Disney has nearly singlehandedly built the Cuteness Industrial Complex and it's a bad thing

you can't hardly come across a movie with anything to say anymore, the morals of these movies are invariably something mainstream and harmless, and ultimately they don't explore any deep topics at all. The Mandalorian, for instance, may seem like it's touching on serious, gritty themes, but they're just that, themes. Ultimately the Mandalorian has absolutely nothing, morally, to say to the audience.

It's not just Star Wars either, it's basically every bit story they've ever gotten their hands on. They just take folktales, inject a huge amount of bulbous eyed adorable critters and remove any controversial or substantial lessons to be learned, replacing them with kid friendly alternatives, and then release it back out to the world for tons and tons of money. Then they buy another studio and repeat the process with the next set of stories.

Disney movies rarely if ever have ANYTHING to say. There's always a happy ending, the power of love always overcomes everything, and dark themes give them just enough spice to skirt by and pretend to be edgy, despite not actually having a stance at all on the story being told.

And it's actually sensitized us, culturally, without us noticing it. Star Wars in particular, through the lens of droids, has an avenue to explore loads of very compelling stories that would provide an allegory to social inequalities in the world today, but instead equal rights for droids is treated like a throwaway joke character, and droids occupy this weird middle ground of simultaneously sapient and disposable. It's honestly pretty fucked up, actually.

And many of the good guy characters, most all of them, in fact, just accept this and nobody who brings it up is treated seriously. There's seriously a lot of story potential here, as well, but it'd all be too risky, so instead they just give us a starcrossed lovers redemption arc and throw a truly mindnumbing number of superweapons at the audience over and over again, because they can't be asked to tell a story that isn't just cut and dry good guys vs bad guys.

Of the top 10 highest grossing movies of 2019, 7 of them were Disney movies. They have a practical monopoly on our culture, and the lessons that these movies contain are increasingly empty.

It is absolutely a good thing to laugh at chuds who get mad about Star Wars having a female lead, or there being black representation. Their reasons for disliking the new trilogy of movies are based in hatred and it's completely worthy of ridicule, but that doesn't mean that these movies are actually SAYING anything just because they have a degree of representation.

The actual story of the new trilogy of Star Wars movies doesn't actually explore any big questions, like, are droids sapient, and if so, do they actually deserve equal rights? If one stormtrooper can lose their loyalty, why not many more, why are all the rest still treated as conveniently expendable? Just why would anybody in their right mind actually want to fight for the First Order anyways, besides just growing up indoctrinated by a fascist cult?

The story does not drill deeply into any pressing questions at all, because it needs to preserve the convenience of black and white good guy vs bad guy, and the entire universe is made less compelling because of it. Instead, a considerable amount of cuteness is injected into the movies, the stakes are repeatedly raised to levels that break the believability of the world, a beloved character is killed off just to help preserve the stakes, and happy endings are guaranteed after a heroic sacrifice.

The original trilogy and even the prequels had far more to say about society, more to say about what it means to be a villain or a hero. Kylo Ren is an absolute joke of a character by comparison, and it's all excused because, what? An even bigger space battle, an even rounder droid? These are fine movies, sure, but they're awful stories, and it's time we admit that.

@starwall disney is a grift built on manipulating the senses to wait for the next instalment of the grift

@starwall I wouldn't even call them themes, that implies too much meaning to them. they're more like aesthetics of movies which *had* those themes, or a hand waving allusion to the idea a theme and message *could* have been here

@starwall i've seen... one of these movies and i was drunk the whole time at the video pub.

this shit ain't my culture fam

@xj9 yeah that might be true but like, there's a generation of kids growing up with these as their childhood movies right now

@starwall were the millennial "childhood movies" more substantial though? i like vague remember the little mermaid, oliver and company, fern gully, and like these old shitty chronicles of narnia movies.

i don't think i learned anything from these movies though. its just entertainment. i learned stuff from books mostly.
@starwall maybe i'm not a good example, but i grew up in a highly-saturated pop culture environment too. doesn't mean i have to be raised by the pop culture. there's other places to learn from.

@starwall I write about this a lot. Glad someone else is banging that drum.

@starwall the problem is even worse than you might think

Far From Home was co-produced by Marvel, so that also should be counted as well

@starwall Those threads about the Super Secret Deep Meaning in XYZ Disney Cashcow are depressing to me because sometimes they feel like a person's brain desperately trying to feed the part that's starved of deeper storytelling.

@OchotonidKnight @starwall In a trilogy of copouts Palpatine coming back from the dead only to be killed more mega-awesomely was just laughable.

@starwall The one moment of hope is when i was briefly able to read it as a metatextual story *about* being a star wars sequel trilogy, the story being about the fiction. Which, to be clear, also isn't necessarily saying anything important, but it is at least an explored concept of interest.

Yeah that narrative didn't pan out into anything substantive either.

@starwall the most insulting instance of that was the rectonning of rey's lack of heritage in the third film.

it read as nothing more than sheer contempt for anyone who enjoyed elements of the prior film that worked.

@swiff @starwall Rian Johnson made the best Star Wars film and then JJ, the fucking hack, got mad and said none of it mattered

@witchfynder_finder @starwall Jenny Nicholson has a great video about that film, and one of the main points she made was that instead of making episode 9, JJ. Abrams decided to make his own episode 8 that also had to end the trilogy.

@swiff @starwall Yup. Also he clearly has no respect for ANY of the other stories being told in the universe. Poe already had an established backstory explaining how he joined the Resistance but JJ didn't know or care about that so he just invented his own, honestly pretty racist, story for Poe instead of respecting work that had come before.

@swiff @witchfynder_finder @starwall I regard the sequel trilogy as a build-up to Jenny Nicholson's Palpatine impression.

Worth every penny.

@starwall far more to say before or after adjusting for how much they were a direct commentary on the uspol at the time?

@starwall I’m not a star wars fan, but Disney is a company I’ve had issues with for a really long time now.

I agree with you 100% on the problematic grip Disney has on culture. It’s incredibly brainwashing to the point of essentially being propaganda for how people should behave and what to think.

It’s sad they own so many franchises.

@starwall the only part of this I disagree with at all is that Disney had to "inject cuteness" into a series that started with R2D2 and culminated the first trilogy with Ewoks. Cuteness is a core part of the Star Wars brand and always has been.

@robotcarsley You're right about that, but they surely did inject cuteness into a whole hell of a lot of folktales collectively known as the Disney princess movies, and even a real story about colonialism in the case of Pocahontas, and it's been in no small part the origin of their massive commercial success. It's their entire business model, and they're treating Star Wars no differently

@robotcarsley They had an opportunity here to look more critically at the Star Wars universe and begin to unravel it, socially, and tell the stories therein. But instead they took the easy road, and it's just wasted potential

@CornishRepublicanArmy @robotcarsley arguably they were better for it, it's not why the prequels fell flat at least. they fell flat because of other reasons

@starwall @CornishRepublicanArmy @robotcarsley the longer it has been the less i'm convinced they even fell flat in any way that made them worse than the original

@starwall @CornishRepublicanArmy @robotcarsley having watched fanedits of the prequels, it's shocking how much the Attack of the Clones is improved just by slicing the Anakin/Padme love story to pieces

@starwall A major frustration for me was that Episode 8 raised New And Interesting Questions about all this, and then every single clifhanger which was left at the end of Episode 8 was COMPLETELY IGNORED by episode 9 as if they never happened. Moral grey areas of war: Ignored. Finn/Rose: Ignored. Laura Dern's whatever her name was epic maneuver: Ignored. Finn's war injuries: Ignored. Everything Rey learned from Luke: ignored. It's like Episode 9 is a conclusion of a completely different series.

@starwall Like, this is the exact opposite of the clinic on how to do a part 2 of 3 that is The Empire Strikes Back. Luke loses his arm: Addressed in the next episode. Darth Vader is Luke’s Father: addressed in the next episode. Han/Leia: Addressed in the next episode. The entire idea of a three part story is that part 3 resolves the tensions built in the first two. Except Star Wars 9 just glosses them all over because LIGHTNING BOLTS IS COOL HEY REMEMBER LANDO??

@starwall When Finn was left to be operated on at the end of 8, I was like: I wonder what interesting resolution will come from this? Finn gets a war injury that he has to live with and he has feelings about this? Finn’s doctors make him part robot and he has feelings about this? There were so many cool ways it could have gone, but JJ went “Finn is healthy now and he forgot about getting mortally wounded. And all that love stuff that was kind important in the last movie, he forgot about it too.”

@starwall Finn’s most important character development from the prior two movies was PLAYED FOR LAUGHS and then wiped away. That to me was more unforgivable than the emperor nonsense, which was ridiculous anyway.

@starwall I mean, any star wars film would have to preserve that anyway

@a_breakin_glass @starwall they’re fun questions to ask, but it really seems like a lot to expect out of a franchase that has never really been very deep at all except in the extended universe media (novels, comics, clone wars/rebels).

the movies exist for exactly one purpose: selling toys, and have been from the very beginning. if the story has ever been compelling that’s a side effect

@starwall well it was clear Disney was never gonna produce a trilogy as good as even the prequels. The prequels were about how representative democracy turns into fascism. And Disney is a notably fascist megacorp

@starwall Old ones: all about the chosen one New ones: working together is the way♥

@starwall given that monopoly it may be for the better that they are so empty

as opposed to actively pushing us towards some much worse things

...though they are now very much in a position to do so for many generations

(tl;dr lewis was completely right in the abolition of man except he blamed academia where he should have blamed capitalism)

@starwall correction: they are passively pushing us towards much worse things, and actively only tempting and leading and suggesting

@starwall Is Disney XD any better? They let Star Vs get away with some heavy stuff (mostly after season 1), but it feels like their newer shows are regressions from it while imitating some of its basic elements.

@starwall I haven't really kept up to date with their cinematic stuff precisely because of how safe they played it. But Star Vs gave me some hope that maybe some actual creativity can blossom in their media factories.

@starwall I really disliked the Solo movie (in part) because of this. Incredibly tasteless and dull-minded movie.

There are few things in stories that are as off putting as belittling real issues.

@starwall They took The Little Mermaid , a story about how a foolish girl dies because of her own bad decisions, and turned it into loli with a happy ending.

@starwall picking on cuteness is a great way to get kicked out of almost any social group these days, but damn it's amazing how little the cuteness industrial complex says with so much. It's either the perfect version of whitewashing, or a process of capitalism's all consuming subjectivism.

@starwall calling you out for plagiarising this thread from yesterday's wisecrack video

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