Boss Rush Banter: Disney Should Be More Strategic in its Live-Action Remakes

It’s always fun to revisit a classic movie, but sometimes, it just needs to be left alone.

Disney has revisited many of its classic animated films over the years, but a recent trend has the entertainment juggernaut remaking them in a live-action format. The results have been mixed.

These live-action remakes have ran the gamut in how well they’ve hit with audiences. Despite many notable misses, Disney continues making them and people continue seeing them.

Since there seems to be no slowing of this trend, then maybe Disney should be a bit more strategic in what it remakes in live action.

Some of the live-action remakes I’ve enjoyed the most are the ones that are grounded in reality. What’s important to remember is these classics are cartoons and the animated world operates differently than the live-action world.

Too many times I’ve seen Disney attempt a live-action remake and bring in too many cartoony elements. This includes too many animated “live-action” characters or trying too hard at fan service by completely remaking a cartoon moment even if it doesn’t work in live action.

The ones that try to shy away from that are my favorites, including Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Cinderella (2015). I also enjoyed Cruella (2021), which isn’t an exact live-action remake, but rather a live-action origin story of an animated film. These films didn’t feel cartoony and better embraced the live-action nature of their stories.

Image Credit: Vulture

The other struggle is when Disney gets too far away from it’s source material. Mulan (2020) is a prime example of this as many complained that the film was too far of a departure from the original. Others loved it so there’s definitely a balancing act.

The trick seems to be finding the middle ground and there are many Disney animated films that would be perfect for a live-action reimagining that fit this criteria.

The two popular answers on this are usually Treasure Planet (2002) and Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001). I think what makes these movies popular choices are the science-fiction elements and Lucasfilm could do wonders with it while making them feel more like Star Wars movies instead of live-action animation.

One that I think could make for a great live-action remake is The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). This was easily one of Disney’s darkest adaptations, but was grounded in reality despite being animated. There’s so much that would work well in live action.

Disney has started this project, but composer Alan Menken recently said it’s future is unsure. Still, the story would make for a fantastic live-action that could change how Disney approaches the genre.

The live-action remake of animated movies trend is stale for Disney with many of it’s most recent films bombing. Dumbo (2019), Lady and the Tramp (2019), and Pinocchio (2022) all struggling. Selection could help improve those fortunes as Disney looks to continue with this trend.

So what film do you think Disney should remake in live action? What films would you like to see the company leave alone in the future? Would you prefer Disney leave their animated classics alone? Let us know in the comments below or head over to our Discord channel to join the conversation.

Featured Image: Future of the Force

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2 thoughts on “Boss Rush Banter: Disney Should Be More Strategic in its Live-Action Remakes

  1. I’d prefer if Disney didn’t make these at all, but if they have to I’d prefer them to make more like Cinderella. That was made by a clearly passionate director who moved the story nearly into the realm of a serious historical drama, and found an interesting, meaningful way to tell the story. The movie suffers from weird corporate film-by-committee moments, but when Kenneth Branagh is free from those constraints he made a real movie that’s worth watching.

    If these live action remakes let passionate directors free to do something meaningful, I’d be fine with them existing. But just about all of these are worse retreads made by directors who sleepwalk through the film (even just compare Favreau’s The Jungle Book, the only other live action remake I think has value, to his Lion King remake which is one of the few movies I would call truly soulless – let alone excruciating).

    Atlantis: The Lost Empire has many issues that a remake could fix, like how disjointed the climax and heel turns feel from the rest of the movie, but I have no faith that Disney would make the right choices. At that point, I’d rather just have an all-new pulpy adventure movie.

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