I am a self-professed Disney geek.
I can and will sing my way through all of the OGs and will ruin your movie experience by quoting all the best bits.
Yep, I’m THAT Disney geek.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stupidly excited for Disney’s long list of live-action remakes to finally be released.
But if I’m being honest with myself and with you, my excitement is childish.
No really, it’s the child in me that’s excited. The adult in me knows these movies will on some level fail miserably.
Why? Because there is no possible way they can live up to the original animated films.
Remakes are all hype and no magic.
Part of the joy of watching a Disney movie for the first time is the element of surprise.
You laughed out loud when Timone put on a grass skirt and did the hula; you cried from shock when Dumbo got separated from his mother; and you screamed in frustration when Mulan got found out and banished from the Chinese army.
True, when you watch your favourite Disney animation 10 times over, the element of surprise disappears. Instead it’s replaced with pure joy.
Movies like The Lion King never get old because they always deliver; the same distinct animations, the same relatable storylines and the same jokes that make you snort with laughter.
Watching Disney’s live-action remakes, you expect the same things. Only you want them to be delivered to perfection, which automatically sets you up for disappointment.
Watching the new Aladdin trailer, I couldn’t help but think “oh no what have they done?”
Will Smith’s genie is all blue and no bang. He’s a great actor, a great comedian, but he’s no Robin Williams and he never will be. And despite the sparkly costumes and big dance numbers and killer original soundtrack, to me Aladdin 2.0 looks a bit “meh”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. Just like I enjoyed Disney’s other remakes (Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is one of the greatest castings ever made, in my humble opinion).
That doesn’t make them GOOD.
Disney’s live-action remakes are not upgrades; they’re nothing more than shiny CGI wrapped in a huge Hollywood budget.
But there’s a reason Disney keeps doing remakes – that’s where the money is. People already love the stories. All Disney has to do is revamp and resell. It’s a basic strategy but a successful one.
So why are we so keen to watch the exact same movie rebooted in live action?
The same reason we never get sick of watching the animations over and over: nostalgia.