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The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

Disney’s downfall or uprise: students share their thoughts on the franchise

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Emily Shorter
RCHS students share their opinions about Disney films.

Disney is something that most children love; almost every child has seen at least one Disney movie in their life. Disney is the inspiration for many young children to seek out their dreams and aspirations in life.

Disney is the epitome of “happiness” and has an art style that’s unlike any other.

In October 1923, brothers Walt Disney and Roy Disney created an empire of animation, storytelling, and iconic characters. With their first film being “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” many more classics came out such as “Dumbo”, “Cinderella”, and “Sleeping Beauty”.

Students at Rancho Cucamonga High School expressed their personal opinions about old Disney films made during its Golden Age (1937-1942) and Silver Age (1950-1967).

“I’m not a big Disney fan, but when I hang out with my little sisters and they’re all about those princess movies, it’s kinda cute,” freshman Kaleb Johnson said. “The music is surprisingly chill, and those sidekicks, like Cinderella’s mice, they’re honestly funny, and I enjoy watching it.”

Another praise of the films is from another student, senior Samara Aceves, who also commented on its praise.

“I love the ‘old Disney movies’. They’re cute and give me this nostalgic vibe. Each one’s got its own unique aesthetic,” Aceves said. “The color or the animations might not be as bright or clean as the new stuff, but there’s this special vibe that makes them worth watching again.”

This praise is understandable.

I love the ‘old Disney movies’. They’re cute and give me this nostalgic vibe. Each one’s got its own unique aesthetic.

— Samara Aceves, senior

Disney has been at this for 100 years, making stories and characters we all love as the audience.

Yet over these 100 years, there have been some changes. Such as in 2008–Present day, Disney changed from 2D to 3D animation, with “The Princess and the Frog” being the last 2D film.

But probably the saddest and maybe conflicting problem among the public is that Disney, starting from the 2010s to the present day, has since lost its charm from the Golden Age and the Disney Renaissance Era (1989-1999). With its many live action films not paying homage to the original and dull and boring plots and characters.

Senior Hannah Burke shared strong opinions on what the new Disney films are doing wrong/lacking.

“I’ve seen some of the new Disney movies, with my family, and I mean, they’re not bad, but there’s something wrong. Like that Raya movie, [“Raya and the Last Dragon”] the animations are cool, but the characters and story, well, they’re kinda not as good. Lacking,” Burke said.

Another student agreed with the dislike for the new films.

“I feel like they’re just coming out with too many sequels without really building on the first story. Like in the first Frozen, it was all about Elsa learning to be herself and Anna saving the day. But in “Frozen 2,” Elsa and Anna are back at it, dealing with the same stuff, just in a bigger world. Honestly, it got kinda dull,” senior Mikayla Cephas said.

Freshman Cameron Burns disagrees with the hate for the new Disney films, and instead defends the new films by saying that it is the other studios and their films.

“I think it’s the other studios making some good moves. Just look at “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and The Mario Movie—they made really good movies, in my opinion,” Burns said. “I think these new movies just keep coming out, making Disney seem poor when in reality it is just against these new film companies in their golden age, making Disney seem small, which it isn’t.”

Some of these same students also expressed their opinions on the present-day films.

“I enjoyed the new films with the amazing animation, messages, and the talent with the actors and actresses in the movies,” Burns said.

Another different student also gave their praise for the newer films.

I’m into the newer movies. They’ve got this magical vibe that takes me back to the classics. “Encanto” is my absolute favorite—it’s bursting with color, excitement, good songs, good animation, and a story that’s just so captivating. The whole movie is a visual feast. And it’s all about family, driving home how important that bond is for everyone.

— Sofia Alvarado, junior

“I’m into the newer movies. They’ve got this magical vibe that takes me back to the classics. “Encanto” is my absolute favorite—it’s bursting with color, excitement, good songs, good animation, and a story that’s just so captivating. The whole movie is a visual feast. And it’s all about family, driving home how important that bond is for everyone,” junior Sofia Alvarado said.

Though a sophomore student, Andres Arreola thought differently.

“I’m cool with the newer films, but I feel like they could get more creative with their stories and ideas. The movies aren’t terrible, but they’re not -like- making my mind blow. It’s like they’re playing it ‘safe’ with the plot and characters, or maybe there’s some stuff going on behind-the-scenes at Disney,” Arreola said.

Disney clearly has some issues with their films, with those that, while like the films, aren’t getting their mind blown. Which is what Disney films should do; Disney should make people of all ages gasp and feel left, amazed at the end of the film.

For generations, Disney has been celebrated for its enchanting tales, memorable characters, and timeless messages. However, over the years of entertainment, there’s a growing expectation for films to offer their audiences more; they need to captivate that nostalgic feeling.

To understand the nostalgic feeling, students expressed their wants for what Disney needs to change, add, or keep in their new films.

“I think I would like to see a new Disney that has more inclusive storytelling that resonates with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Like a mixed-race [interracial] couple or a character that comes from mixed races,” freshmen Desiree Arevalo-Garcia said. “I also want the plot of the film to have little hints of real social problems that we are still having, while still keeping the message of love, family, and friendship in there.”

Sophomore John Athurs also agreed with the change and addition to new Disney films.

“I think they need to have cooler animation. Like “Spider-Man across the Spider-Verse” animation. I think if Disney or Pixar were to make a film like that, it would be really good,” Athurs said. “If the animation doesn’t change, it appears boring and not worth watching, its appeal should be the reason why I’m watching the film.”

After getting the changes and additions that students want, Disney’s 100th film of the company was just released on November 22.

Discussions about Disney’s cinematic trajectory, particularly with the recent release of their 100th film “Wish” have popped up in many places—especially YouTube—with a hard reality question: Do you believe this 100th movie will mark a strong comeback for Disney or perhaps give a final goodbye as they downfall in their cinematic nostalgic feeling? Only time will tell.

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About the Contributor
Emily Shorter, Staff Reporter
Emily Shorter is a Sophomore at RCHS, this is her first year of Journalism. She is a Taurus, Staff Reporter of the school newspaper The Cat’s Eye. Her favorite subject is English; She loves to read and write during her free time. While reading and writing Shorter will listen to her two favorite platforms, Spotify and Youtube. She’ll listen to music from Broadway Musicals, Disney films or Alternative singers; Shorter will also listen to a True Crime podcast by the name of Rotten Mango. 

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