The thing about the Disney Renaissance in the 90s wasn’t just that they were churning out lots of good movies that were popular and well recieved. What made it really important was that they were trying new things. They were taking risks and breaking away from the stuff they had done in the past. They did a mythical Chinese war hero and Greek mythology and turned a damn Victor Hugo novel into a musical children’s movie. They did Hamlet with lions! Yeah, there was still some of the same old all-white Western European fairy tales, but they were starting to really break away from that in a significant way for the first time. And it wasn’t perfect (hey there, Pocahontas,) but it was a good direction they were moving in.
And that’s why I’ve been largely very unimpressed with Disney’s latest work and all this talk about a new
Disney Renaissance. Because I don’t see them taking risks and trying to do something new. Tangled was…cute? But it wasn’t anything really new. Haven’t seen Frozen, but as far as I can see, same old stuff. Little tweaks, sure, but nothing really new. I don’t want to see the same kind of stuff that’s already been done a thousand times. I don’t want a company with money and power that can afford to take artistic risks always playing it safe by doing the same thing that makes them money over and over again. Until then, I’m just unimpressed.
They’re not taking risks. Tangled and Frozen aren’t risky. I’ve been seeing a lot of backlash against criticism of Frozen lately, but no matter HOW good your movie with an all-white, all-cisgender, all-heterosexual cast is, that still doesn’t mean you’re actually trying anything new. You’re just improving on an old formula. That’s why I’m disappointed with Disney, because I know they can do better.