[warning: this post brought to you by a wicked sore throat and the abundance of rage flowing therefrom. if it comes out a tad on the rant-y side . . . sowwy. :-P]
Guys, we need to have a serious talk about Disney remakes.
Because here we are. It’s 2019. Another year, another batch of live-action movies . . . and, apparently, another batch of twentysomethings-slash-90s-kids using their Internet platforms to complain, LOUDLY, about the Evil Disney Corporate Monster™ Ruining Their Collective Childhood™.
Look, folks have different opinions about the live-action remakes, and that’s totally fine. Folks have different opinions about everything, right? But the amount of rage and vitriol being directed toward these movies in particular feels (to me) a little misplaced, and more than a little condescending, and I’m just getting real tired of the whole thing. Especially as a 90s kid myself who happens to enjoy these remakes, very very much.
Let me tell you why.
Yes, I was born in 1994. But I never saw the “classic Disney” movies of that era. I never saw any movies, period–film and television were simply not part of my childhood. My movie-watching career only began when I won a college scholarship that included (OH, JOY IN THE MORNING) a brand-new laptop with a functioning DVD player.
Frozen was my first Disney movie, at the ripe old age of 20. And it was stunning. Talk about a “whole new world”–I truly did feel a whole new world of Disney magic opening up to me, from the gorgeous animation to Idina Menzel’s breathtaking voice. I adore Frozen, and I could write a whole separate rant about the fellas who hate on THAT movie for no good reason, but that ain’t here nor there.
Imagine, then, my excitement when Lily James’ Cinderella came out just one year later.
Imagine the thrills that raced through me when I realized that Disney was, in fact, planning to release brand-new, live-action, in-theater versions of ALL these stories I never experienced as a child.
Imagine my anticipation building for Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast, reaching a boiling point by the spring of 2017. Imagine me squealing over each new trailer and fangirling over the pre-released soundtrack. Imagine how much fun I had driving my sister to see the film at our local Malco (watching! movies! with! siblings! is! a! privilege! not! to! be! sneezed! at!)
Imagine how hard I had to work NOT to sing along with Emma . . . “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere . . .”
And now imagine how eagerly I’m looking forward to seeing Lion King, Aladdin, and Dumbo with my pals in 2019.
Do you see, now, why the chorus of “they’re ruining our childhoods for moneyyyyyyyyyy because they’re evilllllllllllllllllll” fails to *ahem* Move Me in any meaningful way?
Listen. I completely get that my experience with Disney has been (to say the least) an unusual one. I understand that for many people, the 90s animated classics are a sacred memory that a live-action movie experience might well disturb or dilute. And that’s okay!!!! You don’t have to see the new movies!!!! You don’t ever have to give up your old VHS tapes or your audiobooks or your illustrated fairy tales or your stuffed animal friends. Those are yours, and no one can take them from you. ❤
But I never had any of that.
And to be very clear: I’m not complaining. I’m not accusing anyone of ruining my childhood for me. There are reasons our lives unfold the way they do. What I am saying, however, is this:
No one is going to ruin live-action Disney for me with negativity or nitpicking or nostalgia gone sour. No one.
I love these films, and you will never hear me apologize for it.