As a giant entertainment company that prides itself on creating “safe” and “family-friendly” content that can suit everyone, Disney the company and Disney as a conglomerate of artists are as different as night and day. When the news arose that the Disney executives gave money in support of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, I thought, “well, that’s not surprising” since Disney as a company has never been in support of explicit LGBTQ+ representation (and the irrelevant side character’s in the articles titled “X Disney character is gay” do not count), yet so much of Disney's recent media is shrouded in queer allegory and have fostered so much talent from members of the LGBT community. So, how could Disney betray the community whose members contributed to the company’s success?
Do you ever sit down to watch a classic Disney movie you loved as a child only to find out it is not nearly as great as you remembered? Do the jokes no longer hit now that you’re above the age of thirteen? Do the life lessons now seem like common sense to you? Luckily, you will experience none of those kinds of feelings or somewhat upsetting sensations if you choose to rewatch Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove.
“I am not bad, I'm just drawn that way,” Jessica Rabbit seductively says. Ironically, she wasn’t always supposed to have her famous figure; instead, she looked more like your average princess. The change to her appearance came when Jessica’s voice actress, Kathleen Turner, saw the design and realized the character was “pretty, not sexy.” She started to tease the animators about adding her long legs to the character and said, “wouldn’t it be funny to have big you-know-what’s on her?”
In the late days of November 2002 came the release of a film that should have been another multi-million success story for Walt Disney Studios. After all, how could it possibly do bad? A movie about space pirates combined with striking colorful visuals and the first Disney film to use a combination of 2D and CG animation? Every seat in a theater for the next few months should have had a butt teetering on the edge in anticipation for the lights to dim and for Treasure Planet to play. This, however, was not the case. Being awarded one of Disney’s greatest flops, Treasure Planet only made about $110 million worldwide while the film cost about $180 million to make. This means Treasure Planet lost Walt Disney Studios around $70 million even though it included the mighty allure of pirates in space and a hoverboarding angsty teen. So, why didn’t Treasure Planet fully set sail at the box office?
To go back to the days of 101 Dalmatians on VCR: my beaten-up The Little Mermaid backpack happily sits on my back while I dance to the Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack and his light-up Lion King Sketchers glow as we play kickball during recess. I always catch my mind wandering back to those times, the times of seven dwarfs running around and Cinderella running back home when the clock strikes midnight. Disney never ceases to remind me of my childhood. The Walt Disney Company started in Los Angeles, California, on October 16th, 1923. Since that day, childhoods all over North America have been filled with Mickey’s heartfelt laugh and the image of Tinkerbell flying over Cinderella’s castle. We all understand the shared experience of Disney films being present in our youths. These films are reminders of the child we all have within.