Disney owns the three biggest storytelling platforms in the world. They own Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar. To me, that’s like owning the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Quran. Primarily, these platforms tell good stories. They push our wonder buttons, but like all good stories, they are also fountains of potential interpretation.
Marvel Universe stories are the simplest of the trio. The actual stories are formulaic and cheesy. But Marvel uses its wide populist platform to preach about issues that are really important. Good vs. Evil, teamwork, trust, fallibility, environmentalism, power and corruption, and many other big ideas are built into the Marvel stories.
Pixar is much less subtle. Every Pixar film is about a big idea. Growing up, growing old, the importance of family, and the value of good friends are just a few of these big ideas. The stories are incredibly entertaining and the characters are beautiful inside and out, making the lessons they teach so much more compelling and so much more powerful.
The most complex and significant of the three platforms is Star Wars. It is the most Biblical of the trio. Star Wars 4, 5, 6, and 7 are retellings of the hero’s journey. The lessons we used to learn from the story of Moses are latent in the story of Luke Skywalker and Rey. The important thing is not necessarily to learn specific lessons from the Moses story. The important thing is to learn the lessons of the Moses story. We can learn from Exodus, but we can also learn at AMC Theater. We can and we should struggle to learn directly from Exodus, but it can be super awesome to learn from Star Wars, too.
Eliyahu Fink, “Hollywood is the New Religion: And That’s a Good Thing”, The Wisdom Daily (3 February 2016) [http://thewisdomdaily.com/hollywood-new-religion-good-thing/]