Is Disney More Original Today?


This week on the Disney Q&A we’re talking about originality! Is Disney more or less original today? What is the measure of originality and does it change when we talk about Disney parks attractions?

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Hello and welcome to the Disney Q&A, the series where you all give me Disney questions, whether it’s about the movies, the parks, the history, and I try to give you answers to the best of my ability. This week’s question comes from subscriber Tim Fodor and Tim says:

I feel Disney is unfairly getting flak for originality. Snow White, Pinocchio, Jungle Book, Cinderella and many more are considered Disney classics but are just reimagined tales. With Moana, Frozen, Wreck it Ralph, Lilo and Stitch and others, I would argue that there has been more original ideas at Disney.

Interesting question Tim, and what I think...

Channel:  Rob Plays
Adam brown 

Frozen and Moana are'nt originals

Ana Pinese 

I just wish bob iger were more of a risk taker like Eisner, sure a lot of his ideas were crap or copied, but the company did expand during his time and we got lot of good stuff


it would be useful if you talked about for what reason we want originality in the first place...


When you go to Disneyland today I’ve noticed the longest lines are for the rides that were developed when Walt was around.


Plus not being tied to an IP increases it's life span. Older rides like Pirates of the Caribbean are their own story and function as their own story where as an IP ride will die unless it's a "Disney Classic" so rides like the little mermaid will last as it's a

"Disney Big" movie it lasts where as Pete's dragon is forgettable and no one would know of that years later the same will happen with Guardians of the Galaxy it may last a long time but it will DIE out, be rebooted, or heavily changed some time in the future

Matt Wicks 

Feel sorry for people going to WDW with little knowledge of the films, eg many seniors

Michael Johnston 

Hi, Rob. Great video. The "popularity" of sequels in Hollywood and in Disney is due to fear — fear of an original idea failing. If a sequel fails, well, who is blamed? But if a new idea (think "Fantasia"), who is blamed? Nobody will take that risk! So, we have what is turned out by Hollywood ... and what is generated by Disney. Maelstrom --> Frozen ... really?

Cultivated Rose 

Disney is more original today, but less creative. Disney used to be more creative but had less original content. I consider original to mean that it wasn't created based on something else and that it was a completely original idea to disney. So even sequels could be considered original since it was still an original idea from disney. While back in the day they may not have made as original content, but they were more creative and so it might have seemed like the content they were creating was more interesting/ original looking than the content they create today.

Joe Heffern 


Theme Park Universe 

Including wreck it Ralph, there have only been 2 sequels of all time for Disney. This isn’t including Pixar Star Wars and Marvel though


The rampant uprise of screen based attractions isn't original

Bradly C 

Question: Why are you so damn hot

The Random Guys and Gurls 

It is not more original today, it is just more current. The company's old films have always been original to teir respective eras. Also, just as Snow White, Pinocchio and Peter Pan were reimagining of already existing tales, many of Disney's new ones are too. Frozen, Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, BH6 (Yes, this counts as an adaptation too).

Sturzam The Saiyan Demon 

Frozen was based off the Snow Queen

Jana Mildner 

i feel like disney has to be more original today then years ago because now the movie business is huge and before it was a newer thing


Short answer:



I think that the parks lack originality compared to when Walt developed Disneyland, but he did show off his ideas on his TV show and his show in turn funded the ideas, so the parks and media have always been interconnected. I do appreciate films like Inside Out and Wreck-it-Ralph because they are unique and original rather than a rehashing of the same idea over and over. The thing is, I'm okay with sequels if there is more story to tell and it furthers the world, like with the Toy Story sequels or Finding Dory, but when they're the straight to video types that basically take the protagonist's child and just flips the story, yeah I'm looking at you Little Mermaid 2 and Lady and the Tramp 2, then it becomes lazy and seems like a strict cash grab. What it comes down to for me is that Walt believed in telling a good story, whether it was about swarthy pirates, happy haunts, jungle animals on a river or the belief that we can celebrate our differences, yet still come together as a world and

Timothy Gates 

Good video


more original


Please do something about Hong Kong Disneyland and why it doesn't have that many rides usual Disneyland parks have


I don't get why they would include Frozen on the more originality comparison, because it was based off of the Snow Queen.

Kate Riggen 

I would love to see some new rides without IPs! I don't think we absolutely need specific characters to make a ride great. For instance, Pirates of the Caribbean before they added Jack and "friends". Or no characters at all, like Big Thunder Mountain. I think a lot of the "issue", for me at least, is that try to get every penny they can out of these IPs... and it seems to become quantity over quality. Frozen was a fine movie... however now it's everywhere! I can't go into a store anywhere without seeing Frozen 'merchandise'. I know you can also argue that they're doing the right thing in making all the money they can but it feels like they're draining them dry. I don't think it's necessary for movies and rides to piggyback off each other. I would LOVE to see some fresh new attractions in the future.


hey Rob why have you not been playing MC Magic for a while?


Just curious, do you think we'll ever see a re-imagined Cranium Command type ride/attraction with the Inside Out IP? It seems like the perfect sort of thing to go with the IPCOT direction. I'd love to see the ride to movie phenomenon come full circle and with Cranium Command having been gone over a decade the timing seems right.

As an aside, as a historian and Disney World fan I love your content. Your videos helped push me to go to Disney World and your tips helped me have a better time on my trip.

Ann Scott 

Frozen is not original, or the snow queen. They dug through folk tales and directly copied the ice queen. Two sister princesses, one with inherited powers. Parents panicked, ignored the elders warning that her fear of power would make her crazy and a monster. She kills them with ice waves at sea. Quietly murders a foreign dignitary that questions why the country shut its doors, gets revealed, her sister goes after her, impaled through the heart with ice. Soldiers attack in revenge, war, death, she dies and the town stays frozen. Not the Snow Queen or original.

Hunter Hendrick 

I agree with everything you said. Nothing I wouldn't have disagreed with. I would add that the present has filtered less originality in park rides and the movies and more into making money with familiar faces and storylines. I'm not saying this is terrible and wrong just that Universal and Disney are competing more with actual brands and faces we know. I feel Star Wars or Avatar wouldn't fit into originality  but they will make more money which is THE MOST IMPORTANT DEAL in today's society.

Inside the Parks 

Is this a new Q&A format or have you been doing it like this for a while? I've kind of not been on YouTube lately. I like it though.


Another way to look at it. While Walt's films were based off of fairy tales no one else was making full length animated films at that time. That sounds super original to me.


do you think they will make a mc magic fo MCPE

ryan c 

Hey Rob, still love this videos. Do you still go on minecraft I used to love those backdrops.


Hi there! I love your channel and this video made me think of a question a lot of us have probably asked ourselves. How do both Disney films (Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, ect.) and Disney Park make Disney itself, as well as it balancing off each other. Thanks!

Peachy Bubbles 

That's what I love about Walt Disney! He never went with sequels and reboots. He made everything new and beautiful in a new way! (Did you really think someone would open a Shakespeare's book and read that whole depressing thing? No!)

I mean seriously! Beauty and the beast live movie!? Who does that!? Who has the guts to ruin a movie like that by making it live!?

I'd say I'm standing with Walt Disney on this one!

Dicaprio Delorean 

do you think they should add more representation of the films that weren't financially successful in the parks? personally I think that in today's times, if you added like Treasure Planet or Atlantis people would be all over that.

Ryan Hume 

Hey rob love your tips and vlogs on Disney! I just wanted to know if you went to the diamond anniversary for Disneyland? Thanks keep up the good work


I think you covered it better than I could say it myself ... I think there needs to be a good mix though Disney is using IPs too much (dont get me wrong ... example ... I love Ratiatoue (sp?) coming to France .... and really considering WHAT its replacing ... I dont hate GOTG that much ... it DOESN'T belong in epcot but t hey are not removing say ... spaceship earth for GOTG....

I think relaying too much on IPs make the imaginears ... i almost hate to say it ... seem lazy ... instead of coming up with ideas like the ORIGINAL Imagination ride + second floor post ride "zone", Spaceship Earth, ... and one of my favorites Horizons ... they just can go "lets make this sort of like the movie and ... done and done"


I love your approaches to this question and especially love the emphasis on balance between IP and original ideas. For example, I would LOVE to see a movie about Expedition Everest in Walt Disney World and/or a movie about the Matterhorn in Disneyland. These rides are amazing and I would love to see a fuller story played out on the big screen.


I would like to thank you so much you do for our community! You put a smile on my face everytime you upload! I've been a fan for a loooong time I'd say i've been here probably since Portal 2 3 or 4 years ago. Thank you so much for making my day by commenting in my video. Please keep up the amazing content.


Dream Butcher 

What's your opinion on how Bob is running the company? From what I can tell, it's the the most positive outlook


where do you get the disney park music background to your videos?

Chuck Couch 

Great video. I think Disney really should start gearing toward non-IP style attractions more and limit the movie themed attractions. Name your top rides, for me most of them are the non-IP style attractions. Again, great topic for discussion and thought.

Polynesian Productions. Co 

More when it comes to movies less when it comes to rides

Michael King 

I'm amazed with the shit Disney is still able to churn out

Cole Haskins 

Frozen is a reimagined tale

Jason Schlierman 

You don't go far enough. First, you only focus on animated properties and second when talking about modern films, you seem to skip past how much blatant IP ripping off modern Disney still does. Case in point? "Tangled" is still based on the fable "Rapunzel," "Frozen" is still based on "The Snow Queen,," etc. Even many of the so called "original ideas" like "Wreck It Ralph" still heavily rely on major IPs like "Sonic the Hedgehog" or "Street Fighter" to push the story along.

Talking about Walt Disney's day, while yes, many of his films were based on books, that was not and still is not an odd practice in Hollywood. In fact most films are probably based on books. Further, films like "Ten Who Dared," while not the norm, were still original ideas the studio would produce. If however you are going to call Walt Disney unoriginal, you have to call all of Hollywood unoriginal as well. I don't know if most people know or understand how many films are based on books!

I'm sorry, but I have a ha

Precious AngelPie 

Hey Rob! Have you been to any of the Disney Parks outside of the U.S.? I'd love to see a video comparing the different Disneylands in Shanghai, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong and detailing their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Average Fanboy 1128 

The moment I will draw the line on originality is if Disney makes a Frozen 3 and/or closes Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Soarin', Test Track,ToT, Rock and Rollercoaster, Space and Thunder Mountain, Journey Into Imagination, or Dinosaur for IP rides is when I will go mad. To me this is the sacred Disney World Rides. Pandora will probably join the list later down but right now it's still new. To me Disney should work on building new experiences (IP or original) instead of closing other rides. (Looking at Great Movie Ride)

bo deflop 

my thoughts exactly


Like it or not it seems IPs are the future of theme parks, especially in the case of entire lands being giant immersive experiences for fans of a particular franchise. You have to understand from a business perspective, building a harry potter themed land, Hogsmead was one of the single best decisions universal ever made. It made them competitive with Disney (Who has more land/more parks/more hotels as advantages over Disney) and spiked park attendance, it was so successful they added Diagon ally to the main park and a train connecting the two parks to sell dual tickets, plus impressed Nintendo's executives enough that they netted the theme park rights to do Nintendoland

I haven't had a chance to make a trip to Pandora yet, but Star Wars: Galaxys edge looks like it's going to blow the Harry Potter themed lands in universal out of the water with immersive theming elements, they're even talking about how the millennium falcon attraction will affect your visit to the land, do well and

Richard Conklin 

A ride is basically a 4 dimensional world. The rides should be the base of the ideas for the movies not the other way around.

Cretins Guild 

Disney is much more original now than they used to be mainly because the need is so much greater. Although one of their biggest hits in the past 20 years was also a Hans Christian Anderson spin-off.