The current release of the Disney film Strange World is a well timed reminder that there’s nonetheless an excessive amount of magic to be discovered within the studio’s animated model. Indeed, a few of their animated films have come to be thought to be true movie classics.

At the identical time, it should even be admitted that there are some harsh realities that viewers must face once they rewatch numerous Disney animated films from all through the studio’s historical past. While some facets of those films maintain up, a few of their shortcomings have solely turn out to be extra manifestly apparent with the passage of time.


The Princes Lack Personality

It’s no secret that there are various nice Disney princesses. In truth, the studio’s animated model is commonly depending on these characters. However, this usually implies that, with some notable exceptions, the princes of those tales are usually quite thinly-drawn.

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This is most evident in films like Snow White and Cinderella, nevertheless it’s additionally there in such figures as Prince Eric from Little Mermaid. It’s not that they’re dangerous characters, essentially, it’s simply that they’re a lot much less attention-grabbing than their princess counterparts, to such an extent that it’s generally simple to overlook them altogether.

The Gender Roles Are Outdated

Belle with Gaston in the street in Beauty and the Beast

Though they could be considerably thinly drawn, there’s additionally no escaping the truth that lots of the Disney princes are those who drive the vast majority of the motion. With some exceptions, the assorted princesses – together with extra energetic ones like Jasmine and Belle – depend on the male characters to save lots of them from no matter risks they discover themselves in.

Obviously, a few of this stems from the supply materials, and a few of it comes from the moments by which they have been produced. Nevertheless, for a brand new era of film watchers, a number of the extra obvious gender dynamics in these films may be jarring and greater than just a little vexing.

Some Movies Are Just Boring

Cinderella walks into a room in 1950's Cinderella

Disney has created a few of the best animated movies within the historical past of the shape. However, for each thrilling journey or retelling of a traditional fairy story, there may be an instance that exhibits that, generally, Disney films are simply boring.

To take only one instance, Pinocchio, whereas technically fairly proficient, lacks a number of the visible dynamism of a number of the studio’s different choices. The similar may be stated of Cinderella, which largely lacks the form of visually beautiful look of Sleeping Beauty or the extra energetic princesses of the Disney Renaissance.

The End Of The Renaissance Wasn’t Good

The characters from Disney's 2004 film Home on the Range.

The films of the Disney Renaissance are an simple excessive level for the studio, they usually confirmed what might be achieved. However, the flicks that got here within the aftermath – comparable to Home on the Range – lack the issues that made their rapid predecessors so entertaining and massively profitable.

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It’s not that such films are explicitly dangerous per see, it’s extra that they exhibit a sure form of inventive aimlessness, and it turns into clear in a short time that they lack the identical spark of creativity that made earlier works a hit. More than anything, they really feel like paint-by-numbers efforts quite than artistic endeavors in themselves.

The Eighties Was A Bleak Decade

Copper and Todd playing in The Fox and the Hound

Though there are a number of underrated Disney movies from the Eighties, as an entire the last decade was a quite bleak one for the studio. Yes, The Black Cauldron is pleasant, and The Fox and the Hound is heartbreaking, however neither of those has fairly the extent of aesthetic maturity of the flicks that preceded or succeeded them.

In truth, given the lackluster efficiency of lots of the Disney films of the Eighties, the studio’s return to field workplace dominance within the Nineties is much more extraordinary. It is rarely clever to write down off Disney, regardless of how low their fortunes fall.

Some Sequels Simply Shouldn’t Exist

Cinderella with her hands on her hips

Throughout the Nineties and into the 2000s, Disney excelled at producing various sequels to its most well-known films. While a few of these, comparable to The Lion King 2, got here considerably near the grandeur of the originals, for probably the most half, they have been very inferior efforts, marred by subpar animation and songs and lackluster tales.

While they’re innocent sufficient, it must be stated that, in a means, in addition they handle to tarnish their authentic films. More to the purpose, these sequels also needs to be a warning to different studios of the perils of attempting to return to the identical nicely too many occasions.

Some Of Them Are Just Plain Racist

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell - Disney's Peter Pan

Disney films, like some other set of films, are very a lot merchandise of their time. Unfortunately, this tends to imply that a few of their earlier efforts particularly comprise parts of racism, significantly in how they signify sure minorities.

This emerges clearly in a film like Peter Pan, for instance, with its very outdated presentation of Native Americans, as explored by the Smithsonian Magazine. It additionally exhibits up in different places, comparable to arguably Disney’s most infamous film, Song of the South. Fortunately, it does appear as if the studio is studying from its previous errors because it now makes an effort to ship extra inclusive tales, creating films like Moana and Encanto, which have a good time the cultures of the Pacific Islands and Colombia respectively, in a optimistic and delicate method.

Unrealistic Happy Endings

Cinderella and Prince Charming bowing at each other at the ball

Given that so lots of the classic Disney animated movies are primarily based on fairy tales, it is sensible that they might lean into their completely satisfied endings. However, this is a component of their tales that doesn’t all the time stand as much as scrutiny upon a rewatch.

In explicit, they usually really feel greater than just a little unearned, and this isn’t helped by some parts of the tales which aren’t as totally developed or articulated as they need to be. Just as importantly, that is additionally a extra cynical age by way of widespread tradition, so it is sensible that many viewers wouldn’t be fairly as affected person with the standard completely satisfied ending.

The History Is Almost Always Wrong

Meeko and Pocahontas in a canoe during Just Around The Riverbend

One of probably the most notable issues concerning the Disney Renaissance was the extent to which it was keen to set its tales in precise historic intervals. This was true of Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, and even Hercules.

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However, this additionally comes with the caveat that the historical past concerned is commonly misconstrued to ensure that it to suit extra neatly inside the established body of the animated story. In explicit, Pocahontas stays Disney’s most controversial Princess film resulting from its dangerous re-writing of the real-life Pocahontas’ story (per CBR). The liberties lots of the Renaissance-era Disney films take with established historical past are obvious, significantly from the perspective of 2022.

Homophobia Via LGBTQ+-Coded Villains

Jafar and Iago in Aladdin

Disney has all the time excelled at creating nice villains. These partaking characters are those that most individuals bear in mind, and they’re usually much more attention-grabbing than the heroes who’re speculated to be on the heart of the story.

At the identical time, there’s additionally no query that many of those villains are additionally coded in order that they’re meant to be seen as LGBTQ+, or non-normative, in a method or one other. Among the checklist of queer-coded Disney villains are Captain Hook, Ursula, and Maleficent. While that is what makes them so partaking for a lot of LGBTQ+ viewers, it additionally helps the unconscious concept that there’s something intrinsically improper with being born this manner, which is an uncomfortable notion for contemporary viewers.

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