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You've changed, Disney. You used to be cool.

Well, not "cool" but at least you made cool stuff sometimes!

To the risk of sounding like "old man yells at cloud", I think I can safely say that, to me, Disney has finally lost its charm. Not all of it, mind you, but most of it.

Circling back to the title, let's think back to the old days and remember what Disney was synonymous with, that is to say high-quality 2D animated features and, of course, funny cartoon shorts with their classic characters Mickey, Donald etc.

In the 80's and 90's, these shorts evolved into popular cartoon series like DuckTales, Talespin, Rescue Rangers and many more. The old characters enjoyed a renaissance much like Disney's bigger animated projects which had cooled off in popularity around the Oliver & Company/Rescuers Down Under era. Even Goofy got a couple of movies!

This was a great time to grow up in, especially since the animated features released in theaters were one masterpiece after the other. Even after the Mulan/Hercules era, the quality of the films themselves didn't really decrease: Emperor's New Groove was a riot, Atlantis was awesome, even lesser outings like Treasure Planet and Meet The Robinsons were pretty good. Then again there was...

God I hate that chicken. I hate him so much.

By the time Chicken Little came out, Disney became more about running the CG animated race against other studios than telling great stories or showing off its 2D-animated (or mostly 2D-animated) genius. It was all about Pixar and the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. 2D animation would attempt a brief comeback with The Princess & The Frog in 2009 but it was too little too late.

Left behind in the dust for many years during all this was Mickey, Goofy and the rest who were not trusted with any features anymore, save for some straight-to-DVD stuff once every blue moon. The tide started to turn on these iconic characters as far back as 1995 when theatrically shown Mickey short Runaway Brain, easily one of the mouse's best, was soon pulled and buried because it was deemed "too disturbing" - it wasn't. Literally just Frankenstein where Mickey's a monster for like a minute, big deal. It was funny as hell and the animation was incredible!


This is when Disney started losing me. The abandoning of what made Disney special, its classic characters, and then 2D animation altogether, was the final straw. And yet, out of pure nostalgia and the candid hope for a return to form, I kept on watching.

Marvel became Disney, which was fine with me as the films were still decent enough and I do like a good comic-book movie. Star Wars became Disney, which... ok, I guess? Let's see what they've got in store for that. Indiana Jones became Disney... lol right, good luck with that! Harrison Ford is not getting any younger, is he?

Look, this era of the MCU and Star Wars sequels/TV shows isn't all bad, it's not even really "bad-bad", though it dips its toe into those waters pretty regularly. I could see enjoying it as a kid, some of it at least, but it's certainly more McDonald's than it is Gordon Ramsay, right? Those Star Wars sequels and mid-quels and Disney+ shows, it's all been a bit underwhelming, hasn't it? Season 1 of The Mandalorian was cool but even that show went downhill fast. I liked Rogue One, at least the parts without crappy deepfakes. The Last Jedi was a fun moviegoing experience, if not the most coherent Star Wars flick out there.

Then there's the live-action remaking of all of Disney's classics, which has been mostly obnoxious and soul-crushing to witness. Two of them come to mind as being almost decent (Cruella and Beauty & The Beast, maybe?) but it's been a rough bunch of movies otherwise. The expression "cash-in" has never been more relevant. Insulting stuff.

I think it's also fair to say that the MCU has run its course. After Avengers: Endgame or, if we're being really generous, Black Widow, it has definitely run out of steam and badly needs a fresh coat of paint, or a full reboot of some kind. At least a new showrunner.

I'm not saying I wish (upon a star) that Disney would return to the Disney days of yore, I understand why it can't - the 2D animated features were costly and didn't always deliver the goods at the box-office. I'm not even saying I'm giving up on Disney altogether, I'll still catch the odd show or movie here and there, I'm sure. My only hope is that Disney starts to look at its past not as something to be ashamed of (RIP Splash Mountain), or as a liability, but as something great they can build on, revive once in a while in a whole new interesting way.

I don't know about you but I'm personally becoming allergic to this Pixar-style of CG animation. My eyes are basically done with it. Thank god that Japan is still delivering top-tier 2D animation with films like Suzume.

Instead of munching the scraps of dead franchises like Indiana Jones, why not present a brand new 2D adventure? Modernized to a certain extent, of course, for the new generation. Instead of chasing the Pirates dream with money-flushing sure-fire flops like Lone Ranger, Dolittle or John Carter, why not throw in a cool Mickey movie once in a while? Yeah, Star Wars was fun once but deviating from the promising original plan (one sequel every other Winter with a prequel in between) just because one project was botched (Solo wasn't even bad ffs), then flooding streaming networks with sub-par "content" continuously is not a particularly exciting path ahead, is it?

Disney appears to hate itself, or what it used to be, these days and it's a real shame because, apart from obvious stinkers from a million years ago like Songs Of The South, Disney kinda kicked ass for a very long time and it now finally has the money to spend on cool projects that long time Disney fans actually want to see... but it doesn't, and it probably won't.

Here's hoping that something allows 2D animation to become a cheaper option for studios and an easier sell for audiences (AI?). Surely there's enough amazing Mickey and Scrooge comics out there by now to inspire tons and tons of charming, cozy, very Disney animated films and series! I'm down to see that, s'all I'm saying.

Fingers crossed the re-renaissance happens in my lifetime.

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