Disney’s ABC broadcast The Slap Heard Round the World.
However, since the telecast occurred on network television, few people watched, which might have been a blessing.
In the latest Disney Headlines, we’ll talk about Disney’s Academy Awards wins…and a couple of awkward losses.
A Big Night for Disney
In 2021, The Walt Disney Company earned its first Best Picture victory ever for Nomadland.
Nobody possibly expected Disney’s movie division to match that level of achievement in 2022.
Still, Disney benefitted from televising the show this year while earning 23 nominations!
As such, ABC could provide a loving celebration of all things Disney without appearing blatantly biased.
So, we got Disney Princesses appearing during the awards ceremony:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022
So, we watched a daring version of We Don’t Talk about Bruno:
WE DON’T TALK ABOUT BRUNO NO NO NO 💃 pic.twitter.com/I4G1YvURaD
— ang (@notchenford) March 28, 2022
Yeah, that one proved divisive, as social media didn’t love the new rap sequence.
— Variety (@Variety) March 28, 2022
And I’ll say what we’re all thinking. The Dapper Dans did it better:
Maybe Disney should have brought the Dapper Dans to the show.
Anyway, Disney executives must have been thrilled about the outcome of several categories.
Encanto, a heavy favorite, emerged victorious as Best Animated Feature:
Disney flat out owns this award, having won it nine out of the last 10 (!) years.
In fact, over the past 20 years, Disney has only lost Best Animated Feature four times. Nobody does animated movies like Disney, folks. That’s why we love them.
— Disney’s Encanto (@EncantoMovie) March 28, 2022
Disney also won five other categories, giving it wins in more than one-fourth of the 23 awards this year.
The other victories came in Best Documentary Feature (Summer of Soul), Best Actress/Best Hairstyle and Makeup (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Best Supporting Actress (West Side Story), and Best Costume Design (Cruella).
This event was legitimately one of Disney’s most triumphant nights ever at the Academy Awards.
About the broadcast
Obviously, one moment stole all the headlines. Actor Will Smith took offense to a joke from comedian Chris Rock.
Oddly, Smith laughed at the joke at first, which shows how strong the programming is at Hollywood awards ceremonies. Everyone fakes a smile.
Smith’s mood changed when he realized that his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, had taken offense over a sensitive issue. She suffers from chronic hair loss.
Did anyone else realize that Will Smith was laughing at the joke until Jada gave him the side eye? pic.twitter.com/vwvo5U1Ayf
— char (@charvontay1) March 28, 2022
At this point, Smith angrily stormed the stage, slapped Chris Rock, and returned to his seat. Afterward, he said some stuff that Disney had to bleep.
Rock, who just finished up a season on Fargo, couldn’t believe the whole thing while the internet ate it up.
For my part, I found a different part of the show appalling. Someone authorized Liza Minelli’s appearance.
The goal was to laud her for a storied career. Tragically, Minelli no longer possesses all her senses and didn’t fully understand where she was.
The bright lines shining down on the stage escalated the problem for her.
Thankfully, Lady Gaga handled the situation deftly and protected her as much as possible.
This is like a lesson in how to facilitate older people while honoring who they are.
What a class act by @Lady Gaga with legend Liza Minnelli.
The conferred whispers of “I gotcha” “I know” picked up by the mikes make it especially touching.pic.twitter.com/2JOWyrTQxn
— Naomi O’Leary (@NaomiOhReally) March 28, 2022
Still, whoever signed off on Minelli’s appearance frankly shouldn’t ever work in television again. It was inexcusable.
These two regrettable moments distracted from what was a clever broadcast overall.
— West Side Story (@WestSideMovie) March 28, 2022
Disney somehow managed to score all the members of K-Pop supergroup BTS for a segment. Even better, the band shared their favorite Disney films.
Here they are discussing Coco, which apparently made one of them cry:
BTS is probably the one act that could end We Don’t Talk about Bruno’s reign at the top of the Billboard charts. So, it’s better to make friends with those guys.
Why American Parks Won’t Close
Last week, I mentioned that Shanghai Disneyland had closed again due to the pandemic.
The news on this front is largely positive. South Korea, which is less than 500 miles away from Shanghai, has reported that its latest wave has peaked.
Assuming that’s accurate, the same statement should apply in Shanghai in a matter of weeks, possibly even sooner.
Still, two of Disney’s international parks have closed yet again. And that may worry you on two levels.
You may fear that Disney’s American parks may shut down again. Also, you might wonder about the financial ramifications of the current closures.
Well, I have good news on both fronts! On the American park side, the reality is that, at this point, Florida won’t close for anything short of body parts falling off.
Yes, Disney is feuding with the state’s governor, but as long as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention give Disney the okay, it’s open for business.
The situation in California is a bit murkier, at least in theory. For whatever reason, that state’s health officials care more about public safety than Florida’s.
Even so, we’re currently between waves and may not have another one. Until anything changes, all American parks will continue to serve guests. Thank God.
The Math of Disney’s International Parks
On the business side, I understand your concerns. After all, Disney appears poised to start some new projects soon.
Any financial shortfalls could delay or possibly even collapse those plans.
Thankfully, Disney’s Chinese international parks aren’t significant to the company’s bottom line.
Disney has set up profit-sharing agreements with the local governments of Shanghai and Hong Kong. Effectively, Disney isn’t in it for the money here.
Instead, the company’s executives seek to teach the children of China about the greatness of Disney storytelling.
I can prove this with the numbers. Before the pandemic began, Disney’s American parks earned roughly four times as much as the international ones.
In terms of net profit, that exponent goes up to 8.8. I don’t want to bore you with math here. So, please think of the situation in these terms.
For simplicity, let’s say that Disney earns $100 per hour at its American parks and nets $25.
The Shanghai and Hong Kong parks would only earn the equivalent of $25 per hour and a net of $2.84.
As you can see, these park closures barely touch Disney’s bottom line. It’s a matter for the accountants only.
Feature Image: Disney