'Aladdin' director John Musker rips Disney for focusing too much on political messaging instead of entertaining

Disney Filmmaker John Musker recently went after The Walt Disney Company for prioritizing political messaging amid the ongoing culture wars instead of putting the focus on entertainment, according to Fox News Digital.

Musker has become a legendary name for directing some of the studio’s most popular films over the past few decades. He directed “The Little Mermaid,” “Moana,” and “Aladdin.”

‘The classic Disney films didn’t start out trying to have a message. They wanted you to get involved in the characters and the story and the world.’

In a recent interview, he noted that the company needed to stay away from woke messaging in its films and prioritize the characters and stories.

“I think they need to do a course correction a bit in terms of putting the message secondary, behind entertainment and compelling story and engaging characters,” Musker said during an interview with Spanish outlet El Pais.

Musker also co-directed 2009’s “The Princess and Frog,” which was criticized for being woke. However, the director said that the political messaging was not his focus in the making of the film.

“We weren’t trying to be woke, although I understand the criticism,” Musker added.

“The classic Disney films didn’t start out trying to have a message. They wanted you to get involved in the characters and the story and the world, and I think that’s still the heart of it,” the filmmaker added. “You don’t have to exclude agendas, but you have to first create characters who you sympathize with and who are compelling.”

World of Reel reported that Musker’s suggestion falls in line with what Disney CEO Bob Iger said would be happening within the company. He said that the company would focus more on entertaining rather than expressing political messages.

Disney has experienced a slew of box office disappointments, including the 2022 film “Lightyear,” which focused on pro-LGBTQ messaging rather than the origin story of Buzz Lightyear from “Toy Story.” The company has since laid off many employees, and they have lost 2.4 million subscribers from its Disney+ streaming platform.

At the time, Pixar’s CCO Peter Docter did not mention that “Lightyear” flopped because of political messaging, but because the company asked too much of the audience.

“We’ve done a lot of soul-searching about that because we all love the movie. We love the characters and the premise,” Docter told The Wrap.

“I think probably what we’ve ended on in terms of what went wrong is that we asked too much of the audience. When they hear Buzz, they’re like, ‘Great, where’s Mr. Potato Head and Woody and Rex?’ And then we drop them into this science fiction film that they’re like, ‘What?’”

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