Director of Original ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Little Mermaid’ Movies Blasts Disney for Prioritizing Woke Messages Instead of Good Stories

Famed Disney director John Musker has called out the company for putting woke political messaging over good storytelling.

Musker directed the original Moana, The Little Mermaid, Princess and the Frog, Aladdin, and more.

Musker discussed Disney’s downfall with El País last week at the Animayo International Summit in Gran Canaria.

“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,” Musker said.

Musker was discussing the issue while recalling criticism Disney received while making The Princess and the Frog.

“We weren’t trying to be woke, although I understand the criticism,” Musker said.

“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,” Musker continued. “You don’t have to exclude agendas, but you have to first create characters who you sympathize with and who are compelling.”

When Musker was at his height within the company, in the 1990s and 2000s, he said he dealt with minimal political correctness—but due to the Gulf War, he did have to change Baghdad to the fake land of “Agrabah” in Aladdin.

“Because of the war, we couldn’t even go there to do research. Our big research took place at the Saudi Arabian expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center,” Musker told the outlet.


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