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Will Disney Self-Diagnose Its Problem with Pixar Movies?

Poster courtesy of MMPA

Will Disney Self-Diagnose Its Problem with Pixar Movies?

By Movieguide® Contributor

Disney and Pixar movies used to be a sure thing at the box office, but it looks like the movie studio is still struggling to connect with audiences. 

The studio’s last two offerings, LIGHTYEAR and STRANGE WORLD, both suffered at the box office for multiple reasons, but the biggest one is content. 

Both LIGHTYEAR and STRANGE WORLD failed to find their footing with audiences and failed at the box office — LIGHTYEAR made $226 million off a $200 million budget, while STRANGE WORLD majorly flopped, making just $70 million off a $180 million budget. 

Each of these movies featured content that was not family-friendly, which meant many parents chose not to take their children to the theater. 

A portion of the Movieguide® review for LIGHTYEAR reads:

LIGHTYEAR constantly places obstacles in Buzz’s way. The obstacles make an exciting story. However, Buzz isn’t really the hero of this story. His lesbian friend, Alisha, is the real hero. Eventually, it’s her life that inspires Buzz, her granddaughter and everyone else. Thus, the whole movie becomes a validation of LGBT ideology and an attack on masculinity and the biblical view of family. LIGHTYEAR also taints the TOY STORY franchise, because it says the politically correct movie became Andy’s favorite movie.

STRANGE WORLD featured similar storylines. The Movieguide® review reads:

STRANGE WORLD is beautifully animated, but it has a boring script and underdeveloped characters. Though it has some pro-family values that extol forgiveness, they’re spoiled by an unapologetic, politically correct homosexual agenda. For example, the teenage grandson flirts with another boy. STRANGE WORLD has a politically correct, unscientific attitude against “fossil fuels.” Also, the characters discover that their world rests on the shell of a giant tortoise.

Despite their blatant neglect to cater to their largest audiences, mainstream media points to other issues.

In a recent article from the popular movie site Screen Rant, they noted Disney’s release schedule as being their biggest issue.

Screen Rant wrote:

Pixar’s Elemental release date proves Disney didn’t learn from the mistakes it made with Lightyear. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney relegated Pixar movies to being straight-to-streaming releases, making the films available to watch immediately on Disney+ without getting shown in theaters at all. Typically, Pixar movies warrant theatrical releases, especially since they have had consistent success at the box office. However, when a Pixar movie finally did get a theatrical release with 2022’s Lightyear, it was a flop for the studio, making $226 million off a budget of $200 million (via Box Office Mojo).

If Disney wants to get back on track, they should take note of previous successes such as TOY STORY 3 and FINDING NEMO which upheld moral, pro-family values.


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