Disney’s live action remakes have been undeserving of the hate received over the years.
Remakes are able to expand and enhance the original films, and have the opportunity to tell alternative versions of the animated classics. Modern times allow classic movies to be recreated with realistic effects and real actors.
Disney is known for its traditional animated classics. However, many children have grown up with its live-action remakes.
This begs the question: should Disney continue to retell its classic stories or create new stories to tell? Its two most recent films might give us insight into this debate.
When it comes to these remakes, it seems public opinion is completely split. The remakes are either seen as improvements to the original stories for the next generation, or mocking the originals.
“Mulan” is the first remake on Disney+ that you have to pay to watch. It revisits the same story with slight alterations, but the movie still follows a young woman who disguises herself as a soldier to take her father’s place in a war.
For the remake of “Mulan,” Disney chose to make a story more accurate to “The Ballad of Mulan,” which is based on the original Chinese folklore.
RadioTimes covered the decision: “The new movie strips things back and pulls more on the ballad and legend than the original movie, which means no musical numbers and no Mushu.”
Disney is actually making an effort for its live-action remakes. This film’s cast consists of Asian actors and actresses, while promoting women empowerment by having a female lead. It also embraces the original ballad for the live-action remake.
“The real issue with Disney’s remakes isn’t that they are remakes or even re-adaptations… The issue has become, at least for those film fans weary of Disney’s hold, that these remakes are now the dominant tellings of these stories,” the Hollywood Reporter said.
On the contrary, “Onward” is a Disney animated movie that is not a sequel to any existing series. It is an original story about two brothers who find out that they have the power to bring their dad back to life for one day. However, the movie suffers from its own characters as well as its story.
The brothers, Ian and Barley, seem one-dimensional because their personalities are simplified as awkward and reckless. The conflicts that arise from their own decisions are not addressed in the story until it is too late.
The pacing of the movie seems to interrupt the emotional moments as well. In the past, Disney magic has made the audience emotional for the perfect moments.
After the brothers fail to use the disguise spell properly, they begin to argue over all the problems they encountered. The scene is interrupted when the father’s legs begin dancing, which causes the brothers’ bickering to stop and deflates the tension for a moment. This just reinforces the brothers as flat, one-dimensional characters.
Disney’s traditional animated movies will always remain untouched for you to re-watch. There is no harm in revisiting these classics with a new idea supporting it.