I have watched some pretty bad movies in my time. Unfortunately, we live in a world where far more bad films come out than good ones. But in the last few months, I have seen some unbearably awful movies!
And oddly enough: most of them came from the mouse that rules the world himself.
Just a few years ago, Disney was coming out with some pretty great movies! Zootopia, Wreck it Ralph, Tangled, Moana, Coco, all the Marvel movies, the list goes on. These are all some of my favorite movies of recent times. I’ve watched all the ones I listed there at least three times each.
Of course, there were a few stinkers in there. The Star Wars movies went downhill super quickly, Pixar got relegated to making lazy sequels, and, of course, they started cranking out some truly offensive live-action remakes of beloved animated classics. For a while, it felt like Disney was walking a fine line (although they were definitely making money; like, a shitton of it).
Then they lost balance and fell straight into the shit zone.
COVID has not been kind to Disney’s film schedule. The next era of Marvel got put on hold, leaving the Black Widow movie on the shelf for an indefinite period of time. All the movies they planned to put in theaters got stuck in the same place, with production being frozen in a strange place.
So, being the money-hungry company they are, Disney just said “Yeah, fuck it, put ’em on Disney+. What? They’re not done? Eh, just slap it together shove it on there, who cares?”
The live-action Mulan is the most recent example of this. Drama aside, this movie is a total failure on all fronts. The acting all sucks, the script is trash, the visuals feel ripped out of 1997, and the action choreography is just… so hilariously awful that it loops right back around to being depressing.
As much as I despise the previous live-action remakes, I can at least say that they had something of value in there. The Jungle Book had some pretty great actors and solid cinematography. Beauty and the Beast added some new music, some of which isn’t all that bad. Aladdin did the same; plus, Will Smith’s version of the Genie is different enough to be fun in his own way. And the Lion King… uh… showed off Disney’s computer power.
Mulan doesn’t have anything. It reduces all the substance and fun from the original. It doesn’t have anything of its own to stand on. The whole thing is so soulless, so poorly crafted, that it’s genuinely hysterical that anyone thought it was worth putting in a movie theater. Then it loops right back around to being scummy when you remember that they charged thirty bucks, on top of a Disney+ subscription, just to watch it.
And then there’s their other huge flop: the film adaptation of Artemis Fowl.
I don’t know who Disney gets to direct these adaptations, but I must wonder why they keep giving him work. Seriously, they can never properly adapt a book to the screen! A Wrinkle in Time, Percy Jackson, and now this?! How do they keep screwing it up!
This one makes me really mad. Artemis Fowl was one of my favorite books as a kid and I’d been waiting on a film adaptation for years. It’s such a simple story about an asshole kid being a supervillain. It should’ve been an easy win! But no. They didn’t just fuck it up. They thoroughly fucking annihilated it.
Bit of advice: if you’re adapting a book to the screen, don’t keep anything that happens to be really stupid or wouldn’t work in a movie. You know. Like a dwarf that eats dirt and immediately shits it back out. Maybe audiences don’t actually want to see that.
Nothing can ever get that image out of my head.
And then there’s the poor animation divisions, stuck cranking out lifeless sequel after lifeless sequel. Did we really need a Frozen 2 or a second Wreck it Ralph? The answer is no, that’s a stupid idea, who on earth watched those movies and thought that they wanted another one?
Did they all make money? Of course they did. Disney knows that their IPs are so beloved that they can do whatever the fuck they want with them and they’ll make money. They could make a two hour long loop of Mickey Mouse looting your wallet and spitting on you and people would still pay to see it. They understand that they don’t actually need to try to make money anymore.
Which is super strange, considering how much they were trying just a few years ago. Oh well. Those days were nice while they lasted.