We need to boycott Disney sequels and remakes

Disney fans should refuse to fund Disney’s lack of effort and creativity


By Nerdist // illustration by Anna Owsley

Walt Disney Studios has invested in the strategy of producing live-action remakes and sequels, and the result is a steady stream of movies that lack true creativity. Mill Valley News editor in chief Anna Owsley argues that boycott is the only solution.

Anna Owsley, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” While this mindset was the driving force behind the creation of beloved Disney classics, it certainly doesn’t hold true for Walt Disney Studios as we know it today. 

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Disney has instead decided to spend its time recreating and extending decades-old films. Along with a steady stream of sequels, Disney’s live-action remake count sits at 13 films and is skyrocketing with 14 more already in the making, according to IMDb

While remakes and sequels aren’t fundamentally horrible, these movies have continuously fallen short and are distracting from the fact that Disney is losing its spark for creativity. When stripped of their nostalgic sentiments, we are left with lackluster, underachieving films. 

For example, “The Lion King” was merely a scenic, frame by frame replication of the original that lacked Timon’s iconic hula dancing scene, was worsened by distracting voice-overs and turned fan favorite songs into underwhelming sleepers (which is actually an impressive feat considering how incredible the original songs were). 

Similarly, “Aladdin” was a weak imitation of the 1992 film that was only redeemed by the handful of comedic and dramatic scenes added to the 2019 version. Another perfect example is the recent “Dumbo” remake; while it successfully left out the racism showcased in the 1942 original, “Dumbo” was chock-full of underdeveloped characters, poor acting and a plot so unrealistically dramatic it almost passed for comedy. 

Remakes and sequels … are distracting from the fact that Disney is losing its spark for creativity.

— junior Anna Owsley

Preying on society’s nostalgia for childhood memories, the studio is opting to pour the majority of its resources into this strategy of producing mediocre films for one singular reason: more money. And can we blame them? Millions of Disney fans, myself included, have thrown their money at Disney because they want to re-experience their childhood through this  ever-growing string of remakes.  

However, our support of these films is selfish. By endorsing this trend, we are halting the creation of new Disney classics; films that could capture the societal issues that children face today. 

Disney should be utilizing its increasingly phenomenal digital technology – showcased in the recent live-actions “Dumbo” and “The Lion King” – to launch new, magical worlds into existence. They could be spending their $1 billion plus budget on creating films that will make everyone tear up in theaters, not just those carrying nostalgia for the past. 

The only way to reverse the trend is to boycott every single remake and sequel; let’s show Disney that they can no longer get away with their lazy, money-grubbing scheme.

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