Disney Live-Action Remakes: Awesome or Enough Already?

By Gabrielle Stamile

Alice in Wonderland (2010). Maleficent (2014). Cinderella (2015). The Jungle Book (2016). And now Beauty and the Beast is coming out in March 2017. Disney is either thinking that these fairy tales need to be revamped for today’s society or they are running out of ideas.

Maleficent was a new take on Sleeping Beauty (1959), taking the evil fairy’s perspective and showing a more caring side to the villain. Cinderella is similar to the 1950 Disney version; a few differences are that the audience is given more information about Cinderella’s mother and Cinderella is a bit more outspoken. Thanks to CGI, the movies can be absolutely stunning and make almost anything imagined possible. And, for many people who grew up with Disney, they may be intrigued and interested to see the new takes on their favorite childhood films. And for kids, Disney movies are often a must. So, Disney can expect many people to come see the new movies.

And while some people are excited for whatever Disney is planning, others are fed up. Just read reviews when the trailers are released and you will definitely find some negative reviews. The most common complaint: Disney is not doing anything original anymore.

Although Disney is taking time to alter their original versions of the fairy tales and planning sequels, it does seem like Disney could work on less known fairy tales or create some of their own stories. To be fair, though, many of the animated movies done have been original, such as Up (2009), Brave (2012), Finding Dory (2016) and Moana, which is coming out November 23.

While Disney continues to create original animated films, the company also has a line-up of live action remakes on the way. IMDB (internet movie database) recently had a listing of 17 announced live-action remakes for Disney. Yep, 17.

While this definitely seems like way too much, you may be thinking that some of the movies would be amazing as live-action, or would definitely be beneficial if updated to fit today’s audiences (especially since some of the animated movies are underrated, such as the 1963 The Sword in the Stone). And some of the stars looking to work on the films, such as Emma Stone for Cruella Deville or Lin-Manuel Miranda for The Little Mermaid, are fan favorites.

Disney has to be cautious when remaking these childhood classics. If they do not live up to fan expectations, these live action movies may become trouble.


Expectations are definitely high with the highly-anticipated Beauty and the Beast, (especially since many have been celebrating the 25th anniversary of the animated classic) which will be starring Emma Watson. For Disney to attempt a remake of this greatly successful, cherished 1991 version, takes a lot of guts. Even the director for the new adaptation, Bill Condon, said in a sneak peek, “When something is so perfect, why get near it?” His answer: “…technology has caught up to the ideas that were introduced in that movie.”

Whatever your feelings are on the remakes, it seems that Disney is not going to stop remaking beloved favorites, creating sequels or looking to new fairy tales for inspiration.


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