“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
There’s an old saying about how “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” right? I think that’s true in some instances, like sports. You always see the same teams near or at the top year after year. It’s very rare when someone new gets in, which makes New England Patriots fans very happy.
However, the same can’t be said of Disney. What was once the home of Mickey Mouse and friends, the Wonderful World of Disney every Sunday night, the Mickey Mouse Club, and the most “kid-friendly” animated movies out there has gone “PC” and become a powerhouse in the entertainment industry. Disney now controls the biggest genres imaginable (i.e. ABC, ESPN, Star Wars, Marvel, etc.) and its growing nonstop.
I know some of you are shaking your head and asking yourself, “okay, so what?” Well, hear me out. Disney has gone politically correct in nearly everything it does. I don’t see it as the same company that Walt Disney imagined all those years ago. Yes, they do strive for a “family friendly” environment in its shows and parks, but it’s also walking that fine line of being in step with today’s progressive ideology in what it does, but should they?
Let’s be honest… How can a company complain about laws in Georgia affecting their television and film production while, at the same time, trying to build a new Disney park in Saudi Arabia, one of the strictest countries in the world? That’s not only hypocritical, it’s wading into partisan politics.
I always strive to stay out of politics, in my books, my social media, and here on my blog. In my opinion, unless you specifically write about politics, you should avoid talking about it as you can alienate half of your fan base. Disney, and other media companies, as well as actors, musicians and other artists, should avoid politics as it could (in the long run) hurt them. Some use that platform as a stage to support certain causes, which is fine, but there is risk involved in doing so.
Take Dolly Parton, for example, a mainstay of the entertainment industry. In an interview with ABC News, she said, “I learned a long time ago to keep your damn mouth shut if you want to stay in show business.” She has succeeded in what she does because of that, because she wants to make people happy, with her music, her acting, and at her amusement park, not lecture them on how to think or what side to take in a political argument.
I miss the days when Disney meant family-friendly shows, devoid of political undertones or progressive messaging. I realize that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck might not have the influence over kids today like Sponge Bob or Ricky and Morty have, but maybe they should. Disney needs to get back and focus on that which sparks a child’s imagination.
I became a fantasy writer because of the adventures Disney took me on as a child. From battling dragons in Sleeping Beauty or fighting evil in The Black Cauldron to flying through space with The Black Hole and deep under the ocean in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This journey into the fantastic and unimaginable is what made Disney what it is today… Disney means fantasy.
Walt Disney said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” That should be the mantra for Disney. Maybe bringing back the Wonderful World of Disney would bring about a healthier, less aggressive, atmosphere in the world today. Maybe that’s what we’re missing.
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.