John Musker, a cherished veteran director of the Walt Disney Company, has provided some poignant advice for the entertainment giant. Musker, celebrated for directing beloved classics like “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “Moana,” suggested that Disney should prioritize character and story development over any underlying message in their films. In a revealing interview with El Pais, Musker underscored that the timeless charm of classic Disney movies stems from their focus on captivating characters and rich storylines, rather than starting with a predefined message.

“You don’t have to exclude agendas, but you have to first create characters who you sympathize with and who are compelling,” Musker remarked. His perspective is a gentle reminder of Disney’s roots, where the magic always began with imaginative worlds and engaging narratives that won the hearts of audiences worldwide.

Musker also critiqued Disney and other studios for the trend of resurrecting older films in different forms, particularly the live-action adaptations of animated classics. He specifically called out the transition of animated animals to lifelike CG creations, noting that real animals in a zoo have more expressive faces than their computer-generated counterparts. This critique follows the mixed receptions of live-action remakes like “The Little Mermaid” (2023) and “The Lion King” (2019).

Interestingly, even “Moana,” one of Musker’s recent successes, is undergoing a live-action transformation, scheduled for release in July 2026. Although Musker wishes the upcoming remake well, he has distanced himself from the project, stating he has “nothing to do with it.”

Disney, long-reigning at the box office, faced a tough year in 2023 with several underperforming releases, marking the end of an eight-year streak as the highest-grossing studio—a title that went to Universal Pictures. Adding to Disney’s woes, Pixar, which joined the Disney family in 2006, announced a significant reduction in its workforce, letting go of 175 employees recently, following an earlier layoff of 75 employees last year.

As Disney navigates these challenges, Musker’s feedback serves as a compass pointing back to the enchanting storytelling that made the company a household name. Share your thoughts in the comments below—do you agree with Musker’s perspective on Disney’s direction? Make sure to share this story and join the conversation!

For more details on John Musker’s interview, check out the original source from the Washington Examiner.