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“Snow White” Remake Proves Disney Will Stick to Its Agenda, Even If It Costs Millions

rachel zegler snow white agenda
Credit: Disney/Forbes/Canva

Disney’s live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) proves the company will stop at nothing to further its agenda, even if it means losing a fortune on another box office catastrophe.

Disney Princess lessons

Credit: Disney

Disney’s upcoming watered-down, politically correct, tolerant remake of its very first feature-length animated film is the most controversial remake to come from the entertainment behemoth–and perhaps the most controversial film of any kind to come from the studios.

Disney’s Ideology Has Shifted, and So Has Its Revenue

In 2022, Disney released two of the worst-performing films in its history, and it’s not because the films had terrible storylines or an absence of celebrity voice actors. Rather, the poor performance has been tied to the ideology within those storylines, according to The Daily Express, which states that “both were CG-animated family films criticized upon release for being too ‘woke,’” resulting in the loss of “hundreds of millions.”

PIXAR Animation Studios’ Lightyear hit the box office in June 2022, and if PIXAR attempted to predict its success based on the success and warm reception enjoyed by the four Toy Story films, they were in for quite a shock. The film was controversial from its inception since veteran actor Tim Allen was not involved in the film. Allen has lent his voice to Toy Story‘s Buzz Lightyear since 1995, and fans couldn’t understand why Allen was being excluded from the project.

lightyear

Credit: Disney/PIXAR

The film came under fire in the weeks leading up to its box office release, as word spread that the film included a scene featuring a kiss between two women who are lesbians. That fire turned into an explosion for some fans when a PIXAR representative said the studio would not be removing any part of the scene. But the decision may have cost PIXAR in the end.

Lightyear was ultimately a huge failure, earning $267 million at the box office against total production expenses of $373 million, awarding PIXAR a $106 million bath.

In November 2022, Disney released the CGI-created film Strange World. The animated film follows the Clades, a legendary family of explorers who “band together and navigate an uncharted, treacherous land beneath their world.” The film tells the story of Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission, and his “larger-than-life” father, Jaeger, Searcher’s 16-year-old son, Ethan, and Searcher’s partner, Meridian Clade, who’s an accomplished pilot. The family heads out to explore a strange new world, and their adventures are the focal point of the film’s storyline.

Strange World movie scene

Credit: Disney

That’s the story for publication, anyway.

Another focal point of the film has to do with a scene in which 16-year-old Ethan tells his grandfather, Jaeger, about his crush on another boy. And while same-sex crushes and relationships are not uncommon topics in films anymore, critics of the film point out that the discussion of sexuality within a film created for children “certainly didn’t help the film’s box office fortunes.”

Strange World is also considered a box office flop, as it garnered only $165 million in revenue. The film cost $180 million to make, and with advertising costs and other associated expenses, Strange World, from start to finish, cost Disney more than $317 million to produce, meaning the film saw losses for the studio of more than $152 million.

Why Make the Movie if Fans Don’t Want It?

It makes no sense for Disney to continue with plans for any film if a majority of fans don’t want it. In the case of the take-two of Snow White, most fans not only don’t want to see the film; they are adamantly opposed to it. So why does Disney continue to hit the gas pedal on the project if so many fans are openly and publicly against it?

Those who take no issue with the film–who have no problem with its obnoxious deviance from Disney’s original version of the story, with the outwardly rude and self-centered attitude of the film’s star toward Disney fans who are opposed to the remake, or with the company’s repetitive use of the word remake when talking about a film that is clearly anything but a remake–will say Disney should continue because some do want it. But in any business, in any industry, knowing the audience, the customer, or the fan base is absolutely essential if success is the goal.

When a company forgets its audience or abandons its customers or alienates its base–as Disney seems to be doing–failure and a loss of revenue are imminent. And that’s not news to Disney. The company is well aware of the close to $1 billion loss it’s suffered with its last eight releases: Lightyear, Thor: Love and Thunder, Strange World, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, The Little Mermaid, and Elemental.

In total, the eight films cost Disney close to $2.75 billion to produce, yet their combined returns were only $1.86 billion. And that doesn’t even account for marketing costs. In any other organization or company, eight straight losses would never give way to the possibility of the ninth–especially when there’s very little market for, or interest in, the ninth film.

Clearly, Disney’s remake of Snow White, with its calculated deviance from the story–each difference having an undercurrent and hidden message–and droves of fans who’ve said they will not support Disney’s efforts by ever seeing the film, is being forced onto the box office so that an agenda can be kept: an agenda that is as ever-changing as the wind and only exists to further one cause–driving revenue.

And since the film is already set up to flop, why does Disney continue? Because even if it’s a loss on the film, there’s still the hope that a message gets across–that Disney is inclusive, progressive, and accepting because ultimately, the belief is that the “message” will generate revenue at Disney’s parks, at the box office, in merchandise sales, and elsewhere.

Make no mistake, however. Once Disney’s “research” determines that the current message doesn’t drive revenue like they thought it would, the company’s agenda and message will change.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!