Why Strange World Flopped - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Why Strange World Flopped
The trailer for “Strange World” (Walt Disney Animation Studios/YouTube)

The total meltdown of Disney’s latest leftist child-brainwashing project, Strange World, amused me. By now, everyone knows that the prestigious animated feature failed to launch, opening with an abysmal $18.6 million over the entire five-day Thanksgiving holiday. And that uncoincidentally it features the teen hero’s gay romance, encouraged by his grandfather, with climate change thrown in for bad measure. My American Spectator colleague Scott McKay called for an Elon Musk–style hostile takeover of Disney. But as a cinephile, book lover, and author, I can tell you that the progressive rot goes deeper than Disney, and even Hollywoke, to artistic ignorance, if not outright hostility. No change in management — including replacing Bob Chapek with Bob Iger as Disney CEO — will remedy that.

Narrative art reflects the human condition and shouldn’t try to force unreality to make an ideological point. The reality is that the vast majority of boys grow to desire girls. Even before understanding their own sexuality, they instinctively seek to impress, rescue, or win them. And girls, feminism notwithstanding, appreciate their princely efforts, hence their eternal love of fairy tales. But for more than a decade now, Hollywoke has denied the rule, heterosexuality, to push the exception, homosexuality, thereby dooming its product to failure.

Men in modern cinema show little interest in the opposite sex, let alone in romance. And why should they, when the women are every bit their physical equal and just as sexless, no matter what their shapelier forms may suggest. This extends to superheroes from comic books, which were once the leading venue for boy’s heroic fantasies but are now mostly woke garbage. Such unisexual delusion shatters every time a mediocre male athlete beats the female record in a sport while grotesquely parodying them.

The artistic genius who built Disney into a magic kingdom brilliantly appealed to both genders. Walt Disney enchanted girls of all ages with his reimagining of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Mary Poppins, yet he also gave boys Captain Nemo (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1954), Davy Crockett, Zorro, and Mowgli (The Jungle Book, 1967). Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955) became such a cultural phenomenon that it mandated a run on coonskin caps for baby boomer boys. That Crockett was a true American hero who fought Indians, corrupt politicians in Congress, and Mexicans at the Alamo makes him a liberal pariah today.

Uncle Walt’s successors in the 1990s and 2000s followed his formula, conceiving The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Toy Story (1995), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Hercules (1997), Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), The Incredibles (2004), and Up (2009). Sure, some progressive early warning signs appeared in Pocahontas (1995), though not at the loss of male-female romance or manliness in the depiction of Captain John Smith, who was voiced by the ultra-macho Mel Gibson. Familial goodwill maintained Disney through Mulan (1998), Frozen (2013), and the dull, dark Pirates of the Caribbean sequels.

When the company bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009, it originally honored the classic comic book characters, producing gender-traditionalist versions of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers that boys loved and girls appreciated. Gradually, however, the woke Disney hive mind reduced the male heroes to empty costumes surpassed by the absurd women, such as Captain Marvel.

In the last Thor movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor’s longtime love interest, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), eschews romance to become a magic hammer-wielding female Thor (or Thor-ette). The young male audience fled the film, and its box-office gross plummeted almost 70 percent in the second weekend. The feminist producers understand that despite decades of indoctrination, boys still prefer masculine heroes and girls still prefer princesses to superheroines, but they can’t bring themselves to indulge such traditionalism.

Disney did financially well enough after buying Lucasfilm in 2012. However, that success came at the artistic expense of Star Wars. Most viewers hated the short shrift given to the beloved original characters Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia and the idiotic deaths they suffer in order for an annoying feminist protagonist, Rey (Daisy Ridley), to take center stage. In Disneyland, as in Hollywoke, ideology trumps art. Whereas true artists use their art to highlight truth.

Jonathan Swift’s fantasy masterpiece, Gulliver’s Travels, did more to attack social injustice than his countless essays, even the brilliant satire A Modest Proposal, wherein he suggested that the Irish eat their children. Mark Twain ripped racial injustice not by denouncing it but by creating the friendship of two of the most memorable characters in all of literature, Huckleberry Finn and escaped slave Jim. And George Orwell’s two metaphorical fantasy novels, Animal Farm and 1984, permanently damaged the bane of communism. These writers’ fiction made their messaging effective.

But Hollywoke has lost the storytelling art and can only send the message. And that message is invariably a lie. That men desire men as naturally as they do women. That men can actually become women. That women are as physically formidable as men. That women killing their unborn babies is a reproductive choice.

As long as Hollywoke pushes these delusions, the public will continue to reject them, as surely as it rejected Strange World, Bros, Call Jane, and She Said just last month. There will be plenty more bombs like those to come because that’s all they know how to make, much to my amusement.

Looking for an endearing Christmas gift book? Try my romantic Yuletide ghost story, The Christmas Spirit, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine bookstores.

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