Bringing Disney movies to life

Morgan Prater '19, Business manager

The world of Disney is a monopoly of characters and movies and theme parks. Most children grew up on Disney movies and TV shows. From their first movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the newest release of a live-action Dumbo, Disney has been teaching children valuable life lessons. But creating animated movies was not enough within the last five years Disney has announced a plethora of new live-action remakes of their original films.

Currently in the works are live-action versions of Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, Mulan, Lady and the Tramp, The Sword in the Stone, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and The Little Mermaid. These do not include the spin off movies such as Cruella which will follow the antagonist from 101 Dalmations, Cruella De Vil, or Prince Charming which will follow Prince Charming and his lesser known brother.

Aladdin and The Lion King are set to premiere later this year. Dumbo was released on Mar. 29 of this year and the other two are right behind it. The great controversy over these movies is whether or not they are necessary. Many people are content with the animated versions that are currently in place.

Very few of these live-action films accurately follow the storyline already set in place. For example the many remakes of Cinderella all tell the story a little bit differently.

Another downside to these movies is the difficulty of portraying animated characters as real and living. There have been social media wars over sneak previews of Scar from The Lion King and Stitch from Lilo and Stitch. Fans of these movies are outraged over how these characters are being portrayed saying it is inaccurate.

The pressure to make these movies successful is a very harsh one. If the movie is not just how the fans would like it, it could fail. This is exactly what happened when the remake of Dumbo was released. The box office numbers for these movies was the lowest of any Disney remake so far. This is believed to be due to the dark nature of the story line that the director chose. This does not bode well for future Disney movies.

The questions is, “Why is Disney making all of these remakes? And why now?”

The simple answer to that is money. Disney has become very powerful and well known in this era. They have bought out several companies such as Lucasfilm and Marvel. They want to make even more money. It is a safe bet to remake old movies. By remaking already popular movies and adding details to them they avoid the risk of making irrelevant movies. Fans become intrigued about learning new details about their favorite character.

“Recently the industry has seen a solid string of success born out of rebooting or upgrading content from the past. This is a risk-averse strategy. You bank on content where people already have a sense of the characters, they have a sense of what the plot is, what the story is,” FiveThirtyEight pop culture expert Walt Hickey told ABC.

Senior Alexis Johnson also gave her opinion on the topic.

“I think they’re making the new remakes to keep past and present fans excited about the classic films,” she said. “I don’t think it is necessary to remake the movies but I think other Disney fans and myself are excited for what Disney has in store for their classic movies.”