When Did Disney Stop Innovating? The Endless Remake Parade Has To Stop

Tim Burton's Dumbo is a terrible idea Imgur

Disney, I love you, but you have to stop ruining my childhood.

This week, Disney announced that they will make a live-action Lion King movie , presumably without the Nazi undertones of the animated classic. Over the next decade, Disney plans to remake dozens of classic movies with real people, including Winnie The Pooh, The Little Mermaid and even Cruella De Ville. Once those mouse-eared executives bought Marvel, they must have contracted a very serious case of sequelitis.

The house that the mouse built thinks that the successful modern day movie formula is: live action + nostalgia + recognizable actors = profit. Disney has perfected that formula and will continue to churn out those movies like the future of their studio depends on it. It’s like the company is now afraid to try an original idea for fear of failure, which is something Walt Disney would have heavily disagreed with. Walt built his career on the idea that animated movies could be successful, even when everyone else told him otherwise.

Just because Disney is stuck in remake land, it doesn't mean the movies won’t work. I expected the live-action Jungle Book to be nothing more than a shameless cash grab, but instead I got a beautiful movie with life-like talking panthers, bears and singing orangutans. A whole new generation gets to grow up with “Bear Necessities,” and I get to see a giant orange Christopher Walken singing.  

Cruella De Yuck Photo: Imgur

For every Jungle Book , we get a Pete’s Dragon . The movie about a boy getting raised by a dragon didn’t connect with moviegoers, even though critics gave it positive reviews.  It might be a sign that a movie can’t succeed based on nostalgia alone, but I guess we will have to wait for the Mary Poppins sequel to come out first.

The point that I must emphasize is Disney needs to innovate. The company can’t survive on nostalgia alone. Don’t get me wrong, Disney’s CGI department is still doing some amazing work – Zootopia and Wreck It Ralph are some of the greatest animation of the last decade. Still, if you look at the upcoming calendar of their live-action movies, it’s either a remake or an adaptation of a Disneyland ride .

Disney, you’ve got some cool movies in the works, like Night On Bald Mountain , based off that maestro devil from Fantasia, but why do we need another Haunted Mansion with Ryan Gosling?


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