I love you, Walt Disney films once upon a dream… Why must you keep remaking classics like The Lion King? Yet I know it’s nostalgia, everyone’s in on it like crazy… But if I know you, I know what you’ll do… You’ll milk that shit, the way you did once (with) direct to home films…
WARNING! This is completely my opinion, not a fact or “wrong”. I’m sort of letting off steam in this, apologies if it’s too ranty or I ripped a movie to pieces. Also this was NOT published on July 27th. It was posted on August 6th… it’s weird that it’s not on the top of the home page but I can’t do anything about it.
I hate writing this to be honest. I don’t want to think about Beauty and the Beast 2017, nor Aladdin remake, Lion King remake anything Disney remakes of their original classics. I just want to be excited for the Incredibles 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3. But the 19 live-action remakes just bother me too much. I can’t watch Beauty and the Beast without thinking about every frame of animation, the energy and emotion in all of them. I probably will repeat what others might’ve already said, if I do, I apologize in advance.
Let’s start off with the one I saw recently: Beauty and the Beast 2017. If you like this film, I’m happy you are able to see something in it that I cannot. But admit Emma Watson cannot sing. Or at least the servants look creepy/overdetailed. As someone who considers Beauty and the Beast 1991 my favorite 2D Disney animated film, it’s so hard to watch it twice only live action and less energy. I recently watched both versions and I prefer the animated of course. BB’17 is… not great. It’s not as bad as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland or Maleficent, and I liked both films. What separates both Alice, Maleficent and BB’17 for me is that it does something different. It doesn’t follow the animated or books, it’s attempting to be a cliche’d chosen one story. Maleficent took it from a different perspective, it was odd but entertaining. BB’17 made sure it was EXACTLY the same. Dialog, scenes, nothing changed except added story that really wasn’t needed. Oh and making LeFou “gay”. As much as I liked Emma Watson in Harry Potter, she couldn’t sell me on being Belle. She didn’t express a whole lot of emotion or brought energy to it. In fact, a lot of the characters to me felt tired or low on energy. Except for Gaston and LeFou who surprisingly were the best part. Songs were padded with weird pauses and godawful autotuning for some. Lots and lots of castle shots… Despite my negativity, I enjoyed some performances (Gaston) and I give credit to Dan Stevens, actor who played the Beast, wearing a bulky suit the whole time. Their attempt to “fix plot holes” is interesting… more on that later. I can see people liking this, but when I turn to the 1991 classic, why do people like ’17? The 1991 was animated beautifully, utilizing CG with 2D animation, which was groundbreaking at the time. Even the tiniest things, the Beast doubts his actions in earlier scenes. Actors and actresses can sing WITHOUT auto-tuning! And although animation can take liberties in expressing more emotion, the voice actors still match that feeling and chemistry between characters. We didn’t care about what happened to the main cast’s back story back then. We can theorize it but it doesn’t affect the plot too much for it to matter. And the stupid book thing they added in ’17 version made a bigger plot hole. Why couldn’t Belle use the book to save her father when she found out about it and not have the Enchantress save his ass? All she had to do is think of where she saw him in the mirror, grab the book and hop into the place where he’s at. The Beast can still sing his fan-favorite song, she wouldn’t have to go out and find him dramatically like the animated.
Lion King remake. All CGI. Original took 6 years, with HALF of it working on a jaw dropping scene. 2019. What’s the point? It’s all animated anyways, only more realistic; Got some original voice actors reprising their roles; if I predict it right it’s just going to be the same thing as the 1994 animated version. What’s the point other than DEM MONEE$? Same thing goes with Aladdin and The Little Mermaid remakes too. I know that they’re getting other actors for the roles, but seeing what they’ve done so far it’s going to be the same as the animated. Nothing different in story, just different actors. If they were going to make it closer to the original stories or put a twist on it, I’d be more willing to give it a chance. But changes like adding a book or back story to characters that doesn’t do anything for the characters or add on to the story, doesn’t count. It’s just fluff.
I don’t mind it if they try to change it up. I do mind if they are only making 4 animated movies compared to 19 CGI films. You may say “Well it’s still the same thing. CGI is like animation”. You’re not wrong, however it’s a different kind of animation that separates itself from the animation genre. “You don’t have to see the movies” and I’m not. It’s infuriating when they’re not trying something new and there’s barely any animated films coming out. The fact that they’re remaking this many movies pisses me off. “It’s just a phase that Hollywood’s going through. They’ll get over it” unless if we keep feeding into it they won’t. Disney just makes it worse by not only attracting the kiddies but the adults. Doesn’t matter if the film is good or not, more likely The Lion King is going to be EXACTLY the same as the original. “Musicals are similar to the animated films, isn’t that what the recent Disney remakes like?” No. As someone who’s not only seen musicals but also participated in them, it’s different. It’s not like they’re adapting the musicals to the live action remakes. The musicals are actually quite different from their original source sometimes. Ursula and Triton were brother and sister in the musical and they had more siblings… they were killed off by Ursula. The dragon in Shrek the Musical (yes it’s real) actually had a song, and it didn’t have a lot of the songs in the movie. They all resemble the animated film, but they still stand out to be their own thing. The live action remake for BB ’17 was exactly the same as the animated. Jungle Book ’16 was almost exactly the same except for the ending… which was a really weird ending to be honest.
In the end… I want to see Disney blow us away with story, animation and more. Hell, I want 2D animated films in theaters again. But right now, knowing Disney who will milk the crap out of an idea or movie a la Frozen, it’s going to be a while. My dream is to be an animator, whether it’s at Disney or on my own. Maybe I’m being too whiny or rambling on too long, but I needed to tell or vent to someone/thing. I hope you guys read this and learn a new perspective from it. Again, I’m not trying to say my opinion is fact. I’d like to read your stance on this in the comments. Is Disney going overboard with the remakes? Or is it back in it’s direct to home video phase again but only with remaking classics? Am I just crazy? Probably.
Thanks for reading if you got to the end of this. This has been on my mind since I saw BB’17 (early July) and the news about Disney’s 19 remakes. I’m terribly sorry that the BB’17 section is very long… it had to be done. Hopefully it’s reasonable to you, I rewrote this a lot.