Disney Asked to Do Better After Doing “Psychological Damage” to Modern Americans

disney stories damage americans
Credit: Disney

In a new variation of the criticism Disney faces, recently, the Mouse House was called on to write better stories after the “psychological damage” its stories have done to modern Americans.

The Walt Disney Company has been praised for being a trendsetter and innovator when it comes to storytelling for decades now. What began with a mouse and then exploded with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in 1937 has expanded into a giant empire, complete with stories of various genres, including Disney princess movies catering to diverse audiences.

tiana princess and the frog

Disney Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog / Credit: Walt Disney Animation

However, in recent years, Disney has faced a lot of criticism for their storytelling. Some felt the quality of Disney movies has dropped—evidenced by a lackluster performance at the box office—others feel Disney has become very “woke” and is espousing values they disagree with.

But most recently, an X user shared a criticism of Disney that’s relatively less seen, calling on the Mouse House and other studios to tell better stories.

X user Smooth Dunk shared a comic on the platform where an audience member is at the cinema, and the protagonist introduces themself. The audience member celebrates. In the next slide, however, the protagonist clarifies, “I am the protagonist, but not necessarily ‘the good guy.'” This throws off the audience member completely.

An X user reshared this post, noting, Disney has done so much psychological damage to the modern day American. We really think all protagonists are automatically morally good. We need to write better stories man.” 

Part of the essence of this comment is that Disney has spent decades telling stories with a straightforward moral compass. The world is in black and white, and the audience knows whom to support and whom to criticize.

However, contemporary storytelling is moving away from these practices and focusing more on what are considered morally grey characters. Perhaps in order to keep up with the times, as Disney CEO Bob Iger promised, this strategy might serve Disney well.

disney world disney princess official disney princesses cinderella snow white sleeping beauty princess anna princess ariel lose job fat old disney movie performer

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Elsa, Anna / Credit: Disney Dining

It’s clear from Disney’s Wish (2023)that the company is looking to experiment more with story structures and characters. Perhaps more changes are on the horizon!

Do you agree with this perspective? Do you want to see Disney dip its toes more into morally grey territory? Let us know what you think in the comments! 

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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