Regarding These Live-Action Disney Remakes of Their Animated Films

disney canon classics

As everyone knows, Disney has recently been involved in a policy where they are making live-action remakes of their animated films. They’ve released Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and Cinderella. Each of them have been HUGE financial successes!

Now, there are 8 more live-action remakes in the production: Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Mulan, Cruella, and Pinocchio.

I, for one, am so sick and tired of this trend! I really disliked Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent! (I haven’t seen Cinderella yet.) And I think Dumbo and Winnie the Pooh are just stupid and/or bizarre ideas to make into live-action remakes!

I personally just want Disney to leave their animated classics alone and work on more original ideas. But, I’d like to know what you all think. So please tell me in the comments how you feel about this recent Disney trend.

49 thoughts on “Regarding These Live-Action Disney Remakes of Their Animated Films”

  1. I am not really tired of it. I think its good for Disney to update their classics, but I don’t think movies like Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, Pinocchio, etc. need re-makes.

  2. I’m with you. So far they are 1 out of 3 for me on the remakes and hopefully they will learn from Cinderella how to do it right but even then still not in love with Disney cannibalizing itself. I see why they are doing it because they have all done so well but I think they might be pushing their luck with so many in the works.

    Dumbo is probably the one I am looking forward to least because it is so short they will have to add a bunch of filler and I am so not into Tim Burton. Beauty and the Beast could be good but still skeptical. I wish they would stop the trend as well but unfortunately it seems we get a new announcement every day. Next up live action The Three Cabelleros.

      1. I agree. The idea of a CGI Lumiere without Jerry Orbach as the voice makes me sad inside. Do we know if they are using the music because they haven’t in any of the 3 so far? Cinderella gave me some hope for this trend but not much. At least it doesnt seem to be limiting their animated films but I think 8 is pressing their luck. I think they are getting greedy but we’ll see. I’m sure a few will be good but many will suck and be my worst of year like Maleficent

      2. They are; they have confirmed that all of the film’s songs, and at least some of the Broadway songs (they are intending to include most of them) will make its way. They officially claimed that the film is an adaptation of the Broadway musical.

  3. Well, I guess the Disney fans are kind of irked by this trend. I just hope after Beauty and the Beast, they will never dream of touching Mermaid, The Lion King or Aladdin. The latter two are performing great on Broadway, and should remain as status quo. No live-action film remake.

      1. Well, that is not going to bother me as much because you won’t have Ariel, Sebastian, Ursula etc. It is not part of the Disney one which I have loved for years.

  4. Completely agree…maleficent was refreshing as it was a whole new angle. I haven’t seen Cinderella yet but I’m worried and done get me started on Dumbo :-s. Also I’m pretty sure people have done live action versions of the jungle book many times and they are all rather rubbish! But who knows…they might find an interesting angle…I hope!

    1. We hope. Haha. You can check out my blog for more on this and other Disney things! I have one response piece to the Beauty and the Beast remake, and many other write-ups on Disney, so it might be easier for you to get hold of my opinion on this.

      1. Ditto for the Andy Serkis Jungle Book, as at least it won’t be a straight up remake of the animated classic. And while contrary to popular opinion, I still stand by my belief that the 90s Jungle Book was anything but awful, as it mercifully didn’t tell the story of the animated movie twice.

        But yeah, overall I’m not hopeful for the whole Disney remake craze they have right now. It will take a herculean amount of effort, charm and good writing to make Beauty and the Beast even remotely justifiable in live action. I hope they can pull it off, but it will still a blip in the Disney radar if it’s good. Unless they want to re-adapt the Prydain books and fix the problems with The Black Cauldron, they’re still one for three in terms of quality.

  5. It’s too much. I don’t mind a re-make here or there, but when it’s all they’re doing it’s disappointing that they aren’t trying for something original. And why are they announcing so many at once? Surely they won’t all be coming out within the same time frame? I feel like every week I’m opening my inbox to the news of a new Disney remake. Winnie the Pooh is absolutely ridiculous and I was hoping it was just a late April fool’s joke. Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite movie so I’m holding my breath about it – I liked Cinderella but hated Maleficent. Although I will admit I’m excited about the fact that they’ll be releasing a ton of Beauty and the Beast merchandise that I’ll want like they did with Cinderella.

  6. They’re also planning a remake of Pete’s Dragon and yeah, I know the original wasn’t fully animated but still. It feels as if Disney repeating themselves by unleashing a new series of unoriginal movies they can guarantee will make money *cough*Disney sequels*cough*. I’ll definitely see the Dumbo one, no matter how it turns out.

    1. Yeah, I was only referring to the live-action remakes of animated films from the Canon which is why I didn’t mention Pete’s Dragon. And honestly, a Pete’s Dragon remake doesn’t bother me at all. The original film itself isn’t all that well known so a remake may be a good thing. Now if they remade Mary Poppins, I’d be off the walls in anger!

      Oh yeah, I definitely wanna see the Dumbo one just to see how the heck it’s going to be.

  7. They’re obviously banking off the success of the originals, but not having seen any of these movies I don’t know how much I can add to the discussion. I have rented Maleficent though and when I’ve seen that I will comment.

    This is an annoying trend that probably should end, though.

      1. I’ll admit right now that I have never liked the original Sleeping Beauty. In fact, I actually fell asleep watching it as a child. (That isn’t a joke.) As far as I am concerned, it is an exercise in style over substance and a 75-minute animation showcase. The only characters who drive the plot are the 3 fairies and Maleficent. They are also the only characters. The rest are chess pieces, hollow archetypes that do what the plot requires them to and nothing more.

        I also find the idea of creating a sympathetic backstory for Maleficent very strange since in the original film she described herself as the “mistress of all evil” and declared her henchmen “a disgrace to the forces of evil”. Not to mention her only motivation for spending 16 years plotting against people who never harmed her was not being invited to a party.

      2. No, I really didn’t. The three fairies in Maleficent have interchangeable personalities and are worthless idiots who are incapable of taking care of Aurora.

        So what? They never deserved the time and focus they had in the original. They shouldn’t have been the most memorable characters. It’s nice that they gave at least three characters identifiable personalities in the original, but considering they did add personality and backstory for at least 2 characters (something the original couldn’t be bothered) and did actually give Aurora a bit more personality this doesn’t bother me much.

        Also, the fairies bumbled around like idiots struggling to make a proper cake or dress in the original after 16 years without magic, and they gave Aurora no supervision to protect her when she was out in the forest, and they also brought Aurora back shortly after midnight instead of after. The only reason Aurora’s location was secret for 16 years was because of the incompetence of Maleficent’s goons, and the only reason Aurora was discovered was because of the fairies having a stupid argument.

        The fairies only redeemed themselves in the third act and that was through using the prince as a human chess piece. And Maleficent also had one of the most hilarious scenes of all time in showing the prince thrown out like a rag doll like the worthless clod he always was.

        TL;DR The fairies sucked then, and they suck now and forever. The prince was hollow tool in original. In Maleficent he was a failure as a hollow tool for plot reasons.

  8. I truly do wish they’d start returning to original ideas again instead of remaking there animated classics to live-action. What’s next? Live-action Oliver & Company? Live-action Fox and the Hound?

    I don’t mind a few live-action remakes once in a while (the Jungle Book one sounds quite good) but to be perfectly honest, Disney needs to take a break for a while.

    And yes, Maleficent was bad.

    P.S: I already think they’ve done a 101 Dalmations thing already, that was live-action, and that Cruella was pretty good. I don’t see the point in doing it again but this time with the title ‘Cruella’. Is it gonna be about Cruella herself or…ugh, I am confused on that title. I just hope they aren’t making it similar to how they did Maleficent…

  9. If I close my eyes and put my hands over my ears, maybe the remakes will go away…. maybe?

    I’m already so sick of these live action remakes. The only one I’m slightly intrigued by is Dumbo, because Tim Burton is making it and he can make a very good movie. He chooses not to these days, but it’s in there somewhere. I just hope he brings his own style a 100%.

    Winnie is just bizarre, because unless it’s just about Christopher Robin… which you know, the originals were NEVER about, it’s not going to be live action, just another kind of animation. Unless they’re bringing in a real bear, rabbit, tiger etc. That’d be something.

    I had missed Cruella, is it going to be like Maleficent? Disney, noo…. stooop! As Bubbles said, they’ve already done it, and you can’t beat Glenn Close in the role, except for the animated version.

    I just wonder if they are ever going to stop. How many l-a remakes will they make? (sorry long comment, I got myself worked up)

    1. I feel your pain. It’s interesting that Dumbo is the one you find yourself slightly intrigued by, whilst it’s the one I’m dreading the most.

      We haven’t heard any news about Cruella in a while so I’m not sure if they’re still going ahead with that or not.

      I don’t think I’d mind if they did a live-action remake of ‘The Black Cauldron’. I feel that would lend itself to a good live-action adaptation.

      1. Yeah I think it’s just because it’s Tim Burton, it can go any direction so that’s what makes me interested I guess. And it’s been quite a while since I saw Dumbo, so I’m not super nostalgic/fond of it either.
        Yeah The Black Cauldron could be a good live-action, and also because it is a bit meh, it could be nice to see an “improved” version, since it had some issues in production

  10. So, they’re doing a Cruella movie….and another Alice in Wonderland…excuse me for a moment while I bang my head on my wall for the rest of eternity….
    JK! But seriously, this is getting lazy! All that’s left is for them to do Lion King or Snow White. Then again, the last thing they need is to ruin their first movie and their most popular movie.

      1. Oh right. Companies like Disney will take ideas like that. Not as bad as Viacom, though.

  11. I’m certainly interested in what Disney will do to these films, and I am certainly going to see them. I’ve only seen Maleficent so far, and my general thought of it was, “meh.”

    But when the idea of remaking Winnie the Pooh came out, I officially said, “screw it.” What kind of idea is that?

  12. I’m really excited for the live action films. I really enjoyed Burton’s Wonderland and thought that Maleficent was handled very well. I enjoyed Cinderella a lot though (I may have squealed at the “Lavender’s Blue” part). I think that Through The Looking Glass will be a treat visually but the director said that it’s a lot more action/story based than the first film. The Jungle Book I’m not too concerned over, it has to compete with a similar release from another studio and the idea of a live action jungle book is completely overused. Mulan should be interesting. Cruella might ruin the character for me, it doesn’t immediately read as an epic story from that title but who knows. Winnie The Pooh seems like a cute idea, I can live with that depending on who is brought in to voice the toys. I am very much looking forward to Burton’s Dumbo, I can’t wait to see his interpretation of the classic, pinch of salt included it may be a different story but the elements should still remain. Beauty And The Beast is shaping up to be incredible, I have no idea how they plan on getting the furniture to work but if I get Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Ian McKellen, Kevin Kline and Emma Thompson in one movie musical I am not complaining.

  13. Though I’d like to see Cinderella, I’m not in favor of a continual churning out of live-action versions of animated films. Perhaps they have spread themselves too thin and need to recapture the old Disney magic.

  14. Personally, I’m most concerned about how the story is treated– whether the new film tries to be its own entity while being reverent to its predecessor, or it blatantly rips it off.

    MALEFICENT is basically, as one reviewer called, a “fan fiction put on film”–
    in trying to portray Maleficent as a sympathetic character, it essentially tosses the familiar story of SLEEPING BEAUTY out the door. Cases in point, Maleficent is the one who manages to break Aurora’s curse, and the fairies become incompetent, detestable snits. Then, to add injury to insult, it does nothing to improve on the character of Aurora. (Trust me, if there’s a more useless female protagonist in an animated feature, I haven’t seen her yet.)

    Tim Burton basically ignored the original source material for ALICE IN WONDERLAND & THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, and by all appearances, he’s done the same with his conception for DUMBO, which, as far as I’ve read, is more human-centered, meaning that Dumbo himself isn’t as prominent a figure as he was back in 1941. (I mention this after having re-watched the 1941 original to celebrate its 76th anniversary.)

    CINDERELLA managed to blend elements from the 1950 original with Perrault’s translation so seamlessly, and it fleshed out the characters more fully than the original did, even if it sacrificed the original’s musicality. This makes it the most satisfying of the recent live-action remakes (that is, those that I’ve seen).

    JUNGLE BOOK tried its best to balance the call-backs to the 1967 animated feature with material from Kipling’s stories, but tonally, the two just don’t mesh together as well as they perhaps ought to, which makes the film suffer from a sort of identity crisis. (I’m a big fan of both Kipling’s original stories and the 1967 animated feature, and the mutual exclusivity of both versions means that both are able to stand on their own.)

    According to one reviewer, the recent remake of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST just rehashes every part of the 1991 original, so there’s nothing new at all (apart from some new songs, and a few minor character details). That being said, I’m staying away from it.

    With all of this being said, I’m very worried with how the remakes of MULAN, LION KING, and ALADDIN will turn out. Deep down, though, I hope against all reason that the new ALADDIN will include plot elements and characters from Howard Ashman’s original pitch. (The one character I’d most like to see in this remake is Aladdin’s mom, who provided much of the title character’s emotional impetus for wanting to improve his and her lives, as well as to make up for all of his wrongdoings.) Likewise, I hope against hope that Favreau’s take on LION KING may potentially include plot elements from the initial 1990 treatments, or even the Broadway musical.

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