Disney movies include more social issues than past, students say

Widely recognized Disney castle that always plays at the beginning of a Disney movie.

Widely recognized Disney castle that always plays at the beginning of a Disney movie.

Disney movies have changed; there is no question about that. Disney is more popular than it used to be and has grown exponentially.

According to cnbc.com, “A $1,000 investment on April 15, 2009, would be worth more than $7,600 as of April 15, 2009, a total return over 660%, according to CNBC calculations.”

With this growth, Disney would have to evolve to fit the modern expectations, even if the majority of their movies are directed towards children.

As a company, they need to make sure they don’t get into any controversy with their viewers and changing to be modern fixes that potential problem. What this translates to is new messages, better animations, and new characters.

Gone are the Disney days of simple movies with simple messages.

But are these changes necessary and more importantly, do people like the new changes?

Junior Avery Martin thinks that the movies of Disney’s past–the simpler ones–were better than the ones in the present. The older Disney princess movies were her childhood.

She also believes that Disney has tried to incorporate certain parts of society into their movies, such as current issues in society.

“Zootopia” could be one of these movies. Almost immediately after it came out, the audience started speculating about the lessons or social issues that were slipped into the movie, including the racial commentary that the movie portrayed through the use of predators and prey.

This is drastically different than the plots of older movies like the original “Cinderella,” where the whole plot leads towards how Cinderella gets married to the prince of her dreams.

Junior Jozlynn Miller agrees with Avery that Disney has changed to include more social issues, instead of following the tradition of fairytale love stories.

On the other hand, Junior Aly Woenker thinks that the messages are still pretty much the same as they used to be and that messages such as be yourself or be kind to people are still present.

For children born recently, modern movies will be their childhood. Frozen and all the live-action remakes will be what they grow up with. Movies like “Sleeping Beauty” and “Mulan” will not. They will become classics that people forget about.

Disney has become more than just the new messages in the movies. The animations have gotten better and more detailed.

For example, in “Pocahontas,” the character’s faces are not very developed. Comparing that to “Frozen,” the noses and eyes and ears are all developed and detailed.

Aly agrees with this, in the fact that movies have changes in this way much more than the lessons taught, or the social issues included.

She thinks that the animations have gotten better, which can make the movies better and more appealing to children watching them.

Disney movies, just like other companies, have adapted to modern issues and modern expectations. Animations, social issues, and more have changed with society.