Guest Contributor – TomD – 28NOV2023 – Disney Woes

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Just read this in PJ Media (link)

Reports of Disney’s Death Are (Not?) an Exaggeration
Stephen Green | 5:11 PM on November 27, 2023

As Disney’s two-time CEO Bob Iger prepares to host the company’s annual town hall on Tuesday to provide “hints or guidance for what the next phase of ‘building’ will bring after the problem-solving phase,” it’s time to ask if Iger is able “to ‘quiet things down’ after years of culture wars.”

The first quote comes from a Hollywood Reporter item on Monday detailing the company’s Wall Street woes. Traders and managers will be watching Iger on Tuesday for “possible color, body language or even outright updates on various topics,” ranging from the company’s ongoing series of box office flops to troubles at their fabled theme parks.
The second quote is courtesy of Jonathan Turley. His Monday column — almost in time for Adam Smith’s 300th birthday — shows how Smith’s “invisible hand” has undone the company’s woke agenda. Disney is now “negatively associated with activism by a significant number of consumers,” Turley writes, and is “even reporting a decline in licensing revenue from products associated with Star Wars, Frozen, Toy Story and Mickey and Friends — iconic and once-unassailable corporate images.”

“Wish” is Disney’s latest animated effort that isn’t a sequel or reboot and it opened over the long Thanksgiving weekend to middling reviews and worse box office sales. Well, not entirely not a reboot — one of the characters is the glowy Star, as in Pinocchio’s “When You Wish Upon A Star.” “Wish” looks to be another big money-loser in a yearlong series of them, including “Indiana Jones and the Whatever McGuffin,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the live-action Little Mermaid, and most recently, “The Marvels.”
The Disney+ streaming service is losing money and eyeballs. Impressions — the streaming measure of viewership — is down 14% from last year, the company says.
The worst news is that Disney’s intellectual properties — the company’s seed corn for future growth — are in terrible shape.

The good news is that $7.5 billion in cost-cutting measures have restored some sense to the company’s balance sheet. The bad news is that the maintenance-heavy Disney World and Disney Land are reportedly looking a little worse for wear. Or as Wall Street’s Jamie Lumley warned, “As the business looks to slash costs and make streaming profitable, there are sure to be concerns about cutting too deep and impacting the business going forward.”

But the company can’t cut its way to health. It needs to start selling tickets again to the kinds of movies and theme park experiences people expect when they see the Disney label.

Walt Disney and his brother Roy were jealous guardians of the Disney name and reputation. Given so many more recent changes, this seems like much longer ago than 1983, but I’m reminded of “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” It was considered a Very Big Deal at the time when Disney produced a Ray Bradbury film with such a dark mood and storyline. At the time — Walt had died and Roy was no longer involved in day-to-day operations — Disney was looking to branch out from family fare like the Herbie movies and “Pete’s Dragon.”

Results were mixed at best, and I’m being overly generous.
It took a 1984 hostile takeover attempt and a long-term recovery plan courtesy of incoming CEO Michael Eisner to restore Disney’s luster. Eisner understood Disney’s creative strength — and it wasn’t in jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon with “The Black Hole,” or another cheesy Love Bug movie.

It was in getting back to classic animation with “The Little Mermaid,” and in recognizing similar strength in the fledgling Pixar Animation Studios.

Iger can cut costs but, in the end, what he needs to do is remember what the Disney brand means — and work as furiously to restore it as Eisner did, and as Walt and Roy used to work to protect it.

Unless we see evidence of that in Tuesday’s town hall, Disney shares might be up a bit on Wall Street’s hopes but I ain’t buying.

South Park is Making Disney Lose Billions of Dollars

Anyone who has kids or grandkids is aware that Disney has been on a jihad to “diversify” their movies and tv shows.  This entails replacing characters who in earlier stories were male or white or sexually normal with women and specifically non-white women and very specifically non-white, queer women.  This was very noticeable in the Star Wars franchise where all the heroes are now women and all the men are either lame or evil.

But that was only the beginning.  Next comes the princess movies.  Apparently the irony of a character named Snow White who isn’t white was too complex for Disney.  And diversity has become the marching orders going forward in the Marvel Comic Universe (MCU).  So the old white male heroes like Iron Man and Captain America have been either killed off or put out to pasture and a new generation has been introduced.  So we’ll be getting Black Captain America and Black Spider Man.  But the most egregious example of DEI awfulness is the female Marvel superheroes.  And now that innovation has born fruit, poisonous fruit.  Whereas previously they produced Captain Marvel, we now have “The Marvels.”  That’s blonde haired Captain Marvel joined by two diverse and empowered female heroes who battle against a female super-villain and “don’t need no men to get in their way.”

The reviews of this movie have been scathing.  Apparently when you make message fiction it’s not necessary to have a coherent plot or likeable characters or even a recognizable beginning, middle and end.  You just stop when the special effects guys run out of stuff.

Well, there is no need to complain about this movie.  Making the Marvels was its own punishment.  Based on its opening box office, the movie is already predicted to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.  And all this pandering to diversity has inspired the South Park guys, Trey Parker and Matt Stone to create an episode that mocks Disney’s endless crusade to artificially diversify their movies.  In this episode Cartman finds himself both transformed into a diverse woman and also assuming the place of Disney’s diversifier in chief; producer Kathleen Kennedy.  In this guise Cartman endlessly orders the showrunners for his movies to “put a chick in it and make it lame and gay.”  Here’s the “not safe for work version.”

And now both Kathleen Kennedy and Bob Iger of Disney have made public statements complaining about what’s going on.  Kennedy has stated that South Park is causing Disney fans to think poorly of Disney’s movies and that is causing the poor box office.  She hints that legal action is forthcoming.

Iger is a little more grounded in reality.  He admits that a portion of Disney’s audience really is consciously unhappy with what he calls Disney’s diversity, equity and inclusion program.  And he states quite openly that his solution to this situation will be to “double down” on more diversity, equity and inclusion.

You’ve got to respect his honesty.  Okay.  In the face of a string of movies and tv shows that because of the emphasis on unentertaining social messaging have bombed at the box office Disney is going to give us an even stronger dose of social messaging.  The beatings will continue until moral improves.

This is pretty great.  Disney is a corporate behemoth.  They’ve had a built in cash machine tied to the American family for generations.  And now they’re committing public suicide just to prove they can do it.  Well, how stupid do their competition have to be.  They should jump at the chance to provide these families with exactly what they used to get from Disney.  Hire some decent writers who don’t hate normal people.  Pay the special effects people to animate it and get rich.  Give them knock-offs of all the Disney and Star Wars and Marvel stuff but without “putting a chick in it and making it lame and gay.”

There. That’s not so hard to figure out, is it?

Will Iger Retreat from the Woke Agenda that is Ruining Disney’s Business?

In the linked article the Financial Times speculates on whether Disney will sell off its television business or ESPN or Hulu or blah, blah, blah.  It also wonders about the recent spate of theatrical releases that have underperformed or out right lost money.  As it goes through the litany of business divisions that have problems it seems that one option seems to be ignored.  Instead of concluding that television or streaming or movies aren’t really the “core” business of Disney maybe they should be looking at why each of these formerly lucrative businesses is suffering.

In each of these ventures, Disney has attempted to take a winning formula and mangle it by substituting a woke alternative.  Star Wars was chloroformed to provide a platform for the “Estrogen = The Force” narrative.  Now The Marvel movies will follow suit.  Kill off Iron Man and Captain America and substitute Captain Marvel.  And finally Indiana Jones is wheeled off to an old age home and Unlikable Girl Jones is brought in.

And now in the most brilliant example of brand poisoning on record they are openly sabotaging the classic cartoon properties of the 1930’s.  Snow White is an empowered girl boss who “don’t need no man” and is too busy with her empire building to fall in love.  She’s doesn’t need Prince Charming and for all we know she doesn’t swing that way.

Honestly, you’ve got to admire a campaign as boldly insane as the Disney reset.  One thing they’re responding to is the future status of those movies from the thirties and forties.  It’s getting close to the point where their copyright protection ends.  Snow White was made in 1937.  2037 is in fourteen years.  At that point anyone can repackage that movie and sell it.  By then Disney may be known as the non-binary children’s entertainment company.  Somebody else could have an amusement park where the old fashioned “normal” male and female Disney characters walk around and entertain the kids.  Who knows, maybe the amusement parks will be the business that Disney sells off.  Maybe someone else will restore the brand with a more family friendly attitude toward these formerly wholesome places.  It’s a thought.

Iger’s vision for Disney is embracing the woke sensibility and make it the their brand.  It’s a bold decision but right now it looks pretty dangerous to the company’s profitability.  Whatever they think they know about the future of the children’s entertainment market it looks like most parents still want to bring their kids to see movies where the beautiful girl is saved by the handsome prince from the evil stepmother or the evil witch and they live happily ever after.

You know, I hope Disney continues down the road they’re on.  Killing off the biggest entertainment company in the world may be the only thing that can save that industry.  There’s something to be said for being a true believer.


Disney Hemorrhaging Money on Woke Films – Everyone Astonished

So, let’s talk about something less depressing than the train wreck that is Western Civilization.  Let’s laugh at the misfortune of Hollywood.  And specifically let’s mock Disney and their putrid movies.  Look at this article and the underlying video.

The YouTube box office analyst known as Valliant Renegade laid out his argument in a recent video in which he estimated that many Disney blockbusters actually lost money or barely broke even during their theatrical runs despite the news media spinning them as hits.

They include Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Thor: Love and Thunder, Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.

Two of the titles were outright bombs — Strange World and Lightyear — while two others are still in theaters, The Little Mermaid and Elemental.”

Now, admittedly, Disney has deep pockets.  They can absorb losses that would bankrupt smaller companies and move forward.  But let’s think for a moment about how they will analyze these problems and what their idea will be to address them.

They will see that these films include heaping doses of progressive girl power, gay themes and anti-white and anti-male bias and they will assume that the problem is too many racist and sexist Americans refusing to celebrate wokeness sufficiently.  After all, what parent wouldn’t want to send his kids to a movie with a gay kid as the main character?  Or why wouldn’t a Buzz Lightyear origin story benefit from a lesbian kiss?  Why would this make parents uncomfortable?

So, their solution to this rejection of woke content will be … doubling down on girl power, gay themes and anti-white and anti-male bias!  Now how could that possibly fail?

So, I’m incredibly happy for Disney.  This winning strategy may be able to do the impossible; namely bankrupt the largest remaining Hollywood studio.  And just to keep things hopping along comes the fifth Indiana Jones movie.  And from everything I’ve heard it’s going to be a humdinger.  Picture if you can an eighty-year-old Harrison Ford shuffling around the set getting hen-pecked and brow beaten by his “god-daughter” as she performs the heroic stunts and he gets lost in the caves and probably soils himself.  Oh yeah, that’s gonna be box office gold.

There is some word on the street that some of this is beginning to dawn on Disney’s front office and there might be a program to step back from the precipice of woke financial suicide.  But that wouldn’t be my favorite outcome.  I really hope they give us some more Captain Marvel and Rey Skywalker and She-Hulk and whatever trans-super-hero they currently have on the drawing board.  This is really good stuff.  It will reinforce to parents just how screwed up the role models that Disney pushes on their kids are.  It will dovetail with the gender dysphoria that seems to have magically exploded among the teen and pre-teen age groups that are Disney’s target audience.

So, yeah, I do hope that other studios start to return to healthier cinematic fare.  It’s high time that some of them figure out that there is an enormous domestic and international audience for healthy role models in the super-hero genre and in other genres too.  But for Disney I hope they never turn back.  If they crash and burn it would be a powerful lesson for the corporate world.  And it comes right at the point where conservative boycotts seem to be picking up steam.

What a wonderful coincidence.

Comic Book Movie Redux

Tonight, I continued my retreat from reality with another super-hero escapist film.  I turned on the 2002 version of Spider-Man with Tobey Maguire.  Now Spider-Man is one of the goofiest comic book characters.  Spider-human genetic mutations that render its victim enormously strong and able to shoot webs from his wrists that allow him to climb and swing from Manhattan skyscrapers is just about as absurd as anything imaginable.  But what you discover if you watch the film is that the movie has heart and despite the ridiculous premise and the even more ridiculous villains, it holds your interest and the characters are likable.

The plot as I said is ridiculous but it follows its own logic and the story arc is your basic quest by the young man to find his inner hero.  But this being a super-hero movie it has much more spectacular episodes than growing up, getting a job and winning the girl.  He has to defeat a super-villain who also happens to be his best friend’s genius scientist father.  Well, of course he is!

I’m not going to review this movie.  No one needs the plot of yet another Spider-Man movie.  What I’m trying to do is show that even something as silly as this movie can be a good movie.  But maybe the most important part of the movie is when it was made.  In 2002 it was still possible to make a movie where race and gender weren’t the defining characteristics for selecting cast and plot lines.  Peter Parker was still allowed to be a white kid from New York City and he could still have a crush on a good-looking white girl.  Currently there is a quota system in Hollywood and that combination of ethnic and sexual choices would violate the intersectional imperative.  Either Peter would have to be black or his love interest would have to be a boy.  And that’s just the way it is in 2023.

And that sums up the problem with Hollywood today.  They’ve eliminated fun from movies.  The new super-heroes have to be joyless women proving that they’re every bit as good as Luke Skywalker or Indiana Jones only politically correct, incredibly smug and completely boring.

This has already been the undoing of the Star Wars franchise and from what I’m hearing it’s about to put the last nail in the coffin of the Indiana Jones saga.  And the Marvel Cinematic Universe is also being transformed.  When you eliminate Iron Man and Captain America and replace them with Captain Marvel and whatever other screechy girl characters they dream up like She-Hulk or Thor-ette it goes without saying that boys and young men will stay away in droves.  It’s almost as if destroying the fun for men is more important than making money.  And it is.

But the good news is that the old movies are still there to see and enjoy.  And eventually when Disney has finally committed cinematic suicide there will still be creative types who will know how to use these old films as templates for how to create entertaining and profitable movies.  After all people haven’t changed.  Hero slays the dragon and wins the beautiful princess has been around at least as long as the Iliad and the Odyssey.  It certainly will survive the Woke Wars.

I hope.

A No-Review Review of the Little Mermaid Remake

Matt Walsh gives an amusing review of Disney’s remake of A Little Mermaid by comparing it to Burger King.  Personally I think he’s unfair to Burger King in this comparison.  But I did enjoy his rant.  It was well ranted.

Woke Disney Kids’ Movie with Gay Teen Love Interest Crashes and Burns on the Runway

I think I know why Disney brought Iger back.  They just launched a movie that cost more than $180 million and will be lucky if it makes twenty percent of that back.  Listen:

““Strange World,” is bombing, grossing a disappointing $4.2 million on Wednesday as it eyes a five-day haul of under $24 million. That’s a terrible result for the $180 million-budgeted animated adventure. For comparison sake, “Encanto,” another recent Disney animated offering, earned $40.3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021 — and that was considered to be a soft result for the family film.”


Here’s why.  This is one of the plot lines in this “kid’s movie.”:

“Ethan Clade, Searcher’s 16-year-old gay son longs for adventure beyond his father’s farm while also navigating a school crush.  One year later, Ethan is in a relationship with Diazo.”

What mother or father of eight- to twelve-year-olds doesn’t want to explain to his kids why two boys on the screen are acting like girls and gushing over each other.  Why would that make parents stay away in droves?  Disney warned us this is what they wanted to do.  But most of us assumed they were just talking.  No one thought they could be this stupid.  We were wrong.


So, I went over to Rotten Tomatoes to see what people were saying.  The professional reviews said it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  But the customer reviews were full of things like this:

“jonathon b:  Stop bringing homosexual things into kids movies. Kids these days have it hard enough and do not need that influence in their lives.

firedup33:  We walked out of the movie! Disney is trying to indoctrinate children with this evil movie! Do not spend one penny on anything Disney. Boycott them! It should not be rated PG should be rated as Highway to Hell!

Sana W:  Awful!!! Walked out of it with my kids! I will never watch another Disney movie!

Xander C:  Lets put it this way. My little boys asked me to walk out of the theater. They said the movie was weird, and asked me why the “boy” in the movie was acting kind of girly. I should have learned my lesson after the lightyear movie. Disney, my family is DONE with you.

Anonymous:  Do not take young kids to this. I had no idea how woke this movie was. Unless you want to explain homosexuality to a your young children, avoid at all costs. My child asked me in the movie “why are the boys acting that way?” I am DONE with Disney in all forms.

Gerrixx O:  I want my money back… I’m not sure if it was bad or just boring. I’m tired of being preached at and I’m a minority many times over. JUST MAKE GOOD MOVIES… we don’t need to see a salad, we have imaginations unlike the people at Disney.

Stephanie A:  Absolutely terrible, if I want to teach my children about sex and or sexual preferences at 7 and 8 I would do it in my home. I don’t need a Disney movie to help me out with it. STOP making everything sexual, its unbelievable. Nothing in the trailer would lead you to believe that this is in the movie. I will no longer take my children to a Disney movie without reading reviews. Nothing is safe anymore, school, movies, internet (not that, that was ever safe), etc.. So disappointing!!!!

Anonymous:  I wish I would have read the reviews before wasting mine and my daughters time on this movie. It’s my choice as a parent to decide if I want my children to know about same sex relationships. Even with this world evolving I never expected Disney to shove it at my children during a kids movie. I’m very disappointed that Disney feels like they have to evolve with this world. Stand out use your voice and don’t try to be like all the rest. Stick to the the wholesome family friendly movies….Walt Disney would be ashamed.

Linda:  I went along with my daughter and two young grandchildren to see this movie. After seeing this movie, we will never take them to see another Disney movie again. Disney was trying so hard to be politically correct, they failed miserably to create a good family, classic movie as so many in past years. Don’t waste your money on this one, it is destined to be a Disney flop!!!

Adrian P:  Haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m violently homophobic

Kelly:  Last Disney movie I will waste my money on. As a parent I would like to be the one to talk to my child about same sex relationships. Way out of line for a childrens movie.

Jessie M:  Easily the worst Disney animated movie. I liked 1 character hense the half star. But it’s like Disney went out of their way to make every single scene a cringy woke competition from the last.

Olga:  So disappointed with Disney. I love Disney movies but not this one. The story line and plot was terrible. Lots of messages being sent that are confusing and not good for young children. Half the auditorium left the movie. Poor Disney. They can do better than this.”

This is so great.  There’s nothing like a nine-digit financial loss to really catch a corporate board’s attention.  They booted that dullard Bob Chapek out so fast that he’s probably still bouncing down the road.  Now Bob Iger, who is probably twice as woke, has to figure out a way to reverse the disastrous path he launched the company on without triggering the LGBTQ gestapo to denounce him.

This is so great.  Instead of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” it’ll bring new meaning to “Don’t Say Gay.”  Maybe they can persuade Ron DeSantis to give them some pointers on how to effectively say no to the gay mafia.  After this movie debacle Disney is going to have to have a string of successes just to catch up.

I’ve heard that G-rated kids movies have been known to make money.  Hey maybe they could make some of those.  If they need a template there used to be a company that made such hits as Snow White, Dumbo, Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, Mary Poppins, Cinderella and on and on and on.

Oh, I forgot.  Disney isn’t allowed to make movies like those anymore.  They don’t reflect diversity, equity and inclusion.  They’re not who we are.  Too bad.  Well, good luck selling deviant sex to the parents of young children.  While you’re at it you might as well include puberty blockers and genital amputation to the plot lines and cover all the bases.

Well, this is good news.  Disney put their money where their mouth is and most parents have reacted the way they should.  They’ve put their kids’ well-being in front of virtue-signaling.  Even better news is that because traditional societies like China and most of the third world absolutely abhor this kind of stuff the world-wide box office isn’t going to save this turkey.  Disney isn’t even releasing this film in China or other areas of the world.  Europe and North America will have to suffice and we already see how that’s going.  What a great way for Disney to start off a recession, with a catastrophic box-office disaster.

M-I-C- (see ya later)

K-E-Y  (why, because we’re awful)


Walt would be so proud!

American Greatness Post for Today – Feminism Ruined the Last Jedi

The pseudonymous Wayne Isaac has reviewed “The Last Jedi.” Since I brought my grandsons to see “The Force Awakens” I knew I wouldn’t be going to this picture. Suffice it to say that it’s worse than I feared. It turns out the “Force” is actually estrogen and that explains why Jedi Knights are so screwed up. They’re plugged into the wrong power source. Or rather they’re just not equipped to be heroes. Who knew? We’ll have to let Alexander the Great and George Washington know. Boy will they ever feel foolish. Anyway enjoy.

Feminism Ruined “The Last Jedi”