From dream factory to recycling skip: The plague of live-action Disney remakes

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It all started in 2010, when Disney released the new ‘Alice in Wonderland‘. It was more of a Tim Burton film than a Disney classic remake. Then came ‘Maleficent‘ in 2014, which also did not feel threatening to its wholesome predecessor. But after the enormous success of those first attempts, the situation with Disney remakes started spiralling out of control.

Cinderella‘ in 2015, ‘The Jungle Book’ in 2016, ‘Beauty and the Beast‘ in 2017 and this year’s ‘Christopher Robin‘. But the worst has yet to come. In 2019 there is a total of four Disney remakes planned for release: ‘Aladdin‘, ‘Dumbo‘, ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Lady and the Tramp‘.

Since Disney bought Marvel, their focus has drastically shifted on these live action remakes of well-known classics. Disney is recycling old plots and characters and leaving behind its past as a dream factory.

These remakes seem like nothing more than an exercise in virtuosity: the only aim is to show off how photorealistic they can make the characters and how well they blend in with the live-action actors. ‘The Lion King’ literally remade every single shot of the original trailer. There’s nothing more to them than CGI. And the products that come out of these reboots are soulless.

There was a reason why these films were made in animation to begin with: to allow these fantastic characters to truly come to life in a world that blended perfectly together with the humans in the story. In the original ‘Beauty and the Beast’ there was nothing to stop you from believing that wardrobes and teapots were actually talking. They were expressive the same way that Belle was, if not more. In the new version, the bounds to the real world make characters awkward and unlikable, and the actors are left deprived from something to interact with and to react to. Some things just get lost in translation.

 There is absolutely nothing redeemable in these films, and in fact Disney is doing more harm than good. If for our generation Disney was what made our dreams become reality, kids of today will grow up thinking that the best version of something is the one that looks more like reality. Disney is bringing up a generation of less imaginative kids and undermining its own craft.

Since it does not seem like this train can be stopped any time soon – a remake of ‘Mulan‘ is already scheduled for 2020 and ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Pinocchio‘, ‘Lilo and Stitch‘ and ‘Cruella‘ are all in the making as well – the only hope is that after they have finished, someone will come along and bring Disney back on track. Before that though, the current heads of Disney are thinking of going as back as 1937 and remaking their first animated film, ‘Snow White’. Once the circle will be completed, we might be able to move on. 

Edited by: Amy Clarke 

Words by: Lisa Wehrstedt

Khushi and Vicky are your entertainment editors

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