Well let’s not be too hasty with the whole they don’t ever white-wash characters/stories. But they do make many poc characters and movies that center around poc characters completely. In fact quite a few poc characters are in the more noticeable line ups, like the princesses!
We have Mulan, who is Chinese. Pocohontas who is…native obviously. Tiana who is African and Jasmine who is Arab! Granted that’s still nine to four but even the white princesses come from their own very different cultures though they aren’t shown to well in their movies aside from Merida.
And Moana is coming out soon so that brings up the poc princesses to five. People are nervous if Moana’s culture will be portrayed correctly and I’m worried to but if all goes according to plan it looks to be promising.
And moving away from their princesses we have many more characters of color! We have Big Hero Six, where a lot of the cast is poc and mixed together like a melting pot which is great and Honey-Lemon is one of them! Being half Japanese??? I think.
Anyways, we have “The Emperors New Groove” an absolute Disney treasure and the whole cast is Incan, except Yzma, the villain. Yzma is a dinosaur. Next, we have Lilo and Stitch. All the main characters are Hawaiian. If they are not Hawaiian they are aliens. The movie will not only make you laugh but it will destroy you emotionally, several times over and surprisingly the sequel, though less known, is just as good with the art still as great as the last movie!
Then we have Atlantis. Literally, the best underrated Disney movie ever. You think it’ll be another movie about an awkward male white protagonist that’ll save the day? Bippity boppity no you limp wet noodle.
This movie side kicks you in the face with such delightful characters as Audrey, a Hispanic teenage mechanic whose sassy as all get out and her bio page on Disney wikia only makes you love her more. She’s literally a genius.
Then you have Kida, you think she’s just a love interest? Wrong. She’s the bad-ass warrior princess of a dying race of a once brilliant and futuristic indigenous people. Then you have Doctor Sweet, a black male who is a doctor and just hilarious and obviously smart since ya’ know…doctor. And it’s all set in 1914.
Moving on we have, Jungle Book, it’s set in India so obviously everyone is Indian and there is none of this “everyone is a savage’ nonsense, if that’s what you’re thinking. The only savage one is Mowgli literally raised by animals because he got lost in the jungle when he was a baby??? It’s been a long time since I’ve watched it but it has a sequel and I remember that one vividly.
The art is great and one of the main characters is a cute little diamond in the rough female character no one mentions and she is such a bad-ass. She literally hikes into a jungle chasing after her best friend, while taking care of her little brother. And she fights/helps out smart all sorts of dangerous creatures to! The original boss strong female character is Shanti, alright?
And now, the movie we’re all thinking of every time someone brings up ‘disney is racist’…Brother Bear. Flash to post age North America and an Inuit tribe. Everyone is Inuit and if they’re not they’re an animal. This movie will make you cry way faster than “The Lion King” and that’s a promise. It’s not about native vs white man, it’s about man vs nature and how everything is a circle. It is deep and meaningful and romance is limited and mostly in the sequel that is just as bad ass and the females within it are great. The art is a masterpiece.
Oh and let’s not even mention “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” which shows not only a rigged justice system but racial discrimination as well and the main character is…obviously a hunchback. But the other one is a gypsy girl named Esmeralda who basically came to fuck shit up and fight the power???? Yeah, that was a movie.
Now, Disney still has a long way to go when it comes to doing things like making their females physically vary. Including more female characters in general so at least 73% of their movies pass the Bechdel test. Improving their art style maybe??? And, yes, not white-washing a story and being more open to putting ‘European fairy tales’ into a different culture or not putting ‘non-European fairy tales’ into a European setting, but racist? I’m not quite sure.