Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Get the Facts Straight: SAG-AFTRA and WGA Strike
Just Keep Swimming
Get the Facts Straight: Fentanyl
Things You May Not Know About LHS

Things You May Not Know About LHS

February 7, 2023

New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions

January 30, 2023

Olivia Straus
Olivia Straus
Creative director

The Downfall of Disney

The+Downfall+of+Disney
Angel Duran-Gonzalez

Disney is one of the most well known companies in the world. They are the creators of the iconic Mickey Mouse, the Disney princesses and are the current owners of the Marvel and Star Wars franchises. Their long list of hit films is a testament to their success. But just how long can they keep it up?

Despite iconic movies like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King,” Disney has been slacking lately. Their characters aren’t relatable, their plots are weak, there are no stakes and their animation is getting worse. Things are not looking good for Disney.

With movies like “Spiderman: Across The Spider-Verse” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” coming out around the same time as Disney’s new films, their animation is starting to feel underwhelming. “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” introduced a new animation style that was genre-defining. It’s unique, spunky and feels like nothing we’ve seen before and I love it. I was rooting for all of the characters and genuinely had no idea what the villains’ next steps were. They created a great cast and a good plot while also showing us something we have never seen before. But every new Disney movie we get has the exact same bug-eyed characters and storybook realism style. 

Back in 1937, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” Disney’s first ever feature film in color, was released. It was completely unheard of and a monumental moment for the animation industry. The movie is filled with beautiful songs and aesthetically pleasing animation. For the next 70 years, these kinds of movies were all Disney produced. Other masterpieces like “Mulan” and “Sleeping Beauty” were created during the Disney Renaissance and loved by all. 

Story continues below advertisement

Then they switched to 3D animation in 2005 with the movie “Toy Story”, and it wasn’t necessarily a bad decision. However, after only 20 years of this style, Disney fans already want to go back to the renaissance era’s style. Disney’s 100th movie was supposed to be an homage to everything they’ve done thus far. Fans were expecting 2D animation, incredible musical performances and a beautiful world. But when the trailer was released for their newest princess movie, “Wish,” people were let down. Disney’s weak attempt at making their backgrounds 2D made the movie look lazy and unfinished. Personally, I would love nothing more than to see another Disney princess movie animated with the classic hand-drawn animation, but obviously they think otherwise.

One of the main reasons Disney is so iconic is because of their beautifully composed music. “Moana” and “Frozen” are amazing examples of this. Songs like “Let It Go” would never have been possible without a music director who specializes in musicals. With “Wish,” none of the songs had the same impact that other movies’ songs had. There was one good bridge and maybe a good chorus here and there, but other than that I just felt like I was listening to a radio pop station. None of the music was impactful, sentimental or even enjoyable. It was dry and made the overall viewing bland. And I worry that Disney will continue with this “trendy” pop style because it’s what’s popular now., when in reality the entire reason most of their movies are so good is because the musical production is absolutely phenomenal.

Even movies like “Frozen” have really weak plots. When I watch an adventure movie, I want to see some adventure. I want to see really cool, fleshed out characters with good backstories and motivations. I want the world building to either make me wish I lived there or wish I would never step foot there. I just want to go into the theaters to watch a Disney film and be immersed entirely in the plot. Lately, every movie I watch, I know exactly what is going to happen from start to finish and it’s extremely boring. If Disney could write better plots that are actually worth getting into, then maybe they could make a good movie again.

Along with raising the stakes for the movie, there comes the villains. Disney movies are rated G or PG so nothing too terrible happens to anyone. But in movies like “Tangled” and “Beauty and the Beast,” the villains die at the end. Not because of others but because of themselves. Almost every single time a Disney villain dies it’s their hubris that ends up killing them. For example, in “Tangled,” Mother Gothel died because she created a situation where she had to die. Same thing with Gaston, he practically jumped off that cliff himself. The whole issue with Disney’s villains is that they are so set on being evil that they just go crazy and die in the end anyway. There are so many ways a villain’s story could end and I am so tired of watching the villain do it on their own.  If the villains weren’t so blinded by how evil they are, they would be much more interesting and it would definitely raise the stakes.

Despite the half-baked looking animation style, the bad music and the flat characters, Disney has been doing really good with one thing: adding diversity into their movies. All of the most recent Disney princesses have been from different races and cultures and I believe they have done a really good job at representing them. In their newest movie “Wish,” the main character, Asha, is mixed-race and her best friend, Dahlia, is disabled and has to use a crutch to walk. Over the past 10 years Disney has made so many movies that represent all different cultures which is something that they should be given some credit for.

Disney is one of my favorite animation studios. But recently their movies have been so disappointing. I don’t think that they are irredeemable, but I do think they need to step it up a couple notches if they want to create movies as engaging as “Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse.” With so many animation studios with unique styles being formed, Disney definitely needs to step up their game, because if they don’t, they could become entirely irrelevant.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Haley Hausam
Haley Hausam, Reporter
Haley Hausam is a senior and a second-year reporter. Her passion for learning new things has given her the opportunity to discover lots of interests. She loves reading, writing, cats and traveling. Haley enjoys writing about others and listening to the stories they have to share, as well as expressing her own opinion on anything from albums to books. After high school, she plans to move to Colorado and attend CSU to obtain her bachelor's in environmental science.