From animation to reality: Why is Disney making live-action remakes?

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"They are not stupid and they know that it would be complicated and, at the same time, very risky to make remakes of the classics in the same field of the animation in which they were born": Edmon Roch

From animation to reality: Why is Disney making live-action remakes?

A couple of weeks ago, Disney released the trailers of two films that are coming out in 2019: Dumbo and The Lion King. Unlike the movies of 1941 and 1994, the two films will not be animated but will feature actors playing the characters of these Disney classics or, in the case of the animals, real versions of them.

Leer en español: De la animación a la realidad: Disney le apuesta al remake live action

On the one hand, the film of the flying elephant will premiere around the world on March 29. On the other hand, the story of Simba will premiere on July 19 in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the premiere of the animated version, according to Infobae. However, these are just some examples of what Disney has done over the last few years, recreating their animated classics in what experts have called live-action.

You can also read: Disney fan? 5 movies that you need to watch in 2019

Is it really necessary?

Just as many people find it interesting to bet on live-action remakes of the epic animated stories, others do not find this "change" coherent, and they argue that the movies have the same stories only in a more real format with less fantasy. For example, websites like Los Replicantes have labeled this change as necessary for the Disney economy, but not for the interests and tastes of its viewers.

"Perhaps, in an attempt to recover all that lost generation (...) someone came up with the happy idea of making those classic characters flesh and blood characters ... A big mistake! This generation likes animation!" said the newspaper in one of its articles.

However, Hollywood has become an industry that in recent years has made the same stories but in other formats. So Disney, with its importance, could not be left behind.

In relation to this, the producer of Tad, the Lost Explorer, Edmon Roch, said that "Disney joins the policy of remakes and sequels, but they are not stupid and know that it would be complicated and, at the same time, very risky to make remakes of the classics in the same field of the animation in which they were born".

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On the other hand, the newspaper La Vanguardia remembers that, although the idea of a remake is to tell the same story with a somewhat different argument, Disney, in essence, has an ideology and unique results. For this reason, although its live-action films are "a faithful reading of the original film (...) maybe that's where the grace and secret of its success lies," explains the Spanish media.

Also, in a matter of script payment, the idea is very attractive. According to the portal Espinof, "the WGA does not cover the animated productions, so Disney has no obligation to pay any financial compensation to those responsible for the original script in the case of these adaptations in live action."

Of course, many of the old writers of Disney's animated films did not like this. That is the case of Terry Rossio, screenwriter of Aladdin.

"So strange that literally the only words spoken in the new Aladdin trailer happens to be a rhyme that my writing partner and I wrote, and Disney offers us any compensation (or any of the writers of these remakes in real action), not even a t-shirt or a pass for the theme parks, "Rossio wrote on his Twitter account.

However, Disney knows how to make their moves, and in this case the norm plays in their favor.

A whole franchise

In addition to the premiere of Dumbo, The Lion King and Aladdin, several specialized media such as E! or 20 minutes already announced the premiere of at least seven remakes of the Disney classics. Among the most important are Mulan (1998); Lady and the Tramp (1955); Tinker Bell (Peter Pan, 1953) and Pinocchio (1940).

All this began in 1994 with the first live-action film of The Jungle Book (1967), entitled with the same name plus the phrase "the adventure continues." The Los Angeles Times reported in the year of its premiere that "the studio (Disney) puts on screen a live action movie that costs almost 30 million dollars", a budget more than high for the time.

This was followed by 101 Dalmatians (1996) and its sequel 102 Dalmatians (2000). Then it was released Alice in Wonderland (2010), a movie that was the beginning of a whole series of remakes in real life, during the last 8 years.

With all this, there is no doubt that while these movies are profitable and people show some illusion for these stories, Disney will continue to exploit its classics in a new format much more real. After all, as described by El País of Spain, this entertainment company owns "a magical territory with three forbidden words: Happily Never After."

LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández

Translated from "De la animación a la realidad: Disney le apuesta al remake live action"

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