By: William Huffaker
The time of the Disney Renaissance is over. Disney’s biggest and best products are behind them and they keep taking steps in the wrong direction. Modern Disney has become lazy; its sole purpose simply to make movies they know will bring in enormous amounts of cash and then continue to make merchandise about said films.
In the late 80’s through early 00’s, children were treated with the most quality coming of age films of any generation. Films like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Tarzan presented amazing classic stories with very valuable themes for little boys and girls alike. Those children now have those films to hold on to for the rest of their lives. The day of instant classics has ended.
This is due to the lack of traditional animation, the lack of movies for young boys, and the extensive merchandising that directly follows their major box office successes. Now before I continue, I will emphasize that this is solely Disney animated films. Pixar and Disney’s recent live action films have for the most part maintained their quality while learning to adapt to a new generation of children. The Jungle Book, Inside out and The Good Dinosaur all presented amazing stories that boys and girls alike could relate too, without pushing them to the point where they were no longer likeable.
If one were to travel back in time two decades, every Disney animated film was traditionally animated. Artists spent hours upon hours creating beautiful images. They managed to produce emotion simply with drawings that flashed before our eyes at rapid speed. Animators had to care for their craft. Now if one were to think about the most recent animations, all that would come to mind would be computer animations that took ten minutes to design. We already have a Pixar to give us computer animations. Disney needs to stay Disney. Bring back the cartoons of old.
Of the past four Disney animations, only one has had a male lead. Hiro has to compete against Elsa, Ana, Judy Hopps, and Moana. What is a little boy in the 2010’s supposed to watch. Their wants are suppressed as Disney continues to pump out movies that they neither want nor can relate too. Also, many of the movies that are boy-centric are quickly swept under the table to make room for new female-led musicals like Moana and Frozen.
When was the last time you heard “How Far I’ll Go” from the Moana soundtrack? Well it went far, but way too far. I can guarantee I’ve heard it sometime today at school. Moana came out a year ago. An entire year and it still hasn’t died. Similar to “Let it Go” in 2013, Disney has once again pumped out another song that they know will get stuck in people’s heads for decades. That is the sole purpose of these songs. Disney will then milk everybody for their money on last year’s movie for the next 5 years. It’s never going to stop. Disney will keep selling Moana as if it came out yesterday and merchandise will still pop up everywhere. Disney just needs to “let it go.”
Animated movies used to be made because they were quality and good stories, not just for money and to push some totally possible political agenda. Little boys need movies to empower them too. Disney was gold and it was amazing. So why do they keep settling for silver?