Culture and Entertainment

Disney Live Action Opinions

I’m going to try to see if I can really clear out my drafts. I have 40+ I think, plus all my random word documents with opinions and Evernote notes. I think I’d like to post more because I clearly have a lot to say, albeit possibly lots of repetitive things, not super immediately, because I’ll always regret my hastiness, but on the weekend, when I have time to think things through. I also don’t think everything has to be super polished, and I think that often when I try anyway I get tangled up in my words, so it ends up making less sense anyway.

Anyway, this draft is composed of two long comments in response to Disney posts.

This post by Eva.

I think fairytales/Disney and remakes involve, to say the least (not in order of importance)
1) Nostalgia or lack
2) The major fairytale plotline (or lack) and Whether the person prefers one plotline before another
3) The quality of the remake in several areas, song/sound/music quality, plot quality (improving or flattening, adding or distracting) plus the person’s personal preference in that area
4) Whether the promotion of the remake had an effect.

This is going to be a huge comment (probably will make it into a post). I love discussions like this, that promote analysis of movies, books, etc.

For reference I grew up watching Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast a lot. Aladdin a few times. I adored the Cinderella remake, one of my favorite movies of all time. Beauty and the the Beast was a let-down. Aladdin was a surprise like.

I think nostalgia can play a part in how much you like childhood favorites, like some movies (or books) seem to almost “need” to be watched in childhood to understand all the love. But I don’t think this necessarily means one will always love the film as an adult or will never love the film as an adult. I don’t think I LOVE my childhood favorites in the same way or rather am not obsessed (sometimes it might have been obsession not love, I was one for constantly rewatching). I haven’t seen some in years. I saw Tangled (came out during my adulthood) as an adult and loved it. I saw Tarzan (came out during my childhood) as an adult and loved it.

A lot of the “original” films were based on (highly romanticized) fairytales or literature in the case of Lion King, Hamlet, and Aladdin Arabian Nights e.g. they already had time-tested plots. Some people may just prefer (stripping away all other elements for the moment) some plots to others. For example, I for one, think I just really love a Cinderella plot line over Beauty and the Beast. In other cases, the outworking of the plot may affect the preference of the movie, perhaps in cases where the person doesn’t have strong feelings for the original fairytale plotline.

I grew up on Beauty and the Beast. But I think that maybe my love was childish/nostalgic mainly, i.e. I don’t overall love the plotline as much and don’t love it quite as much now? I don’t know, I just felt my much younger sisters loved it so much more than me. So, I don’t think I had the “oh, no, my favorite must be perfect.” I just am a stickler for excellent adaptations. And here is where things really mess with me.

Plot-line wise, I have an innate preference for Cinderella over Beauty and the Beast period. Then the filmmakers in adding changing to the plot-line in Beauty and the Beast remake, took it in directions I didn’t care for both in preference and in quality.

The promotion. I am FAR better off, having low-zero expectations. Cinderella was not over-hyped. Beauty and the Beast was. That is NOT the only reason, I loved the first and didn’t care overmuch for the second. I think the promotion was in direct opposite proportion to the quality.

Those who produced Cinderella seemed to not focus on fanfare to the detriment of the quality while those who produced Beauty and the Beast did. And um, Kenneth Brannagh produced Cinderella and that shows to me, and the Twilight producer did Beauty and the Beast, and I think that shows. For me, it’s not a nostalgia thing, it’s both my plot preference and what I consider quality.

For Aladdin, I don’t care for the original one much, and I thought I wouldn’t care for this, but I was surprised and liked it. And the same time, I still thought that it had some quality issues. But because I didn’t love it and wasn’t tied to loving it, I think my expectations played a far larger factor in my overall liking for it?

This post by Katie.

I don’t know about bitter, I think it might be high expectations or unmet expectations or complete changes of “remakes” or things that don’t work well.

I grew up on Disney, I don’t see live-action as true remakes, but sort of a companion version. But I do expect them to be good movies, and live-action entails some different artistic standards, I think.

Also, Hollywood is really not using originality for a LOT of movies lately, and I think remakes are an example, the amount is excessive. When a couple movies are remade or when one creative decision is chosen, the all other movies follow suit whether or not it makes creative sense and without tailoring to the specific movie, like when the Deathly Hallows was split into 2 (an excellent choice for movie, the books had so much) every other major series did even the ones with little enough material for one movie. I just feel like $$$$$ is the motivation rather than inspiration and art for too high a proportion of movies . . . like with all this extra Harry Potter stuff.

I ADORED the Cinderella 2015, I felt that it ticked every fairytale romance box and fit in well in with the original animated and Ever After, all versions of the same story, all artistically good/excellent in different ways. I didn’t adore Beauty and the Beast, I enjoyed parts and while that isn’t my favorite fairytale for one thing, I still think it fell short, as a movie, as a musical, and as a remake.

As for Frozen, I think I loved Tangled so much it just felt flat (the hype hadn’t hit yet). I don’t dislike it (the hype that caused me to shudder every time it was mentioned), I just don’t find much joy in watching it, its missing the salt for me. Similar with Moana. Those three I watched as an adult, as a kid, I would imagine I would’ve liked them all.


  • Elizabeth

    This is so interesting! I love when people talk about their thoughts or analysis on movies.

    The Beauty and the Beast remake was really over-hyped. I think I was expecting/hoping for too much although there was some things I liked too.
    I should re-watch the Cinderella remake, I saw it once not too long after it came out and I remember being impressed by it but I didn’t love it but maybe I’d like it better now. It’s interesting how different the hype was between the two movies.

    The remakes, for the most part, have felt flat to me too and it’s been so disappointing. Especially since there are some movies that Disney has done that naturally lend themselves to being more adaptable to live action, like Atlantis. I feel like the live actions, in general, could be something really good but for the most part they just feel cheap, which sucks.

    Tangled is so good.

    Anyways, loved reading about some of your thoughts on this!

    • Livia Rose

      Yeah, most of the remakes I’ve seen (the less violent one Jungle Book, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella) have a lot of blinding pizzaz and extra bright colors and bigs stars and all that, but they are missing the actual creativity and heart and soul of the originals, all except Cinderella.

  • McKayla

    The 2015 Cinderella is a masterpiece. I like it much better than the original.
    I did actually enjoy Beauty and the Beast. It’s not one of my all-time favorite movies, but I thought it was good. I wasn’t super fond of Aladdin. I didn’t dislike it, but it didn’t do it for me. Except for the way they characterised Jasmine. I liked her better than her animated counterpart.

    • Livia Rose

      2015 Cinderella is one of my favorite movies. I enjoyed Beauty and the Beast, but it should have been stunning and overwhelming, but it wasn’t. Aladdin was funny, but not special. Jasmine was not obnoxious like in the animated, but she and Aladdin (espeically Aladdin) didn’t end up being the main story, that was the Genie and his story.

  • MovieCritic

    All good thoughts! I liked what you said about the remakes as being a companion version. And still with that, they should be good! Almost as long as there have been movies, people have been remaking them, so I don’t mind. But, you are totally right, they are starting to over do it. I actually love the Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin remakes, but can’t convince myself to watch The Jungle Book or The Lion King because I can’t stand that much CGI.

    • Livia Rose

      I find live action animal movies really sad and scary, so I only watched Jungle book and irritated my family with “when is the bad part, when is the bad part” and then ran away for that part. It was so stressful

  • teaspillsphotography

    I have a love/hate with the live actions. Cinderella was definitely the best, Maleficent and Beauty & the Beast were okay.
    I haven’t seen Aladdin yet but I think I’ll probably like that one. I haven’t seen the new Lion King either, but it seems pointless. Some are just better left alone.

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