Late Stage Disney | Renegade Cut

Late Stage Disney | Renegade Cut

So unless you’ve been living under a rock
on Mars with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears you probably already know that
from 1989 through 1999, Disney’s animation output is considered the Renaissance. After a lackluster period often called the
Dark Ages, Walt Disney Animation Studios got their act together and started creating feature
films that were critical and commercial successes again. We generally name eras after the fact once
we have better perspective of what it actually accomplished or how good or bad it was. Maybe it’s premature to give the new Disney
live action movies a name since Disney has not, but I feel like I need to anyway – otherwise
it’s going to sound very clumsy and we just can’t have that. Superficially, the only thing these movies
have in common is that they’re part of an internal initiative to resurrect old Disney
properties. The recent Disney live action movies are mostly
remakes but they are also prequels or sequels or a bit of both depending on the movie. Pete’s Dragon is a live action remake of another
mostly live action movie, and The Lion King is hardly live action at all. So we can’t just call them the “Disney
live action remakes” because some don’t fit that criteria for one reason or another. If we have to call the good Disney movies
from the late 80s and 90s the Renaissance and the bad Disney movies from earlier the
Dark Age then I have decided all on my own and with no input from anyone else to call
this swath of movies late-stage Disney. The Late Stage Disney live action remakes,
sequels and prequels do not technically have an official series name but are very much
part of the same marketing initiative. We’ll make it a hashtag. Who can stop me? So, besides the superficial, what do these
movies have in common? Well. The late-stage Disney movies contain deeply
disingenuous themes and a pale imitation of post-modernism that only jokingly mocks its
own canon and deconstructs not to criticize but to defend itself from criticism of its
own place in late stage capitalism. [PART 1: Late Stage Capitalism] Late-stage
capitalism or late capitalism for kind of short is a stage in which capital becomes
so dominant that everything is commodified. Commodification is the transformation of goods,
services and ideas into objects of trade. That sounds super basic, but in late-stage
capitalism, everything is up for commodification including things that need not be commodified
like, say, water and people. An oversimplication of the stages of capitalism
– meaning private ownership of the means of production — is that from around 1700
to 1870, we had a “free competition capitalism” stage in which we saw explosive growth of
industrial capital in domestic markets. 1870 through the beginning of World War II
was a “monopoly capitalism” stage characterized by neo-imperialism and exploitation of colonies. Late-stage capitalism is where we are today,
post-World War II, characterized by growing multinational corporations and mass consumption. This simplification, however, ignores the
fact that exploitation of other countries by more powerful countries still happens,
and “monopoly” capitalism is still rearing its head. Disney, for example, due to recent purchases
of Marvel, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox and Hulu now owns significantly more of the market
share than the number two and three competitors. Market share represents the percentage of
an industry, or a market’s total sales, that is earned by a particular company over a specified
time period. Market share is calculated by taking the company’s
sales over the period and dividing it by the total sales of the industry over the same
period. This metric is used to give a general idea
of the size of a company in relation to its market and its competitors. Disney’s recent acquisitions and aggressive
moves in the theater industry have given it an approximate 40% of the market share. Detractors would say this is not technically
a “monopoly,” but this percentage does give Disney significantly more power in its
various endeavors than its competitors. Capitalists defend this as a fair outcome
of “competition” in the market, but capitalism inevitable moves toward either monopoly or
growth that allows mega-corporations to have greater and greater control over our lives. Late-stage capitalism is also called that
because capitalism is not sustainable forever and it’s only a matter of time before humanity
is forced into creating a different economic system. Capitalism, through mass media, gives us the
impression that there can’t be anything but the current economic stage in which we live. Capitalism reinforces itself through media,
through consumption, through everything in our daily lives. It hypnotizes us into thinking this is the
only way. But if past is prologue, capitalism can’t
last. Before capitalism, there was feudalism, before
feudalism, economics were held together through slavery, before that, there was something
else, and so forth. Late-stage capitalism has also become the
kind of go to catch phrase for explaining absurdities related to capital like Budweiser
spending $5 million to advertise how it donated only $100,000 to clean water or how Amazon
CEO Jeff Bezos has enough money to theoretically buy every homeless American a house and still
have $19.2 billion left over. He definitely will not be doing that. Late-stage capitalism is the end result of
capitalism: the final consolidation of power through capital. Late-stage capitalism as a term is also used
to describe the bottomless abyss of creative bankruptcy mixed with paradoxical customer
loyalty from emerging mega-corporations like Apple or Disney. Disney owns us as customers and can give us
any old thing, and so long as it’s Disney, the lines to buy it or see it will wrap around
the corner. Enter: late-stage Disney. A series of live action movies that bank on
us having heard of the license or product before in order to see it and regardless of
quality will almost certainly earn a profit, which will allow Disney to buy more properties
and even more of the market share. Disney owns that Simpson’s reference from
a couple minutes ago, please don’t Content ID me, Disney. This will continue until they become the mega-corporation
that previously only existed in science fiction but predicted by economists for the better
part of a century. And what are we sacrificing ourselves unto
the altar of capitalism for? What is so precious that we are enabling monopolies? A bunch of movies that run the gamut of very
bad, mostly bad, forgettable, passable and Aladdin. I can’t blame the rise of Disney and late-stage
capitalism on these live action movies, of course. Disney is a symptom more than a driving force. This is systemic. Also, even if it were not, Disney’s Marvel
Cinematic Universe and Star Wars movies are bigger earners. Late Stage live action Disney is simply a
better example of late-stage capitalism and a better vision of what life is going to be
like unless we can change the world for the better and not the worse following the end
of this economic system. You know, bad and flavorless and de-humanizing. [Part 2: I Blame Tim Burton] Like most things
in life, this is Tim Burton’s fault. In 2010, Timmy Scissorhands released the live
action remake of Alice in Wonderland, a tired slog of an adventure through Burton’s now
empty imagination. It was around this time that we all collectively
began to realize that Burton was nowhere as subversive as we once thought. His earlier films mocked yuppie culture and
pretentious upper class whites but with no real interest in examining the systems that
supported said culture. In Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Beetlejuice,
the victims of upper class whites were simply mildly less well-to-do whites, their positions
in life widely unquestioned and the damage they do to other characters being the products
of personality quirks rather than systemic disparity. Authority figures are just as often endearing
as they are dangerous, perhaps more so. Burton’s Alice has some of its own trappings. Put a pin in that, we will return to it. Later that year, Disney released The Sorcerer’s
Apprentice, extremely loosely based on the only scene from Fantasia that everyone remembers. There had been Disney live action remakes
before, but they were few and far between. Burton’s Wonderland spawned not only a sequel
but a big push for a series of unrelated but brand-connected movies at least once a year
and eventually multiple times a year. This became late-stage Disney, a recycling
of old properties rather than risking their stake in the market share with new ideas. Nearly every late stage Disney movie deconstructs
previous Disney canon, Disney mythos or even Walt Disney himself and the corporation he
founded. Unfortunately for anyone expecting honest
introspection and genuine deconstruction of some Disney’s most egregious actions or
failures, the late stage Disney movies instead only playfully mock its own shortcomings,
becoming less of a critique of itself and more a like a roast: a humorous recognition
of shortcomings with the goal of praising rather than critiquing. This sneaks into animated Disney pictures,
too. But we see this more consistently in regurgitated
live action late stage Disney. Did I expect Disney to genuinely critique
itself? No. It is not in the interest of capitalists to
sincerely criticize capitalism or other hierarchical structures that support capitalism. I’m not surprised, I’m only explaining
what Disney is doing and why. [PART 3: What Is Disney Doing and Why?] Disney is “deconstructing” and “modernizing”
its mythos by taking the safest possible political position, presenting it as “woke” and
deflecting criticism about its role in both the economic and cultural landscapes. It’s a charm offensive in the era of growing
interest in socialism among young people and growing knowledge of what mega-corporations
are actually selling us. Late Stage Disney is fake wokeness, a flimsy
attempt at recuperation of radical politics by capitalism. Example: In Burton’s Alice in Wonderland,
Alice is faced with a system in which choices are made for her and she needs to marry a
man. And then she goes to Wonderland where a different
system has also made a choice for her. A literal prophecy in Wonderland that puts
her in great danger and a deeply uncomfortable social expectation in the normal world. The fact that the system that forces her to
take on the Red Queen gives her some armor and a sword doesn’t mean she has more choices,
only a different choice. It’s the most superficial reading of what
“feminism” is that has been put to screen in recent years. Beauty and the Beast has a scene in which
Belle is teaching a young girl how to read. A townsperson, the living embodiment of the
patriarchy, finger-wags at her, even though women’s literacy was not uncommon during the
time period of the film. Late Stage Beauty and the Beast is perhaps
even less “woke” than the animated film because it portrays the ignorant and dangerous
townspeople are merely misunderstood and under a spell. This is a gross mischaracterization. The original showed how “othering” and
a charismatic leader can lead to de-humanization and violence. Claiming the small, mean-spirited, easily-led
townspeople are only misunderstood is a terrible reading of the room in 2017, the year this
was released. Essentially, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and
the Beast and other late stage Disney products contain the “safe” version of feminism
– first wave feminism, paraphrased by men as “Well, women shouldn’t be…property,
I guess. They can vote – sometimes.” A feminism that is only as “woke” as the
1920’s. Late Stage Disney won’t tackle socialist feminism,
the recognition that patriarchy and capitalism are interconnected and that unequal hierarchies
feed or are supported by other unequal hierarchies. Again, it’s not in the interest of capitalists
to sincerely criticize hierarchical structures that support capitalism. By giving Belle a scene in which a caricature
of a misogynist condemns her for knowing how to read, Disney can pretend that it’s deconstructing
its previous, more passive women protagonists from the 1930’s through the 1950’s while actually
only advocating for a feminism that was popular prior to the 1930’s. Its politics are not even contemporaneous
with the era in which it’s allegedly deconstructing. Similarly, Late Stage Beauty and the Beast
allegedly featured the first “openly gay” Disney character, and you can no doubt sense
those scare quotes around “openly” because all that happened was Le Fou danced with a
man for two seconds. Le Fou’s “gay moment” is so not gay that
the scene wasn’t even censored in Russia or China, two huge socially conservative markets
for Disney. Beauty and the Beast made Disney an extra
$14 million from Russian audiences and $85 million from Chinese audiences. Beauty and the Beast is not “woke” for
having a character who is never even confirmed as gay in 2017. Two men dancing together in a film from 2017
is not progressive. Here is a short film of two men dancing together
from 1895. Disney capitalized on the minor uproar about
its alleged “wokeness” and received a lot of free press for its film. That’s it. Disney’s defense from criticism that it historically
and contemporaneously reinforces status quo gender roles and status quo heteronormativity
was to have a movie with gender politics that conform to the feminism of one hundred years
ago and sexuality that was depicted in the late 19th century. [PART 4: The Friendly Millionaires and Billionaires]
The most notable pro-capitalism message that flows through late-stage Disney is that of
the friendly millionaire. Capitalists love telling us that there is
a difference between capitalism and greed, but capitalism is a system that explicitly
rewards greed and does not reward much of anything else. Disparity between the rich and poor under
capitalism is not a bug, it’s the system functioning as it was designed to. That’s not cynicism, that’s just literally
what a hierarchical system does. And it’s actually getting worse over time. The idea that capitalism, the economic system
that dominates the world, makes us all rich or even content and able to pay the bills
is a fairy tale worthy of Disney. Speaking of which, let’s get back to those
friendly millionaires and billionaires. Mary Poppins returns is the story of a family
facing sudden economic hardship. The bank is not helping them, they’re gonna
lose the house, and the children are understandably distraught. Mary Poppins sings a series of songs about
the joys of being happy, Jack the Cockney lamplighter dances the blues away, and that
is, apparently, the best advice available to privileged people with brief economic concerns
that will eventually be handled with minimal trouble. Mary Poppins Returns does not portray the
bank – a physical stand-in for the system of capitalism – as the antagonist. No. Only…some people…who work at the bank. The family is visited by two men – one kind
and one unkind – who deliver the bad financial news. Then the family encounters a greedy millionaire
and a friendly millionaire! The greedy millionaire wants all that money,
but the friendly millionaire wins in the end and saves the family! This happens in Christopher Robin as well. Christopher has an antagonistic relationship
with Winslow Jr. – the bad capitalist – but he is saved by Winslow Sr. – the good capitalist. The friendly millionaire. Capitalism isn’t the problem, no sir. Only “greedy” capitalists, a few bad apples,
not the system. Perish the thought! That is how movies like these frame capitalism:
essentially good for everyone and any issues within the system can be explained away by
a handful of ne’er-do-wells. Mary Poppins Returns and Christopher Robin
individualize hardship under capitalism. One last time: It is not in the interest of
capitalists to sincerely criticize capitalism. By framing capitalism this way, Disney skirts
around the issue of capitalism itself being the problem. Don’t think about it too hard, everyone! Just watch Dick Van Dyke dance on the table! Pay no attention to the capitalism behind
the curtain! Watch him dance. WATCH HIM DANCE. [PART 5: Dumbo? More like…Dum…f*** this movie] So, earlier
this year, the remake of Dumbo hit the theaters, courtesy of Tim Burton. Ah, we’ve come full…something, haven’t we? Even Dumbo, a movie with clear references
to Disneyland, is not an indictment of The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney himself or
capitalism. The film’s antagonist, V.A. Vandavere, is not some much a Disney stand-in
as a “What if?” AUDIO 8
What if good ol’ Uncle Walt had been replaced by this P.T. Barnum figure? Dumbo does not condemn Walt Disney. Dumbo replaces Walt Disney with a figure that
does not resemble the mythological Walt Disney that the Disney Company has long sold us. This is not Burton lashing out against Disney. If it were, Disney would never release it,
and it doesn’t fit with Burton’s politics. Matthew Dessem of Slate wrote: “The answer
is that we’re not meant to reconcile it as much as we’re meant to forgive it. The Vandevere subplot in Dumbo is not a sincere
critique of the business practices of the Walt Disney Company—how could it be?—nor
does it have anything much to say about art under capitalism, or even Tim Burton’s feelings
about his once and future employer. The climactic sequence, in which the recently
fired members of DeVito’s circus steal Dumbo and his mother from Vandevere, sort of works
as a metaphor for Burton returning to Disney to rescue Frankenweenie and Jack Skellington,
except that Burton didn’t steal them back: Disney paid him money to try to make the company
more money from ideas it didn’t think it could make any money from back in the 1980s. The nudges and winks in Dumbo about Disney’s
predatory practices are an invitation from filmmaker to audience to share a knowing chuckle
over the essential soullessness of the entire enterprise.” That’s a good way to describe Disney’s self-reflection. Not true deconstruction but only a knowing
chuckle. Because capitalism, the movie tells us, is
not the problem. It’s never the system. It’s always…some individual. Everyone else within the system is good and
pure. You know…like Walt Disney! I was joking about this being Tim Burton’s
fault, to be clear. This is systemic, not individual. The aforementioned explosion of income inequality,
repeated cycles of boom and bust and capitalism’s disastrous contributions to climate change
has led economists and political scientists to begin to seriously consider how a post-capitalist
society would look and function. But it needs to happen sooner rather than
later. Climate change is not going to give us a lot
of time, and people currently living in extreme poverty don’t have fifty years for capitalists
to have a “come to Jesus” moment. Don’t expect Disney to inspire people to fight
capitalism either. They’re not “woke” and that word has lost
all meaning anyway. I bet the new Lion King doubles down on the
original’s “watch out for those dirty poors” messaging. [long, gagging sigh]

David Anderson

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100 thoughts on “Late Stage Disney | Renegade Cut

  1. Renegade Cut says:

    Please don't write a comment that amounts to "Debate me!" and especially don't write multiple comments to spam my section. If you can't imagine a world without capitalism, that's called Capitalist Realism. If you want to know more, read the book of the same name. If you want to know more about what the world could be like post-capitalism, Google "post-capitalism" and start there. I'm an educator and a former classroom teacher. That means I'm a lecturer, not an individual tutor. If your comment is "Oh yeah? Then what do YOU think we should do?" then you're probably not asking in good faith because if you wanted to learn, there are infinite resources at your disposal outside a comments section. If you ask it that way, what you really want is (specifically) me to perform for you.

  2. Seymon Says says:

    You weren't wrong about the new Lion King and that's the terrifying part.

  3. Cora says:

    The title of this video 👌 perfect

  4. hibiscuit-rose says:

    the first gay characters in disney were them lesbians in toy story 4
    actually that was pixar not disney

  5. Voivoda Dracula says:

    I ask for a future with Hover boards, Jaws 3D, Shrek 12, cybernetic implants, replicants and all i get is Will Smith as the Genie

  6. Duke Vilhern says:

    Half of these live action movies I can’t even remember (edit: I actually learned about remakes I didn’t even know about)

    Disney is going to kill movies, I’m already not looking forward to MCU phase 4 and Star Wars.

  7. Wilbe says:

    Entertainment commentary mixed with political critique? 😳 #subscribed

  8. Steven Shipman says:

    Brilliant analysis! Thanks!

  9. ScarletW says:

    I wonder if there's any nostalgic significance to the 'friendly billionaire' often being an older patriarch, not a young person?

    If I had to guess there's a level of nostalgia there, of believing that we are in uniquely greedy times and that the men of capital have lost control of the beast, but they used to have it well in hand. It's mythologizing not current billionaires necessarily, but this older breed of capital that supposedly was better (and subtly associating that with the brand, obviously).

    I mean then there's Tony Stark, but we're talking the late-stage live actions.

  10. matt k. says:

    Disney has only been releasing about a dozen films each year. Next year, the company will release 19 while each of its competitors will release well over 20. Disney's movies just perform better commercially, so its total share of box-office revenues is higher than that of the other studios, which are powerful behemoths in their own rights: AT&T (Time Warner), Comcast (NBCUniversal), Sony, Viacom, CBS, Netflix, Amazon, etc.

  11. ktmd03 says:

    This is very thorough, well-thought-out, and well elaborated. Nice work.

  12. Mariah Mickens says:

    I want to cry because this is so spot on. Thank you for helping my anxiety for 20 minutes

  13. Sexy Corn says:

    All I have to say it’s Mary Poppins Returns was great

  14. Amane Mizuhashi says:

    Goddamn, that’s a hell of a Marxist argument. Well done 👍

  15. kimber Lee says:

    Also not surprised, but glad you’re here to put this whole thing into a better context that I ever could

  16. Charlotte Deville says:

    Consider the tea spilled

  17. j szers24 says:

    Bernie 2020

  18. screwhal underhill says:

    I really like the from lungs to the tongue approach in this video. I feel you.

  19. Aidan Madiba Suess says:

    Diiiiiiiiid not see that coming

  20. SimsSlave says:

    One of the best videos I’ve watched in a long time.

  21. Evan Williams says:

    While all of these remakes are essentially shite, I have hope that a feminine touch like Niki Caro's Mulan might be able to glean more about modern feminism that the slightly problematic original's various caricatures. Here's to hoping

  22. Fuzzycuffsqt says:

    To be fair, the difference between capitalism and greed is four whole syllables.

  23. DrivenByRage says:

    Disney has gone from Dream Factory, to Remake Factory. Assembly line movies for one reason…profits. These days it's more about pleasing the stockholders, not the audience.

  24. HyuugaC0bicat says:

    Gooood stuff

  25. Leviosa Lily says:

    why are we letting corporations tell our stories?

  26. debbie graund says:

    "Impovershed people do not have fifty years to wait for capitalists to have a come to jesus moment." LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK.

  27. Rubiecat says:

    sigh at least we'll always have the Paddington movies…

  28. Robin says:

    looking at how disney is becoming a mega corporation thats slowly encompassing and controlling more and more of the entertainment industry makes me want to look at the depiction of buy n large in wall-e. i think its really interesting how its portrayed and the themes of that movie of environmentalism, human responsibility, and anti consumerism considering what disney is doing now. i think some of those themes are way more prevalent than others. despite bnl being depicted as irresponsible and the cause of pollution it isnt ever harshly critiqued and the system of capitalism itself isnt called into question. but its there in a small degree and its interesting since i cant see disney making the same movie today.

  29. Elizabeth Armitage says:

    Great analysis! I actually saw the lion king yesterday (with a free ticket) and it was almost identical to the cartoon, surprise surprise. The animation was stunning, but I can't help but wonder how a film with an actual story to tell might have benefited from the visuals.

  30. Brigit says:

    This video + Lindsay Ellis' "Revisionist World of Disney" pair very well together and especially help put into words the simultaneous enjoyment and unease I've felt about the themes in Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns (and Saving Mr. Banks too) — any critiques they offer are of individual shortcomings and not the increasingly apparent systemic issues beneath.

  31. Jack Ayers says:

    Great video, but I'd argue that 'Enchanted' was the film that started this trend, rather than Tim Burton's Alice.

  32. Jessica Lawford says:

    Ooooh boy my Marxist body is ready

  33. Fatgrl'sED says:

    Holy crap I love this video

  34. Robert Dullnig says:

    I feel like the current wave of Disney remakes really started with the 2016 Jungle Book, which got a lot of critical attention and praise for its realistic CGI. It seems like a lot of the ones since then have tried to emulate that success with mixed results.

  35. Prinses op de Pingpongbal says:

    Ladies and gentlemen! … and Aladdin

  36. Eat At Joe's says:

    What Disney needs is competition. They don't have it, so therefore they're acting like they're God now.

  37. Vegito Blue says:

    Yeah. I realized this too. They are just remaking everything they made before, instead of making new ones. This is the beginning of the end. Lets prepare.

  38. newguy90 says:

    There was an old radio show back in the 50s called "X-minus-one".

    In one story, automation had driven everyone into unemployment. Businesses were panicking because no one could afford to buy their products anymore. They approached a programmer to solve the problem since he was the one who created the automatons in the first place. The programmer's solution was to program desire into all the automatons, then give them a salary based on their output. As a result, the automatons became the businesses' new customers and the programmer was given a Nobel Prize.

  39. Little Bear Schwarz says:

    "…and Aladdin."

  40. Little Bear Schwarz says:

    "Like most things in life, this is Tim Burton's fault."

    I spit my drink. Thank you.

  41. Mostafa Ali says:

    Good sir … you just reminded me why I hate modern Disney sooo much … god bless you … keep the good videos coming …. by the way your video on james bond was very informative

  42. Dragoneta Slayer says:

    Yea live action lion king made me realise how much it goes on about bloodlines and it was super uncomfortable it reminds me of an organisation I tried to work with that’s fake wokeness cycled back round to another type or racism I won’t get into my problems with them but one event was when they asked a room of us what biodiversity was then seemed disappointed when everyone gave them a reasonable definition because they wanted shots of people not knowing and having it explained to them the (all white) team explained how they wanted to fix realism by explaining to people through allegories about biodiversity

    The problem with this boils down to it being dehumanising and biodiversity having groups playing a consistent they can’t really leave having any group be explicitly the predators or pray ruins the allegory as prey benefit from population control to stop them over consuming their food source benefiting the prey in the long run this doesn’t work with humans and I fear just straight arguing for diversity has less unfortunate implications.

  43. Ugly Cactus says:

    Disney is cancer

  44. MyMyClank says:

    Brilliant. Puts do much inyo prospective

  45. That boi sami says:

    The new beauty and the beast didn’t even actually have the first gay Disney character lmao

  46. MapleMilk says:

    The fuck is art, anyway?
    -Just a miserable pile of secrets-
    Just a billboard for shaving cream or something

  47. Madison Stoner says:

    I am disappointed you didn't take the opportunity to say "We've come full circus , haven't we"

  48. All-in-the-golden-afternoon96 says:

    Speaking as a member of the Lewis Carroll society, in regards to burton, his Alice is not a remake of the 51 film nor an adaptation of Carroll's novels, deliberately ignoring or disregarding established canon in regards to Carroll. It makes Carroll's novels normal, which is In my eyes unforgivable.

    In regards to monopoly, I'm inclined to agree with folktale scholar Jack Zipes's comments on Disney and their films. Namely that Disney has branded their versions of the traditional oral fairy tale as the "legitimate" version, thus making it harder for other versions of these tales to gain prominence. Late stage Disney's fairy tale films, wether reimaginings or straight remakes of their animations, remind the viewer of the monopoly they have on the fairy tale genre and assert their prominence.

  49. merchantfan says:

    I'm surprised you didn't mention that these movies also mean they're able to basically make the same movie twice, without paying the original scriptwriters as animation scriptwriters have a different union. So the whole thing is an act of ripping off their workers.

  50. Phillip Metzger says:

    TURN ON CLOSED CAPTIONING!! Some of the best jokes are in there. #LateStageDisney "please don't content ID me" LOL

  51. SAM LALLMAN says:

    Came for trashing on Disney, stayed for the anti-capitalism 👌🏼

  52. Cultural, Arts and Politics Review says:

    I'm shocked that you have stayed relatively quiet about the MCU. There is lot of neo-liberal capitalist messaging in the last two big movies. I mean, it's a world where a billionaire tech giant creates time travel by talking to Siri in his living room and gets all the glory as the martyr because of his own patented nano technology. Like Elon Musk's wet dream or something haha. The dead giveaway with hidden anti-socialist agenda is the parallel between Captain America and Thanos, where Thanos is the villain who strives to create a better world where resources are distributed equally with everybody, while Captain America believes the world is fine how it is and in fact chooses to live in old 1940s America regardless of knowledge of all the progress of the future. It's hard not to see Thanos as some kind of depiction of a communist Stalin figure, while Captain America is depicted as the most angelic figure being that he's an all american patriotic boy scout.

  53. eartianfizz says:

    Capitalism wears the clothes of dissent but does not actually embody it.

  54. eartianfizz says:

    They got people by the balls because of childhood. 😭😭😭

  55. eartianfizz says:

    That Cristopher Robin movie kinda ground my heart into dust . 😭😭😭😭

  56. luke's not joking says:

    i love me some media analysis with critique of capitalist culture sprinkled on top

  57. grcfrn says:

    Capitalism: Endgame

  58. Clarina Mascarenhas says:

    La Fou was so creepy in the live action. It was not the correct portrayal of a gay man.

  59. Incisive Commenter says:

    Disney is not woke

  60. TheWarrrenator says:

    Late Stage Disney = LSD! HA!

  61. Nevin Zehr says:

    Watching Disney trying to triangulate grifting western audiences into thinking they're woke without alienating the international market is hilarious

  62. Han 68000 says:

    I love your cuts and have been viewing you for a while
    I’m always curious though you always criticize the media that pushes capitalist agendas but I’m curious are then any movies you feel actually DO provide a good deconstruction of capitalism, media, or any of the other topics you talk about?

  63. Kenneth Frierson says:

    Timmy Scissor Hands 😆

  64. Jose P. Montoya says:

    In third world countries, the cold war was never cold. And it was never over.

  65. GunsmokeHGS says:

    Wait, Tim Burton had appeal as a subversive creator, and here I just thought his style of gothic whimsy was all that made him popular.

  66. Josef Hill says:

    Brilliant, as always. Thanks 👌🏼

  67. Engine Mashups says:

    This essay, along with the Independence Day / American Exceptionalism one, inspired my dissertation for my Bachelor’s! Thanks dude, keep up the good work

  68. Cry Fry says:

    Ughh my anxiety… Can we eat the rich already…

  69. Alicia Nyblade says:

    Damn. I knew about Disney's "wokeness", but I never realized it went so deep as to continuously prop up capitalism until you pointed it out. You also summed up their pandering to what's now considered the bare minimum of feminism but was considered radically groundbreaking circa 1920. And I think there's something to be said about how Disney figures like Mulan and Elsa are praised for being "strong feminist icons" and yet nobody these days talks about Esmeralda. My theory is that it's because she's not as marketable. She's not an aloof, queenly heroine like Elsa who spends most of her film suffering her burdens in silence and in the gilded cage of a palace. She's not an obvious badass like Mulan who has several awesome "transforming for battle" montages set to great music.

    Instead, Esmeralda is an ethnic and social minority in the world of her story. She's an outcast. An outspoken outcast who makes her opinions known through simple acts of kindness, brutally honest words, or blatant defiance, whichever the situation calls for. She displays compassion when it's unpopular yet doesn't fall for the man who sees her as an angel. She wholeheartedly embraces her sexuality yet would rather be burned alive than become another man's sex slave. She does find love, yes, but with a man who sees her as a woman, and she lets that relationship bud naturally without rushing toward it or making it the end-all, be-all of her existence. In short, Esmeralda is one of the few Disney characters–and even fewer Disney heroines–who is shown in her film to be fully human and thus, fully a woman, without any gimmicky winking to the audience. And that's why I think modern Disney and modern audiences have largely forgotten her. They don't want three-dimensional characters to look up to. They want hollow idols for their pop culture pantheon.

  70. SuzySquidInk says:

    algorithm comment <3

  71. David Parry says:

    Disney is the ENRON of the 'entertainment' industry. It's just a matter of time…

  72. Ziltoid says:


  73. spinningninja2 says:

    God this gave me flashbacks to my time taking a "history" class that the teacher lowkey turned into a platform for libertarian-ism. Dude would spend the whole class ranting about how "if we just let greedy-ass companies rule literally EVERYTHING then everything would only get BETTER FOREVER" and then loosely tied it into some shit that happened in the 17th century. God I can't believe the school let that man teach

  74. Dani3po says:

    Disney is so "woke" that Kristen Stewart recently declared: "I have fully been told, 'If you just like do yourself a favor, and don’t go out holding your girlfriend’s hand in public, you might get a Marvel movie.'"

  75. adrian solorio says:

    Love the content!

  76. VeganTacos Pizza says:

    Whenever I see a comment bitching about Disney being SJW, I'm showing this, and the phrase "corporations are not your friend"

  77. VeganTacos Pizza says:

    I was kind of hoping you do a Lion King as fascist, but this way cooler I'm glad you shared Jack and Maggie's essays

  78. JulCaos Elliott says:

    My brain melted right before "Part 1, Late Stage Capitalism" …

  79. Jon Oehler says:

    Thank You So Much.

  80. James, Garden Mgmt. says:

    Late Stage A e s t h e t i c

  81. aargut says:

    #FuckMaryPoppins #ClassBetrayal

  82. vazak11 says:

    Thanks for covering this!

  83. The Dog's Kneecaps says:

    I had no idea there was a christopher robin movie??

  84. Kenneth Benjes says:

    Dude I love when the Bawlmer comes out in how you say "Dumbo"

  85. Hal says:

    Dark Ages -> Renaissance -> EnLIVEnment

  86. Rebecca Partin says:

    Did you notice that the good capitalist that saves the day in Dumbo and Christopher Robin are old men and the bad capitalists are young men? Coincidence?

  87. Michelle Burkholder says:

    Just watch the movie Dogma. The Golden Calf is evil Disney.

  88. The lonley Socialist says:

    I do not look forward to when corporations go mask off and openly coup our government with their unimaginable wealth. Establishing a fascist state, based around the idea of consumerism by an upper class while using the lower classes for menial labor and produ….. shit.

  89. BaronVonSTFU says:

    403 People have drank the capitalism brand kool-aid.

  90. Loki says:

    Leon: I blame Tim Burton
    Me, in the middle of making my Beetlejuice costume: tbh, I do too

  91. Rosa says:

    honestly; why do we still allow tim burton near movies? the movies already showed us the bad touches on the doll.

  92. Brie Russell says:

    Disney is becoming Buy-N-Large.

  93. PM 3736 says:

    Monopolies destroy civilization and is the cannibalism of capitalism upon itself


    Fvckin Killer.
    This is so good it put my critical mind to sleep.
    I agree with this so much I'm in danger of not validating it's conclusions independently.

  95. Burn Er says:

    Great video, one of your funniest and insightful as always.

  96. NAte Maxson says:

    Did you just show the aristocrats as the dark age of disney? YOU SIR ARE WRONG

  97. carlee elizabeth says:

    don't you bring aladdin into this (i agree with your other points though).

  98. Tiffany L says:

    Did you watch Woke Disney video from Lindsay Ellis—-both of these should link to each other. Fabulous!

  99. Painted Lotus says:

    I agree with almost all of your points, except for Beauty and the Beast. Just because I didn't personally feel the townspeople were framed differently than in the animated original. But otherwise, 100%. 👍🏻

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