inspired by the above video, i was discussing the issue with my partner last week and they said something even more succinct: Disney films outside the Mickey-verse have always been about nostalgia. fairy tales from centuries ago, retold and repackaged, suffused with the agenda of conservative beauty and family values, and marketed to children.
fuckin’ yikes, basically, but i’ll confess i too am a sucker for a cute princess dress. blame that on the 90s renaissance and that sweet sweet yellow belle gown.
anyway. i know it’s incredibly reductive of me to say “originality is dead”, but that’s clickbait for ya. of course it’s dead, it’s been buried for decades, and that’s absolutely fine and not directly disney’s fault. there’s a difference though, between common story arcs, character archetypes, and tropes (as in, no matter what story you want to tell, chances are the surface elements have been done before), and just straight up remaking the same 10 things over, and over, and over again. it’s why Disney’s last announcement of a bajillion Marvel and Star Wars things, on top of their pre-planned live-action remakes of their animated classics, had me rolling my eyes into the back of my skull. i’m just…… tired of this samey stuff. i see and read all the incredible, and original, new science-fiction and fantasy coming out every year and i know, for a fact, there are so many cool stories being told, that would look amazing on the big screen (or the little one, for however long we need, because plague.)
to tell the truth, i’m extra bitter in the wake of Disney firing everyone at the Fox-owned Blue Sky studio, and by consequence axing the upcoming nimona
, based on noelle stevenson’s long-running webcomic (yes, noelle stevenson of she-ra
fame). i’ve been reading nimona
on and off since 2012, when stevenson went viral with their thor
tumblr comics. based on stevenson’s own tweets
, it was shaping up to be incredible. and now we’ll never get to see it—but don’t worry! they’re making a new cruella movie! even though we already have two of them!! and glenn close was pretty darn good!!
i don’t have a closing paragraph except a tired sigh. disney’s gonna disney, as they have for decades, and now that they own such a big piece of the entertainment pie, everything under their umbrella will be subsumed by the nostalgia monster. everything is the past. the future is dead. the present, even more so. i hate it, but that’s the way it is. i don’t expect they’ll change that tune any time soon.
the only way out is to write and make new stuff (the indie way, by the looks of things), and try not to be too cynical as the wheel of disney keeps on turning, paving through the media landscape—while not paying its authors
—and making every story we’ve ever loved into a big flat nothing.
there, that’s a good closing paragraph. better get back to writing, eh?