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Disney is one of the most loved channels on television. Over the past years, there have been several changes, whether in the core of the actors or in the aesthetics of the cartoons that inspire children and young people. As the audience gets older, their interests change and, consequently, this impacts on the type of entertainment they like to consume. 

Series: a little throwback to what you probably used to watch

In the early 2000s, Disney created TV shows that marked generations, even the younger ones, for their variety of episodes and different stories, such as Hannah Montana. Starring Miley Cyrus, you certainly already know the story: Miley was a normal girl who wanted to become a singer, but she didn’t want to lose her teenage freedom, so she decided that she would disguise herself with a blonde wig and flashy clothes, creating the superstar, Hannah Montana. With her best friend Lily, known for her colorful wigs, the girls get into a lot of trouble, but also learn with the hard moments when important decisions must be made, such as when Hannah has to reveal her true identity.

Another hit series was Shake it Up, starring Bella Thorne and Zendaya. They played the role of best friends who got on a dance television show and together made history on the stage. Zendaya continued her Disney career starring in shows such as KC: Undercover.

Now, we can’t talk about Disney without mentioning That’s So Raven, one of the company’s most acclaimed shows. Who has never tried to predict the future through a vision like the protagonist? It tellas the story of Raven, a girl that can predict the future with her visions – and of course, this creates a lot of confusion. It’s definitely worth watching if you’ve never seen it.

Nowadays: Disney’s new favorites

But it is clear that, over the years, these series have been modified until reaching the model that Disney is betting on today. Most are alike the old ones, with similar themes, but narrated in a more childlike way to satisfy the audience. If before we talked about Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, today we would talk about Olivia Rodrigo, one of the main names of the network with the TV Show High School Musical: The musical: The series, which is a reinterpretation of the original High School Musical with Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. With songs written by the actress herself, such as “All I Want” and “I Think I Kinda, You Know“, the current generation is thrilled with the new series that promises to be quite successful.

Sabrina Carpenter was also a famous name when she was starring the show Girl Meets World with Rowan Blanchard. Now, she is mostly known as a singer, since she started to focus more on this career over the years. Of course, as many people love a fight, there is a theory about her, Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett: he dated Olivia for some time until breaking up with her to stay with Sabrina. Supposedly, this situation inspired the three of them to write songs about it and it has been successful. Like previous Disney stars, they have different careers than just starring in the company’s productions and interesting stories in their personal life that are not forgotten by the teenagers.

Cartoons: an analysis about some of their important stories

In addition to the live actions, the designs of the cartoons have suffered changes over the years, such as the princess animations. Besides having changed their aesthetics with the development of technology, Disney and its fans also started to discuss different themes in the productions, such as the possibility of Princess Elsa, from Frozen, being a LGBT character.

In the previous years, Disney still had very retrograde scenes in its movies. One of the examples is Ursula, from The Little Mermaid when she sings to Ariel that for her to be considered adored by men, she must be quiet and not talk, convincing her to change her beautiful voice for pairs of legs.

In contrast, there are characters that bring with them modern values such as the importance of black representation on the screens. From this idea came Tiana, from the movie The Princess and the Frog. All princesses, until then, were white. Even if Disney was criticized because the character spends more than half of the film in the shape of a frog, not showing her skin tone, the idea of a black woman being the main character without the idealization that there is a standard to be followed is a big breakthrough.

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The article above was edited by Julia Queiroz.

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Ana Carolina Lamussi

Casper Libero '24

Journalist
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