Disney has been obsessed when it comes to remaking its successful films. From the remake of “Cinderella” to the recent adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” the Walt Disney Company has made no qualms about repackaging audience’s nostalgia for their older films.
Some of these remakes have been good (“The Jungle Book”) while others (“Maleficent”) have fallen short of their expectations. However, there is an outlying problem that Disney seems to not understand: Remaking a good movie doesn’t necessarily make the remake a good movie.
Disney seems to be relying mostly on the audience’s nostalgia to propel the box office numbers. They change a few things in the remakes, maybe add a song or two or change the setting, and then load CGI onto the picture. This seems to be their formula for reimagining classic animated films in a live-action setting.
One thing that Disney needs to realize is that if it isn’t broken, you don’t have to fix it. Unless they have something genuinely new and exciting to bring to the table, they end up just rehashing a film that has already been done.
Take, for instance, the recent adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” released a few weeks ago. The film attempts to answer the “questions” audiences had about the original film, but in doing so misses the point of the film entirely. People love movies because of the experience, warts and all. “Beauty and the Beast” is considered a classic because of its entire presentation, from the faulty logic in the witch’s spell to the breathtaking ballroom scene. The film is beloved despite its flaws.
Attempting to fix small contrivances or plot holes only manage to highlight flaws in both the original and the new film. It creates this self-aware feeling that can alienate filmgoers.
While Disney has proven that remakes can work to make bigger box office draws (“Beauty and the Beast” has broken box office records with its opening weekend), it fails to realize that the true artistic value lies in cultivating the new. Recent animated films, such as “Moana” and “Zootopia,” have proven that the company can still produce great original work, but they seem to think that they need to keep churning out remakes and changing their original classics.
Disney recently announced a remake of “Mulan”- with plans to not include any songs whatsoever. If they truly want fans to pay for movie tickets, they may want to rethink that idea.
All in all, Disney has to understand that it has the potential to create movies that touch audiences old and new. They only need to remember that creativity is what got them where they are today.
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