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A Year of Disney Apathy

By Emma B.

For the better part of the past two years, Walt Disney Studios has been creating sequel after remake after sequel. As a matter of fact, the last time Disney created a new story was the 2017 movie, Coco. The lineup of 2019 movies isn’t much different. Some of the films hitting theaters this year are the live action remakes of Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King as well as sequels such as Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4. Not to mention Artemis Fowl, Disney’s retelling of an already existing book series. Of the ten Disney films to air this year, only two are not sequels or remakes. And if you think about it, Captain Marvel, the next movie to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is really just a retelling of a story that first appeared in 1968. So technically, the only completely new Disney movie premiering this year is Penguins, the newest in Disney’s series of nature documentaries.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as excited for Star Wars IX as the next person. But what happened to the special brand of Disney animated creativity? The Walt Disney Company was the pioneer of animation. They were the first to create a full length animated film. They are the reason the Oscars have an animation category. They have created some of the most memorable characters, movies, and songs of all time. Yet, they seem to have almost abandoned the very animated creativity that brought them this fame in favor of money and convenience. Why tell a new story with new characters, songs, and places when you could simply repackage some animated characters from the 80’s in shiny new costumes with beautifully elaborate, already beloved songs all wrapped up with CGI that provides effects far beyond those of hand drawn frames. It’s much easier to polish up an already written story loved by millions than to create something new, especially given that both would make the same amount of money. In fact, remakes might make even more as you catch the nostalgia of older fans desiring to relive some childhood memories.

After all, The Walt Disney Company is just that, a company. Writers have stories, characters, and inspiration, but the most important thing is, and always will be, money and company growth. 2019 has gotten the worst overload of recycled characters.


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