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Disney's Exercise In Scarying Uneducated Television Critics & Disney Itself Looking Stupid In The Process!
(Editors Note: This was originally an Aces of the Cape editorial done in June. (2015 Gregory Weagle Says: I'm guessing this was in 2002 since Lilo & Stitch was being released around that time.))
Since my job is just a little over a month away; I've been reading the newspapers recently. Not just any normal newspaper either. It was the Friday edition of The Globe & Mail and I looked at the entertainment section at the recent review of Disney's latest family film Lilo & Stitch and reading it carefully. (You know I live in Nova Scotia when the Globe & Mail is considered to be a big deal newspaper. In Toronto; most people would think I am an idiot and have a defeatist attitude. I resent the idiot part; but defeatist? Yip.) However; the review wasn't the real reason I was laughing at the paper for bad reporting. It was on the opposite page where a television critic was lambasting the Disney company for releasing an ABC television show on prime time (within the family hour methinks) called Lilo & Stitch: Live from Hawaii; considered in the critics own words a one hour commerical and considered it scary because Disney was doing this within a television program. I've got one question for this tv critic: Do you honestly think that I'm supposed to be surprised let alone scared that this so-called shameless use of television space for a one hour commerical. (I mean really scared? I'm certain that The Wonderful World Of Disney had a TaleSpin Documentary on CBC around the time Plunder and Lightning was being shown and still no one has been able to convince Luara to bite the bullet, swallow her pride and release the documentary on Youtube like the Rescue Rangers one.) What exactly is your editorial record because it amazes me that you wouldn't know that Disney has done this before? Give me a break sir! (Still a better record than mine since I cannot even remember this writer's name nor the article's title it wrote.) Shameless tributes to the crafts (or trash depending on your poison. (I hope Tom Green does a tribute to Freddy Got Fingered, just to see how the critics react to it. It would be one of the biggest nuclear meltdowns since Nintendo announced the Wii.)) that these companies create is nothing new; it has been done for the last couple of decades and in some productions nearly to death. However; saying that this shameless commericalizing is scary is like saying that violence doesn't affect people at all. Not the smartest critic in the newspaper business to say the least. (It's never "if"; it's always "how". When you deal with absolutes, you look like a fool most of the time. Even in morality.)
However; despite that there is something to be said about the Disney's television show in question and that is to say that this is a worthless and shameful attempt to slight kids and adults into believing that this film is awesome and is the last film that we will ever see. (Oh come on 2002 Me! You said yourself pretty much the same thing about TaleSpin! Granted; TaleSpin has had a much more convincing route than Lilo & Stitch; but the film is perfectly fine.) First of all; the film was not released yet; how can Disney say that this film even deserves a tribute before it was ever released in the first place? (Because it's a commerical of spoiling a movie beforehand which is not really smart in the long run; but at least they are honest about it.) If they did that for Recess doing the same thing then there would be lawsuits filed for fraud before you can say TaleSpin. (No; it's much more likely that they will be lawsuits on stealing ideas from special snowflake punks who claim Disney saw the idea and rejected it out of hand before deciding to create their own. Happens all the time.) What if the film was awful? (No worries about that! It's a good film.) Second of all; a one hour commerical? The television show is about 70% as long as the film itself; why brother spending more money for a tribute that is shameless and only implies to sell something. (Yeah; I would love to see the study for this tactic because I don't see how spoiling half of the film results in big money. To be fair to Disney; the film made $273 million on an $80 million budget, so it didn't hurt it much. But I wonder if they could have made $300 million plus if they didn't spoil so much of it...) Aren't those little 30 second ads enough? (Apparently not.) Have children really gotten that smart? I doubt it; last time I checked more people knew the BudWiser frogs then the president of the United States. (You must have been reading a study that was biased for rednecks because there are other studies that suggest that they know both and care more about the Bud Wiser frogs since the president at the time was a Republican named George W. Bush. I think that is what you meant.) It would be a lot easier just to add a half-hour and just release the film on free television. (What a stupid move 2002 Me?!) Perish the thought; it costed $80+ million to make! (It's only about $80 million to make. At least you understand in your own way as to why this is a stupid idea.) If Lilo & Stitch was an excellent film then I guess it was worth it; but why give away half the plot for a film? Isn't one of the greatest things about watching movies was that only a small summary was given away?! (I'm certain the TaleSpin documentary didn't give away even 5% of it's footage; and none of it for Plunder and Lightning. I guess they figured the tribute would increase their profits. It didn't; but it still made a lot of bank, so it probably was worth it.)
If Disney is really stooping to this low in abusing the tradition of tributes by releasing them shamelessly before a film is even released then what does it say about Disney. (That they are doing anything it takes to make money?! Don't get me wrong; I find this idea counterproductive, but they could have done a lot worse. Like put Plunder and Lightning on free television and making the Ducktales movie run in theaters instead.) They are really running out of good ideas. (Do you realize how hard it is to make new and fresh ideas that work in a family friendly company?! No wonder a lot of productions these days are PG rated; since that allows them to come up with new ideas without as much inteference from the moral guardians. Besides; Joesph Libermann is perfectly fine with PG, he just hates X-rated stuff. Which begs the question: What does he think about R and PG-13 stuff?) I won't give away the plot line but it does involve a dreamer and about finding your family. Enough said! (You said you wouldn't give away the plot and you just did! Good one 2002 Me!) Get some real talent Disney and stop using the same plot line when hundreds of films (you already made) already have it (and you cannot top Plunder and Lightning anyway and no self respecting audience member wants you to try and embarrass yourself in the process!). I'm not againest morals in the films that you peddle; but does it have to be the same mushy moral everytime? (Most so when the mushy moral has no twist nor edge to it that makes it compelling to watch?) There are other morals and ethics that are not on family films and familes are getting impatient over this lack of respect. Come on Michael Eisner; you're company and Walt's reputation are the real things that are on the line here! (Bob Iger has done a better job in making the same plot line work that I can care about it; like The Princess & The Frog; but TaleSpin still beats it by a mile. Nice try Iger! At least it wasn't embarrssing to watch.)
Then again; Jim Baylo and I have repeated this plotline all too often and its clear that Eisner is not going to listen to us. His company can only be poorer because of it and I don't mean money either. (Until there is a regime change and we end up with someone like Bob Iger who actually turned the company around. Say what you will about how awful Michael was, but he's gone now.) That's my opinion; I welcome yours. See you next time!
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