There is a big influx at the moment of animations, particularly Disney re-creating their films as live action remakes. So far Maleficient, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast have all been / soon to be released with many more in the pipeline including Genies (about how the Genie became the Genie in Aladdin), Mulan, Winnie The Pooh and Pinocchio. Is the live action remake reimagining the magic of the animation or is it breaking down the creations that has produced many happy childhoods for thousands of children?
One of the main reasons why animations are being remade into live actions is because of the money that they create at the box office the 101 Dalmations Live Action film with Glenn Close broke box office records on the week of its release and was the top grossing film of the year. In 2010 Tim Burtons films Alice in Wonderland may have been hit hard with the critics but it still was a huge financial success at the box office making up over a billion dollars.
An article by The New Statesman sums up maybe a reason why Disney is remaking so many of its old films:
The Disney brand depends on nostalgia to reel in children and adults alike. It’s earliest animated successes, from the Thirties through to 1960, were variations of stories everyone had been told in childhood: Snow White, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty.
By reimagining the old classics that both children and adults love alike, it means that they are constantly modernizing the classics to bring a fresh new look to the story and also to keep reeling in audiences at the box office.
If we look at recent animations by Disney though it begs the question do we need to keep recycling the old stories into something new. Take a look at Frozen for example, it followed the basic slues of any Disney animation but with a twist, making the female leads stronger then any other film before. It received many positive reviews from the critics and became a worldwide phenomenon making nearly $1.3 billion worldwide. It has become such a huge Disney classic and the toys that went with it sold out left right and centre. The film also won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.
Another recent animated original film of Disney that did well at the box office was 2010’s Tangled. Apparently the film did take nearly 6 years to make and is apparently the most expensive animated film ever made and the fifth most expensive film of all time. However, the film received really positive reviews and went on to earn a lot worldwide.
Whilst there is a gap in the market for the live action remakes of Disney films to exist, i think it would be very sad if Disney made this their sole focus as there is so much potential to come out of Disney. They are one of the forefront runners of bringing childhood magic to life and it would be really sad if the animations that we all know and love, and the reason we all fell in love with Disney in the first place were ever to disappear permanently.