Episode 82: How Disney Lost Its Groove


Last week, I talked about my problems with the Disney animated films before the Little Mermaid and the Disney Renaissance. This week, I’d like to talk about the movies after that period and what went wrong.

After Tarzan, Disney still cranked out an animated film a year. But this time, these films just weren’t clicking with the audience. This is the period fans call the Post Disney Renaissance era. Yeah, it’s not too clever but you don’t need to be clever when you’re describing a bummer of a period.

The Post Disney Renaissance era actually started out fairly strong. For me, the era started with Fantasia 2000. From what I’ve read, some fans consider the movie to be part of the Disney Renaissance period. But, since I don’t really care that much for it, I usually leave it off the list. Fantasia 2000 was still well-liked by critics, though. I don’t see why but I’m not critiquing the film, so let’s move on!

Disney then released The Emperor’s New Groove which apparently went through a very troubled developmental cycle. The entire film was overhauled a couple of times and even changed directions mid-production. Yet, even with all of the problems the film went through, the final Emperor’s New Groove was still well received but just didn’t make as much money as the Disney Renaissance films. I think it was funny… hilarious even! but there was something missing.

Then came the totally forgettable Atlantis: The Lost Empire. When I say forgettable, I mean it! I literally for the life of me can’t recall a single detail from this movie! I know I watched it in the movie house but, try as I might, I can’t remember a single scene, line or character from that film! I can’t even say it’s a bad film because I can’t remember if it’s awful or not!

Thankfully, Disney got their act together with Lilo and Stitch… sorta. I mean, out of all of the films from the Post Disney Renaissance era, Lilo and Stitch is the best one. It was a fun adventure and Stitch is an extremely likeable and adorable person… err, alien. The two leads certainly have a lot of personality. But still, in retrospect, there was still something missing with Lilo and Stitch, in my opinion.

I do love how the original teasers cleverly insert the Disney Renaissance movies, though. Take note: they didn’t bother to do the same thing with The Emperor’s New Groove. Why do you think that is?

Anyway, after Lilo and Stitch, it was all downhill from there. Disney just kept crapping out animated movies on a yearly basis. Treasure Planet. Brother Bear. Home on the Range. These movies barely makes a blip on the radar of Disney fans! If anyone says any of these three movies are their favorite Disney film, back away from them! They’re probably psychotic! Oh, there was also Chicken Little (a total meh) and Meet The Robinsons (which was kind of good but nothing truly great).

So, what happened? Okay, I’m not an expert at this but I can give my opinion on why the films after the Disney Renaissance weren’t that good.

I think one of the reasons is the animation quality just wasn’t as good. I actually think it happened during the Disney Renaissance with Hercules and Tarzan. You can already see how jerky some of the animation sequences in those films. As a kid, I didn’t really notice it that much but, as I got older and re-watched them, I did start to observe that the animation quality started to suffer.

Also, the characters weren’t as interesting. Among all of the Disney Renaissance films, the only ones I really liked were The Emperor’s New Groove and Lilo and Stitch. These two movies have extremely likable characters! With The Emperor’s New Groove, I love Yzma and Kronk’s banter and the two play well off each other. With Lilo and Stitch, you can actually see the two of them are better off when they’re together; an important part of a successful duo!

But, for me, the biggest reason why these films didn’t do as well is because, well, Disney didn’t try hard enough! They felt the need to crank out a movie every year without even thinking if the movie would be any good or not. Maybe they didn’t give enough time to really flesh out their ideas properly. Maybe they started rushing them out, hoping that kids will watch it anyway. Kids are dumb, after all, right?

I think that the main reason why these movies suffered. The people at Disney were just too burnt out to make a great movie and just kept on shoving a new product out the door, hoping they could recapture the same magic of the Disney Renaissance. They didn’t.

Thankfully, Disney found an outside party that understood how to create the old Disney magic! And I’ll write about them next time!

Can you guess?

Can you guess?

What do you think happened to the movies after the Disney Renaissance? What went wrong? Let your opinions be heard in the comments section below!



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