The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

Disney’s decline in film quality

Dianna Razo
Despite Disney being well known and beloved by many, people have slowly started to fall into dislike of the brand, finding the movies that have started to come out more lackluster than before.

You head to the movie theater, ticket in hand to see Disney’s new film released. You buy your food, head down to your theater room number and get to your seat. As the movie trudges along you start to take note of the similarities to their other released films from characters and plot. Instead of leaving the theater filled with joy and excitement, you feel downtrodden or nothing for the film. As you grab your phone to check other people’s reactions on social media you start to notice a similar response.

Disney is a name heard by many people around the world, being most well known for their films and spreading their magic to millions of children throughout the years they have been active. From “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” released in 1937 to its newly released 100th-anniversary film, “Wish,” Disney has been a staple to many children’s memories over the last century. However, as movies continue to be released under the brand name, there are some issues bothering people about the quality of their films. These issues include reused archetypes of character, trends, and using nostalgia to push another film out into cinema.

One of the films released by Disney that has been noted to have this issue would be their 100th anniversary film, “Wish.” People felt disappointed about the release of the film due to the archetypes it reuses from their older films such as the talking animal sidekick and the quirky heroine which have been seen as irritating or unfunny taking away the impact the film has towards the individual.

Jimena Razo, a 23-year-old college student attending the University of California, Irvine states how this may simply be the choice they follow.

“For some, they have a formula they like to follow and they tend to follow the same structures and similar storyline,” Razo said.

It is known how successful some of their movies have been with movies like “Frozen” grossing over $1.280 billion worldwide or “Moana” grossing over $687.2 million. It presents that the brand has a formula they don’t need to fix. However, as the characters start to get similar and the plot starts to be predictable it can start to produce some negative comments from critics.

One such critic is journalist Benjamin Lee who in his article, “Wish review – Disney’s throwback animation is missing some magic,” said, “Wish feels less like Disney’s new ‘Frozen’ and more like an off-brand rip-off, aesthetically inferior, hampered by a mostly uninspired and underpowered plot and, most deafeningly, lacking in magic.”

This shows how the formula has started to push people towards disappointment in regards to the path that Disney is taking.

Constant remakes of their older films are something that Disney has been seen to do repeatedly. While some audiences have received the remakes positively, other people have noted that this trend is more of a cash grab showing a problem the company has with originality in their films. This is especially pointed out as the brand has started to go for their more recently released films to create live action remakes out of . As of recently, the newest announcement for a live-action remake was for their film “Moana” released in 2016, eight years ago.

Razo states how she currently feels about this trend that the brand has continued to push.

“I feel like it is more of a cash grab right now than anything, since for a lot they don’t tend to leave a lot of time between the old movie and the remake in between,” Razo said.

Another critique people have said would be related with film changes as the live actions have had some rewrites compared to their animated counterparts. The live action “Mulan” is one of the films marked to have been an unsatisfactory remake of the original, which in the attempt of trying to be more in line with the original story ended up being disliked by the public. This is evident with the fact that it only gained $69.9 million dollars at the box office despite having a budget of $200 million dollars.

As Jazmin Izquierdo, a 27-year-old and a long time consumer of Disney’s films, points out, not all movies need a remake.

“Some Disney movies don’t need live action because the movies themselves are perfect, animation wise. ‘Monsters Inc.’ or ‘Lilo and Stitch’ won’t be as nice as the original,” Izquierdo said.

This is an opinion that some may hold about the movies, considering their lessons haven’t changed, nor have the love they have received.

Santa Ana College Media Professor Nicholas Pernisco shines some light on how the older movies have impacted the generations that have seen them.

“Back when ‘Snow White’ was released, there was no streaming or DVD, so the movies ran continuously in the theaters for years. They had a huge impact on little girls and boys. Parents thought they helped reinforce the ‘good’ stereotypes about gender and racial identities,” Pernisco said.

This is something that has been echoed by many people still today even with the changes. These movies, no matter how old they may be, would allow for children to learn about life lessons and open discussions on more serious topics like conflict or grief.

However, as Pernisco states, it should be noted that Disney is not just a fun and loving organization there to create movies and merchandise for the public.

“I would add, don’t forget that Disney is a business. They don’t make movies out of the joy in their hearts. They are always releasing new movies, new spinoffs of successful movies, new TV shows, new merchandise. It’s ok to enjoy them, but don’t forget that what you have in your memory as a fun film you saw when you were a child, is a money making machine they control for their shareholders’ benefit,” Pernisco said.

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About the Contributor
Dianna Razo, Staff Writer
I love listening to music, reading is a passion of mine, and Spirited Away is my favorite movie.