Disney says “Bye” to Fairy Tales, so what now?
I woke up this morning to this article “Disney Animation is closing the book on fairy tales“. I just want to say everything in this post is my opinion and interpretation of this. I read the article and these are the two things that really stood out to me:
1. Sounds like Disney feels that kids want to be sexy now and are in a hurry to lose their innocence.
2. And because of that, the age group that still has their innocence are too young to really bring in that much money.
Why do I think that? Well, this quote helped point me in that direction.
“By the time they’re 5 or 6, they’re not interested in being princesses,” said Dafna Lemish, chairwoman of the radio and TV department at Southern Illinois University and an expert in the role of media in children’s lives. “They’re interested in being hot, in being cool. Clearly, they see this is what society values.“
Ok, yes I know that quote isn’t from a direct contact of Disney, but I think the person who said it is pretty dead on. When I was a child, the only thing that was really on Disney was cartoons and TVs/Movies that were about family life and growing up. I felt like the shows they had on were realistic for that age group, which at that time was more children/preteen. Also the stars at that time weren’t put in such a public light, unlike the Disney Stars of today. It seems now that Disney is aimed towards Preteen/Teens. Now kids watch their favorite star on TV and then hear about what is going on in that actor/actress’s real lives.. all the good and all the bad. It seems they are blending in that character they idolize on TV and then adding in their behavior when they are not on the screen. I can honestly say I can’t name one actor that I admired as a child and also tell you their personal life during that time when they were on TV. But nowadays you mention Miley Cyrus and a kid can tell you who they are dating, their scandals, etc. So what happened? Are things too accessible now? Yes, these child stars are human and we all have our issues and troubles we go through, but the difference is ours isn’t broadcasted to millions of impressionable minds. It seems now when a child gets a deal with Disney, especially girls, it’s a bet of when they will be in rehab. Why is this?
So what does this all mean for the future and what will become socially acceptable and wanted? I know wanting to be a “princess” and having a gentleman ride up and save your day isn’t realistic but doesn’t sound too bad, right? I like to think after all the bad things that can go wrong in your life, you will always have that comfort of a happy ending. So now I’m curious to see what this new direction Disney will go for.
In the Article, Pixar Animation Studios chief Ed Catmull, along with director John Lasseter who oversees Disney Animation says:
“If you say to somebody, ‘You should be doing fairy tales,’ it’s like saying, ‘Don’t be risky,‘” Catmull said. “We’re saying, ‘Tell us what’s driving you.‘”
So why has the clock struck midnight for Disney’s fairy tales?
Among girls, princesses and the romanticized ideal they represent — revolving around finding the man of your dreams — have a limited shelf life. With the advent of “tween” TV, the tiara-wearing ideal of femininity has been supplanted by new adolescent role models such as the Disney Channel’s Selena Gomez and Nickelodeon’s Miranda Cosgrove.
I like how Disney’s “role models” Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and ex Disney star Lindsay Lohan were conveniently left out in this article.
I also didn’t like this part of the article and feel like this is a wrong direction to be going for when you’re aiming a market for kids. This is about Disney’s newest movie Rapunzel:
“If we were told we would one day grow up and direct the 50th animated feature from Disney, it would blow our minds. It’s such a great honor,” Greno said. “At the same time, it comes with some challenges…. We love classic Disney, but we wanted to invent fresh, new and exciting ideas.“
For example, instead of the requisite prince, the directors designed the romantic male lead as a wise-cracking thief who mixes it up with bandits and beer-swilling thugs. The villain, Mother Gothel, isn’t the enchantress of the Grimm tale. She’s an incarnation of “Mommie Dearest.”
In one of the film’s musical numbers, “Mother Knows Best,” Mother Gothel tells Rapunzel she’s “getting kind of chubby” — a line lifted directly from a real-life mother-daughter exchange recounted during a story brainstorming session.
Ya… Not sure if I would want my future daughter finding a man who is a “a wise-cracking thief who mixes it up with bandits and beer-swilling thugs” attractive and also seeing someone tell a beautiful animated girl on screen that she is getting chubby, because someday she might look into herself and think “Will I ever be pretty enough?”
I leave you with one more quote:
“You’ve got to go with the times,” MGA Chief Executive Isaac Larian said. “You can’t keep selling what the mothers and the fathers played with before. You’ve got to see life through their lens.“
What is that exactly?
Now like I stated above, this is all based on my interpretation on the article and how it was written. I have yet to see the new Rapunzel movie, which I am sure I will enjoy as an adult. But then again I know the difference real life and entertainment. Children on the other hand do not. I would love to hear everyone’s feedback on this. Please comment with your thoughts!