'They need to do a course correction': John Musker urges Disney to focus on plots instead of politics

Animator John Musker has questioned Disney for putting politics above "compelling stories and characters" in their live-action remakes of classic films.



John Musker would prefer Disney to prioritise plots over politics
John Musker would prefer Disney to prioritise plots over politics

John Musker has hit out at Disney for prioritising politics over plot in their live-action remakes.

The 70-year-old animator has helmed classic movies such as 'The Little Mermaid' and 'Aladdin' for the studio and has urged film chiefs to put "compelling stories and characters" before political agendas in their current work.

John told the Spanish publication El Pais: "We weren't trying to be woke, although I understand the criticism.

"The classic Disney films didn't start out trying to have a message. They wanted you to get involved in the characters and the story and the world, and I think that's still the heart of it.

"You don't have to exclude agendas, but you have to first create characters who you sympathise with and who are compelling.

"I think they need to do a course correction a bit in terms of putting the message secondary, behind entertainment and compelling story and engaging characters."

John explained that he wasn't impressed with last year's live-action remake of 'The Little Mermaid' – which starred Halle Bailey as Ariel – and questioned the studio for rehashing old projects.

He said: "Companies are always like, 'How do we reduce our risk? They like this, right? We'll just do it again and sell it to them in a different form.' Or they think, 'Well, we could make it better.'

"I think there was a question even with 'The Little Mermaid'. They didn't play up the father-daughter story, and that was the heart of the movie, in a way. And the crab – you could look at live animals in the zoo and they have more expression, like with 'The Lion King'.

"That's one of the basic things about Disney, is the appeal. That's what animation does best."