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The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


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Were Disney’s Movies a Hit or Skip this Summer?

While Disney movies have always been very popular in the past, was this the year they bloomed or bombed?
Characters from some of Disneys most popular movies this summer.
Brianna DeWert
Characters from some of Disney’s most popular movies this summer.

Historically, Disney has done exceptionally well with releasing popular movies over the summer months for fans to enjoy. In 2016, Disney Pixar’s “Finding Dory” made $130 million on its opening weekend. In 2019, Disney had great success with“Toy Story 4” which made $120 million in its box office debut. Although Disney has often been very successful, this summer had very few box office wins. In our opinion, the best Disney movie over the summer was “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3”, while “Elemental”, “Haunted Mansion” and “Little Mermaid” did not live up to all the hype.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” made more than $118 million at the box office opening weekend, with the budget being about $250 million. “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” made a decent amount of profit because of the work behind the screen. 

The makeup, led by Alexei Dmitriew, was extremely impressive and life-like and gave the characters a really authentic feel. The film itself had very strong character development and stunning realistic visual effects and CGI technology creating a great movie overall for audiences. 

The movie most impacted us with its extremely touching and inspiring story. The characters in this series have all had their own bit of character development, but in this movie, Rocket Racoon definitely was the main focus. This movie gives the audience plenty of background and flashbacks to Rocket’s uneasy past.  These scenes were sure to pull on every member of the audience’s heartstrings, whether you could connect with his traumatic past or just be able to sympathize with this little creature’s hardships. 

We felt the impactful way Rocket’s story was told was a really good way to end the trilogy.“Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” was the last time you would experience these heroes in space, and this very emotional storyline was the perfect way to end this very popular franchise.

Opening weekend, “Elemental” made only $29 million at the box office with a production budget of $200 million. The movie is based around Element City which is full of bright colors and charming visual effects.

 The director of the movie, Peter Sohn, drew inspiration from his culture and his experience as a Korean immigrant to develop the theme for the movie. Despite its charms, “Elemental” didn’t do as well compared to other Disney movies, most likely due to their lack of advertising. 

In our opinion, “Elemental” had the best theme compared to the other movies, but we didn’t feel the need to see it again. This movie had a very inspiring story but we wish it had not focused so heavily on symbolism and catered more to the story itself. 

“Haunted Mansion” only made $24 million at the box office on its opening weekend, while the budget for the movie was $157 million

This new version of the movie, much like the original, focused on love, loss and the 999 happy haunts that reside at the mansion. The movie had an impressive comedic cast with the likes of Danny Devito, Owen Wilson, and Tiffany Haddish. The comedic talent of the cast helped keep the dark theme of the movie a little more light and humorous. 

While the CGI and visual effects of the movie were good we felt Disney could have pushed them a little further with a rating of PG-13.  The theme of the movie made a beautiful connection between love and loss, but we feel could have been a little more visually impressive.

“The Little Mermaid” made $95 million at the box office after its first weekend, even though the budget for the movie was $250 million.  While this movie didn’t make as much revenue as Disney probably would have liked, it was good to see that Prince Eric had much better character development than in the original animated version.

 In our opinion, in the original animated classic Prince Eric only seemed to have fallen in love with Ariel because she was beautiful. We felt in the new live-action version his character really grew emotionally and his love for Ariel developed from witnessing her kindness and bravery.

 On the other hand, the special effects in this movie were not as up-to-date as other live-action films that have come out recently. For example, Ursula, Sebastian, and Flounder looked like typical cartoon characters, not like creatures you would actually find in the ocean. 

Despite a few Disney/Pixar movies falling short, there were some relatable themes, fan-favorite IPs and that classic Disney magic. Out of all of the Disney movies released this summer, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” was the best because of the emotional story of Rocket, the makeup and the spectacular use of CGI. Hopefully, by next summer, Disney will advertise more, expand on their CGI techniques and create new stories for our favorite Disney IPs.

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About the Contributors
Magen Kranz, Arts and Culture Editor
Magen is a staff writer for the Stargazer, this year she serves as our Arts and Culture Editor. She is a sophomore and this is her second year on staff. Magen engages in student journalism because she enjoys working with her peers to create stories about our wonderful school.
Chloe Carlson, Staff Writer
Chloe is a staff writer for the Stargazer. She is a Freshman and this is her first year on staff. Chloe engages in student journalism because she wants to learn more about our school, staff, and students.
Brianna DeWert, Staff Writer/ Media Team
Brianna is a staff writer and member of the media team for the Stargazer. She is a Freshman and this is her first year on staff. Brianna engages in student journalism because she loves to draw and write, and she enjoys the ability to share her work while informing people about topics connected to the school.

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