As one live action remake saw release this week, another was announced. Given the success of Alice in Wonderland that then continued with Maleficent and now Cinderella, the news that Disney was lining up another adaptation of a classic animated classic was about as shocking as the announcement of Frozen 2. While I have no problem with these remakes, especially since I like to see the company succeeded, this week I thought about which of these films was my favorite… or if I even really enjoyed any on them.
First, in the interest of full disclosure, I have next to no interest in seeing the Cinderella film that was released this weekend. Part of this is probably due to the fact that I found Maleficent to be a snooze-fest, and that was based on one of my favorite Disney films. If my friend Aaron’s review (see below) of Cindy’s new film is any indication, I’ll be glad I skipped this one.
Though there was 101 Dalmatians and even 102 Dalmatians before it, this current Disney trend can mostly be attributed to 2010’s Tim Burton joint Alice in Wonderland. At the time, I didn’t really know what to think of the movie. While watching I didn’t much care for it, but in the weeks that followed I found myself quoting the film and realizing I had apparently enjoyed it more than I thought.
Considering that the film made over $100 million its opening weekend, it was only a matter of time before Disney went back to their vault for inspiration. Some of their choices so far have been pretty straight-forward (Sleeping Beauty (sorta), Cinderella, and soon Beauty and the Beast ) but making another version of The Jungle Book after the studio already did that in 1994 seems a big odd. But their announcement this week was even stranger.
Upon seeing this week’s news, I challenged my wife to guess what the next film would be and who would direct it. After eventually consulting a list of every Disney Animated Classic, she near-literally guessed every other film (including Three Caballeros and the Black Cauldron) before saying, “Well they’re not making a live action Dumbo, so….” The huge grin on my face let her know that indeed they were. She was so hung up on that part of the equation that I didn’t bother to make her guess that the director would be Tim Burton.
Since Alice is somewhat-surprisingly my top pick in this current line of remakes, and considering that Burton’s debut film Pee Wee’s Big Adventure ranks as one of my all time favorite films, I guess I’d have to save I’m more excited about this redo than The Jungle Book or Beauty and the Beast (sorry Olaf and Hermione). Still, I’m just not sure that these live action adaptations are for me. So I wish Disney the best of luck with them, but I’ll just be here at home watching the originals on DVD instead.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV