Disney shows lack of creativity

By Catherine Goohs and Jessica Gold

There is a little kid in everyone. Sure, we grow up, but sometimes we find ourselves venturing back to the past to rekindle childhood memories. Just don’t make the mistake of attempting to rediscover your childhood through the Disney Channel’s current programming.

Disney Channel, the once-loved TV station idolized by our generation, has left its young audience, and others, skeptical. The shows the network now offers are lacking in creativity, originality and comedic effect. To compare these shows to those aired in the last decade leaves disappointment in many older viewers; these new shows simply do not measure up.

In the past, Disney provided a broad, colorful spectrum of shows ranging from a lovable psychic in “That’s So Raven,” to a teenage crime fighter looking to save the world while balancing school (and cheerleading) in “Kim Possible.” “Phil of the Future” was about a family from the year 2121 trying to live a normal life in present day. “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” featured twin teenage boys living with their single mom in a hotel.

Every episode sparked an intriguing plot, by children’s standards, while still remaining true to the identities of the characters, as well as incorporating a life lesson. At the end of each episode, the characters came a little closer to better understanding themselves and their surroundings.

The diversity in characters helped kids understand that everyone is different and talented in his or her own way.

Current Disney shows, on the other hand, all seem to offer the same typical character. In “Jessie,” “Good Luck Charlie” and “My Babysitter’s a Vampire,” a female character, who ends up looking after several different children, stands as the adult figure.

Past shows encouraged problem solving and creative thinking of the young audience members. Many times, these issues would be valid problems a child might need to solve in daily life. These learning plots become crucial in the development of young audiences.  Current Disney shows may hint at lessons, but often fail to hit the main point, or to apply to the real world.

In “Austin and Ally”, one of the main characters has a new job every episode. While this does spark some interesting conflict, it leads kids away from the idea of responsibility and sticking to one’s goals.

Within the time frame of one half-hour show, “Ant Farm,” we were not taught morals or life lessons, but instead subject to witnessing the redefined sense of what children are supposed to find entertaining: predictable plots with obvious and stereotypical characters.

One could make the argument that we have simply outgrown children’s TV shows, but this is not the case. The “old shows” are still downright entertaining.

The nostalgia of once-adored shows led us to remember what it is like to be a kid again. The classics are proof that Disney has the potential to create an array of interesting and thought-provoking shows. For the sake of our younger siblings, we will wait for a comeback.