Disney Fans “Traumatized,” Multiple Controversial Characters Removed

in Disney, Entertainment

Flounder and Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Credit: Disney

Disney has been removing iconic characters as of late, and fans are not very happy about it. Most recently, Disney “split up” Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, which seemed to be the final straw in terms of what guests were willing to accept.

Animal Kingdom Mickey and Minnie
Credit: Disney

Over the recent years, especially the past two, Disney has been hit with being accused of pushing their “woke agenda” on its fans — both on screen and off in the theme parks.

Previously, Disney launched the Reimagine Tomorrow initiative, stating that “We haven’t always got it right.” This came after the Cast Member dress code changed when it came to the “Disney Look,” allowing Cast Members to express themselves more while at work.

On top of that, we have already heard of the progress coming along on the new Princess and the Frog attraction, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, that is replacing Splash Mountain’s racist undertone scenes due to the Song of the South IP. This has highly upset guests to the point that petitions were made, and continue to be signed. Now, Tokyo Disneyland is the only Disney park with a surviving Splash Mountain, however, it seems that it is likely only time before that closure is also announced.

splash-mountain-water
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney has also changed the storyline on both Walt Disney World Resort’s and Disneyland Resort’s Jungle Cruise attraction to ensure cultural appropriation disappears.

We are also seeing a lot more inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month with decor around Walt Disney World and Disneyland, as well as exclusive merchandise as well as food options. This year, Disneyland Park even debuted Pride Nite, an After Hours event dedicated to the community. This was a fantastic way to share their support, but for those who do not support those in the LGBTQ+ community, it caused a massive ruckus.

Many expressed their “disgust” in Disney holding this event, stating that they were sharing their “woke agenda” to children who attend the theme park. It should be noted this was a separately ticketed event that parents would have to purchase tickets for.

We have also seen many upset with the recent entertainment direction Disney has moved toward.

As Disney has moved to be more diverse and inclusive, they have integrated characters from the LGBTQ community into their films.

Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal) with dog Legend. Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

As noted by Variety, Jenna Barbee, a fifth-grade Florida teacher, was under investigation by the Florida Department of Education after showing her class the animated Disney movie Strange World, which features an openly gay character.

In a video posted to TikTok, Barbee said that she was being investigated for indoctrination after showing the film. “Our students had standardized testing all morning,” Barbee said in the video. “I thought it would be a great time to give them a brain break by showing a movie that related to what we were learning about in school…I chose this movie because it relates to our curriculum.”

The school district released a statement to parents saying, “Yesterday, the Disney movie Strange World was shown in your child’s classroom. While not the main plot of the movie, parts of the story involve a male character having and expressing feelings for another male character. In the future, this movie will not be shown. The school administration and the district’s Professional Standards Dept. is currently reviewing the matter to see if further corrective action is required.”

The Clade family explore a strange new land in 'Strange World' (2022). Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

From this, it is easy to see how there are certain audiences who do not want to see any progression in films that reflect the world that we are living in today.

We then found more resistance when Disney cast Halle Bailey, a Black actress, in the role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Although Bailey’s incredible talent speaks for itself, many did not like that Disney was altering their nostalgia for the iconic animated film by changing the overall look of Ariel. Many have also made the #NotMyAriel go viral online.

On top of that, Latina actress Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) has been cast as Snow White in the live-action Snow White film, which has upset some fans. 

Following the extreme backlash, Zegler took to Twitter to try and have Disney fans be more kind towards her. She wrote, “i love you very much. forever and ever. remember to be kind. treat each other with patience and empathy. remember that you are loved unconditionally, no matter your mistakes, no matter your misunderstandings. you deserve it. you deserve love. you deserve to live without fear. x” as well as “i hope the world becomes kinder” on August 11, 2023.

Snow White looking scared
Credit: Disney

One of the comments on the Tweets pushed again that Snow White’s narrative should not be changed, “If you really “love” us so much, then listen.

There are legitimate concerns brought forward by others. Why aren’t you fighting for a true adaptation of Snow White? It’s okay for girls to want true love,” while others were much more hateful, calling Zegler “brownish mud.”

It seems that Disney has now started to entirely alter many storylines in an attempt to protect their reputation, nearly to a fault.

Bambi is the next in line for the live-action remake treatment from Disney. Surprisingly, the classic animated film is not known to many current House of Mouse fans simply because of its most controversial scene, which will be altered in the new remake to make the film more “child-friendly.”

The classic Disney film was released in 1942 and showcased an anthropomorphic fawn who finds friends amongst a rabbit and skunk. Though Bambi preaches the importance of friendship, it also deals heavily with the adult themes of loss. That is one of the most significant aspects that might affect this live-action retelling.

Bambi talking to his friend
Credit: Disney

Our world is far more self-aware, and people are far more sensitive to subjects that are hard to deal with. Disney has addressed loss in unique ways that seem beautiful and not outright crushing. Take Up (2009), for instance. The film has arguably one of the saddest openings out of any Disney/Pixar collaboration, as Carl loses his wife early on. It seems not all Disney films can share this same message, however.

Lindsey Anderson Beer is currently writing the Bambi remake for Disney, and she gave her input on how the live-action film will approach the classic film’s most harrowing scene. In the original film, Bambi is left alone when a hunter shoots his mother. This scene is a huge reason Beer thinks children have not been exposed to the film.

Bambi exploring the woods with friends
Credit: Disney

According to Beer, “What’s interesting to me about Bambi, it’s absolutely a classic, its a beautiful love poem—such artistry to it. I do think there’s an entire generation of children who have never seen the original and that’s very different from The Little Mermaid or Aladdin or the 90s heyday films they have definitely already seen. I can’t tell you how many kids I’ve seen who have never seen Bambi. It’s such a shame. It’s such a gorgeous film, it’s a little bit different temp than modern audiences are used to.”

The tempo that Beer is referring to is that Bambi showcases a parent’s death in such a violent way.

It seems Disney’s fear of parents not approving of this scene being viewed is stronger than preserving the monumental moment that triggers the entire film.

Now, as we mentioned recently, Mickey and Minnie were “separated”.

mickey-mouse-and-minnie-mouse
Credit: Disney

Mickey Mouse is one of the most iconic and beloved cartoon characters created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. He made his debut in the animated short and iconic film Steamboat Willie in 1928, which marked the beginning of a cultural phenomenon that has endured for decades.

Mickey’s counterpart, Minnie Mouse, also made her first appearance in Steamboat Willie alongside Mickey.

That is why splitting the two up, even for a moment, will cause a major stir.

A new announcement from Marvel Comics celebrates the 60th anniversary of The Avengers and X-Men with several What If…? covers featuring Disney characters, including Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and the gang. In 2024, these best-selling covers continue. However, as you can see on multiple covers, it’s not Mickey and Minnie who are the couple.

It’s Mickey Mouse and Daisy Duck who are depicted as the couple, not Mickey and Minnie, or Donald and Daisy.

Our article on the subject went so viral, that millions have been discussing the “break-up” on First Time Father’s (@7am.thepoet) TikTok.

@7am.thepoet

What have yall done? #mickyandminnie #disney #willandjada #danielledoestoomuch

♬ original sound – First Time Father

The comment section of the video shared many extremely disappointing opinions.

One viewer said, “I am now a child of divorce, thanks to Disney”. Another said, “No I refuse to accept”. Other fans discussed the “trauma” that they are now experiencing following the removal of their favorite couple. Others hilariously blamed Mickey for “not putting a ring on it”.

Overall, fan opinion was that “Walt Disney is turning in his grave right now”, with the majority of readers stunned by the news.

While Mickey and Minnie are only being removed from their relationship in an alternate universe, we can see that Disney has clearly been removing any and all controversial characters in an attempt to protect themselves.

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

Another example of this is how the company decided to boot Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean, regardless of the extreme franchise success that has come from Depp’s performance as Jack Sparrow. Disney did this during his alleged abuse trial against ex-wife Amber Heard. They decided before a verdict was made — meaning they decided to turn their back on their loyal actor before any decisions were made, just to remove themselves from the drama.

Of course, we know this was a grave mistake, as Depp was found not guilty.

It seems that this is going to likely be a trend that we see Disney continue as they continue to put their company reputation above the stories that the company tells.

What do you think about Disney’s recent storyline choices? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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