The past few years have been incredible(s) for Disney films, live action and animated alike. With more to come the end of this year (Frozen 2, Toy Story 4 and The Lion King) we can expect great things from the most captivating brand in the universe!
With the release of the live action Aladdin, there is an overwhelming divide in the Disney community. Lots of love and lots of shade for this reimagined Disney classic. I have to admit, the critic in me wanted to rear its ugly head the first time I heard Aladdin sing or when GQ Jafar showed his youthful face. Not to mention Will Smith as Genie was a lot for this Robin Williams lover to handle. But let’s be honest, is there anyone you can imagine painting blue and replacing their legs with a cotton candy clouds and not looking ridiculous?
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
He made the genie his own, the music was fun and Rajha mauled a chauvinist power seeking white dude. What more can you ask for? In my opinion, it wasn’t the best Disney could do, or has done, and that’s disappointing. But I refuse to allow the internet to tell me that because I enjoyed this fun flick, that I’m not a true Disney fan.
And that is exactly what the Dark Web of Disney is saying! (please don’t google dark web of Disney, I’m sure it’s a trash heap)
This isn’t anything unique; the 2017 live action Beauty and the Beast came under the same fire. Personally, I couldn’t imagine anyone finding fault in that gem of a film. Were all of the actors flawless vocalists? No. But sometimes the right person for the role is..human..? That doesn’t necessarily make them ill suited for the role. I was scrolling through the dark web of Disney(agram) and I came across an entire post itiraitating what trash B&TB 2017 was because Belle wasn’t an intersectional femenist. While others will destroy it based on it not being ‘enough like the original.’ Of course, you are certainly entitled to dislike, or even hate a Disney film, it seems as though remakes can’t win! I don’t remember Belle being an intersectional femInist in the 1991 animated version just as I don’t recall Lafou as opely gay. The former held true to Belle’s character while the latter was a fresh breath of representation. A reimagining is just that; it is a concept that is reimagined. It’s not like the original because it’s not the original.
It’s easy for those of us who spend our lives savings (literally) on Disney to hold the company to a slightly higher standard than the average person. But it’s not just vacations to the parks that put us in the poorhouse- it’s every Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movie that was released in theatres and on DVD or digital copy. It’s downloading the soundtracks to your favorite musicals to try and feel your way back to the first time you saw Toy Story as a child. It’s going to the mall or your local second hand trading store just to see if there are any new pops you couldn’t find on Amazon. It’s listening to podcasts and getting excited, and sometimes heartbroken over the changes Disney is making to your favorite attractions and restaurants. It’s staying up until all hours of the night creating the perfect Disney cosplay and feeling like a little kid on Christmas when the day to wear it finally comes. It’s popping in your favorite film when you have experienced a great loss or overwhelming joy. It’s naming your animals and even children after your favorite Disney heroine. It’s getting so excited to bring your own kiddos to Disney you can’t stand it! And yes, it is counting down the days until you bounce down vanilla scented Mainstreet and rush to get in line for the Haunted Mansion for the first time in what seems like forever. It’s not just a vacation, it’s a lifestyle. Hold Disney to the standard you, as the fanatic, deserves. But don’t spend so much time being a critic that you forget to enjoy the magic that is Disney.