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Disney remakes are unnecessary

Recent trend in remaking films shows how Disney lacks creativity

Tess Petrillo, News Editor
Originally published November 27, 2019

The original, hand-drawn Simba (right) was recently reinterpreted as a CGI Simba (left) in Disney’s “The Lion King.” (2019)

In the past five years, Disney has released many remakes of their classic movies, from films as old as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Cinderella” or as new as “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”

In order to appeal to the more progressive palette of now, Disney wanted to release films with the same story, but without the offensive allusions or terminology that could pass in the 90s.

In the original “Beauty and the Beast,” Disney was accused of glorifying and romanticizing Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological term used to describe the case in which a person falls in love with their captor.

Disney recently came out with a new “Beauty and the Beast” that followed the same story but had Belle portrayed as more independent than in the original.

While “Beauty” did succeed in avoiding topics that brought up previous controversy, they severely lack the enchantment that Disney promises.

Senior Addison Lepse is very passionate about animation and is currently part of the film program. She explains how the remakes cannot do justice to the originals, even if they are created in good intention.

“Animation and live action are two vastly different mediums, trying to translate one to the other is like trying to recreate a Monet with Crayola, it just can’t translate well,” she said. “They create this whole universe with magic and animated expressions that just doesn’t translate to the live action.”

It is understandable why Disney wanted to appeal to the increasingly progressive audience with more politically correct movies, but instead of attempting to recreate the beauty of past films, why don’t they just create new movies with new stories that would still achieve their goals?

However, not all the films were recreated in order to combat controversy. Many were redone for no reason.

The original “Alice in Wonderland” and “Cinderella” were incredibly beautiful and revolutionary for their time period; their live action remakes were completely unnecessary and absent of the animated charm that the original films possessed.

“Disney isn’t ambitious anymore, they’re just doing what’s easy and what makes them money,” Lepse said. “When making “Alice in Wonderland” or “Peter Pan,” the creators studied the movements of real people when drawing the illustrations, they’re so well made because there’s thought put into every corner and piece. Taking away that consideration turns the film into a packaged product, not a work of art.”

Despite the lack of need for these films, the directors did make one good decision: no CGI (computer-generated imagery) talking animals.

The classic 2-D animation of these Disney films is what gave them so much character, and it is part of the reason they are classics. Lepse speaks about the importance of the style of animation that was crucial for the success of these films.

“Animation creates a world where [singing and dancing animals] are tangible and real, so when you take a real-life medium and add CGI, it doesn’t have the same magic,” she said. “It creates this fantasy that people can identify with, and now it just seems so clunky and awkward.”

CGI takes away the character of the original film, and it just makes it look wrong. I mean, if I wanted to watch and observe the beauty of animals in the wild, I’d watch “Planet Earth.”

Disney is so big that it has the power to control almost everything we watch. New yet unoriginal and uncreative content will only deteriorate the movie industry.

“In all this we haven’t acknowledged that Disney is a monopoly, they own everything from Marvel to National Geographic, and when one company owns that much, it’s harder for independent artists to bring out their stuff,” Lepse said.

“You can’t have one company managing what everyone watches because it’s just lackluster, and it cheapens what we watch. The media is an art medium, it’s a way for us to express ourselves and tune into human emotions and true beauty, and when someone just cheapens and homogenizes it, it falls apart, and I think that’s what Disney has been doing lately.”

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Disney remakes are unnecessary