I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (3) over the weekend. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the ending for you right now. But I left the theater with something on my mind: What would Walt think?
By Walt I hope none of you are thinking about some uncle or grandpa in your family, but none other than Walt Disney: The creator and original “imagineer” of the Disney company. A man with a true vision to enlighten the hearts of children and bring quality family entertainment into the world. His company, the Disney Company, has produced hundreds of great, classic family films. Most of these films have won awards for the music, writing, and even animation and many hold places in all of our hearts as to our own childhood memories. Yet when I left Pirates on Saturday night, I couldn’t help but wonder what he would say if he were around today.
*warning… I’m going to talk a little bit about the film. I’ll won’t spoil it, but I figured I would at least give you the opportunity to quit now if you want :).
Honestly, I was surprised about how dark the film really was. I understand that it’s dealing with pirates and mysticism and whatnot, but even the opening scene was a far cry from something I would bring a family to. Footage of people being hanged to death (even small children) started the film off with a bad vibe. Futhermore, I believe the film to be a lot more suggestive in it’s nature this time around. Jokes about the main female character in the film or just the occasional “suggestion” of something sexual just didn’t seem to fit in with the “Disney magic” that we all know. I guess it really just surprised me to see the Disney name on this film. Disney (the company) has always been known for being pretty conservative with their films. Historically they have chosen not to purchase films or scripts based on the nature of the film and the content. They have grown as a family oriented company by keeping in with this model, but I wonder how this film slipped through the cracks. Even comparing Pirates 1 and 2 to the third, number 3 just simply took everything to the next level, and not always in a good way.
So what wold Walt think? Would he of even allowed the first film to be made? Honestly, I doubt it. I don’t think Walt Disney’s vision for the Pirates of Caribbean included hanging people and nightmares for children. I understand that our culture has changed and kids are seeing more violence and disturbing behavior then ever be fore and be a bit desensitized to it. But let Warner Bros. buy those films or let Universal create that big blockbuster. Call me old fashioned, but is there any morality left in companies any more? Walt Disney created films and themeparks aimed at kids and if adults had a good time too, then that was a bonus. He was a kid at heart. Honestly, I think if Walt was alive he would’ve taken the hit at the box office (if it led to that) to make a movie for the whole family.
So C’mon Disney Co., have you forgotten how you got to where you are today?
(this is open ended discussion for anyone who would want to comment with their own opinions)