The Walt Disney Company was founded way back in 1923 – which is more than enough time for the global entertainment conglomerate to have courted its fair share of controversy. Over the last 94 years and counting, the House of Mouse has weathered scandals related to everything from the content of its films to the conduct of its media and theme park businesses.
Although many of the allegations Disney has faced during this time have since proven to be true, a surprising number have also ended up being false. This is especially the case with much of Walt Disney Studio’s animated output, where the brouhaha over certain supposedly immoral or discriminatory material often turns out to have little basis in actual fact.
Given Disney’s family-friendly image, situations like this which tarnish that reputation can be particularly damaging – not to mention frustrating, considering the public backlash involved is unwarranted. It can also be costly, as Disney will often go to the considerable expense of altering a film for its home video release, all to remove content that wasn’t even controversial in the first place!
Let’s take a look at 15 Disney Scandals That Turned Out To Be Fake from the past nine decades.
When it comes to ranking the most important TV shows of all time, The Simpsonsmust surely be up there. Not only is it the longest-running sitcom in American history – animated or otherwise – it’s also racked up dozens of awards and left an unparalleled imprint on Western pop culture.
It’s no surprise, then, that when Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie – along with the rest of the town of Springfield – made the leap to the big screen back in 2007, the end result was a commercial and (mostly) critical success. By the time it had finished its theatrical run, The SimpsonsMovie had amassed $527,068,706 in box office sales, and several award nods – including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.
As you might expect with a film so long in the making – it spent nine years in development – based around such an influential TV series, The Simpsons Movie boasts some pretty interesting trivia. In honor of this flick’s 10th anniversary, we’ve filtered through the many fascinating factoids available, compiling the best in this list of 15 Things You Never Knew About The Simpsons Movie.
Today sees the launch of a new recurring feature here at The Pop Culture Studio, Here’s Looking At You – articles which focus on pop culture creators well-known and obscure, beloved and (in some cases) reviled.
In this first instalment (and in honour of Black History Month in the US), we’re going to take a look at the late, great Dwayne McDuffie, who was a trailblazer not only as an African American comic book and TV scribe, but also as someone who increased the visibility of minority characters across both mediums as well.
Considering all the time and money that goes into each and every major studio release, it’s pretty mindblowing how many movies are released to no fanfare, and then promptly forgotten.
2012’s Rise of the Guardians falls squarely under this banner. Despite being the product of DreamWorks Animation, boasting an all-star voice cast, and drawing on a popular series of children’s books as source material, it flopped at the box office, and – much like its invisible protagonist – you’d be lucky to meet someone who even knew it existed.
That’s a real shame, as thanks to its smart approach to a fun basic premise – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost form an Avengers-style team to fight the Bogeyman – it’s actually a surprisingly sincere, heartfelt and entertaining adventure.
So often these days, it seems like big budget movies are made with a specific audience in mind, in a cynical attempt by studios to maximise profits at the expense of stifling creativity.
But every so often, along comes a major studio release that is so markedly different from the “paint by numbers” fodder that tends to flood the industry that it can only be the result of filmmakers interested in telling the kind of story they want to, demigraphics and creative think tanks be damned.
So it was with Rango, Gore Verbinski’s screwball animated Western, which premiered five years ago this month. I’m not entirely sure what audience Rango was made for – possibly for film buffs, but more than likely for the filmmakers themselves – but regardless, I sure am glad that it exists.
I mean, it seems more than a little mean spirited to sift through 78 years of Walt Disney Animation Studios history to weed out the clunkers – especially given how many hits they’ve had compared to misses.
And yet, after recently re-watching one of the entries on this list for the first time as an adult, I found myself reminded that Disney will occasionally release the odd animated feature that will leave you wondering aloud just what exactly they were thinking in the first place.
Now, with one exception, all of the films that follow are actually pretty decent – one is even an undeniable classic – but it’s still fair to say that each represents an instance where the House of Mouse didn’t quite get it right.