Is Disney Animation A Victim Of Their Past Success

Disney animation’s recent release of “Planes” has been surprisingly met with some negative reviews which is highly uncharacteristic for the legendary company that created feature length animated films.
You would be hard pressed to find many people who do not fondly remember animated classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty” and countless others that marked the company and entertained and delighted generations.

After a lull in the 80s, the animated division came roaring back with new classics such as “The Lion King”, “Aladdin”, Beauty and the Beast”, and the continued with the rise of Pixar and classics such as “Toy Story”.
In recent years Disney has faced increased competition in the animated market from companies such as Dreamworks and Fox who have had their own successful franchises such as “Ice Age” and “Shrek” which have cut into Disney’s domination in the market. Interestingly enough former Disney animation leader Jeffrey Katzenberg left the company to head Dreamworks animation which has been Disney’s chief rival.

That being said, I have to wonder if Disney is a victim of their past successes as do fans and critics alike expect a new classic with each offering from the company and respond harshly to any offering from the studio that does not meet their lofty expectations.

When a company has a track record as impressive as Disney it is easy to see how people would expect to be blown away with each new offering. To me this is an unrealistic expectation as not every film can become a timeless classic yet there is always room for solid and enjoyable family entertainment. In my opinion, this is what Disney offers time and time again. It is important to remember that the animated films they create are done first and foremost for children and families.

With a movie such as “Planes” it can be easy for some adults to find faults with aspects of the film. The key is to look at the film through the eyes of a child. Children do not want complicated plots with dynamic and complex characters as those are concepts they would not understand. They want easy to follow stories with enjoyable characters that make them laugh and feature positive messages.

I think more of my fellow reviewers need to back off on the negativity and remember what it was like to experience the magic of Disney as a child, as I for one can tell you that being able to get lost in the magic of Disney is a great escape from the everyday world.