Op-Ed: Dumber Audiences Force Disney Into Its “Flop Era”

in Movies, Op-Ed

Mickey Mouse looking shocked

Credit: Disney

Even though Disney has promised to return to more traditional practices with Wish (2023), some dedicated members of the fanbase continue to criticize the studio for barely changing its formula. Is this the consequence of pandering to a vocal minority, or have audiences changed too much?

Asha from Disney's 'Wish' standing in front of a door
Credit: Disney

Since its original announcement, Wish has been marketed as Disney’s triumphant return to how they previously handled their films. It features a daring heroine, a talking animal sidekick, and a visual style that harkens back to the days of hand-drawn animation, but is the project really that different from some of the studio’s most recent offerings?

Related: A “Menken to Miranda Drop-off,” Fans Slam Disney’s Declining Quality

Several fans have pointed out that although Disney has promised to deliver a more traditional fairytale, the Walt Disney Company still relies on overplayed tropes seen far too often over the past few years. Ariana Debose plays the overly-adorkable Asha, Chris Pine is an eccentric villain while still being the familiar narcissist, and some are calling the visual style clunky, unfinished, and a flop from the start.

Wish Caps Off Disney’s “Flop Era”

Asha (Ariana Debose) with her friends in shock.
Credit: Disney

While the Walt Disney Company is at least making an effort to show its dedicated fanbase that the studio is still capable of creating magical movies, some have called Disney out for falling into repetitive patterns like those previously mentioned. However, it might be that the audience has simply become too complacent with what they’ve been watching.

Related: Disney’s ‘Wish’ is Coming To Theaters Early

Some recent takes on Disney’s current style have pointed out that they are becoming too reliant on quirky princesses, hidden villains, and alternative messages and morals in some of its box office bombs. While it can be so easy to join in the chants of “go woke, go broke” as the studio continues to play to its modern audiences, some criticisms directly connect with Disney’s change in direction.


I don’t like to get too political on my page but someone had to speak on Disney’s flop era #disney #wish

♬ original sound – reuben

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by the creator above do not necessarily reflect those of the writer or Inside the Magic.
@reubenwoodall gives a full analysis on King Magnifico’s recently released song, but one of the biggest things he points out is just how much nuance and character-driven storytelling Disney has been missing. Comparing “This is the Thanks I Get” to something as emotional and heavy as “Hellfire” is night and day.
But how much of the blame is truly Disney’s? After all, audiences everywhere keep buying tickets and streaming the studio’s flops on Disney+. Have audiences changed so much that Disney has simply dropped its gift for musicals with complex narratives and characters?
Horned King in the Black Cauldron
Credit: Disney
As drastic and abrasive as that sounds, there is still some truth to it. It feels as though modern viewers have forced Disney to stay away from polarizing subject matter in order to avoid being #cancelled. This isn’t the first time Disney has entered a low state with its audience, just look back at the Disney drought between The Black Cauldron (1985) and The Little Mermaid (1989), and Disney isn’t dead yet.
To echo the video’s ending statement, it’s still very early in the game to be making any truly harsh judgement calls toward Wish, but this is a pattern longtime Disney fans have seen before. It might take a massive hit to the studio’s animation department for them to wakeup, but the shockwave could reinvigorate the medium.
Is Wish a return to form, or is it doomed to fail? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!



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