The problem with Disney

Marina Martinez

More stories from Marina Martinez

A year of pain
February 27, 2024

Marina Martinez

Personified version of Disney+, which is the current backbone of Disney’s income, happily holding cash to imply the greed of the company.

Growing up, I would always look forward to a new Disney film. I would jump in excitement seeing the trailers. Feeling the magic and excitement while sitting in the theater. I would wonder how they would come up with such amazing stories that inspired me and fueled my creativity.

These days though, Disney produces more uncreative sequels, remakes and spin-offs than actual original movies.

The big franchises like “Toy Story” from Pixar and “Frozen” already have more sequels being announced. Disney keeps making unnecessary live action remakes of their classics just trying to make more money from our nostalgia. While both Disney and Pixar once held a special place in my heart, their films don’t interest me anymore.

They seem unnecessary. It’s the same story copied onto a live-action counterpart, just to make them more money.

I would rather just watch the original animated films.

But there are some remakes that prove to be better than just meaningless cash grabs.

A few live-action remakes like “Alice in Wonderland,” “Maleficent” and “Cruella” are enjoyable to watch because of how the films expand on the original story, making some seem different entirely. They were fun to watch. These movies are different from the classics they’re based on. Some are prequels, some are like sequels to their original stories, some are complete retellings of what they are based on. “Maleficent” was a complete retelling of “Sleeping Beauty” but because of the world building and new message of the story, it was original and exciting.
This adds to the story expanding the characters and world building as a whole. This is something that the more recent live-action remakes have forgotten.

I also enjoyed a couple of the more original movies that have come out in recent years like “Encanto” which was a beautiful film that I related to due to its hispanic culture. Though there are definitely a few other movies, like “Lightyear”, I would just rather forget. The problem I have with all these films though is mainly their villains, which just like their films don’t feel creative or original.

All recent villains have been a copy and paste of the ‘twist villain’ trope, like Hans from “Frozen”, where they befriend then later betray the protagonist. They just don’t give the same feeling of a real threat as older villains like Frollo from “Hunchback of Notre Dame” or Jafar from “Aladdin”. They were presented from start to finish as horrible people that wanted to destroy or take over the lives of the protagonists. For example, Frollo at the start of the film is shown to be the man who kills Quasimodo’s mother and continues to ruin his life. This very clearly shows his role in the movie as a villain who is later on defeated in a giant final fight which we don’t seem to get anymore from new movies.

The new Pixar movie “Elemental” seems to have a more original style and looks enjoyable to watch, but the plot feels predictable. Of course the movie hasn’t come out yet so nothing is certain. I would mainly just rather enjoy a movie with a new storyline that has an original concept.

Disney focuses too much on using childhood nostalgia to gain more income. They would rather make films that make more money over the films with the fantastical storytelling and visuals they used to be known for.