For many of us, Disney was the best thing in the movies when we were kids. Glorious Technicolor cartoons would be played on our televisions without end, with uninterrupted catchy tunes that will stay in our memories. and Disney knows that too well.
Today, the House of Mouse milks that sense of nostalgia. These projects are live-action remakes that make the 2D cartoons that we grew up realistically. There will be five remakes this year. You've probably already seen the Aladdin trailer and heard about the whole backlash against the genius.
And with live-action remakes of just about every comic book classic, Disney is obviously proud of this practical new cinematic universe that they've inherited. But it's a problem not only for the fans but also for Disney.
It's a bargain.
With generations of fans behind the classics of Disney, it's child's play for Disney to make remakes look like Aladdin selling tickets. Beauty and the Beast and Alice in Wonderland crossed the billion mark. The jungle book came just before.
The sight of superstars like Emma Watson or Will Smith playing our beloved characters is just too irresistible for spectators who are sure to fill the squares. It is a low-risk investment, which is associated with a higher profit guarantee.
Little incentive for original ideas
This is about complacency. Although each of these films is decent in its own way, the expense of innovation and improvement over the original is low.
The classics are used as casts. A template for many iconic scenes, newly created shot-for-shot, reused color schemes and reused camera angles. Stories are so popular and popular that they remain largely untouched.
Using our love of nostalgia and relapses, filmmakers have little room to take the well-trodden path – innovation – and instead have to copy old ideas.
If Disney is proud to be an institution with great ideas, using its old classics as a crutch can not do it justice.
Lack of Quality
On a visual level, Disney's live-action remakes were nothing special. Costumes and stage design were first class. The effects shown in the latest Aladdin trailer look appropriately magical, and the animation in The Jungle Book deserves the Oscar for Best Visual Effects He Wins. These films are visual festivals.
Where most is missing, his performances, especially his musical numbers, are for many the heart and soul of the classics.
Although Emma Watson may well be an accomplished actress, her vocal abilities failed to withstand Paige O & Hara, a Broadway veteran who voiced Belle in the original animation.
Live action remakes need to take care of giving their characters famous faces that would attract masses. The reward: the music. They simply do not stick to the originals, so the songs are downplayed in the action movies and miss out on this crucial element of nostalgia that matters so much to us.
Music and performances are often what time lasts – one thing is missing. But to Disney's problems, ironically, the obsession with photorealism is also what makes the legacy of his live-action movies, at best, momentarily.
Like phones and all technology, a good CGI does not behave well. In a few years, the 3D animation will be outdated. Wreck-It-Ralph does not like his sequel today, is superior in detail and fluent in the movement. The eerie image of the upcoming Lion King remake may not be hype at the moment, but in a few years' time it will likely be a victim of old age as animation technology gets even better.
Funny enough, one would not say that the style of classic Disney movies is "outdated". It was old technology, but they did not just want to impress on a technical level. It was art. The iconic mix of digital scanning, ink, color and software would take years. It was a work that extended the post-production of Mary Poppin's returns by months just to regain the appearance of classic animations. This is art that holds.
The Exceptions Of course, not all of Disney's efforts seem like cynical fund-raising. There are rates that have taken risks. Delivering films feels fresh.
Maleficent gave us a whole new twist on the delusion of sleeping beauty with a new perspective and a fantastic central performance by Angelina Jolie.
The Jungle Book was not only a huge statement on movement detection, but took risks by telling a dark story that remained more faithful to the divisive themes of the novel.
There is a trend here: these films take risks. And we want more of it. Since Disney knows too well that their remakes will turn them into winning minds, why not take the chance to give the audience something truly new and refreshing?
Subvert the Originals
If Disney's efforts show anything, good storytelling is timeless. The originals were appreciated not only for their music and art, both of which are still remarkably good, but also because of the heartfelt tales and related characters.
We've all heard the usual apology for a reboot: updating the classics for a new generation. However, without being too dramatic, Disney's determination to recast these classics with a new CGI touch sends a cynical message that these ancient gems are not suitable for children today. And we could not disagree anymore.
In all these years, the magic of these films has not faded a bit. They are still as adorable, colorful and moving as ever – and if Disney really believes that, it may be better to leave them alone.