Disney hate is at fever pitch due to the recent alligator attack that occurred at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It left a two-year-old boy dead, and many angry with the company. People were mad at Disney for not protecting its visitors, for seeming to deny blame, and for having lax security measures.
Disney hate is nothing new, it has grown over the years. Disney is a giant in the entertainment business, which is bound to draw criticism. People dislike companies that have commercial sway over consumers and engage in questionable business practices. And the more profits a company has, the more controversial it becomes. After all, people hate on Fortune 500 companies all the time, like Microsoft, Wal-Mart and General Motors. But the hatred that Disney inspires is above-average. It could be because they take themselves so seriously. Or, it could be because the company targets children. It’s also possible that Disney has entrenched itself in people’s lives so much that people can’t help but dislike anything that has such influence. If we take a step back, it’s rather interesting to dissect the phenomenon that is Disney hate. Much has been made over the study of Disney characters, its movie plotlines and its corporate policy. But investigating why the average person holds such disdain in their hearts for Disney is often overlooked. So, consider this list as a think-piece that counts down the top 15 reasons why people hate Disney. We’re just as interested in getting to the bottom of this as you are.
15. The Disney Vault Is Annoying
Disney has drawn the ire of many adoring fans because it only releases its movies to the public for home consumption for a limited amount of time. They even coined a term for this tactic, “The Disney Vault.” Audiences think this is corporate greed at its ugliest. Disney has a commodity, and they try to build fervor and revenue by only letting the consumer have access to it for a short period. It’s basically the same business model McDonald’s uses with the McRib – and we all know how much everyone hates that. Can you imagine if the Star Wars movies were only sold periodically? That’d be an outrage, right? Well, you can expect it to happen since Disney bought the rights in 2012 to all things Star Wars, from George Lucas for over $4 billion. It’s no wonder why Disney movies have been pirated since VCRs came on the scene in the 1980s.
14. Everyone Is Sick Of Pixar
Remember the first major Pixar movie, Toy Story? It was a cool new type of animation that made you fall in love with Disney all over again, and the story wasn’t half-bad, either. Disney struck gold by tapping into this market, and bought Pixar in 2006 after numerous disagreements with the company about rights and revenue. Steve Jobs and Disney’s then-CEO Michael Eisner, butted heads repeatedly before the deal for the $7 billion acquisition was made. Well, Disney wanted to make sure it got its money worth, so now all they seem to churn out are Pixar movies. Disney is laughing all the way to the bank, because computer-generated animation is less expensive than the typical kind. Cha-ching.
Critics have also complained that Pixar movies lack the simple sophistication of Disney classics like Snow White. For example, Pixar movies have plot problems like having too many buddies in the picture, too many movies have sequels, and storylines that are too linear. Another big criticism is that Pixar movies aren’t children’s movies that adults can tolerate, but that they are really adult movies that children can tolerate.
13. Long Lines At Theme Parks
When you spend hundreds of dollars on something, you expect excellent service. But this just isn’t the case with Disney theme parks. They consider it a success if line times are long, because that means bigger profits. Meanwhile, the customer gets the royal screw-job. Wait times for Space Mountain average 45 minutes, yet the ride is only three minutes long. For those of you who aren’t good at math, this means that the wait time is 15 times longer than the ride. And the cherry on top is that you get the pleasure of standing in line in the blinding heat while listening to a bunch of children whine their heads off.
Where else in life would you tolerate this nonsense? Even the line to get through TSA isn’t this bad! You wouldn’t wait 30 hours in line to see a two hour movie. You’d never sit in a restaurant for 15 hours waiting to eat a one hour meal. And you certainly wouldn’t wait 75 minutes with a cart load of groceries before you are rung up at the supermarket. We don’t know what’s worse – the company that operates this way, or the consumer who puts up with it. Disney discovered the perfect business model – people waddle in, empty their pockets, then leave.
12. Everything Is So Expensive
Everything about Disney is expensive. It costs a family of four $3,500 to stay at Disney World for five days. A Disney movie DVD costs $20. And everything at the Disney store is marked up at least 300 percent. And what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt! But people begrudgingly pay this because they are parents, and they have to get the kids the Disney stuff. Disney forces you to play the whole game of “keeping up with the Joneses” for the sake of the kids. As a parent, you can’t be the only one not to take your kids on a Disney vacation or you’ll scar them for life and then you’ll have to pay thousands of dollars for them to be in therapy. You can’t have your kid not being the only one not to see the latest Disney movie or else they’ll be social outcasts. And you can’t have your kid playing with sticks and stones when there are princess costumes to dress up in.
Disney has you by the short and curlies, and you know it! You’d better start saving now for when your children grow up and want a Disney wedding. And it won’t even be over then – because you’ll have the pleasure of doing the Disney thing again with your grandchildren.
11. Disney Ran Out Of Ideas Long Ago
Disney ran out of ideas years ago. So what do they do now? They remake their old movies. On what planet is this acceptable? War and Peace hasn’t been re-written, and neither has The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar. But for some reason, the public is expected to put up with this claptrap in the movies. Disney has taken classics like Flubber, The Parent Trap and The Shaggy Dog and “modernized” them for new audiences to discover. What a load of garbage. Disney is just recycling ideas and pushing them on the younger generation who don’t know any better. It’s disgusting when you think that Disney queen Hayley Mills, gave a seamless performance in the original Parent Trap movie, but all kids these days know about the franchise is Lindsay Lohan.
The newest craze is taking classic animated films and making them live action. Disney did this with Cinderella, and is gearing up for a live action version of Beauty and the Beast to be released in 2017. They just can’t leave well enough alone. Sorry, but there’s profit to be made. While they’re at it, maybe they should animate Gone with the Wind and Casablanca.
10. Mickey Is A Has-Been
Fans have had it with Mickey Mouse. The last time he was popular was on The Mickey Mouse Club – and we’re not talking about the one with Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake – we’re talking about the one in the 50s with Cubby and Annette. Mickey Mouse’s squeaky voice is grating, and his big ears have become a symbol for corporate greed. His pals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, either. Minnie isn’t hot. Donald Duck is a perv that doesn’t wear pants, and Daisy Duck is only famous by proxy. Pluto doesn’t talk, and we’re pretty sure Goofy suffers from dementia. It’s no wonder the gang only stars in straight to DVD movies these days. Mark our words, Disney will euthanize these characters soon enough.
9. Planning World Takeover, Or What?
Now that Disney opened a theme park on mainland Communist China, it’s finally official that they are trying to take over the world. They weren’t happy with just America, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong, so they had to plant themselves in the most populous country in the world. In a country with uniformity gone mad, we can totally see Disney and the Commies forming an unholy union. Imagine a bunch of Chinamen in a militarized zone sporting mouse ears. Scary? Now, imagine them having a revolution and invading capitalist America. Each according to his ability, and each according to his means. Living under Communist Disney rule will be the happiest place on Earth…not. No one wants to wake up each morning living in a commune with the “It’s a Small World” song blaring and having to pledge their allegiance to a stylized picture of Karl Marx and Mickey Mouse. The most outrageous thing is that Disney is being lauded for improving Chinese-American relations with the opening of this new park.
8. Family Values Are Out The Window
In the 1990s, Disney made a little movie titled Jungle 2 Jungle starring Tim Allen. It was typical Disney fare, except for the gratuitous depiction of a woman filmed in her bra. It’s only been downhill from there. Once Disney acquired ABC, it showed that it was “evolving” with the times. Disney was no longer family friendly, but started to openly pander to the lowest common denominator. The Bachelor is not appropriate for families, what with the catfights and open sexuality. How to Get Away with Murder glamorizes the worst crime of all. And The Real O’Neals is criticized for promoting homosexuality. It’s only a matter of time before Disney branches out into the hardcore p*rn industry. Can’t you just see Snow White servicing all seven dwarves? And what about Beauty and the Beast getting busy? How about a girl/girl movie with Ariel and Cinderella? That’d be barely legal.
7. Disney Stars Are NOT Wholesome
The Disney Channel has been making youth-oriented shows since its inception in the 1980s. And, while many of its stars went onto illustrious careers like Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling, way more of its stars have become trainwrecks. Singer Fergie was on Kids, Incorporated before she made it big with The Black Eyed Peas. Before she found fame as an adult, she suffered from an addiction to crystal meth. But that’s nothing compared to the young stars that are on screen today. Jennette McCurdy of Sam & Cat fame made headlines when nude photos of her were released. Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical also had a similar thing happen. And A.N.T. Farm star Cameron Palatas was rumored to have bedded Ariel Winter of Modern Family when she was underage.
Disney obviously can’t control its stars, and people understand that. What people can’t get over is how Disney plays both sides to the middle. When their stars misbehave, Disney puts up a public front of disapproval. Yet, Disney still employs these troublemakers. In reality, Disney enjoys the drama as they believe any publicity is good publicity.
6. Disney Is So Litigious
Disney has a reputation for being very, very litigious. A.K.A. sue crazy. Its C.E.O. has been quoted as saying that this is due to protecting intellectual property. However, most people just see it as Disney being a big baby – and a big bully. Disney has been accused of filing petty lawsuits, such ones against daycare centers portraying the likeness of Mickey Mouse – which is, let’s face it, just three black circles intertwining. If they’re going to do that, they’d better go after math textbooks that have Venn diagrams as well.
Disney has also been very active in backing anti-piracy laws. Disney is a big dog in court, so no one ever wins against them. What is most outrageous, though, is that they are hypocritical. When thousands of tributes to Frozen emerged online, Disney stayed quiet and didn’t shut any of them down. Why not? Because the fans were posting positive things, and Disney saw this as free publicity. Disney, if you’re gonna talk the talk, then you’ve gotta walk the walk. You can’t have it both ways.
5. Collaborations With Tim Burton Are Creepy
Tim Burton’s work on Disney films isn’t just postmodernism at its worst – it’s weird for the sake of weird. In a desperate attempt to keep its brand fresh, Disney has partnered with Burton on films like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Frankenweenie and most recently Alice Through The Looking Glass. These movies were dark, disturbed and downright creepy. They didn’t do well at the box office, but have garnered a cult following. The Disney-Burton films are evocative, but in the most terrible way as they make the audience’s skin crawl and confuse the viewer with odd juxtapositions. And the fact that these movies are made for children is all the more hair-raising.
Disney recently announced that it has plans to collaborate with Burton on a live-action version of Dumbo. No one wants to see a Burton-inspired Dumbo. The loveable Dumbo will likely be cachectic, extra-gray and melancholy. And his magic feather will probably be replaced by some bizarre-Burton paraphernalia like a femur bone, a rusty nail or a waxy Q-tip. Imagine what other Disney classics Burton can ruin, like Pinocchio, Lady and the Tramp and Fantasia.
4. Relies On Star Power, Not Plotlines
Back in the day, Disney movies sold themselves because their plots were incredible. They showcased fairytales and chronicled the rise of the underdog. This worked in Disney’s animated and live-action movies, and the company was untouchable for decades. Then, they had a string of flops like Mulan, Pocahontas and Hercules. Suddenly, Disney was fallible. So, instead of hiring better writers, they took the easy way out – they started to hire big name talent to headline its projects. And they haven’t looked back. Disney has hired giants in the film industry to voice its characters, like Miley Cyrus and Oprah. And of course, Disney puts the most popular celebs in its live action movies, like Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
Disney even has upcoming projects with Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson. But what good is it to have a big star in a movie if the plot is weak? The only good thing about this change in direction is that it finally steered Disney away from cramming cultural sensitivity down everyone’s throats. There was a period of time when it made sure to give every minority group its own movie, from Hawaiians in Lilo and Stitch to African Americans in The Princess and the Frog. Audiences perceived this to be the pandering that it was.
3. Disney Steals Ideas
For a company that fiercely protects its own intellectual property, Disney certainly doesn’t seem to have any qualms about “borrowing” ideas from others. The Disney movie A Bug’s Life was reported to be a rip-off of the movie Antz. The Lion King was supposedly very much taken from a Japanese manga series call Kimba the White Lion – going from a character named “Kimba” to “Simba” didn’t seem like much of a stretch. People have sued Disney for stealing the ideas for Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph.
Disney’s so-called duplicity hasn’t been limited to films, though. It has been accused of stealing ideas that it later implemented in its theme parks, too. A court ruled that Disney illegally took ideas from two businessmen in order to build a sports complex for its Wide World of Sports attraction in Disneyworld. Disney was ordered to pay damages of $240 million, which is just a drop in the bucket for them. In this case, no one believed that Disney was innocent. After all, the Disney theme park attractions are based off of the success of others: the Indiana Jones ride, the Aerosmith ride, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Backdraft ride… we could go on and on.
2. Dysfunctional Families
Many people hate Disney for portraying skewed family values. To begin with, Disney films are largely criticized for portraying absentee mothers. For example, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Princess Jasmine and Belle didn’t have mothers. And let’s not forget that Bambi’s mother was killed. Other characters have evil step-mothers, like Cinderella and Snow White. Some say that this is because the death of Walt Disney’s mother haunted him. Others theorize this is because Walt Disney hated women.
Another issue people have with Disney films is that they often portray a damsel in distress that is saved by a man. Critics believe this is reinforcing a culture of patriarchy, and is also portraying an unrealistic ideal with the whole happily-ever-after mentality. It’s also worth noting that most Disney villains are over the age of 50, and are portrayed as being ugly. The problem many people have with this is that they contend it teaches children to hate adults.
Finally, Disney has been criticized by many groups for supporting same-sex couples. Disney made headlines in the 1990s for giving domestic partnership benefits to homosexual couples. More recently, it came under fire for portraying a lesbian couple on the children’s program Good Luck Charlie. Many believe that these are ways in which Disney corrupts children.
1. People Loathe Walt Disney
Where do we start with Walt Disney? He is a cultural icon. Originally, he was regarded as a warm, family-oriented man. In reality, his outward personality was all for show. Close friends have revealed that he was painfully shy, and enjoyed smoking and drinking. Professionally, he was known as a real stickler for high standards, and rarely gave his employees praise. Over the decades, the public perception of Walt Disney has taken a dramatic downturn.
He is often regarded as a grand manipulator, and a purveyor of American imperialism. The rumor mill is rampant with reports of Walt Disney being bigoted against minority groups and women. And the jury is still out on whether he was a Nazi sympathizer or not. Perhaps the weirdest rumor, though, was that Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen after his death. According to his family, this is false and he was cremated after he died of lung cancer.
Whatever your beliefs about Walt Disney are, the fact remains that he is a polarizing figure. Fans laud him for making feel-good movies and for his artistic genius. Others loathe him for being a genesis of cultural debasement. If you’re a hater of Disney’s corporate greed, a believer in the subversive subliminal messages in Disney movies, or are just tired of the company’s generic work, you probably agree with the latter.