Over the years, Disney’s reputation has rarely changed, it’s always been the company that has provided family-friendly entertainment which for the majority has been original and iconic. Sure most of them were based on existing material but Disney has always put a twist or reinvented the source material.
From the older classics like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to the renaissance classics like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King to the newer additions like Frozen and Zootopia. Disney has always put out original content. However lately with these new live-action adaptations, people are starting to question whether Disney has any of that “magic” left.
It all started with Alice in Wonderland (2010) which grossed over a billion dollars worldwide proving that there is an audience for these adaptations. Then Maleficent came out and not only did it make a lot of money but also a lot of headlines. Critics were divided on the movie, but despite the reviews it still made over $700 million worldwide. When Cinderella (2015) came out, it was successful both critically and financially but no one really cared or took notice. My point here is that at this point Disney is seeing that people like these movies and are already planning more. Then game-changer The Jungle Book (2016) came out which is praised by both people and critics and it almost made a billion dollars, everyone loved it.
At this point in time, Disney has only released adaptations of the older Disney movies, it is when the teaser for Beauty and the Beast (2017) came out that people started to really take interest. The teaser broke multiple records on YouTube and sent a wave of nostalgia over the world. The movie was a huge success financially but critically it was considered slightly above average as it didn’t really add anything necessary to the animated classic. The new Aladdin and The Lion King teasers were received relatively the same, a lot of people felt nostalgic and a lot of people were hyped to see them. The question is, are these the right movies to remake?
If you think about it, the reason Cinderella and The Jungle Book were received so well by the critics and people alike is because their animated counterpart were older. Older, in the sense that they weren’t as sophisticated story-wise as the animated movies from the nineties. My point is that those movies had a lot of room left for improvement story-wise, this is why the live-action remakes were necessary, they filled in plot-holes and fixed certain problems. Movies like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King are so much more sophisticated with complex characters and well-written stories that there’s almost nothing to fix, at least not to make a whole new remake to fix them.
This is why Beauty and the Beast was so repetitive and uninspired, it followed the same beats it’s superior source material did. Sure it looks visually stunning and the score is to die for but those things are already in the animated version. Most probably Aladdin and The Lion King will go through the same process. They won’t be panned by critics or anything but they’ll be almost shot by shot remakes of an already perfect movie. Of course most people will love them and it’s for this exact reason: nostalgia.
The movies which should be remade are the older animated classics with room to improve, for example the upcoming Dumbo looks amazing. At least if you’re going to remake an already sophisticated modern movie, reinvent it. I love that they’re making Mulan a different movie than the animated one. It has the chance to be amazing. That’s what a remake should do, add new elements to the story and make it fresh and exciting. Sorry to say but judging from the teasers alone, at least The Lion King, it doesn’t look like that’s the case.
I will definitely be seeing the remakes, I won’t boycott them or anything, I hope I’m proven wrong. I love the animated classics and I don’t want them to put in a shadow by their newer versions. It’s sad that when you type in Beauty and the Beast on Google and you go on images, you’ll mostly get pictures of the live-action movie.
Will you be seeing The Lion King (2019) and Aladdin (2019)?
Do you agree with this, if so what movies would you like to see remade?