Disney has released a few live action remakes. Some well received, and others highly criticized. Aladdin (2019) and Cinderella (2015) were well received while The Lion King (2019) and Tarzan (2016) were not. The Lion King used highly realistic CGI but this resulted in less expressive characters which was then less impactful than the animated version. What was lost in media translation? Discuss the pros and cons of animation versus live action and discuss why animated movies struggle to be remade well as live action films.
To be accurate, animated movies do not "struggle" to be remade in live action. The Lion King is, for the most part, a technological marvel of getting human voices out of realistic-looking animals. As you pointed out, this realism sacrificed expressiveness in the animals' faces, which is one reason audiences didn't like the results.
Perhaps the "struggle" is in making the new things interesting enough for audiences to consider them as good or better than the old, familiar 2D animated movies. – noahspud4 weeks ago
I would argue that the remakes would be more well received if they did not have well-loved predecessors. Maybe nostalgia factor sets a higher bar for Disney to try and recreate the magic audiences felt from watching the films as children, which results in bad reception if they can't live up to that standard. – isobelarcher3 weeks ago
Most of these live action remakes are extremely high-budget and well made, which begs the question of why they aren't as well received. I believe this is because audiences are not as interested in the idea of watching basically the same movie over again. They already found something to love-something that brings them nostolgia within the animated films. While the movies do tend to be well made, there's no doubt that there's a semblance of boredom within its primary audience. – brookecandelario3 weeks ago
From my interpretation of Disney’s live action remakes, one of the key problems is that many of them are not fully utilising the live action medium to create films that are different from their animated counterparts. Of the live action remakes that I have watched, I think Cruella was one of the better movies because the costuming was a significant part of the story, and thus, justified why the film had to be made in live action rather than with animation. Many of the other live action films do not seem to utilise the elements of live action filmmaking that differ from animation, and in my view, are consequently not adding anything new to the stories. – UtopiaRocket3 days ago
Many of the live-action remakes and reimaginings of classic Disney cartoons add elements that are not in the source material. Often these elements further develop characters, especially secondary ones, in meaningful ways. Jasmine is made to be more independent, Maleficent is sympathetic, as is Cruella, the Beast finally has his own ballad to express his love for Belle. But who are these remakes aimed toward? Adults who were children during the Disney renaissance? Do these reimaginings intend to capitalize the millennials’ nostalgia? Or are they opening the door for children to access older films that Disney fears the kids will be unable to appreciate otherwise?
Disney is likely just milking its IP as much as possible without needing to create a unique story while capitalizing on star power and shorter conception to final product turnover with a fleshed-out live-action remake. The remakes are for-profit and fill out the limited Disney+ content as it cannot compete directly with big brands like Netflix or Amazon for serialized content but the remakes can be something to advertise for months and keep subscribers on board between the fewer and further between original animations that they are famous for but take a decade to create. – AislynS12 months ago
I think the major issue is that they're trying to both honour the past and create something new. And they should probably lean more toward the latter. They're going to make money regardless. But at the same time, they shouldn't aim towards making something more relevant or political. They should go back to the core story and how it can be reinterpreted, not restated, both subtly and drastically. Don't try to sell the message, try to sell the spin. – JSJames11 months ago
In my opinion, Disney is running out of ideas and this is the only thing they can come up with. While I used to love Disney as a kid, my tolerance and likeness toward them is almost nonexistent. Their story lines are weak, they can't go 10 minutes without singing, and they overkill on mass consumer products. Why don't they tell a story without singing in it? Why don't they bring on new writers that have wild creative abilities? For once I'd like to see an actual story be told by Disney instead of singing and preaching. – Audry2 months ago
There has been many fairytales that have been written throughout the decades. One particular fairytale (little red riding hood) has taught us certain lessons and meanings about society. Explore how these meanings and teachings have changed within the 20th century.
Another thing to keep in mind is that "Cinderella" can mean any of a wide range of things. Over the centuries there have been many, many versions of Cinderella-type stories, in many different cultures. For instance, in Scotland there's the fairy tale of Rashin-Coatie, and certain Native American tribes have the tale of the Rough-Faced Girl (or something similar). So, there isn't really a single "traditional" version of Cinderella. – Debs3 years ago
This seems very interesting. While we might not be teaching children these tales anymore directly, the ideals and overall message are still strong to this day. – Aliadwan022 years ago
There are several scholarly articles that analyze this issue within Children's Literature Studies. – T. Palomino3 months ago
There are many characters within film where we think to ourselves I wonder what would happen if they were the lead. I think this everytime I watch a classic Disney film. Many of the characters backgrounds / life within the films are left out, so we don’t know much about them.
Yzma and Kronk (The Emperors New Groove) need their own spinoff series, or maybe a live action? Both are great characters who work so well together and it would be great make audiences aware of film, The Emperors New Groove. But yeah a lot of possibilities for this topic. – X.Welker2 years ago
When it comes to Disney films, films that target a wide demographic but must always cater to young children, it's sometimes hard to break out of the narrative formula: good wins and bad loses/redeems itself. It is always interesting to see a villain in the lime light if they have clear motivations but also a tinge of fear and regret over the bad things they have done. I would love to see my personal favourite Megera from Hercules get her own spin-off because she is a rare case of the 'princess' character starting off in league with the villain and becoming just as much a hero as the protagonist. Arguably though her development in the existing film is better more fleshed out anyway. – vinelouise2 years ago
Particularly following their purchase of 20th Century Fox and their gallery of successful IP, Disney now stand to own the primary market share of global box office. Many critics are decrying the ‘Disney-fication’ of culture as the death of diversity, a crushing blow to independent production, and the continuation of a soulless future of endless sequels and franchises.
Is this, however, a fair approximation? Are Disney simply representing what audiences have sought since the birth of the blockbuster in the mid-1970’s and the arrival of the high concept in the 1980’s? Is the jewel in their crown, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not simply the ultimate expression of audiences’ desire for cinema to be the ultimate escapist entertainment? Are Disney destroying originality or simply reconfiguring the way we engage with culture and media?
This is a great topic. I run into many people who think that Disney is trying to monopolize the market, but I don't think it's an evil agenda. I think Disney, like all corporations and businesses, are trying to do their job and make money. If purchasing 20th Century Fox will help them do that then that's what they're going to do.
Disney has been creating entertainment for years and they are in some ways the standard for entertainment. Finally, if you really think Disney is destroying film and is a terrible corporation, stop seeing their movies. If you really believe that's a problem, you are contributing to that problem by watching their movies and buying their merchandise. – OliviaS3 years ago
This would be very interesting to explore. There's definitely something to be said about one company producing the majority of the content released in cinema, which has the side effect of controlling what we're exposed to, would could be harmful under the wrong studio heads. Yet, it could lead to the production of amazing films, as seen in some of their latest releases. What will the future of cinema look like? – BelletheBrave3 years ago
You could look at given historic eras of Disney history to see if there is a difference of quality. – J.D. Jankowski3 years ago
Saving Mr. Banks (2013) was something of a groundbreaking film for Disney. The company had done films based on true stories before, but Saving Mr. Banks was the first to juxtapose the story of a Disney classic’s making with the story of the original work’s author. Saving Mr. Banks met with critical acclaim and is also one of my favorites in the canon. In fact, I’d very much like to see more films like this.
Do other films in the canon, live-action or animation, lend itself to this type of storytelling? Would actors or viewers be interested in say, learning about the personal lives and struggles behind the makings of Disney’s Golden, Bronze, or Renaissance films? Are there untold stories to be mined from animators (e.g,, Walt’s Nine Old Men, female animators, etc.) and other production staff/voice actors? Discuss.
Disney launched earlier this week (11/12/19) and reportedly had 10 million subscribers in the first 24 hours of its availability. This number is expected to continue to grow over the next few weeks. How will the streaming landscape be affected by Disney ‘s release? What effect will Disney have on Netflix and the upcoming HBO Max? Will Disney push these companies out of the streaming business? Will Netflix and HBO Max be forced to adopt new strategies to entice customers? The article would speculate/analyze how Disney is changing the streaming landscape and business.
Treasure Planet and Atlantis are both two early 2000s Disney movies that both had a steampunk/sci-fi vibe going for them. However, besides their few loyal followers, they are largely unpopular compared with the more mainstream movies such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen. Why did Disney’s era of "steampunk" animations seem to fail with their audience?
I'd highly recommend the video essay "Disney's Biggest Mistake" as it goes in-depth as to why Disney's own marketing, mismanagement, and meddling went to to destroy Treasure Planet's own chances at success. It's such a shame too, as I think both these movies are pretty good. Treasure Planet is genuinely so well-written and well-animated that it's really saddening to see it fail commercially. – Dimitri5 years ago
They did suffer from poor marketing and behind the scenes politics, true, but I think, while enjoyable, they also suffer from significant issues in content. I'd also look at Atlantis's "scandalous" PG rating, and how it effected box-office performance (similar to The Black Cauldron in the 80's). In general, the early 2000's was a rough time for Disney--maybe look at how the politics led to their problems, and whether the steampunk genre was something worth pursuing for Disney, and executives blamed the genre for their failure rather than the execution. – Allie Dawson5 years ago
Lately, Disney and Pixar films have been touching on some deep themes and subject matter that normal children’s films wouldn’t dare approach. Disability as a strength in "Finding Dory," loss and overcoming grief in "Big Hero 6," and self acceptance in "Frozen" to name a few. Why is it beneficial to present such weighty topics to children? How can this positively impact the younger generation?
I think by normalizing these tough subjects through the use of fun/beloved characters children can come to their own understanding of mental illness/disability/trauma.
Like instead of being a movie about a character who hates herself and who she is doesn't matter, Disney created a character out of Elsa that people (kids and adults alike) can connect to. This humanizes these real-world issues in a way that kids can at least kind of understand, even if the movies don't go too intense on these serious issues. Like, by knowing Dory and how her memory loss impacts her, kids can get to to know the character and love her - with the disability included as just a part of who she is. It doesn't detract from who she is, it's just a part of her and who she is. – Dimitri5 years ago
I agree with what Dimitri has written. The truth is that children these days are becoming more and more accustomed to social media- which means the risk of them seeing these adult topics in an adult fashion is only increasing. Showing it to them in a kid-friendly way- with heroes that they can be inspired by and look up to- is a great way of broaching the topic and perhaps even starting a discussion about it. It also helps that more and more female heroes are being introduced into these movies- now both boys and girls have someone they can look up to! – Thenoshman5 years ago
Love this topic! Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit for, and I think Disney has made some great choices in the topics they choose to present, as well as the way they are presented. I just might grab this one... :) – Stephanie M.5 years ago
This is a great topic, Disney have done some really great things in helping children understand topics that are quite difficult to express to them. As an adult, I find some of the films heartbreaking but an important lesson for all the children watching while their minds are still developing. – jesschaudhry5 years ago
Really interesting topic and worth exploring. To add a new slant/get the most out of this discussion, I would suggest contrasting the newer 'deep' themes with Disney's original intentions. When he established the company, Walt Disney stated that his films appealed to "that fine, clean, unspoiled spot down deep in every one of us." This aim is evident in a lot of his early, sanitised adaptions of fairy tales, where traditional ideas of female maturity are eschewed in favour of idealising childlike innocence. There's also been a tendency for Disney films to omit darker themes, such as the original endings of Snow White and The Little Mermaid, even though these stories have been told to children to centuries. This newer tendency to depict more emotionally hard-hitting themes is a far cry from Disney's appeal to the "unspoiled spot", but it shows how far the company has come in its time. Now, Disney is willing to adapt to a new age that recognises and explores the difficulties that children are likely to encounter in their lives, instead of just covering them up. – EllyB5 years ago
In my opinion hitting these tooics in a big company like Disney isn’t that bad. You have to think about the kids today and of course they grow up to fast. We live in a progressive era where technology exists and social media controls society. Of course the old disney had shows where they talked about topics like this. Our life wont always be a fairytale and I think thats is what Disney is trying to capture in their new movies and shows. They want to have a theme. A real theme and formulate it into a kid friendly way even though the adults will notice it. – 2klonewolf4 years ago
I've actually written a full essay about the connection between Elsa's struggles and my own with anxiety that I hope to publish here. I like that Disney isn't afraid to explore these topics in a relatable way, so that even if kids don't know how to verbalize what they're thinking and feeling, they still come to understand that they're not alone. That's the most important realization I've made yet! – EnsignBush4 years ago
When Disney announced their intent to acquire a large chunk of 21st Century Fox on December 14, cinephiles and television enthusiasts alike released a harmonious d’oh! Although the deal could take more than a year to close (if regulators approve), I think we are all left wondering what this merger could mean for the future of media consumption. Domestic box office attendance in 2017 is reported to have been the lowest in 25 years. With Disney simultaneously planning their own streaming service, could this merger signal the death of theatre going as we know it?
The death of cinema has long been predicted. Perhaps with digital media, the demise of movies can be expected. This topic is timely. – Munjeera5 years ago
Definitely interested to see what the writer comes up with, not only in terms of how the merger will affect cinema, but how it will affect both companies and their fans. I'm already seeing memes, comments, and so forth rejoicing over the fact that Anastasia could be considered an official Disney princess, for one. I see some potential new fandoms and fan culture popping up here. – Stephanie M.5 years ago
If Anastasia becomes a Disney princess, so should Esmerelda from Hunchback. But I digress... – Munjeera5 years ago
Digress all you want; she is my favorite honorary princess and I agree, she should be made official. – Stephanie M.5 years ago
Perhaps also talk about the Murdoch empire and their recent run in with regulatory authorities in England. – derBruderspielt5 years ago