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Disney Live-Action Remakes

Not always a bad thing...

By Natasja RosePublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - May 2023
Disney Live-Action Remakes
Photo by Benjamin Suter on Unsplash

I'll say this for Disney Live-Action Remakes: They're good on taking on feedback about what their target audiences liked and didn't like about the originals.

That's not to say those changes always come off quite as planned, but I think we can safely dispense with the idea that Disney is chasing after some vague idea of being "Woke with the Times". Some of their efforts do lean in the direction of Pandering, but those are mostly Disney Channel products, played on Saturday morning and having to compete with Bluey, Dora, Video Games and the lure of actually sleeping in for attention.

(Disney's Descendants may have been a confused mess by the end of things, but at least it was an entertaining confused mess that inspired a lot or really good fanfiction. I'm also fairly sure you can't mention it in Florida, because NO-ONE thought ANY of those characters were straight for more than a few seconds.)

I started this piece out as a review of the new Little Mermaid remake, but found myself going on a tangent of background information around remakes in general, so I switched focus. Keep an eye out for that later in the week.

For now, I'll just say that I very much enjoyed it, most of the changes were good, and while I have questions in a few places, those questions only made me more invested in the story.

I think Live Action Remakes are always going to fall a little short, purely for the fact that you can simply do more in terms of scale, expression and background with pen and pencil than you can with CGI.

Real Life animals are simply not that expressive in ways that humans recognize as emotional responses (Lion King). An animated piece of furniture can have more range of motion than one where every twitch and frown has to be computer generated (Beauty and the Beast). Buildings have to be kept in realistic scale, rather than dominating the entire horizon (Cinderella, Aladdin).

The whole point of remakes is that there's a new way to tell the story, a new audience to get invested in an old love, or sometimes just that special effects have improved to the point that they can tangibly improve on the old version (Pirates of the Carribean - did anyone even remember that a movie existed before the Depp/Bloom/Knightley revival?)

By Jayme McColgan on Unsplash

Growing up at roughly the same time as the Disney Rennaisance, it's safe to say that the original animated movies have a firm place in my heart.

Fantasia was weekend watching at my Godparents' house while they played Bridge with my parents. Playground wars were waged over the 'best' disney princess. (Yeah, we were doing that before Epic Rap Battles made it cool...) I was the most popular girl in school when my Dad brough a VHS of The Lion King back from a business trip to the USA, weeks before it was available in Australia.

As an adult, with the rose-tinted glasses of childhood stripped away and a desire of more nuanced storytelling, I'm finding the remakes to be a good accompaniment.

Maleficent is a movie that I treat more as a retelling than a remake, because it completely flippe. same with Cruella. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were continuations. I admit to never having seen either version of Pete’s Dragon.

I enjoy the Animated Aladdin more than the Live Action, because so much of Genie's magic just doesn't fully translate in CGI and Robin Williams is incomparable. Similar with The Lion King, though that holds a place in my heart as my First Date with my Beloved.

I will hear nothing against the Live-Action Beauty and the Beast, and while I admit that I never got as into The Jungle Book as some of the other films, I enjoyed some of the explanation of the animals apathy toward Mowgli (and maintain that the version with Jet Li and Cary Elwes from the 90s is still the best)

I also encourage everyone to go watch the "Old Vs New: Cinderella" comparison on YouTube. I don't really have a favourite between the two, but it's a very good analysis.

If noting else, Disney Live-Action Remakes gives me new songs to sing along to on long car rides, and I knock the socks off any Disney Theme Trivia Night.

By Capricorn song on Unsplash

If you liked this story, leave a heart, a comment or a tip and share it around, and check out my other work on Medium and Amazon.

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About the Creator

Natasja Rose

I've been writing since I learned how, but those have been lost and will never see daylight (I hope).

I'm an Indie Author, with 30+ books published.

I live in Sydney, Australia

Follow me on Facebook or Medium if you like my work!

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Comments (18)

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  • Chloe Gilholy4 months ago

    Lots of Disney remakes that I need to see.

  • Joe Patterson4 months ago

    Very well written, congratulations on your top story.

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Love this!!! Congratulations onTop Story!!!💖💖💕

  • Canuck Scriber4 months ago

    Gotta love Disney, I do! This was a great read!! Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Bright nwachukwu 4 months ago

    Wow what a nice story, I will like to hear more

  • Donna Renee4 months ago

    Congrats on your TS! So true about Real Life animals. I had forgotten (or maybe I never knew) there was another Pirates of The Caribbean 🤷🏼‍♀️

  • Taylor Bitz4 months ago

    I just watched the live action Little Mermaid yesterday and it was good Not great, but good I approved of the song changes, but changing Sebastian from a lobster to a crab who scientifically can't breathe underwater and Scuttle to a female cormorant instead of a seagull - those changes are just criminal. Flounder was okay though. The singing was utterly brilliant, and I liked that they gave Eric a bit more of a personality. They made it seem like both Eric and Ariel had equal longing for each other, something the original film sorely lacked. I'm definitely going to write a review of my own on the Little Mermaid live action

  • Congratulations on Your Top Story

  • Naomi Gold4 months ago

    Haven’t seen the live action Little Mermaid yet, and I don’t know if I want to. I don’t like Disney just making iconic characters I grew up with a different race. It’s lazy and insulting. They should hire a team of black American writers to come up with an original story full of our culture, but they won’t. We got Soul, with white writers, and a focus on Tina Fey. I was a biracial little girl who LOVED Ariel in the 90’s, and in my opinion this is lame. Like you, I enjoyed the live action of Beauty and the Beast overall… beautiful story and cinematography. But I don’t think Emma can ever really be “Belle” in my mind, and they could’ve cast someone better. I think the retellings like Alice in Wonderland with a grown up Alice, Maleficent, and Cruella are brilliant because the roles were perfectly cast… so I could believe I was getting an alternate version of the story from the perspective of the actual character.

  • Paweł Tyloch4 months ago


  • Couldnt agree more!! The animals were the one issue with The Little Mermaid for me. Cinderella is my fave remake :)!

  • Heather Lunsford4 months ago

    We have new tools for storytelling now I see no reason to resist using those tools to retell familiar stories as well as new ones. Personally I'm waiting for disney to make better use of the Muppets! They should do the classic movies but with Muppets.

  • Mariann Carroll4 months ago

    Excellent review between animation vs live action FanFiction. Thank you .🥰

  • Lilly Cooper4 months ago

    Damn, you beat me to it 🤣 I saw The Little Mermaid just today and took notes to do a review. Only to discover that what I was thinking was less a review of TLM and more a comparison between all the Animated and LA versions. Well covered, a good read

  • Excellent insight ❤️‍🔥📝❗Grear Article 📝😉

  • Jason Ray Morton 4 months ago

    I'm glad to hear that the movie wasn't bad. I think I remember it catching some flack when it was first in the news so I kind of wondered how it would do.

  • I love many of the live action remakes of Disney classics. It's kind of neat to see a different perspective. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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