Disney to ‘Quiet the Noise’?
If actions speak louder than words, then the answer is: Not likely.
Bob Iger took back Disney’s helm in November 2022 after Bob Chapik, his protégé, embroiled Disney in the culture war fracas. Iger has overseen plenty of the company’s decline and has finally admitted that the company went too far.
In a recent meeting with investors — whose shares in the brand have seen a near-constant decline since Disney took an ill-advised political position in the culture wars — Iger said the goal was to “quiet the noise” and take a step back from the rancor.
There’s just one problem, and it’s a doozy: His company is infested with activists who are bound and determined to use the dying carcass of this once great company to peddle their ideological tripe.
Take, for example, the recent media attention regarding Rachel Zegler and the “Snow White” remake. They’ve hired an actress (Zegler) who hates the original princess that she’s playing and is actively pushing a feminist agenda. Plus, it seems from the released photos and comments that the new movie is going to be less about retelling the fairytale and more about virtue signaling to a woke audience — which, by the way, isn’t Disney’s main audience, as its declining stock should have already told them.
This activist problem is made clear yet again with Disney’s latest animated film trailer.
“Wish” is the story of a young girl named Asha who becomes apprentice to a magical king who grants wishes to those in his kingdom, Rosas. The king is like a benevolent god character to his people, but he only grants wishes that he is “sure are good for Rosas.” Asha is an idealistic 17-year-old girl who starts to question the order of her world. King Magnifico is revealed to be conceited and possessing a god complex, and Asha is troubled that not everyone’s wish is granted. She wishes upon a star, summons that star, and everyone’s wishes start to come true and threaten the order of the kingdom.
Aside from the usual complaint that this is yet another film about girl power with little to nothing to offer the young men except for cheap potty humor, the premise has two possible allegories that can be taken away from it.
Not the Bee’s Joel Abbott suggests that this story could be a thinly veiled anti-God allegory. In a way, it could be interpreted as a retelling of Eve in the Garden, except with the secular spin of Eve (Asha) overthrowing the god-king character in order to create her version of utopia. Asha is faced with the very same questions about the king in her world as Eve is asked in the creation story: “Did God really say?” and “Is God good?” Asha and the creators of this story have deemed the answers to be “No.” For Christian parents (and perhaps other Abrahamic faiths as well), this sort of anti-religious messaging is a no-go.
Another more on-the-nose allegory is that this story could be about Walt Disney himself. Walt Disney, as the founder and creator of the beloved children’s entertainment company, would be in the position of the king in the story, only choosing to grant wishes (or make movies) that he thought would be beneficial to his overall kingdom (Disney the company). Asha would represent the new activist Disney creators coming in to “save the kingdom” and remove the “evil king” from the throne. In this interpretation, it reveals the monumental problem that Bob Iger has created for himself.
Perhaps that’s reading too much into a movie trailer, but it’s hard not to speculate since this company has lost sane parents’ trust. However, the overall message of this upcoming film is loud and clear: Disney can’t help but continue to step on the rake when it comes to pushing messages that are unwanted by parents who vet the movies their children see. Bob Iger and Disney are either incapable or unwilling to extricate themselves from the culture wars.
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