Whenever a report such as the one that came out today about Disney/Fox Searchlight’s “Jojo Rabbit” emerges [via Variety], attention must be paid to the bigger picture. The Mouse House seems to be distancing itself from the upcoming Taika Waittiti movie. Why? Well, the film seems to have polarized Disney to the point where they have absolutely no idea how to market it.
According to the Variety report, the Nazi subject matter at the heart of “Jojo Rabbit” is worrying Disney execs. Variety’s report reads: “The scathing takedown of Nazism may, however, prove a little too edgy for Disney brass accustomed to producing movies suitable for parents and kids. Searchlight has started to screen the film for its new parent company. Halfway through one recent viewing one executive grew audibly uncomfortable, worrying aloud that the material would alienate Disney fans.”
Do these Disney execs realize that art should sometimes be uncomfortable? How deeply infuriating. If you weren’t already worried about Disney taking over the Fox slate, then you should be right now. “Jojo” is supposed to be one of the major contenders for awards this year, and yet, the Variety report says that Disney decided to distance itself from the Fox film.
As mentioned, one has to always look at the bigger picture when it comes to these sort of reports, and the “bigger” plan here seems to be that Disney is getting ahead of the curve just in case any controversy with ‘Jojo’ does come up. It’ll be much easier for Disney to save their own asses and distance themselves if shit hits the fan — they could just point to this Variety article and say “See! We were also worried about the content of the film!” instead of just going along and supporting its risqué approach to Nazism.
Hate to say it, but the way it’s been going, Disney execs will be concerned about literally every Fox Searchlight film released from now on, because there's nothing more valuable in the entire entertainment industry than Disney's family friendly brand. Fuck ‘em.