Why I Love Disney Remakes

[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.

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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.

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actual footage of my face upon discovering said 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.

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this dress = perfection

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!)

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IT’S SO PWETTY  *sobbing*

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.  

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I love these films, and you will never hear me apologize for it.

 

 

 

 

21 thoughts on “Why I Love Disney Remakes

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  1. I agree one hundred percent that people overreact about the remakes – usually before they even see them. (And it’s not just Disney remakes, either.) The truth is, these movies are a great way to allow the old stories to reach a new audience, thus pushing more people to consider watching the original as well. Just because a new version exists, it doesn’t mean the original will go forgotten.

    I mean, it’s okay not to like the remakes for legitimate reasons, but most people just don’t like them out of spite. And even if they do have a real reason, they really shouldn’t ruin everyone else’s fun. Let people enjoy what they like, honestly.

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    1. Exactly!! The original is still out there, still as famous as it ever was; and one day I may even decide to sit down and watch it, if I have fun with the remake first! 😉

      Absolutely. I have no problem with somebody saying “I personally didn’t enjoy this remake,” that’s totally cool. But that’s not what I’ve been seeing . . . instead, folks say stuff like “these are OBJECTIVELY BAD movies and Disney is EVIL for even contemplating making them.” And I feel like that crosses a bit of a line.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t mind them doing remakes, but the lack of originality in translating them is troubling to me as a writer. Why make a movie over again if it’s almost word for word the same? You’re just “updating” the graphics. If you want to revise an old story, breathe new life into it. Take some creative risks. Give the audience the unexpected. Surprise them.

    I thought Cinderella was a good example of doing that — it expounded greatly on the original, it gave everyone more personality and heart, it fleshed out Cinderella AND her stepmother AND the prince. It was extremely well done. But for the most part, Disney’s just coping 97% of the remakes straight off their original films… and I see that as a tremendous missed opportunity to bring in elements from the original fairy tales (pre-Disney) and add new, exciting things to delight the older fans who grew up with the story being told.

    I think Aladdin and Dumbo will escape the 97% the same just because of their directors (Richie and Burton), but I’m skeptical of The Lion King. I did grow up with the original and it’s my favorite of all the Disney films. I doubt they can top Jeremy Irons as Scar… and since there’s no indication of anything new conceptually in the trailer, I’ve already seen this movie. Many, many times. And what’s more, I’ve seen it on gorgeous HD Blu-Ray. I drooled. To you, the remake is new. To me, it’s not. Not unless they change or add things to keep my interest. And I’m worried they won’t. =/

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    1. See, that makes perfect sense! You don’t mind seeing a new version, but you want to see a NEW new version–and I totally get that.

      I honestly would enjoy the remakes just as much if they did update the stories; for me, there’s no distinction, since it’s all new anyhow.

      Although, I will say, I liked Cinderella less than Beauty and the Beast, just on the merits of their respective stories. Because I hated Cate Blanchett’s stepmother character sooooooooooooo much and so violently, she ended up dragging down the whole experience for me. But that’s not to say I’d have enjoyed the old Cinderella any better in that regard, cause from what I hear the stepmother was just as awful in the first one.

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  3. PREACH, MY GIRL.

    (Also, let’s forever stand together in Defense of Frozen, shall we? Because, look: I GET that it was over-hyped, what with all the overabundance of kitsch-y merchandise and the fact that “Let It Go” was played on the radio so much that it started to lose its impact. And I get that some people really really really love Tangled. And that’s great. But just because YOU liked Tangled more doesn’t mean that it was objectively better than Frozen. You know what I’m saying?? Ack. What I’m trying to say is that I totally agree. I will stand by you with the whole Frozen thing. I prefer it, too. :-P)

    Anywho, back to the rest of the post.

    I mean, I do get people’s concern that Disney is just “taking an easy way out” and trying to grab as much cash as they possibly can, even at the expense of originality. I think I do understand that concern, I just . . . don’t really share it? I mean, maybe if they weren’t making new movies as well, maybe that’d call for a little more consideration? But they ARE making new movies pretty much as regularly as they’re remaking their old classics. And–

    *is interrupted because just remembers that the fact that they’re remaking all their old classics means there’s a good chance that they’ll remake POCAHONTAS AND IF THEY DO . . . *sucks in happy breath* GIRRRRLLLLL I’M SO DOWN.*

    Sorry, this comment is getting a little ramble-y. 😛 As I was saying before, the other thing for me is that . . . honestly, I don’t really care if it’s just a money-making racket? I mean, I DO–but I don’t think it is purely just for the money; and, like you said . . . I just like the movies so much. So, from my end . . . keep it comin’, Disney. 😉

    (I mean, I just watched some new behind-the-scenes clips and info on the new Aladdin, and it makes me excited for the film!! Even though Aladdin was never one of my favorites.)

    This comment really was kind of jumbled together, but I hope you get my drift. ;-P Great post!

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    1. YES. I KNEW YOU WOULD BE ON BOARD. ❤

      Girl, yes!!! That really, really annoys me, when people say "oh, Frozen was over-hyped" in this tone of voice that tells you they're completely devaluing the story for what it is . . . because the two things don’t go together. ANY movie, ANY song, will lose it luster when you play it too many times. That has absolutely nothing to do with the objective artistic merits of the thing itself. And I still believe Frozen was a wonderful, wonderful film.

      Also, I know you know this already, but–I actually don’t like Tangled at all. I recognize it as a well-done story but I don’t like the characters and find them really distressing & annoying to watch.

      POCAHONTAS. YAS. *jumps up and down*

      That’s exactly how I feel!!!! Like, yes. Of course they’re trying to make money–they’re a movie studio, that’s what they do. But I’m willingly GIVING them my money because I’M ACTUALLY HAVING FUN WITH THESE FILMS. I love what they’re doing. I think it’s fabulous.

      And I can’t wait for Aladdin, either! I just know Will Smith’s gonna be great 😀

      Oh, no, it wasn’t rambly at all! I totally get your drift and I love hearing your thoughts ❤

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      1. In my humble opinion + experience it was Tangled that was over-hyped for me XDD with all my friends telling me it was literally THE BEST Disney princess movie in existence and I was like … “really??? this thing??”

        And let’s hope if they do a new Pocahontas they’ll pay a slight bit more attention to history mwahahaha

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  4. I mean hey, if you think Disney will ruin your childhood, why don’t you … like … not watch the remakes????? SIMPLE AS THAT!! (Disney has rights to it’s own stories you know !!)

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  5. I don’t know about bitter, I think it might be high expectations or unmet expectations or complete changes of “remakes” or things that don’t work well.

    I grew up on Disney, I don’t see live-action as true remakes, but sort of a companion version. But I do expect them to be good movies, and live-action entails some different artistic standards, I think.

    Also, Hollywood is really not using originality for a LOT of movies lately, and I think remakes are an example, the amount is excessive. When a couple movies are remade or when one creative decision is chosen, the all other movies follow suit whether or not it makes creative sense and without tailoring to the specific movie, like when the Deathly Hallows was split into 2 (an excellent choice for movie, the books had so much) every other major series did even the ones with little enough material for one movie. I just feel like $$$$$ is the motivation rather than inspiration and art for too high a proportion of movies . . . like with all this extra Harry Potter stuff.

    I ADORED the Cinderella 2015, I felt that it ticked every fairytale romance box and fit in well in with the original animated and Ever After, all versions of the same story, all artistically good/excellent in different ways. I didn’t adore Beauty and the Beast, I enjoyed parts and while that isn’t my favorite fairytale for one thing, I still think it fell short, as a movie, as a musical, and as a remake.

    As for Frozen, I think I loved Tangled so much it just felt flat (the hype hadn’t hit yet). I don’t dislike it (the hype that caused me to shudder every time it was mentioned), I just don’t find much joy in watching it, its missing the salt for me. Similar with Moana. Those three I watched as an adult, as a kid, I would imagine I would’ve liked them all.

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    1. Yep. Another friend of mine said a live-action version is just a new retelling of the original story . . . and I think that’s a good way to look at it, too.

      That makes sense! For me, though, I honestly don’t care what the motivation for making a movie is . . . all I care about is whether or not I, personally, have fun with it. And so far, I’ve been having fun with these. 😉 I expect Disney to do whatever it is they predict will make them the most money–and if I like it, I’ll willingly give ’em said money.

      I adored the new Beauty and the Beast; although I know not everyone did, which is certainly okay.

      Ahhhhhhhh, I really loved Moana. I had fun with that movie, too.

      Like

  6. I’m saving a lot of thoughts for a blog post of my own but I just wanted to say that I agree with you 100% on everything… except, um, Frozen. But seriously, I loooove Disney’s remakes and you are spot on about them

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  7. I’m so glad you love them! I confess I haven’t seen any of the new ones, but like I have zero qualms about them being remade??? Like why NOT remake movies for a new generation and keep that magic alive?! I have really fond memories of the animated ones of course, and I don’t know if I’ll like the new ones the same 😂 but like who even cares. LET PEOPLE LOVE THINGS!! It’s unfair when new things get so much hate!

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  8. So, I kind of slid out of the blogosphere for like six months or so, which I’m trying to remedy, but it’s sounding like I haven’t missed much if this is the sort of thing going on? Really? Vitriol for the live-action movies just cuz they exist?

    I LOVE the live-action Cinderella. I wish that BATB had also gone the spin-story-in-new-ways route instead of basically just recreating the animated movie, but hey, that’s the route the filmmakers went, so okay. Not my thing, but whatever.

    I’m excited to see the new Aladdin. Not so much the Dumbo cuz the original makes me ugly-cry, and the trailer for the new one does too, so I’m kind of not so much thinking I’ll see it.

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    1. Oh no, not in the blogosphere specifically–mostly YouTube and Facebook. But it got to the point where I literally couldn’t go on YouTube without seeing SOMEBODY fussing about the remakes, and after a while I had to speak my own piece, lol.

      Yes!! I love them both! I love all the gorgeous colors and shiny fabrics and beautiful sets . . . they’re just a visual feast.

      I can’t wait for Will Smith’s genie! 😀 😀

      Like

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