The Dark Side of Disney

Sam Brendel, Managing Editor

disney-squareGrowing up watching Disney films is something we have all done. The music, the story, the princes and princess’. These are what have occupied most of our childhood dreams. Now, Disney has made way for an all new type of movie. Previously Disney was known for taking original fairytales and turning them into more appropriate “dumbed down” stories for children. With new movies like Snow White and the Huntsman, Jack the Giant Slayer and Maleficent, we can be sure to expect a much darker Disney.

The new version of Snow White definitely deviates from both the original Grimm tale and the animated movie. It does not portray Snow as being a helpless girl, it shows how much of a warrior she is and how she will fight for her freedom from the reign of the evil queen. The animated film and the Grimm story are both very closely tied with many of the same qualities. The nice part about Snow White and the Huntsman is that Snow does not need to be saved, she may need help at times but in the end she is the one who saves herself and her kingdom.

Jack the Giant Slayer is a much different kind of fairy tale. It is much more daring than the original Jack and the Beanstalk story and somehow manages to combine aspects of humor, action and romance. Though it is a darker story, Nicholas Hoults performance as Jack lightens up the mood enough to make the movie enjoyable and entertaining.

The Tim Burton version of Alice and Wonderland seems to take place after the original animated film from 1951, with many new unforeseen twists and turns that the original had not even remotely hinted at, although with the books written by Lewis Carroll there are some aspects of darkness, especially associated with his other book “The Looking Glass” which includes characters like Tweedledee, Tweedledum and the infamous Red Queen. In the book the Jabberwocky is an evil creature that is in a poem Alice first reads,  which can only be read by reflecting it into a mirror. Where in the movie it is an actual monster, set to do only the evil Red Queens bidding.

With future movies like Cinderella, The Beast, Maleficent and The Jungle Book coming out in the next few years we can be sure to expect a much darker Disney in the future. Whether that is a good or bad thing, only time will tell. It might be a nice side of the fairy tales for the adults to see, especially ones that grew up with the original animated versions. Either way we can always expect Disney’s best work, both in animated and in live action films.