“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
I know, doubting Disney is foolish. Their track record is fantastic. They have announced and are making remakes of their classic library as live action movies.
With the success of the live action Jungle Book, they will also be making a live action The Lion King. However, this movie will have zero live characters and we can discuss the use of “live action” when it really is a live looking animated feature. I kind of prefer “live looking” with it’s honesty.
The list is long.
Christopher Robin is a complete re-imagining of Winnie the Pooh, with our Pooh bear showing up in London. If they can re-create the Tao of Pooh in London, that is what could make it a success. Otherwise: I doubt it!
Dumbo is in the hands of Tim Burton. I love his movies but I doubt the match up with this kid’s cartoon. Much will have to be changed, we shouldn’t see the racial stereotyping of the crows, for example.
Aladdin and Mulan will be interesting because they are set in historical pockets. How they will change the story, I don’t know but they will have to clean up the sexiness. Jasmine wore a harem outfit and Mulan lived with soldiers including a comedy scene where she sees them all naked.
New stories with Prince Charming, Cruella, The Jungle Book 2 can’t be called remakes but riding on the wave of live looking films.
Angelina Jolie will be Maleficent again which makes me sad. They had to change the story in the first one to make her the good guy. That is star power!
The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio are on the list too.
So, here is my question. Beyond making a small mountain of cash, why do it? Some remakes are faithful like Beauty and Beast and some are not, like Cinderella not having any musical numbers.
Writers and directors are re-imaging the stories and this is where my doubt rests. It comes down, to me, in “rewatchablility”, if that is a word. My nieces knew Aladdin and Frozen by heart and would play these movies over and over. Myself, I have seen the 1939 Snow White many times and will again. The new Jungle Book was very good but I have no wish to see it again, there are no scenes in it that I cherish and hold dear.
I wonder if there are kids now who are re-playing the remake of The Jungle Book over and over, all day long.
The originals were hits or masterpieces that have stood the test of time. In them, we have cherished moments that we want to see again and again because it delights us. The abstraction of animation, the cartoon variety, allowed for violence and sex to be plot points or humor points without showing us the dirt and I think live action can not sanitize a world.
It is tough for me to see Disney banking on nostalgia for the originals while re-imagining the stories, cleaning them up, often dropping favorite songs. So, I am doubting Disney but I can promise that I’ll see every one of them!