Why Disney Remakes Not As Good


Viktoria Zarate, Writer

Do you guys remember when Disney was known as a wonder of imagination and animation? Yeah… I remember too. But since then, what I and many other people have starting to notice is that Disney is so successful that they don’t have to try anymore. It doesn’t mean they stopped trying but it is coming more and more apparent that Disney can recycle the same stories that used to bring people so much joy over and over again without any consequences. Even if it kills them in the process. However, even though they will continue with these Live-Action remakes because IT GIVES THEM MONEY, they will never be as good as the original versions. And here are the reasons why. Let’s do this!

If we want to start explaining what is wrong with these Disney remakes we have to get this major point across first… the movies are in live-action. 

Now, I know it sounds really stupid but hears me out on this. Animation, as a medium, has a huge advantage that allows musicals to feel more natural. First of all, the level of reality is completely different. In a theatre, it’s dramatic, you can see the stage, and the extras, you know it’s not real, therefore you further suspend your disbelief. Just like for animation. As Sideways said in his youtube video (here), “you have to believe that the drawings you are watching are moving, and in some ways, alive…” So, for an animated character, it’s not hard to believe that these pictures can also break out into song. But, in live-action, it looks real, you can see it in front of you, and you pretend that it actually happened. So when you want to make it live-action, it becomes more of a challenge to sell to audiences that characters are singing. I’m not saying its impossible, just harder.

Another advantage of animation is you can get the timing perfect, right down to the simplest of facial expression. So even just a walk through a street can be entertaining, or interesting. You could say that the Live-Action remakes do this, but it’s not to the point where you want to be there. Many of the work done for the musicals for Disney remakes it becomes slow, stale, and sometimes even lifeless. It doesn’t make you get out of your seat, it just leaves a lifeless, slow world that happens to have people singing.

When you think of having a live-action of Mulan, what do you think it could be? I see a movie with a cool Mulan, that is accurate to Chinese culture and has lots of war scenes/training but in the end… we didn’t get it that. Honestly, it should be IMPOSSIBLE to ruin a Mulan movie. They even said that they were planning on making it like the original folk tale, last time I checked it didn’t have have a magic hawk girl, or a Greek phoenix. 

In the original folk tale, Mulan wanted to fight in the army, and her family completely supported her to go. Later on, she won a huge battle and was considered a war hero. She didn’t “save China” she just wanted to fight and she kept her gender a secret for 10 years and was never found out. The new Mulan is completely different from the original, both the original Chinese poem and the animation, and could serve as a unique tale but they decide to do nothing and they get nothing. 

You could have made a faithful tale, or fixed the problems from the original, but this was such a missed opportunity.

Now, we have to ask what exactly made the “originals” work so well, and it can lead all to one person…WALT DISNEY! Heh, just kidding. That man was named Howard Ashmen. He was a composer for Disney and created all of the songs for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and 3 songs for Aladdin which are Abaian Night, Friend like Me, and Prince Ali. This man and his partner in crime, Alan Menken, came like superheroes and made all of these songs for them. And the reason why they worked so well is that Ashmen was a person who stands with his work all the way even if it meant losing his career. In the production of The Little Mermaid the Disney executive at the time, Jeffery Katzenberg, wanted to drop the song Part of the World and Ashmen didn’t take it well he said if he won’t give up that song for anything. It leads to both of them arguing for hours until Katzenburg cracked and said to Ashmen to keep the song and the movie made TONS of money at the time. Later Ashmen was making Beauty and the Beast, but Ashmen dying due to Aids. Katzenberg knew Ashmen was essential to the team and it led to the entire team of animators, composters, to move their production to New York so that way Ashmen could work at home. So, what I am trying to say is that Ashmen never gave up on his work. And now we are talking about the Live-Action movie of Aladdin and his genie. Ok, we all know that Robin Williams’ genie is never going be anyone to do so why try…BUT let’s DO IT ANYWAY! 

The problem with Will Smith’s genie is with what happened to the trailers for this movie. Everyone blew up with the first promotional art didn’t have blue on him like Robin Williams, so what Disney did was do CGI for genie and everyone regret it immediately. In addition, Will Smith got to record a rap version of Friend Like Me with DJ Kalad and it plays in the end credits. And it sounds amazing! It sounded new, and fun beat! How could they not use it in the film if they already have it?! Will Smith’s carrier started as a family-friendly rapper! He was on Nickelodeon as the Fresh Prince of Bellair. He was already a disneyfied rapper. Why wouldn’t you have will smith sing his version of Friend Like Me in the movie and instead replace it with his terrible impression of Robin Willaims that will remind people of him and make them sad!

Disney keeps trying to say “We want to do something different” but every time they give up and accepted it to the masses. They don’t care and are clearly only doing this to make money. They are not proud of their interpretation of genie. They are not proud of any of their work. They only care about what makes money, rather than risk.