Is “A Wrinkle in Time” Disney’s Biggest Mistake of the Year?

Matthew Loffhagen
Source: Disney
(Photo: Source: Disney)

The early reviews for “A Wrinkle in Time” are in, and things aren’t looking good.

They’re not looking terrible, either, it should be noted. This film is at least competent, and critics are pretty much evenly divided between praising the film’s aesthetics, and questioning its story.

According to Rotten Tomatoes (ever the bastion of movie critique wisdom), 46% of critics thus far have been relatively positive about “A Wrinkle in Time”, and the movie has an incredibly mediocre average rating of 5.1/10.

This film walks the line between good and bad so nimbly that, based on these early reports, it is entirely passable.

That’s a bad thing.

Wrinkle in Time
Source: Disney

This year, Disney will debut a new “Star Wars” movie that looks pretty awful, and a new “Avengers” movie that looks awesome. The mega company will give us a “Wreck-it-Ralph” sequel, a “Winnie the Pooh” gritty reboot, a new “Mary Poppins” film, and Disney will also move forward on its purchase of Twentieth Century Fox.

There’s a lot going on this year, and “A Wrinkle in Time” looks set to get swallowed up by all of these bigger events as it is, so the fact that the movie isn’t noteworthy for either good or bad reasons suggests that it’ll be entirely swallowed up by other films.

Disney doesn’t really need any more passable movies at this point. If the film earns money, it’ll be worth talking about, but otherwise, the company will try to make this movie disappear from our memories.

It’s a sad fate for a promising movie, but one we’ll probably see more of in the coming years. Any film from Disney’s growing empire that doesn’t instantly turn heads will be swept under the rug.

A Wrinkle in Time Disney
Source: Disney

Adapting the film’s source material was always going to be a challenge. It could be argued that director Ava DuVernay bit off more than she could chew by even trying to make the film, and that she should be celebrated for even trying.

Ultimately, though, it’s likely that the lesson that Disney will learn from this film is that smaller, less iconic stories don’t deserve the limelight. As the company gobbles up all of Fox’s noteworthy properties, expect to see fewer of these kinds of new properties, in favor of constant sequels and reboots to existing movie franchises.

What a shame. “A Wrinkle in Time” could really have been something special.

There’ still a chance you’ll have a good time with the movie – after all, critics don’t always speak for wider audiences, and their reviews shouldn’t be taken as law.

Just, don’t expect a sequel anytime soon. Or any other quirky, colorful adaptations of beloved novels that haven’t already made it to the big screen a hundred times before.