Live Action Remakes Don’t Work

Siria Fierro, Features Editor

The first ever live action remake Disney did of one of their animated films was in 1994 with Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. It wasn’t until 2014 with Maleficent, that Disney started to release a live action remake every year for their old films. Disney hasn’t made an animated original film, that wasn’t a sequel, since 2016 with Moana. They’re not the only ones who have done this, as animated shows have also been turned into live action movies, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender. However, these remakes have often been a cause of disappointment and have failed to capture the essence of the original films, which is why companies should stop making them.

Walt Disney Studios is one of the biggest companies in the film industry and has been for a long time. They have many works up their sleeves to support their success. Many of these come from their Renaissance era in 1989 to 1999 with movies such as Aladdin, The Lion King, and Mulan. Most of these movies have also been remade in the past years, with most failing to live up to the hype.

The problem with Disney’s remakes is that they don’t have the same essence of the original films. Many of them have tried to change the story, which is not entirely a bad thing, but if not done right, they’ll take away from what audiences loved about the movie in the first place. The live action Mulan that just came out this year, which I personally did not see, has had many watchers complaining about the new storyline that completely changed what Disney’s Mulan was truly about. Not all of Disney’s remakes are bad, though; one of my favorites is the Cinderella film from 2015. Although it wasn’t exactly like the 1950’s version, it still stayed strong and came out to be a great movie.

Disney is not the only company making remakes, however. Another big issue with remakes is the removal of diversity. In the famously bad 2010 movie adaption of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the characters were played by white actors. The problem with this is that Avatar is a show with all of its characters being people of color, mainly of Asian heritage. So not only did they make a movie that is hated by the original show’s fanbase but also cast whitewashed characters in a story that is based on Asian culture.

I think companies should look at remakes at another angle. Studios should go for remaking live action movies into animated films. With animation, the possibilities are endless. Obviously in real life, people can’t do magic, and although it is possible with things such as computer-generated imagery (CGI), animation opens a whole other door. Art could be whatever viewers want it to be, and the hardest trial would be their minds. Films such as Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse showed these capabilities by creating a movie that mimicked the style of comic books. Animation allows for much more creativity that the movie industry could really use right now.

Although we love to see our childhood movies and shows again as adults, we don’t need to in this form. Animation, on its own, is a special art that live-action cannot replicate. Studios should take a few steps back and take their ideas to make something new and original. However, because of the billions of dollars companies like Disney are making from these remakes, I doubt they’ll stop anytime soon. Honestly, remakes are fine, but they should take advantage of the new advancements of the animation industry to make something that will bring back memories but also bring something new and fresh to the table. If studios stopped looking at animation as something to be remade, but instead as a way to bring new ideas, remakes could be much more original than they are right now.