Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by ShyViolet » November 27th, 2018, 7:45 pm

I think the Lion King trailer looks great (visually), the Dumbo one not so much. :?

Not trying to be a killjoy or anything, but the only thing these two trailers did for me emotionally was making me think: “Wow, I really need to re-watch those again!”
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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by Randall » November 27th, 2018, 10:56 pm

Lion King in particular feels extraneous. But, it's just the trailer, obviously made to make us recognize the opening of the original. Let's see what they do with it. But I'm actually more intrigued by Dumbo, which promises to be different from the original.

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by James » November 29th, 2018, 1:43 pm

Hate to be a Scrooge but other than the fact that they obviously make money, I just don't get these remakes. It feels exactly like that period where Disney was making sequels to all their animated classics and none of us were fans of that! Like that era, I'm hoping this will eventually come to an end sooner rather than later!

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by droosan » November 29th, 2018, 2:19 pm

I've never understood the appeal of these, either. :|

To this day, the only one I've seen was Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland (which itself really came across as more of a live-action 'sequel' to the original story).

As Ben has said elsewhere, these live-action adaptations seem to function more as ways for Disney to get the revenue that they otherwise used to get from theatrical re-releases of their classic animated feature library (which 'dried-up' for them, with the advent of home video).
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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by droosan » November 29th, 2018, 2:26 pm

deleted; double post :oops:

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by ShyViolet » November 29th, 2018, 5:35 pm

James wrote:Hate to be a Scrooge but other than the fact that they obviously make money, I just don't get these remakes. It feels exactly like that period where Disney was making sequels to all their animated classics and none of us were fans of that! Like that era, I'm hoping this will eventually come to an end sooner rather than later!
Amen, James! :)

And same here Droo, I’ve also only seen the Tim Burton Alice, (though as you said it’s really more of a sequel). It’s not exactly like I purposely go out of my way not to see any of these remakes, I always “intend” to, I just never get around to it. Make of that what you will lol.

It’s not really that these films are being made that bothers me, it’s just that all that $ could probably be better spent making more high-quality animated feature films from both Disney and Pixar. Or more entertaining, ORIGINAL films from the Mouse, period.
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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by Randall » November 30th, 2018, 12:18 am

I favour reinterpretations, like Alice, which bore new real semblance to the animated film. And though it could be argued to be a sequel, it's really of a totally different sensibility. Which is a good thing.

But straight remakes, like Beauty and the Beast, and like what Lion King looks like so far, are really a waste. And a film like Cinderella only serves to remove the magic from the original version. Who needs that?

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by EricJ » November 30th, 2018, 3:54 am

droosan wrote:I've never understood the appeal of these, either. :|

To this day, the only one I've seen was Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland (which itself really came across as more of a live-action 'sequel' to the original story).
Even though it was actually Disney's attempt to salvage that Wes Craven horror-movie of the video game that was being bounced around studios, and probably got in a clearance sale from Dimension.
(There's only one place they could have gotten that dopey "Red Queen/Queen of Hearts" confusion...)
As Ben has said elsewhere, these live-action adaptations seem to function more as ways for Disney to get the revenue that they otherwise used to get from theatrical re-releases of their classic animated feature library (which 'dried-up' for them, with the advent of home video).
Or, as their stake in the new Studio-franchise "Create five-year strategies out of whatever properties you have lying around!" competition, as studios figure out how to make leftover-hash movies with existing audience pre-identification, without new original screenwriters--
They've already got Pixar, Lucas and Marvel, but nothing to stamp the Castle brand on except for new films...

And they can't sequel/prequel their older films like Warner and Fox does--You may remember when they tried that already, and John Lasseter said no. At least, not in animation, anyway.

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by Ben » November 30th, 2018, 6:55 pm

Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation are two different units within Disney nowadays (since Lasseter came in).

What cracks me up about the new Lion King...what we’ve seen so far...is that it seems to be a photorealistic version of what we know. And that begs the question of who exactly is directing when a remake is shot for shot...like the original has just become an elaborate storyboard or animatic for the new.

Certainly one can’t simply look at those big wide shots and think that Favreau came up with all that himself...

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by ShyViolet » March 14th, 2019, 10:39 am

The weird thing is that I actually think the Aladdin trailer looks kind of fun (and is very impressive visually); plus the acting seems at least adequate. But two real problems I have:

It’s kind of disrespectful to two extremely talented people who have passed on:

A.). Howard Ashman: I realize a lot of his early musical vision/story for the film was scrapped, but he DID write two of the film’s best songs: Arabian Nights and Prince Ali. Plus if it wasn’t for his initial conception of the film’s plot (Aladdin wants to be more than he is) we wouldn’t have ended up with the magnificent film we eventually got. My point is, he specifically wrote these songs for classically drawn ANIMATED characters, not live-action ones. It just wasn’t what he intended the film to be when he was working on it during the time he was dying. I can’t help but feel that using his songs for what is essentially a completely different movie (I mean the Genie is Will Smith, who’s great and everything, but he is NOT the Robin Williams Genie.) just feels wrong. It’s basically the doppelgänger of including “Human Again” in the re-issue of the animated Beauty and the Beast. (Since I didn’t see the Emma Watson version I don’t know if they included it or not.)

B.). Robin Willams: I think most Disney fans (well anyone who’s seen the 1992 version) would agree that Williams’ acting was absolutely iconic and cannot be replaced in any fashion, even with an actor as talented as Smith. Not putting Smith down, but Williams hasn’t even been gone for a decade. I think it’s so disrespectful to his memory to replace one of his most famous performances with the work of another actor. I realize Smith isn’t mimicking Williams, but it still feels...icky. :( It’s kind of like replacing Phil Harris’ voice in The Jungle Book. (Oh wait, they already did that.)
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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by Randall » March 15th, 2019, 12:05 am

If I disagree at all, it's only because I think you're forgetting to mention the hundreds of other people credited in the original. I'm not sure if it's disrespectful exactly (I mean, Robin and Howard and everyone else did their work over 25 years ago now), but it sure is... what's the word? Commercial. Purely commercial. There's just no creative reason for a film like the new Aladdin to exist. (At least Dumbo promises something new.) I am curious to see how it comes out, because I'm a curious guy, and I'm interested in how they achieve this (for better or worse); but it's not something I would have greenlit.

Having said that, I hypocritically look forward to seeing the stage version in London in a few months.

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by EricJ » March 15th, 2019, 12:53 am

Randall wrote:There's just no creative reason for a film like the new Aladdin to exist.
I am curious to see how it comes out, because I'm a curious guy, and I'm interested in how they achieve this (for better or worse); but it's not something I would have greenlit.
We're starting to reach the saturation point where somebody in the studios comes down hard--
Back in the early 00's, "Return to Neverland" had done so well in the throwaway February kids-vacation slot that they started throwing every single direct-video at spring-vacation theaters: Jungle Book 2, cable-series movies, Pooh sequels.
BION, it was actually Michael Eisner who first warned against the gold rush "cheapening" the animation brand--Long before ToonStudios had hit on a new cottage industry for resurrecting obscure titles like "The Aristocats" or new titles like "Chicken Little" with new direct-video vidquels, and John Lasseter put a stop to that.

At this point, they're all ready to accept that no live-action remake that can't be marketed to March fangirls, or doesn't have CGI animals for Jon Favreau to render, really has a chance outside of the new streaming services.
We're only getting Dumbo, Lion King and Aladdin in theaters because Will Smith, Tim Burton and Favreau's CGI department racked up hefty bills to pay.
Until someone comes forward and admits that "We've gotta take a chill-pill on the 'studio franchise' thing" (and I have the distinct feeling it ain't gonna be Iger), they're still convinced they've Gotta Do 'Em All, but without stars, budgets or release.
Randall wrote:(At least Dumbo promises something new.)
Yeah, "New" is definitely the...Ohh, it's...(sigh)...Be careful what you wish for. :(
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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by Ben » March 15th, 2019, 5:37 am

Said it before and will say it again...

These remakes are the modern equivalent of the old reissue scheme.

It’s as simple as that. When was the last time Dumbo got any love? This spring and summer he’ll be everywhere...he’ll be the big gift at Christmas, and a major part of why people will pick up a subscription to Disney+. When was the last time Dumbo got that kind of attention? Not for the 70th anniversary disc release. Not even when it premiered on TV. Nope, you have to go back to early 80s VHS for when Dumbo made such a big splash.

But this new film will make Dumbo new again, just as Aladdin will, and Lion King will. Nostalgia for the originals will spike (as evidenced by this thread) and these properties will get shots in the arm for both the original and new versions, just as the older schedule of reissuing the classics used to before digital and streaming put an end to the vault.

That’s all these things are. Commercials for those properties. Bigger, more expensive commercials than even the old reissues, to be sure, but they are commercials just as the old reissues were.

My biggest surprise is actually how lazy these things have been, often being almost shot for shot, photorealistic versions of the animated films, as if those are now nothing more than elaborate storyboards. Look at Lion King. Look at Aladdin! I don’t see how the credited directors can really claim originality when such things as the Genie emerging from the lamp or the wide vistas of the African plains are the exact same shots.

But, then again, these are the new reissues. Make them the same, but different. Make them smash hits by giving the audience exactly what they remember while giving new audiences everything that was cool about the originals but served up as a "new" experience.

Which is why, constantly derided as he may be by Eric, I’m much more interested in a completely new take on Dumbo than the flat, photorealistic versions of Lion King and Aladdin. At least Burton runs with things, makes them new and different, and stamps his Burtonesque appeal all over it.

I’ve already "seen" the new Aladdin and Lion King. Visuals aside, there’s no surprises to be had there. But Dumbo? Who the heck knows what to expect from this new film, other than it looking like it may be emotionally devastating. Yeah, you can say Burton is the same over and over. You can say that about Spielberg, or Hanks, Pixar, and even Disney.

But, ironically, in this world of rehashing, Burton's actually creating the most interesting work, which is refreshing when all that is happening now are basically continually overturning cycles of original->-remake->-sequel->-stage show->-remake->-sequel...

But that’s all these things ultimately are. :(

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by EricJ » March 15th, 2019, 6:31 pm

Ben wrote:But this new film will make Dumbo new again, just as Aladdin will, and Lion King will. Nostalgia for the originals will spike (as evidenced by this thread) and these properties will get shots in the arm for both the original and new versions, just as the older schedule of reissuing the classics used to before digital and streaming put an end to the vault.

My biggest surprise is actually how lazy these things have been, often being almost shot for shot, photorealistic versions of the animated films, as if those are now nothing more than elaborate storyboards. Look at Lion King. Look at Aladdin! I don’t see how the credited directors can really claim originality when such things as the Genie emerging from the lamp or the wide vistas of the African plains are the exact same shots.
But that’s all these things ultimately are. :(
Yes, with Disney trying to find their own stake in the Franchise Game, it's more than just voodoo chicken-bones "Why Alice was a hit"/"Why Cinderella was a hit"/"Why Jungle Book was a hit":

Theatrical reissues have been dead-in-the-water since the adoption of DVD and Blu-ray--That used to be the only way Disney could promote its video releases (back in the late-80's/early 90's, they had a creative-accounting loophole that allowed them to count VHS sales as "ticket grosses", if the videos came out within a year), but nowadays, theatrical re-releases have to come bearing gifts, and their own baby-bathwater-tossing has run out of gifts:
After Fantasia 2000, they tried putting Beauty&Beast in IMAX theaters and it did well, and then Lion King didn't, so they cancelled a release for Aladdin.
After everyone rushed to show their firstborn son Lion King in a theater during the 3-D revival, they thought 3D conversions would be the big ticket, until everyone realized Monsters Inc. was coming to disk anyway, so 3D revivals were "dead".
And the "Play-along Second-Screen interactive cellphone version of Little Mermaid" that was supposed to replace 3D became Shortest-Lived Theater Gimmick Ever.

Some people like Pete's Dragon being fuzzy and non-musical, and Dumbo's Timothy in a cage with a wheel ( :cry: ), but I put it in the same paradoxical no-win situation as Tarzan and Little Mermaid faced (unsuccessfully) on Broadway:
If they do the "exact" version, what's the point; if they make the whole thing up, why sell the title?

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Re: Article on all the Disney live action remakes of animated classics

Post by Randall » March 15th, 2019, 8:51 pm

No-win? Yes, probably, in terms of failing to gain mass acceptance. But I give them a win for Burton's Dumbo already, based on the trailers. I've got a good feeling about that one; it has potential to be one of his better films, mixing the odd with some real emotion. I missed the mice in the Cinderella "remake," but I can do without "speaking Timothy" if I still get a new compelling story about a dad making his kids proud. :)

Aladdin and Lion King only interest me from a technical perspective. We've seen the same stories and even shots before, at least judging by the ridiculously homage-filled trailers. Of course, that could just be the trailers. Maybe they'll actually give us something new? What are the chances?

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