Less than a month ago, the House of Mouse spit in the eye of God when they decided to reopen Disney World despite record-breaking coronavirus numbers in Florida. Even though Disney World went on about “enhanced health and safety measures”, they faced a lot of backlash from the public. Soon they had to ban eating and drinking while walking after visitors were seen doing so without their masks. Then, last week, one of the Splash Mountain log flume rides sank with guests inside. That last one has nothing to do with COVID-19, but it’s still a ridiculous Disney World fail.
Then, this past weekend, Disney announced that they were reducing their hours in September because of lower-than-expected attendance due to coronavirus. Um, duh?
There has been talk of Disney giving their 1940 film Pinocchio the live-action treatment for at least three years, which should be surprising to no one since they’re giving the live-action treatment to all of their animated movies except for Song of the South. One day in the near future a CGI’d to Pleasure Island and back version of Pinocchio will be making its way to a theater near you…or dropping on Disney+, depending on how this COVID-19 thing turns out. And when that happens, there’s a very good chance the old man who becomes Pinocchio’s human father Geppetto will be played by none other than Hollywood’s dad himself, Tom Hanks.
The red carpet premiere for Disney’s live-action adaptation Mulan happened in Hollywood on March 9th, 2020. And then the COVID-19 lockdowns rolled in just a few days later, and Mulan disappeared faster than Li Shang’s name in the first draft of the script. Mulan was scheduled for release in theaters nationwide on March 27th, but the coronavirus made sure that didn’t happen. Every big release that was scheduled for 2020 has been put on hold, while studios pray for a box office miracle for whatever movie theaters still exist to open back up. But Disney clearly doesn’t want to play the waiting game like that, and they’ve decided to premiere Mulan onto their digital streaming service, Disney+.
Insanity struck at Florida’s recently re-opened Disney World this week. All the tiny coronaviruses scattered throughout the park rat-kinged their way together to form one giant COVID-mega-cloud! The green parasitic mist has engulfed all of Splash Mountain. All is lost!
OK, that didn’t happen (YET), but crazy shit did indeed go down. A group of people were on Splash Mountain, Disney’s log flume ride, when their floating log began taking on water. The riders evacuated the ride, because, uh, they were sinking, but a Disney employee told them they should have followed protocol and remained seated. She said fleeing for their lives was a “safety hazard”.
I signed up for a free Disney+ trial exclusively so I could watch Baby Yoda. But that lapsed, and as far as I know, Baby Yoda is not featured in Beyoncé’s Black is King so I haven’t had the chance to watch it yet. As previously reported, BIK features songs from Beyoncé’s 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift and as such, much like WuTang, BIK is for the children. And what did the children get for pre-Christmas (that’s something wealthy children get with their Disney+ Unlimited subscription)? According to Billboard they got “an army of talented dancers, actors and famous guest stars,” and “a crystal-clear illumination of the importance of Black pride and excellence.” I’m sure they’ll appreciate the context when they get older. Right now they’re probably just looking for Baby Yoda to pop out from behind every Baobab tree.
I don’t have kids so I’m excused from knowing anything about whatever it is Disney has been pumping into the minds of impressionable youth. But apparently, Disney+ has some heavy hitters creating content for housebound children, including newly minted EGOT, Alan Menken. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alan won his first-ever (competitive) Emmy for “best original song in a children’s, young adult or animated program” at yesterday’s Daytime Emmy awards (most of the awards were already presented last month). The song, Waiting in the Wings, is from the animated series Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure. I’m sure Patti LuPone sent him a very nice card that read “While I don’t particularly enjoy your little Disney songs, you are by far the greatest EGOT winner since Robert Lopez,” Robert being the last person to EGOT before Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2018 (along with Tim Rice and John Legend).