With A Wrinkle in Time, Disney finds itself in controversy once again. Where is it going wrong?
With their release of A Wrinkle in Time, Disney have once again stumbled into the swamp of controversy, due to the fact they chose not to include many of the biblical and Christian elements that are part of the original novel by the author.
However, this is a trap the mouse has put itself into before. Whether being politically correct or trying to be as sanitised and as neutral as possible, Disney seems to have a problem with being too goofy at staying trouble free.
Flubs of this nature aren’t new for Disney, and in fact, they seem to have problems usually when it’s trying to keep up with the latest trends or stay as neutral as possible.
During the late ’70s Disney was one of the studios George Lucas approached to produce Star Wars. However, Disney passed on the opportunity feeling the movie would not be financially successful. Once the numbers for the box office released, Disney back-pedalled and decided to come up with some of their own science fiction movies.
Their first big release was a movie called The Black Hole, which was also the first Disney movie ever rated PG.
This film, which is now a cult classic, had many different elements to Star Wars, but unfortunately it was compared to that film in very harsh and unfair terms by critics.
Most of their sci-fi/scary films were duds, with the exception of the moderate hit Tron. Tron was truly a unique film for its time, and with the console video game tie-in it had, the film was able to draw in large numbers of crowds – both adults and children. It seems that audiences wanted a mouse to cuddle not one that scared them.
And they began to create unique animated features with and without Pixar studios, such as Toy Story, Ratatouille, and Meet The Robinsons. By staying within their own content guidelines but upping their game on quality and animation, in addition to the occasional live-action release, Disney seemed to redeem itself.
The Mouse House seemed to be taking a positive approach to their content and began taking risks with their partner properties.
What film controversies have Disney encountered?
With the release of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe the first of The Chronicles of Narnia books, Disney sought out a new moral fantasy action-adventure-filled franchise.
These children’s books are well-known to have very strong Christian themes throughout. With the release of the first movie, those elements were mostly present. However in the following films Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader, those elements were pushed back as Disney was to try to take the controversy out of these films after some called the first movie “too religious”.
However, after acquisition Marvel Comics and working with Marvel Studios, Disney began by taking the less well-known character, Iron Man, and making him a star. Their risk with Robert Downey Jr. turned out to be the right one, besides the issues some fans had with the casting. After the release of Iron Man and the start of the MCU, Disney seemed to level out from its mistakes.
Then some of their next goofs came from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They have received some conflict over the whitewashing of several Marvel characters including the Ancient One in the Doctor Strange movie, as well as several characters within the Netflix Iron Fist and Defenders TV series.
Here’s hoping Disney can get out of its own way and be truer to the source materials and creative ideas of their production teams. And remember that they don’t have to be afraid of trends or Twitter, and to what their founder said:
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”