual representation.
I think it pushes progressive activism back when we lower the bar to just "make white characters non-white or make male character female, etc." There's actual progressive messages to spread in kids films, and better ways of delivering it, so we shouldn't let people settle for this crap and think that shallow identity politics equals real progressive change.
I'm an absolute fan of making new characters of color over replacing existing characters, but Ariel? Changing her race is so inconsequential. She is a mermaid, so her skin color never mattered anyway. Even if the story was implied to take place in Denmark, Ariel is a mermaid and thus has no cultural ties to anything like Moana/Mulan/etc does. And it's funny how the people who complain about it have nothing to say about making Nick Fury black, another character with a race change that never impacted his character.

Like I get it. Corporations suck. Disney sucks. Publicity stunts suck. Ploys suck. But assuming every single attempt at progressive change is that way and ultimately being extremely pessimistic all the time is just a bleak way to look at it. In the end, it's a movie for the young generation to watch and hopefully represent young black girls to the fullest. Plus, it represents black musical talent either way with the glorious Halle Bailey.
Disney becoming more progressive is going to just piss off the conservative fan base and give the liberal fanbase more reasons to call hypocrisy
Also this is the asshole in me saying this but I don't think the conservative fanbase matters 😹
 
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Antifa Lockhart

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Using KH as a litmus test of sorts of what DISNEY wants to promote, I can actually see them forcing in Raya, Moana, and Encanto over quality films likes Aladdin, Little Mermaid or Lion King JUST to push those characters that didn't really stick with modern audiences.

Where does this narrative that Disney pushes titles into Kingdom Hearts come from? That's NEVER been the case.
We have one case on record of Disney requesting Kingdom Hearts add something for promotional purposes and it was the Chicken Little summon. If Disney forced Nomura's hand in world selection we wouldn't have had Tron or Nightmare Before Christmas in the early games.

People stupidly believe that Frozen was added by Disney to KH, when it was the BIGGEST franchise in the world and it certainly didn't need KH's promotion four years after it was already out, not to mention it's on the record that Nomura saw it before it was released and asked immediately for it to be put in before it was ever a hit.

Don't use KH as a litmus test for Disney marketing. There's no basis in it and Nomura has WAY more creative control than that.

Personally, I'm not so perturbed about Ariel being black as I am about the REASON why she's been made black. I don't like corporate cynicism masquerading as progressivism. I think it pushes progressive activism back when we lower the bar to just "make white characters non-white or make male character female, etc."
YOU are the cynical one, dude.
I agree that more narratives made by PoC starring PoC should be produced, make no mistake -- and they are HOWEVER Disney is making these remakes regardless of what anyone wants. They're going to make them anyway.
Disney reinterprets their work all the time and they always will. When Toni Braxton was cast as Belle on broadway, did you say anything? When Auli'i Cravalho was cast as Ariel for The Little Mermaid Live!, where was the outrage? Could it be that you realize that these smaller-scale reinterpretations are fun artistic expressions that live outside the animated canon and don't impact it? WHY IS THE MOVIE DIFFERENT?

Why is it so fucking hard to believe that Halle, on her own merits, was the best choice for the role and not because she fit into some corporate plot? Beyoncé's protege isn't good enough on her own!? Who would you have had?

You saw black Ariel and said "I'm not mad because she's black, I'm mad because they made her black as a plot to seem inclusive" and even if that is the case...bro, where is the proof that this is some affirmative action shield? Where's the leaked corporate memo?

It's a bad take, AR, I'm tired of reading it and it's outstayed its welcome
 

BufferAqua

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Why is it so fucking hard to believe that Halle, on her own merits, was the best choice for the role and not because she fit into some corporate plot? Beyoncé's protege isn't good enough on her own!? Who would you have had?
Honestly I'm so fucking tired of people diminishing Halle Bailey and believing she didn't deserve the role because Disney is trying to "ploy" or "fool" the audience. It's exhausting. She is a perfect Ariel no matter the color because her vocal fits and the look fits.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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The Little Mermaid doesn’t look bad at all btw

Disney has some of the best water rendering technology in the world. All we got was a teaser and a cam rip of in-progress work. But oh no it looks so bad! 🙄
 
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