Western Courier

Do Disney’s live-action remakes maintain the magic?

Evan Williamson, Staff Writer

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Nostalgia is something that we all love. Reliving some of our favorite memories through re-releases of TV shows and movies. Disney for the past few years has been known to capitalize on such feelings, and with an influx of live-action remakes of animated classics Disney continues to help us relive our childhood and most likely ruining it at the same time. Live-action remakes are nothing new in the Disney world, as in 1996, “101 Dalmatians” was released.

This movie was a remake of the 1961 film “One Hundred and One Dalmatians.” The film had an all-star cast including Hugh Laurie better known for his role in House, Mark Williams who would go on to play Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter series, and Glenn Close who has been in multiple projects. It would give birth to an original sequel more than four years later with “102 Dalmatians.” After this, it would be 14 years before another live-action remake of an animated film. “Maleficent” which is based on “Sleeping Beauty.”

It is pretty much the story from Maleficent’s point of view. I actually enjoyed her not being the bad guy. Basically, it showed how she became a villain based on betrayal and then the eventual redemption. I keep this separate from “Sleeping Beauty” because of the uncharacteristic actions of certain characters. I love a good redemption story though. They’re talks of making a sequel to it, which is most likely going to be an original story.

In 2015, “Cinderella,” a remake of the beloved 1950 animated film of the same name, was released. This version of the story is a lot sadder it actually shows a younger Cinderella before her mom died. I haven’t seen the whole thing but from what I have seen and heard somethings are better in this movie while other things not so much. I will say this though they made it, so you genuinely hated the evil stepmother and stepsisters.

“The Jungle Book” remake in 2016 had a few memorable cast members. I enjoyed how they had the movie started just like the original movie and it also had some of the exact same music which was awesome. There were a few things I wasn’t crazy about the lack of the famous marching elephants with Colonel Hathi and the others. I was also very disappointed about them not having the Beetle’s Vultures as they were one of the best parts of the original movie. Beauty and the Beast was the most recent remake, it had an all-star cast and had the songs and music you loved from the original movie.

There were a few parts that I liked from the original that were taken out of the remake, but other than that it was good. Now we look to the future as the more beloved Disney films are getting a live-action remake. “Aladdin,” “Lion King” and “Mulan” are the most notable. The Aladdin remake has some controversy but I’m sure it will be good. There is no doubt however that some of the dialogue used in the original will not be entertained in the remake (you can probably guess what I’m talking about). “Mulan” is one I’m also looking forward to.

I have always been drawn to strong female characters. Being interested in Chinese culture also makes this one to see. However rumors of a couple main characters not being in the film including “the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible Mushu!”.; and the announcement that none of the songs from the original movie will be in it, makes it loose a lot of its appeal. However they do have till 2020 so maybe they can learn from their mistakes.

Of course, the one that will be the most anticipated and most complained about movie (mostly by me) “The Lion King” live-action remake. The Lion King is one of the most beloved Disney movies ever (better than Frozen, sorry kids). I personally can quote the whole movie, so any changes will be noticed, but that is what happens when a beloved show or movie is remade.

Think about what your parents and grandparents had to go through with some of their shows and movies. There are a lot of other remakes that are rumored to be in the works, and the success of this next crop of remakes could determine whether or not more will be made.

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Do Disney’s live-action remakes maintain the magic?