Is Disney’s idea box empty?

Ever since I was little, I’ve loved the magic of Disney movies and the music that comes with them. Recently though, Disney has produced almost exclusively remakes and sequels. These movies have confused most audiences, leaving them wondering if Disney has lost the ability to come up with new ideas.

The newer movies have almost all been live-action movies or sequels of Disney classics. Some re-makes include, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Cinderella”, “Aladdin”, and “Maleficent” (a re-telling of “Sleeping Beauty”). “Mulan” and “The Little Mermaid” are also confirmed to come out soon.

New Disney sequels include “Mary Poppins Returns”, “Toy Story 4”, “Finding Dory”,  “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”, and “Frozen II” coming out in late November. Even the more recent movie “Wreck-It Ralph” has a sequel. These movies have been criticized as being less creative, but is there a reason Disney is reusing old ideas?

Even though Disney’s movie topics are repetitive, they’ve been great for marketing. Most children who grew up with the original movies are excited for the remakes because they recognize the stories. The new “Lion King” made over $1 billion in just 19 days. Both “Finding Dory” and “Toy Story 4” have also made $1 billion. These films are profitable because people enjoy reliving old memories and occasional new twists on familiar stories and characters.

The new “Lion King” movie was made with CGI animation. The new movie’s plot is similar to the old movie with only a few changes, including the song “Be Prepared” being shortened and the voice actors being more recognizable with A-list celebrities like Beyonce, Seth Rogan, and Donald Glover.

Even though Disney seems dependent on old ideas, that’s not necessarily always bad. I fell in love with the classical aspects of the 2017 “Beauty and the Beast,” including the classic songs and characters. The magic of the technology made me flashback to when I was little, seeing the characters from the original come to life with CGI animation. The loveable candelabra Lumiere is given metalwork features connecting the candelabra to when he was the castle’s maître d’ before and after the curse.

From the beginning of Disney’s productions, they’ve reused ideas. Almost all of their “original” movies were based on other stories but Disney always gave these movies the magical flair. For example, Disney’s first movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” was originally written by the Brothers Grimm. The first story was published in 1812, then the movie by Disney came out in 1944. 

While Disney’s idea box seems to be running low, it never fails to amaze with the magic it brings in its movies. The newer movies may have recycled ideas but they make up for it in the attention to detail and new technology.

Tory Ratajczak

Graduate Tory Ratajczak was the Managing Editor and Co-Copy-Editor during her fourth year with BluePrints Magazine, the 2022-2023 school year. She is pursuing a career in veterinary medicine.

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