This article was originally published on Rotoscopers.com
Disney has started a trend that most fans find upsetting: the constant announcement and production of ‘live-action’ remakes of classic animated films. Or, as Disney calls them, ‘reimaginings.’
Aside from the incredibly loose use of the term ‘live-action,’ this trend isn’t exactly new. Disney had a smattering of live-action/hybrid remakes in the 1990s: 101 Dalmatians, starring Glenn Close, and The Jungle Book (yes, Disney did it before). What is especially astonishing with the recent trend is both the amount of remakes and the unnecessary frequency of the films. We’re more likely to see remakes in the next few years than original live-action films from the creative giant.
One could argue the trend began in 2010, with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, but that hardly drew from the original Disney animated adaptation, if at all. Instead, many recognize the start of the ‘live-action’ remake list as Maleficent in 2014. Maleficent was, really, a reimagining of the most epic villain in Disney history – giving her an origin story that both explained her and reduced her bad-a** standing drastically. This was followed by Cinderella, in 2015, which featured a stellar cast and gorgeous costumes, but not much of the animated classic; The Jungle Book, in April this year, which was not live-action (save for Mowgli) but hyper-real CG animation, directed by Jon Favreau; and Pete’s Dragon, which premiered last month, modernizing the live-action/hybrid animation classic. As we pause to catch our breath, here’s a gentle reminder: we’re not even close to done yet…