Disney and 2017: The Top Three Disney Successes
We can agree that 2017 had its ups and downs, with more “dismal downs” than usual, to quote Scrooge McDuck. Disney on screen did its part to bring light to the darkness. We can argue about some of the uncomfortable realities and stressors, but at least there were some highlights.
The Marvel Movies
Thor: Ragnorak, Spiderman:Homecoming and the second Guardians of the Galaxy came out this year, adding to the Marvel mythos. Each one did the job to tell a compact story, an increasingly difficult feat. What’s more, they entertained and worked to not skip beats.
The two films improve on their predecessors by developing family dynamics and worlds beyond what we have seen in previous films. Thor and Loki finally confront the reality that, for better or for worse, their relationship may not be worth saving. Peter Quill finds out more about his father than he desires. Peter Parker’s goal to become an Avenger clashes with his need to fight crime and save innocents. As the cis white male characters seek to make a positive difference, they also interact with more diverse casts featuring POC and women.
Woo-oo! If there was a year where we needed a good Ducktales reboot, it was 2017. We miss one of the best Disney series from the 1990s, when things seemed so much simpler. Of course they weren’t, but we were children.
The Ducktales reboot not only told a stellar story; it also showed love for the fans. Unlike a certain animation corporation that does all it can to irritate the children who are now young adults, using reboots of once-beloved show, Disney’s crew made sure to interact on a positive note. We got the cast singing the original theme, musical covers on YouTube from a capella groups and pop stars, and homages to the source material. Then the creators released the pilot for free on YouTube, to bring newcomers and fans into the fold. We could not ask for more love, or a bigger show of trust.
Tangled and Big Hero 6: The Series
I’m not completely on board with some of the choices the writers made in Tangled: The Series, but I appreciate that they are paying some love to their less appreciated films. Big Hero 6 was also progressive for its time in having a diverse POC cast, so getting a sequel of sorts always earns appreciation.
In line with the Ducktales reboot, the series spark nostalgia for the era when Disney would make TV series based on their animated films. They also show that the people working on them love the source material, and the potential fans. Hiro decides to fight crime again while attending classes, while Rapunzel investigates why her magical hair returned, and why it no longer heals. We also get a return of 2D animation, when both films had digital animation. We fans appreciate that. What’s more, I appreciate that Tangled referenced fandom’s Big Four ambition (google that regarding Rise of the Bravely Tangled Dragons) through their character Varian.