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palizinhas

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I think it's also important to remember with the latest releases that we now know Disney corporate has been a mess this past couple years with enough infighting the CEO was literally ousted last week.

I think a lot of productions were probably affected by this in some ways.
 

AR829038

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The Little Mermaid doesn’t look bad at all btw

Disney has some of the best water rendering technology in the world. All we got was a teaser and a cam rip of in-progress work. But oh no it looks so bad! 🙄
I'm mainly focusing on the lack of color (ironically). This is a big problem with a lot of the live action remakes—the original movies were vibrant and brimming with color, but for whatever reason—lack of effort, lack of imagination, or just simple lack of proper technology—they never seem to match up to that. All their movies (minus the Cinderella remake, which actually looked pretty good) are very bland and monochrome. Granted, the Little Mermaid teaser was short and didn't show us much, but what it did show us wasn't very impressive from a visual angle.

YOU are the cynical one, dude.
I agree that more narratives made by PoC starring PoC should be produced, make no mistake -- and they are HOWEVER Disney is making these remakes regardless of what anyone wants. They're going to make them anyway.
Disney reinterprets their work all the time and they always will. When Toni Braxton was cast as Belle on broadway, did you say anything? When Auli'i Cravalho was cast as Ariel for The Little Mermaid Live!, where was the outrage? Could it be that you realize that these smaller-scale reinterpretations are fun artistic expressions that live outside the animated canon and don't impact it? WHY IS THE MOVIE DIFFERENT?

Why is it so fucking hard to believe that Halle, on her own merits, was the best choice for the role and not because she fit into some corporate plot? Beyoncé's protege isn't good enough on her own!? Who would you have had?

You saw black Ariel and said "I'm not mad because she's black, I'm mad because they made her black as a plot to seem inclusive" and even if that is the case...bro, where is the proof that this is some affirmative action shield? Where's the leaked corporate memo?

It's a bad take, AR, I'm tired of reading it and it's outstayed its welcome
First of all, don't get so bent out of shape. I'm not some kind of anti-SJW railing against "woke media" or any of that stuff. I'm merely explaining that big corporations have a financial incentive to engage in shallow, phony shows of progressive lip service in order to make a profit. If you like Ariel being black, I have no beef with you about that. I think it's great that lots more kids have people who look like them in major motion pictures to look up to. But even you have to admit that there is a difference between a story crafted around exploring other cultures in-depth and presenting people of other backgrounds with their own unique stories, vs. taking a traditionally white popular character and just changing their race and calling it progressive. Don't get sucked into the trap of believing that the decision to make Ariel black is borne out of genuine interest in giving young black girls a heroine to look up to—frankly, Tiana is already a great representation there, and a character like her—a hard-working, active woman with a lot of intelligence, wit, skill, and personal agency—is a much more respectful way of giving people a black Disney princess than just color-swapping a white one. This is hand-me-down representation, and it shouldn't be the baseline. It would be different if the change actually ADDED something to her character, but as far as we can see, it doesn't look like it will. Decisions like this always happen for a reason, and in this case, the only explicable reason is corporate pandering to create marketing buzz and therefore profits.

Now to be clear, I'm not universally against race/gender-swapping. I've seen race-swapping work very well in recent years, for instance. Changing Nick Fury from a white character to a black character with Samuel L. Jackson did a LOT to boost his character appeal and emphasize his personality. Changing Namor in the new Black Panther movie from a white submariner to an ancient Mayan king added a lot of interesting elements to him. Race-swapping can work well, but there has to be an artistic reason for it. If the only reason is, "let's make a white character black so people will gush at how progressive we are and go to see our movie" is not an artistically legitimate reason. What you're defending is called rainbow capitalism, and you're playing their game to a T.

Studios do this because they KNOW there will be people like you who use the superficial appearance of progressivism to dismiss criticism of a sub-par product. When you give companies like Disney money for these kinds of shallow bare-minimum shows of political activism, what you're actually doing is funneling money to a corporation that doesn't give a damn about people of color or oppressed social groups. Don't forget that the same company that reveled in the PR it got from announcing gay characters in its live action remakes, edited those characters out when releasing the movies to the Chinese market overseas. This is the same company that edited out John Boyega from Star Wars posters and (I kid you not) COVERED UP Chadwick Boseman's face in the original Black Panther poster to keep from offending racist Chinese moviegoers. Disney literally filmed Mulan NEAR A CONCENTRATION CAMP where Uyghur Muslims are being genocided by the CCP.

So please understand, there is so much more to this situation than "black girls like seeing black Ariel so Disney is progressive and should be defended." I have nothing against Halle Bailey, and I'm sure she's a wonderful actress and singer and all that. But we're not talking about her, and we're not talking about Ariel—we're talking about Disney. We're talking about corporate America and the tactics they use to ingratiate themselves to Western audiences while not caring about any of it. I'm not saying people should launch a crusade over stuff like this—just recognize where it's really coming from, and don't give them brownie points for doing the most embarrassingly minimal appeals to social progressivism by financially rewarding them for it. If social progressivism weren't the dominant mode of thought in our society, Disney would be just as reactionary or conservative as Fox News.
 

Chie

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I agree that Disney deserves no praise for any of this stuff, but...
Race-swapping can work well, but there has to be an artistic reason for it.
...when you get into arguing which black characters existences are "earned" and which aren't, it oversteps that and does become just a normal conservative talking point.

It's pointless to argue with this, but the idea of considering these recasts massive changes that need defending with artistic intent is itself rooted in the here-and-now of a racist society.
 

AR829038

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I agree that Disney deserves no praise for any of this stuff, but...

...when you get into arguing which black characters existences are "earned" and which aren't, it oversteps that and does become just a normal conservative talking point.

It's pointless to argue with this, but the idea of considering these recasts massive changes that need defending with artistic intent is itself rooted in the here-and-now of a racist society.

It's not like the race change doesn't matter. If it didn't, then Disney wouldn't have done it. The question is, WHY does it matter? Are you doing it to spread a message of inclusivity and to assert a new vision for a story, or are you just purely trying to cause a stir on social media by prodding snowflake conservatives and counting on progressives to rally against them?

I wouldn't be against that if it weren't so banal. Yes, pissing off conservatives is fun, but it's not the same thing as actual progressivism, and I honestly wouldn't care if it weren't such a clear cover-up for how bland and uninteresting the movies usually turn out to be.

It's just manipulative, and I don't think I should have to defend it just because Ariel being black doesn't hurt anyone. The change may be inoffensive, but the sentiment behind it isn't. And frankly, I resent my position being likened to that of a conservative, which is exactly the kind of equivocating nonsense that companies like Disney count on their consumers to adopt.

Let's be very final about this: Conservatives don't like black Ariel because they don't like black PEOPLE. I don't like black Ariel because to me it represents phony progressivism and it tricks liberals into thinking that it does anything to change the social circumstances of real minorities when it does absolutely nothing. And as far as giving young black girls a role model to look up to in mainstream culture, I feel they deserve better, honestly. Tiana is better. Give us more leads like her. Give black girls characters of their own that they can be inspired by. It's frankly insulting how much we've normalized the idea that minorities should be satisfied with hand-me-down knock-off versions of white characters just because studios are too lazy or scared to take a risk on an original character and rely on well-established nostalgia-bait.

I really wish people would understand that there IS nuance to this subject. Having a negative opinion of this trend doesn't make someone a conservative. In fact, I'd argue that people like you are closer to being a conservative than I am, because I'm not satisfied with racial representation in media being relegated to pandering outrage-bait. And if you ask me, yeah, stuff like this probably causes more harm than good, because I'll tell you one thing—stuff like this gives conservatives ample ammo to point to the shallowness of modern liberalism, which converts normies to their side. And they get a lot more to complain about than young black girls will get to be inspired by, because I promise you, once this movie comes out it will likely be forgotten within a month like all the other remake movies.

Frankly, I just wouldn't have made the movie in the first place, black Ariel or white Ariel. I don't want Disney remakes. Period. I think they're all terrible. They're bland, corporate, devoid of inspiration or imagination, and for the most part, just really ugly and hollow imitations of the original. I think Disney should stop making them and stick to making original animated movies, which is where their ACTUAL progressivism can be found.
 

AegisXIII

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If I could add something:
We all are in for more inclusivity here. Disney is not doing enough, we can all agree on that. The problem come from the fact that some of us believe that Disney is doing it for the wrong reasons which results in incoherent decisions. This shouldn't be a controversial opinion to have.

And that's the last thing I will say about that, because funny enough, that's not the subject of this thread.
So maybe let's refocus:

Among the things that have been mentioned, we have:
- CGI vs Draw by hand
- Lack of villains
- Marketing campaign

One thing that hasn't been mentioned and that probably plays a big role is: Disney+.
Do you guy think releasing movies on Disney+ only has an impact on the perception of their quality versus the giant screen of cinema?
 

AR829038

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If I could add something:
We all are in for more inclusivity here. Disney is not doing enough, we can all agree on that. The problem come from the fact that some of us believe that Disney is doing it for the wrong reasons which results in incoherent decisions. This shouldn't be a controversial opinion to have.

And that's the last thing I will say about that, because funny enough, that's not the subject of this thread.
So maybe let's refocus:

Among the things that have been mentioned, we have:
- CGI vs Draw by hand
- Lack of villains
- Marketing campaign

One thing that hasn't been mentioned and that probably plays a big role is: Disney+.
Do you guy think releasing movies on Disney+ only has an impact on the perception of their quality versus the giant screen of cinema?
In all honestly, I don't really mind Disney+ that much. As long as it's not screwing over theaters too hard. I see Disney+ as the modern-day platform for straight-to-DVD type films, like the kind Disney used to make a ton of. I think it's fine for those things. But I think their bigger movies deserve to maintain an exclusive theatrical release.
 

Elysium

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Indeed it is probably the nostaligic effect. What's funny is that I do not remember crying to a disney movie as a child (except Bambi duuh), but I cried to all recent movies they made. And yet, I cannot tell you the name of any of the characters nor sing you any of the songs. But it also come from the fact that as children we would watch the same movie fifty times I guess. We were not easily bored.
Well, I'm a softie, I cry at stories easily when they're well-done. Ariel saying goodbye to Triton, Mufasa's death, Tiana looking at the vision of her father when Facilier tempts her and Ray appearing in the sky, Anna saving Elsa and Elsa crying afterwards, "Baby Mine," Raya sacrificing herself, Mirabel and Abuela at the end when Mirabel takes her hands in the water, etc. I have plenty from every gen of movies they've made that do it for me.

As for the other stuff, I guess I don't have a problem remembering names. I guess because I follow Disney movies more closely whereas a lot here are KH fans, not Disney fans exactly. I think one thing I would say that is somewhat lacking in the new films are those "Disney moments." I mean a scene that is so powerful it's sort of burned in your head, sort of like Ariel on the rock with the splash behind her or the slow camera roll from the chandelier down to Belle and Beast dancing. Maybe it's something hard to do with 3D, that level of detail in the human expressions or environment in hand-drawn films--hand-drawn animation often makes people look more beautiful than they ever could in real life whereas 3D is only a degree removed from live-action. "Let It Go" was one, between the song, the castle being built, Elsa's declarative pose as she walks into the light at the end. "We Don't Talk About Bruno" is another, although more because of the song than the scene itself. "When Will My Life Begin (reprise)," I guess.
 

AR829038

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I took issue with one paragraph of your five. Not sure who "people like me" are in this case.
People who conflate people like me with well-meaning criticisms of corporate-driven identity politics with conservatives who just hate minorities in media. The fact that you would read all that I've written and call my views "conservative" or even close to that, shows a lack of nuance and consideration on your part, and it also shows exactly the kind of effect that this kind of tactic has on people. I'm about as far from a conservative as anybody can reasonably be. The fact that I take issue with the way that huge multinational corporations bandy about identity politics as a shallow way of amassing profits while doing nothing of any substance to help actual minorities, is not a conservative take by any stretch.
 

Antifa Lockhart

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People who conflate people like me with well-meaning criticisms of corporate-driven identity politics with conservatives who just hate minorities in media. The fact that you would read all that I've written and call my views "conservative" or even close to that, shows a lack of nuance and consideration on your part, and it also shows exactly the kind of effect that this kind of tactic has on people. I'm about as far from a conservative as anybody can reasonably be. The fact that I take issue with the way that huge multinational corporations bandy about identity politics as a shallow way of amassing profits while doing nothing of any substance to help actual minorities, is not a conservative take by any stretch.
But in the same breath you say that the corporations are also capable of doing it well? Like, you alone, AR829038 are the arbiter of intent and sincerity in corporate production choices?

Again I ask you, if Halley Bailey wasn't talented enough on her own to simply be the best choice and it was solely because
Disney wanted to create a smoke screen behind which to hide...then who should have been Ariel? A white girl with flaming red hair? Unlikely, they would have had to dye the hair of whoever played her. At what point do you say "okay, they hired someone who didn't fit the look but they did it because she was most talented" and at what point do you say "okay this is an attempt to be woke."

To be clear, for you AR829038, there was never a place where black Ariel could have existed without being exploitative?
 

AR829038

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But in the same breath you say that the corporations are also capable of doing it well? Like, you alone, AR829038 are the arbiter of intent and sincerity in corporate production choices?

Again I ask you, if Halley Bailey wasn't talented enough on her own to simply be the best choice and it was solely because
Disney wanted to create a smoke screen behind which to hide...then who should have been Ariel? A white girl with flaming red hair? Unlikely, they would have had to dye the hair of whoever played her. At what point do you say "okay, they hired someone who didn't fit the look but they did it because she was most talented" and at what point do you say "okay this is an attempt to be woke."

To be clear, for you AR829038, there was never a place where black Ariel could have existed without being exploitative?
Yes, corporations are CAPABLE of doing it well. That doesn't mean they often do it well.

Again, I maintain that they shouldn't have even made a Little Mermaid remake, so to me the question of who should have been picked to play Ariel is moot. I think the movie is gonna suck no matter who plays the character, because a movie is good or bad for reasons beyond the cast. And so far, Disney has a piss-poor track record when it comes to their live-action remakes. I don't care that Ariel is black, I care that her BEING black seems to have been the main reason they even decided to make the movie!

And to your last point, I've already said, I wouldn't mind Ariel being black if there was a narratively relevant reason for it. Like, what if they made a Little Mermaid remake, but set in the Caribbean? That would make the race-change completely logical, and it would also provide a setting and a context in which we haven't seen that story told before. It also makes more sense since mermaids are technically supposed to be more of a Caribbean mythological creature anyway.

I just find it really disconcerting that so many people are dog-piling on me for what I think are very reasonable criticisms. Your hostility I think is an indication of exactly the type of mentality that big studios feed on when they make decisions like this. You guys are proving my point perfectly. And I think you're being completely disingenuous in your arguments.
 

Chie

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The fact that I take issue with the way that huge multinational corporations bandy about identity politics as a shallow way of amassing profits while doing nothing of any substance to help actual minorities, is not a conservative take by any stretch.
So when I made the choice to quote a specific line in your post, and then specified that I only took issue with one paragraph out of your five, those were things I did on purpose. That's because the individual choices I make in a conversation convey information, rather than being stand-ins for a "type of person".

Like, I shouldn't have to spell out that I wasn't arguing against "Disney is bad", but- oh, looks like I actually already did do that! I lead the whole thing by saying that I agree with the point that Disney deserves no praise! Guess I was wasting my time when I typed that, though!
 
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AegisXIII

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Well, I'm a softie, I cry at stories easily when they're well-done. Ariel saying goodbye to Triton, Mufasa's death, Tiana looking at the vision of her father when Facilier tempts her and Ray appearing in the sky, Anna saving Elsa and Elsa crying afterwards, "Baby Mine," Raya sacrificing herself, Mirabel and Abuela at the end when Mirabel takes her hands in the water, etc. I have plenty from every gen of movies they've made that do it for me.

As for the other stuff, I guess I don't have a problem remembering names. I guess because I follow Disney movies more closely whereas a lot here are KH fans, not Disney fans exactly. I think one thing I would say that is somewhat lacking in the new films are those "Disney moments." I mean a scene that is so powerful it's sort of burned in your head, sort of like Ariel on the rock with the splash behind her or the slow camera roll from the chandelier down to Belle and Beast dancing. Maybe it's something hard to do with 3D, that level of detail in the human expressions or environment in hand-drawn films--hand-drawn animation often makes people look more beautiful than they ever could in real life whereas 3D is only a degree removed from live-action. "Let It Go" was one, between the song, the castle being built, Elsa's declarative pose as she walks into the light at the end. "We Don't Talk About Bruno" is another, although more because of the song than the scene itself. "When Will My Life Begin (reprise)," I guess.
It is true that there was a sense of technical achievement for one specific shot in old movies. I could add the avalanche scene in Mulan. In CG movies, every scene seems equal.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Also why does it matter if Disney is doing diversity to exploit audiences for their money? It sucks that their reasons aren’t altruistic, but this is what corporations do. They want our money, so they give people the content they are seeking. I think the fact that they are doing this sort of content means they know there is value in diverse, progressive ideals. And that this sort of content is valuable to the masses. What you hope for is that the corporations giving us this content are also hiring diverse, progressive people into positions of power, which Disney has been doing.

The more they bring in minorities to create these products, the more likely it is that these corporations start doing it for altruistic, honest reasons.
 

AR829038

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So when I made the choice to quote a specific line in your post, and then specified that I only took issue with one paragraph out of your five, those were things I did on purpose. That's because the individual choices I make in a conversation convey information, rather than being stand-ins for a "type of person".

Like, I shouldn't have to spell out that I wasn't arguing against "Disney is bad", but- oh, looks like I actually already did do that! I lead the whole thing by saying that I agree with the point that Disney deserves no praise! Guess I was wasting my time when I typed that, though!
This response is really dishonest. You made a point to call out my views for being—QUOTE—"Conservative." Which means you're likening my viewpoint to that of people who are basically modern-day Klan members. Whatever else you said, THAT was a point you chose to lean on. As Tyrion Lannister once said, "nothing before the word 'but' really counts," and all the things you said you agreed with me is the equivalent of the stuff before the "but". It's clear that, even though you agree with some of my stances, ultimately you see me as right-wing because I don't play this game of gushing at Disney's miserable attempts to promote "diversity" for profit. Disney can and has promoted diversity in many, many ways in other movies that are better than this empty schlock, and we shouldn't be satisfied when a company that we know can make five-star meals serves us a plate of McDonald's and expects us to gobble it up.

Also why does it matter if Disney is doing diversity to exploit audiences for their money? It sucks that their reasons aren’t altruistic, but this is what corporations do. They want our money, so they give people the content they are seeking. I think the fact that they are doing this sort of content means they know there is value in diverse, progressive ideals. And that this sort of content is valuable to the masses. What you hope for is that the corporations giving us this content are also hiring diverse, progressive people into positions of power, which Disney has been doing.

The more they bring in minorities to create these products, the more likely it is that these corporations start doing it for altruistic, honest reasons.
It matters because it lowers the bar for what people consider "progressive." The 90's Disney movies may not have been super-progressive by today's standards, but I'll tell you what, the original Mulan probably did a hell of a lot more for trans acceptance and queer discourse in our society than black Ariel will do for racial discourse. Invoking diversity for profit isn't the same thing as using it to manipulate audiences while giving them nothing substantive in return. Movies like Encanto and Moana are diverse, but they're not just about BEING diverse, they're great movies with tons of passion put into them at every level. The black Ariel stunt is basically Disney just saying to the masses, "hey guys, look, we made a white character black, look how progressive we are, now go pay us money to see our terrible half-assed movie!"

It all comes down to how we behave as responsible consumers of media. We always have a choice to tell studios, "you know what, this isn't really good enough, we expect more from you." We don't have to laud them every time they make a big fuss about race-swapping a popular character. That gives them license to put out the same lazy crap in the future, and eventually the bar for "progressive" media will just be throwing minorities into the mix with no further thought or creativity. And I don't want the media landscape to turn into that, because it's soulless.

Studios are inherently driven by profit, but there's products that deserve profit, and products that don't. I want to see movies that are made with passion, that are made with creativity, and that feel like the people involved desperately wanted to make it, rather than just being told to do X and Y by a bunch of corporate suits. And I don't care if the movie that gives me that soul is all black, all white, all mixed, all Asian, or whatever the hell. I just want good movies. And sometimes race-swapping can work to that effect, sometimes it doesn't. This is an instance where it doesn't, and sadly, in our society, that tends to be more common than the instances where it does.
 

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OK, I'm just gonna wade past most of this for the time being & cherry pick a sentence.
The lack of villains or proper enemies is the main issue for me. Every recent movie I watched, I wasn't sure who should be the boss should this world be ported into Kingdom Hearts, which makes it more realistic but also kind of boring.
That's not really Disney's problem if there's no real mine-able material for KH. KH straight up should never even be on their minds when making movies & most assuredly isn't.
 

Chie

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This response is really dishonest. You made a point to call out my views for being—QUOTE—"Conservative." Which means you're likening my viewpoint to that of people who are basically modern-day Klan members. Whatever else you said, THAT was a point you chose to lean on. [...] It's clear that, even though you agree with some of my stances, ultimately you see me as right-wing because I don't play this game of gushing at Disney's [.................]
Hey, let's look at what I actually said.
...when you get into arguing which black characters existences are "earned" and which aren't, it oversteps that and does become just a normal conservative talking point.
Oh, it was saying the one thing I highlighted was a conservative talking point. And every single post I've posted afterwards has been about explaining that one post to you. You made up everything else.
 

AR829038

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Hey, let's look at what I actually said.

Oh, it was saying the one thing I highlighted was a conservative talking point. And every single post I've posted afterwards has been about explaining that one post to you. You made up everything else.
You're not gonna gaslight me. That was your entire post. Everything after the "I agree that Disney deserves no praise for any of this stuff, BUT..." was aimed at decrying my criticisms as being conservative and hyperbolic. I'm not gonna let you pretend like that wasn't your main argument.
 

palizinhas

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By the logic "no corporation should have diversity in their movies unless they're honest about it" there would be no diversity ever anywhere outside of indie stuff.

Some creators are into diversity, some actors are into diversity, even some producers. Now, company executives? Most of them are really conservative, but they also enjoy money and are willing to allow diversity if they see an angle.

Disney isn't the only Bad Corporation - it's on a different level because of how huge it is, but as far as I'm aware the biggest network channel in my country has only ever had One queer protag in all of its 374872 of telenovelas - and that was because the creator fought for it because it had not been the agreed plan from the beginning.
 
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