Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Is It True That Disney Never Makes Original Films?

I recently heard a comment that made sense, at first. The comment was along the lines of, “Walt Disney never made an original story.” I thought, “Yes, that’s right, he made movies from existing stories such as the fairy tales of Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and from books like Pinocchio and The Jungle Book.” Fast forward to our lifetime, and the films were very similar to this – think the tales of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and ancient legends of Hercules and Mulan.

On the surface, this comment sounded true. But I now realize, it wasn’t!

The same person said once that Walt Disney’s films were controversial at the time of release, because he had made his own unique version of the traditional stories. Prior to his films, there were multiple versions that circulated around. Snow White might have had a different ending, or Cinderella might have had an extra subplot or an additional detail. People were quite comfortable with these varying versions of the tales.

And here came along Walt Disney saying, “Here’s my version, and that’s what the story is now!”

So now I see, this person who said both these things contradicted himself somewhat.

My argument is that, in creating unique, standout stories - loosely based on existing stories, Walt Disney was indeed being original and creative. Aren’t all artists inspired by something in the first place?

I will leave you with this quote:

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

~C. S. Lewis