My name is Jarod Rhine-Davis *stands up* and I’m a Disney-holic. I love Disney movies so much. When the heads of the Disney Corporation have their heads screwed on straight, their work truly has the power to hit people right in the brain, heart, and soul. At it’s loftiest heights, Disney creates masterpieces that deserves their places amongst the pantheon of great work. Yet at it’s lowest, Disney is an insult to the medium, and creates subpar cringefests. We know Disney can do so much better, so why did it produce many almost-masterpieces during and after the Disney Renaissance? My research has proven to me that it is because the Disney executives wanted to make the company more about money and corporatisation than anything else, yet there were enough creative people fighting back to keep the quality in the movies. But as the years dripped on, the creative power became less and less (due to firings, resignations, and deaths etc.) , and so there was less of a desire for actual good content put into each new movie. By the early 2000’s on the whole I imagine they gave up trying to fight back, and gave into things like animation set piece gimmicks (as seen in Treasure Planet…. though to be fair they have been used gratuitously since the carpet scenes in Aladdin), and the animation = kids mantra (thereby straying from genuine emotion, interesting characters or plot, or highbrow dialogue).
[You can just tell that clip is what the creative team showed the studio executives in order to make them nod and say “teen male demographic, CHECK”.]
This is a personal project I decided to start to help reveal the truth behind the Disney of the 1990’s and 2000’s. A period that everyone remembers as “the good old days”, but yet is filled with suffering, heartache, and a constant battle between the executives and the creatives. This is a story that has been revealed to us through scraps of information scattered all across the internet. And I want to explore it to truly understand where Disney went so horribly wrong. How Disney went from Beauty & the Beast to Chicken Little in 15 short years.
[Need you be reminded of this..?]
This is a quest that will tell us all more about what goes into making films, and how it is near impossible to reduce a dynamic and expansive empire into one word – “Disney”. We will be seeing how the various divisions fought against each other to achieve opposing goals, and how this impacted the work the were all producing. This is an important endevour. To show that it can happen from the smallest of scales (two friends disagreeing over where to place the camera for their YouTube video), all the way up to the best of the best. Disney is a cautionary tale of how one of the greatest media empires of all time fell from their podium due to losing sight of what made them great in the first place. Except in the Disney story, they eventually got back on their horse with the help of Pixar, in that rare second chance to become great.
How? Why? What can we learn from all this?
That is what Disneyfic[a]tion is about.
P.S. There are a few other sites that you may find useful when discovering more on this topic. Two that immediately come to mind are Disney in Depth by Brett Nachman (an amazing blog that “provides…readers with a sense of awareness and analysis into the various divisions of Disney”), and The Pixar Times (a fantastic blog that deeply analyses Pixar in the same way I hope to analyse Disney here).