Disney veteran director advises company to prioritize character and story over ‘the message’

Veteran Disney director John Musker has suggested that the Walt Disney Company undergo some “course correction” in its film production, advising the company to focus on stories and characters before a film’s message.

Musker, whose directing credits include iconic Disney films such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Moana, explained that the classic Disney films did not start out with a message, and instead began production by brainstorming the characters of the film and the world they inhabit. He added that he believes that both of these, as well as the film’s story, are still “the heart” of the classic movies, and encouraged Disney to look to this model with their new films.

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