Legendary Disney filmmaker John Musker called out The Walt Disney Company for putting political messages ahead of story in its recent films.

Musker, who co-directed some of the studio’s most popular films in recent decades, like “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “Moana,” commented on the state of Disney in a recent interview, saying the company needs to steer away from pushing a woke message and focus on characters and story above all.

“I think they need to do a course correction a bit in terms of putting the message secondary, behind entertainment and compelling story and engaging characters,” Musker told Spanish outlet El País while at the Animayo International Summit in Gran Canaria last week.

The director, who also helmed 2009’s “The Princess and The Frog” alongside co-director Ron Clements, got onto the subject of wokeness at Disney by bringing up criticism that the film about a Black princess was woke. 

“We weren’t trying to be woke, although I understand the criticism,” Musker said, following with commentary that the more recent films seem to be opting for message over story.

John Musker said that Disney need a “course correction.” Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

“The classic Disney films didn’t start out trying to have a message. They wanted you to get involved in the characters and the story and the world, and I think that’s still the heart of it,” Musker said. “You don’t have to exclude agendas, but you have to first create characters who you sympathize with and who are compelling.”

Disney has faced significant backlash in recent years from critics arguing that the media giant has promoted a woke agenda.

Its corporate leaders have repeatedly clashed with conservative lawmakers, most notably Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Musker co-directed Disney animated movies like “the Little Mermaid.” Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection
The company has experienced box office disappointments — like 2022’s pro-LGBTQ “Lightyear” — massive layoffs and a loss of 2.4 million subscribers from its Disney+ streaming service. Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

The company has experienced box office disappointments — like 2022’s pro-LGBTQ “Lightyear” — massive layoffs and a loss of 2.4 million subscribers from its Disney+ streaming service.

Musker noted that the political agenda was never as aggressive at Disney during his heyday in the 1990s and 2000s as it is now, but he did have to alter some content for the sake of political correctness.

He told El País that he had to change the name of the city of Baghdad to “Agrabah” in “Aladdin” because of the Gulf War happening at the time. 

“Because of the war, we couldn’t even go there to do research. Our big research took place at the Saudi Arabian expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center,” Musker said.

Fox News Digital reached out to Disney for comment. 

Read More