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Disney Live-Action Remakes

The Goodman

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#1
With the upcoming release of Aladdin this weekend, reviews from pre-release screenings are already starting to trickle in. How do you feel about Disney remaking its classic animated films?

There's a lot of layers to this, so, that's why I put this thread in the Academy for discussion. Because on the one hand, people are reasonably cynical about Disney behavior in regards to how they decide to make money(anybody wanna revisit the original Aladdin controversy and how they screwed up their relationship with Robin Williams?). On the other....they're a company, yeah. That's kind of the point, to not just bleed and tell a story but to make a profit. And sometimes, it can feel like "hating on Disney" is the in vogue thing to do, which can get confusing in regards to our expectations for altruism from a corporation as massive as they are.

So, how do you feel about the live-action remakes? Do you like those movies? Are you in support of Disney exhuming these corpses to get more money out of them?

There's a play upon nostalgia here, of course, but it's double edged. People who love these remakes seem to love them for the nostalgia they feel for the original animated movies. And those who hate them also seem to have a bit of loyalty that feels betrayed in regards to the originals.

How do you feel about the contradiction of "live-action remake" for films like the upcoming Lion King where the entire thing is going to be computer animated animals?

What do you think about changing things from the source material? Is it a good thing? How much change is good in your book?

I have heard mixed things about this. Because on the one hand, it seems to not be worth it to some people if you just do a word for word, shot by shot remake. But then on the other, some of these changes feel superfluous, like they were correcting things that weren't really plot holes, or ruining people's expectations in regards to wanting to see the films at all. It feels like there might be a good balance to achieve when remaking a film but the director making it their own, bringing it up to speed for a new, modern audience.
 
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#2
I mean... I really don't see any of these being meaningful on their own.
The Aladdin clips I've seen seem so devoid of energy. I was down with Will Smith genie but he seems to be phoning it in.

If people like these, that's how it is. But from my standpoint they don't really do anything new. Beauty and the Beast was good if you'd never seen the original because it was basically the same...

And like Lion King, again, it just looks the same. They're not taking any risks or trying to do anything, such is why I think the cynical view is justified. (I would have loved to see a Lion King live action film that drew aesthetics from the stage musical, but that wouldn't have the mass appeal since it would be too different on a screen).

But I'm not a complainer. Theres lots of trends i don't like that i just gotta except.
I just won't go see them. When they make it to the library I'll likely check them out for curiosity.
 

Saber Arturia

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#3
Personally i'm not a fan of them. They seem pretty redundant to me, and I think that's the biggest sin a movie can have. What do they bring to the screen that the original version didn't? Also, I just feel there's something lost in bringing these animations to live action. It's definitely the nostalgia in me talking but the Lion King and Aladdin are incredible works of animation and making them live action just... I don't know, sours it. There's no creativity in the live action remakes.
 

The Goodman

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#4
I agree. Something felt leeched from them, very by rote, which is a valid criticism. Do you think the problem is possibly pressure to make it close to the original? Like, the desire to not stray from the track can make it come off as...rehearsed rather than natural?

There's something odd that happens too when they do try to make old lines new or fresh by saying them with different inflection, but it changes the meaning, context, and feeling of a scene. They did that a lot in Beauty and the Beast, I noticed. It almost felt like the new filmmakers didn't understand the dynamics or character arcs from the original.
 
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#5
I think there is pressure to not change too much, but only be cause they want to minimize audience alienation.

If you were doing a passion project to remake the films directly to another media, it'd be a little more justifiable.

But they're just doing the stock "make it according to market testing" deal.
 

The Goodman

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#6
Yes, that seems to be the problem with a lot of these remade films. *nods* I'm fascinated with the behind the scenes analysis of Disney as a company and how it operates, particularly as part of the public consciousness of it. Like, it didn't feel like shilling was part of the public narrative for it until the feud between Eisner and Katzenberg. Now, we just kind of take for granted that they're greedy and will do anything for profit.
 

taffy_felice

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#7
I consider myself easy to please, show me a princess and make it feel magical and let me escape for two hours? I'm in.

With that in mind, Aladdin was garbage. It just felt like a bad copy of the original and the new Jasmine song didn't fit at all, I was actually looking forward to it too, being of color and with few options Jasmine was MY princess, even if I'm Korean. I just feel like they've weaponized nostalgia now, when they're capable of doing great new things (frozen, moana etc.)
 

Princess_Kaylin

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#8
I have not seen Aladdin yet, but I am hearing good things if you compare it to broadway. As for hte live actions I have liked a few.

The jungle book I loved, same with Cinderella because I hated the original with a passion. It was just way too dry....I would be curious to see snow white but I did love Beauty and the Beast.

Now these are in no way my love for many of the originals. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies animated and I would watch that a ton same with Aladdin, Tangled, Brave, and frozen. I also was a huge fan of Lilo and stitch but I could not see that ever becoming live action.

The lion king is another big one and I am hoping they go more of the broadway feel for the live action cause I loved the broadway story more than the animated.
 

taffy_felice

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#9
I did like Jungle Book quite a bit (though I got this weird crush on snakes with Scarlet Johanson's voice because of it :p)- Aladdin just felt... IDK- Phoned in. If it makes little kids happy, that's probably more important, I had my time with Jasmine, and I guess it's maybe time to let it go. *Music starts* STOP THAT! *Needle Scratch*
 
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#10
I'm just going to keep my reply simple. For me? The remakes are - more often than not - a hard no.

Probably a bit biased, but as one of the women who did grow up to Disney? It just ... it doesn't feel like it was necessary. The originals were amazing, quite frankly.

But like a lot of others have said, the fact they failed to take many risks makes it that much more disappointing. Because if they had to do a remake, you should do something to make it stand out. Improve it, somehow.

Remakes, in general, are a very ... it's one of those topics that is very likely to have one half of people who like them and one half who don't like them. I'm the latter ... and not just with Disney.

I recently watched both versions of Pet Sematary and can say with no doubts in my mind I absolutely preferred the original one. The risks that were taken with the new one didn't work for me.

Anyway, there's my two cents.

-Athene
 
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#11
What strikes me as the oddest is that the film that started this, Maleficent, was anything but safe. A retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the villain’s perspective where she is a rape survivor seeking vengeance on the man who wronged her? Whether you like it or not, it was a hell of a risky and original idea to go for.

Which makes it all the stranger that everything that followed has been relatively straight forward remakes. Personally, I’m a fan of the idea of a remake. I just want there to be a reason for. Like, for example, what if Aladdin was set in the modern day? Beauty and the Beast shot more as a horror than a romance? Gender flipped Cinderella? I don’t know if any of those ideas are good, but it’d be something. Something that makes it clear there was a reason to make it beyond “it’s a guaranteed couple hundred million dollars in between Marvel movies.”
 

Chai

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#13
I like the idea that Disney is making remakes. The thing with the remakes is that it’s not really for adults who grew up with the originals. Animation style has changed so much, that really it’s so that the youth of today can watch and appreciate these movies. A lot of these movies are over 20 years old, which is almost an entire generation. And yeah, you can pop one of those suckers in and have your kid watch it, but they can obviously see the dated animation style when you compare it to movies like Frozen, Moana, and Coco. I love that they’re taking the Disney classics and reinventing them for a new generation who might not have seen, or ever will see, the original animated film from like 1997 or whatever.

That being said, I’m disappointed in the execution. It’s still entertaining for the intended demographic, but as adults we can pick out the things that are “wrong” with it, or things we really don’t like, especially since we know what the original was like.
 
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#14
I sometimes find the old ones more beautiful. I like that I can show "old ones" to my little relatives and they can still enjoy.
 

NadiatheTinkerer

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#15
They are out of ideas so they rehash the hard work of more talented people and then make it worse. They may as well make a live action movie of beating she shit out of these characters for their wallets
 

TotesBurger

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#16
Honestly I wish they'd do the opposite. Take alot of they're live action movies and make them animated. I'd love to see an animated Pirates of the Caribbean!
 

The Goodman

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#17
Honestly I wish they'd do the opposite. Take alot of they're live action movies and make them animated. I'd love to see an animated Pirates of the Caribbean!
Oh, jeez. I dunno if that would be a better or worse idea. Animation is expensive compared to live action. Plus, there's still the mainstream impression that animated film is for children or people who have kids. So, you're basically halving your projected audience, because any remakes you make into cartoons will be automatically assumed to be for "kids only." Even if you market it as something for the whole family, unless it is blatantly adult, like something like Sausage Party, most people will not go to see it.

So, more expensive to make(unless you cut corners, lowering the quality somewhere, especially with big named actors coming in to provide the voice work; all animated films need a "hook" of a recognizable actor in them to draw in the crowds, so, most of the budget will go to that actor(s) paycheck), lowered projected percentage of the audience(so, that's less money you get back from it), AND dipping back into franchises that are popular as live-action? It sounds like a dumpster fire.
 

The Goodman

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#18
So, I feel this is relevant to discuss, whether you think the remakes are quality or not: Ariel will be played by Halle Bailey, a black woman. The optics are great for this and I think Disney made a great choice on which movie to change in this crucial way. The original 1989 film was set in the Caribbean, so, just for accuracy sake, it would be ridiculous to let a pale red head take the lead for that. I think Grace Randolph from Beyond the Trailer does an excellent thorough analysis.

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofq-k93AheY&t=637s


She does discuss McCarthy as Ursula in another video but it's not necessary for the points she makes here.


Also, she can sing.

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T4MajGTp1x8
 
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The Goodman

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#19
Apparently, the new Lion King is just about a shot by shot remake of the original film. I've heard it brought up in a couple early reviews that this feels like stealing from the original moviemakers and I find that a compelling idea. Particularly with this movie, where Favreau did the exact same iconic opening sequence, just with CGI....those weren't his ideas. Those camerawork choices weren't his but plucked straight from the original cartoon animated filmmakers.

That's a bit of an ethically shaky line, where now this new director gets all this credit for stuff he didn't originally create because he changed so very little. Does it bother you at all? Like, from a creator's perspective?
 
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#20
It's a tough thing for a remake movie.
Since, there's a further blurry line of "is this supposed to be upholding the original, or ripping it off?"
If it was a new movie story, but was clearly ripping off cinematography shot for shot, that would be more clear.
But this is SUPPOSED to be taking the idea of an original movie and redoing it.

It's hard to know without knowing the thought processes behind it. Is it to avoid cries of being too dissimilar, so they go too far in another direction? Is he giving interviews where he is trying to say he came up with it all on his own when it's not different?
 
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#21
Disney isnt exactly known for their originality. Hell, I'd say a good +90% of their movies are just adaptations. Their originals tend to be shithows. Hell, look at star wars. The Disney trilogy is just trying to remake the original trilogy.

So when they're scraping the bottom of the barrel, they just remake the stuff they've already made. Just now with modern politics and tropes thrown in.

I find the live action remakes to be bland, pandering, soulless and well, just damn boring. They have no energy to them, it looks like nobody involved in production, from the actors to the lighting crew, had any passion or drive in what they're doing. They're just there for a paycheck. This is true of all their modern work. Creativity, love of the craft etc... are all absent, and so they're pumping out boring bullshit remake after remake. The actions of a soulless conglomorite.

And the thing Is, cinema goers are noticing this. This is why i think they chose to make the new Ariel black. They'll beat the "progressive" drum and say how "woke" they are, but this is the same fucking company that made jim crow, the original unicorn sequence from fantasia and song of the south. They're doing it for the controversy. Controversy sells. Doesnt matter if the new Ariel is black, latino, Asian, Indian etc... it's just gonna be another bland, soulless piece of shit live action remake with none of the charm of the original.
 
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#22
I looked over info for The Little Mermaid, specifically about Ariel and her sisters, and there is a meme I saw that explains the daughters of the king were all representations of the seas (or so they say). And apparently Ariel represents the Red Sea, so hence red hair. I'm not sure if this is true, but it is interesting. Also, apparently Prince Eric is Danish. There is a lot about one of my favorite Disney movies as a child that I didn't know. As for a black woman playing Ariel, it would be one of the larger changed they had made to one of the remakes, so go for it.

 
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