Walt Disney Pictures celebrated its 100th anniversary a couple of weeks ago but I have to wonder how Walt Disney himself would feel about his motion picture empire if he were here today.
I can't speak for Walt Disney any more than I can speak for someone else opinion but I can speak about my own and I can't help but feel Disney has phoned it in with their original content or even content derived from books or other stories.
There was a time when Disney produced films like The North Avenue Irregulars, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Escape from Witch Mountain, and so many, many more that ranged from Western thrills and comedic cars. Now, we get Marvel and live-action remakes of classic Disney animated features.
Disney films seem to be on a downward trend. If we eliminate the animated features, the live-action remakes, the Marvel films, and films based on actual Disney park attractions, what are we left with?
The last film that doesn't fit into those categories was Cruella in 2021. The film was not a newly inspired original but at least it was "original."
Over the last several years, Disney has given us Hocus Pocus 2, Disenchanted, another Night at the Museum film, and a remake of Cheaper by the Dozen. Peter Pan & Wendy may have been a retelling story of the legendary Peter Pan but at least was something different.
Some of those were not Disney films but were in partnership with other companies or just distributed by Disney. Looking over the films of the last decade, you have to go back to 2018 when Christopher Robin and A Wrinkle in Time were both released.
Is there anything upcoming in the non-animated, non-retread world? Not much.
Young Woman and the Sea does not have a release date set. The film explores Gertrude Ederle's real life as a gold medal swimmer and the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
Disney isn't alone in this continued slide into redeveloping films. All of Hollywood has continued to make, remake, and regurgitate films from as late as the 1990s.
The theater box office isn't bringing in the kind of money it used to and post-COVID hasn't returned to pre-pandemic numbers. Still, something has to give and I think we all should have expected more from Disney Pictures.
I guess we can take comfort in knowing that there will be another Cruella movie, another one or two Pirates of the Caribbean films, sequels to Mulan and Frozen, and even a Zootopia sequel.
Like many Disney fans, there is a longing for more original ideas to showcase on a bigger screen that are fun, full of humor, and not stories we have already watched play out a hundred times already.