3 Reasons Why Disney "Wanting It All" Is Dangerous for All Consumers
Mickey Mouse wants everyone in his clubhouse! But is that really a good thing? What does that mean for storytellers in all factions, and why fans on both sides are polar on this topic?
I decided to talk about this because I’ve been having interesting conversations with @TimHinkson1 and others on Twitter about this exact topic. The issue started because of the Spider-man MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) struggle. If you haven’t heard, Disney and Sony had another dispute, taking the Tom Holland incarnation of Spider-man out of the MCU. And fans are, for the most part from what I am seeing, quite disappointed.
But others are saying it’s about time Sony got their character back. Others are trying to defend Disney by saying Disney has always been good to us growing up, why attack it now? Why does it even matter? It’s because it’s become less about the one issue and about the problem fans and haters of Disney have been saying in the recent years: Disney shouldn’t own all films and rights to making them.
Let me start by saying I write fairytale retellings because of Disney movies. I love fairytales and am the writer I am in large part because of Disney. I have Disney merch all over my apartment and about 90% of my movies are Disney movies. I love Disney as my favorite film making company. But I still am scared of the take over Disney is creating. Why? It’s dangerous for all creatives and here are three reasons why.
1. It stifles creatives. How do you ask? Well, let me give you this example. I told my boss once the genre my writing career was in (Fairytale retellings), and she at once told me I had to stop before Disney took every penny I had in lawsuits. I was very confused until I realized she and all my other co-workers thought I had to pay Disney to write any kind of Cinderella retelling. In fact, they still think so even after I showed them the proof Disney does not own Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, or Beauty and the Beast.
But why would a big company like them come after me? Well, in the 80s and 90s they did, a lot. Disney is well known for being overly controlling of their assets. Look at their policy on what any of their animators make in their time working there, and you’ll see what I mean. Disney makes great films, and do fairytale retellings right, but if they own too much, many people are going to think they can’t create anything based on folklore or common usage items and call it quits.
2. It kills Disney’s brand. Because let’s face it. Disney says they won’t allow any of their characters to smoke in their films again. They get boycott around the world for even hinting at a LGBTQ character or theme. They avoid doing that at all costs now apart from the MCU. My question then is, how do you make a good Deadpool movie if you can’t do that or be rated R (as of the writing of this blog, Disney still has its status of never allowing their films to be rated R standing, this may change soon however.) Let me be frank, I already am not a fan of movies that have that much swearing and that style of comedy in it, but I sure as heck want to let people make it and see it.
Disney could not have made the Robert Downy Jr. Sherlock Holmes films. Their policies would have made this wonderful movie style and them impossible. And for good reason, that’s Disney’s brand. They are family friendly even in their more adult movies. But what if they break it? Disney starts making those films, and the opposite side of their brand, the parents who are fans for their children, will panic and boycott Disney all together. (Many already have.) You can’t keep one solid brand and make every kind of movie. It just doesn’t work.
3. Nothing will be original again. Not that Hollywood isn’t already having this problem, but Disney is on a remake kick. I love it because I enjoy the twisting of fairytales and getting ideas for better stories from it, but the part of me that just wants to see a new movie, I’m sick of these remakes. Come on. Show me something new instead of ruining or breaking old classics that go down in history.
After this you may think I hate Disney. I don’t. I still love them. I’m still that sucker who will watch the live actions and rolls my eyes (I’m looking at you Jungle Book!) or fall head over heels in love with the (Like I did Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast). I still have my Disney figurine collection being built but owning everything can and does ruin a brand.
But what do you think? I wanted to post this as a means of hearing your feedback. Tell me on Twitter and in the comments how you feel about Disney attempt to own all movies every made since the dawn of film as we know it.
Sorry for the long blog. I’m passionate on this topic. I’m really excited to hear your thoughts.