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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

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Charlotte
Charlotte Stephens
Yearbook Co Student Life Editor

(she/her) Charlotte is a sophomore at West High and this is her first year on staff. She is Co-Student-Life-Editor of the Yearbook. In her free time you can find her hanging out with friends or family,...

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What’s happened to Disney?

Let’s talk about the lack of the Disney magic.
Walt+Disney+and+Mickey+Mouse+going+in+different+directions.
Airi Thompson
Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse going in different directions.

Disney Channel is a familiar name that Gen Z and early Millennials have kept as nostalgic memories. Disney Channel was founded in 1988 and immediately became a hit with shows like “That’s So Raven” and “Jessie.” These shows captured the essence of Disney: humor, creativity and entertainment. My experience with Disney Channel growing up was always memorable; starting from age six even up to now, binge-watching shows like “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Liv and Maddie” made my childhood so special and unforgettable, but as the years go on Disney no longer has given its viewers that nostalgic and fluttery feeling; so what has changed?
The new Disney productions have no personality, and it’s always the same plot with the same setup and main character with the personality of a blank sheet of paper. The main character is always trying to find something that sets them apart from others, but in reality, they have nothing different about them; it only changes the plot and confuses viewers. The Disney movie series “Zombies” is a perfect example of why Disney needs to stop forcing characters with no influence to have a whole new background story. In the movie series “Zombies” the main character, Addison, tries so hard to fit in and find her clique with the zombies because she “doesn’t fit in with the humans” even though she’s not a struggling minority like the zombies in her town and everyone likes her; Disney decided to make two more movies about Addison finding her crowd. Eventually, she does, but the storyline doesn’t make sense since she already has friends who like her.

Disney has also habitually continued to run shows that don’t need to be continued. They missed so many opportunities to end shows like “Bunk’d” and “Ravens Home” in a way that’s both tear-jerking and satisfying, but they continue to run these shows, hoping for good ratings. During the first few seasons of “Ravens Home” and “Bunk’d,” there were high ratings and demand for more episodes. Still, those ratings have decreased as the newer seasons have come out. People no longer find these shows enjoyable because Disney has chosen to get rid of vital characters who’ve helped make the show what it is. They’ve created a whole new storyline, which is only a repetition of the older episodes, just with new actors and more corny lines written by an older generation trying to sound cool using “Gen Z slang.”

More recently, Disney has also become more “woke,” and in some ways, it’s not bad, but Disney has come to the conclusion that since people enjoy seeing a more woke and inclusive side to Disney Channel, they’re going to make every show and have a deep end-of-story “woke message.” or change an original character to be seen as inclusive.

“We want original Black characters. Think of Ariel; I’m not mad that they made her Black. In fact, I think it’s amazing to see little Black girls have another princess that looks like them. But Disney is only reusing an original tale to make money and call it representation”

— Alicia Austin

The topic of being more inclusive towards POC and the LGBTQ is excellent. Still, Disney overly embraces inclusivity; it comes off as forced and no longer makes these new Disney shows and movie remakes as enjoyable. Of course, there are some instances in which Disney does a fantastic job with inclusivity, especially with “The Princess and the Frog” and “Encanto.” Still, their want to be inclusive for their profit and gain has sparked a controversy that turned these shows and movies that are supposed to be enjoyable into debates on what’s racist, homophobic and/or sexist. A good solution that would help Disney would be to create shows and movies that represent different communities with less stereotypical and more relatable characters. Although Disney is in its struggling era, it will still always be remembered for its amazing Disney magic and still has many opportunities to create new, fascinating ideas.

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About the Contributors
Neema Ash, FOJ Intern
Neema is super excited to be an intern this year on staff. She is a junior this year.
Airi Thompson, Assistant News Editor
This is Airi's first year on staff, they are a senior. They are super excited to be this year's Assistant News Editor.
Donate to West Side Story
$1385
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Contributed
Our Goal

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