I’m not actually sure whether or not this is an unpopular or popular opinion, but being a Disney person, I’ve seen a lot of opinions going either way. Since I’ve been asked my opinion a few times, I thought I might as well share it here!
I LOVE the fact that Disney is doing live action remakes and am thoroughly excited for them all, with just a few sitting very high on the list (The Little Mermaid and The Nightmare Before Christmas)!!
I completely understand the people who are frustrated by the live action remakes and think that Disney should be telling other stories instead, but in my opinion, I think they can do both simultaneously. And I think they are doing both? I feel like for every live action they do, they’re also releasing new stories and new original movies too, so I don’t necessarily feel like the live action movies are taking anything away. Also, because they’re remakes, I feel like they’ve got a lot to live up too and some even miss the mark (which I feel like further promotes the reason the classics are the classics- for example, I LOVED the live action Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin films, felt very mehhh over Mulan and The Lion King, hated Dumbo, and could not for the life of me get through Pinocchio (still haven’t finished it). I also really love the spin on Sleeping Beauty with the Maleficent films (I won’t bring up the Alice in Wonderland ones because I’m very biased with my love for Johnny Depp).
ALSO, being an avid Disney fan and someone who holds tradition and classics very dear to her heart (for everything in life, not just Disney movies), I don’t believe anything is being taken away from the original movies by doing live action remakes. I know that’s a big argument for classics vs live actions that I’ve seen going around.
I think the original movies are classics for a reason- because they’ve gone the distance and stood the test of time. I mean Snow White was released in 1937 people and we’re still watching it (I just watched it the other day with Avery and she calls all the dwarves Santa Claus which is the cutest thing). I feel like they will always be “the classics” and live action versions are just different versions and retellings of the original movies. And as an adult and now mother, who watched all these classics growing up, I’m excited to see and relive the magic of those movies in an updated way. And I don’t think that takes anything away from the original films- they will always be loved and cherished over time- I don’t think that changes just because a live action version is being released.
Now- let’s talk about the controversy surrounding my favorite Disney classic- The Little Mermaid. I think the hate and controversy surrounding the fact that Halle Bailey is playing Ariel, is absolutely absurd and just so stupid. For goodness sake, the character is a mermaid, not like a historical, real life person. I feel like if after seeing the movie , you don’t believe she was a good fit for Ariel, than okay- but at least give the girl a chance and excuse my French- get your head out of your ass and stop making it a race thing. I for one, think she’s beautiful and from what I’ve seen, perfectly embodies the same curiosity and bravery that Ariel embodies. I’m also excited that my daughter will be able to watch (my) favorite Disney princess in a way that looks more like her, it warms my little heart. And most of the hate and people saying they “aren’t watching the movie” are grown adults hashtagging “notmyAriel,” which is extra stupid to me because the movie is a children’s movie. A Disney children’s movie- the movie isn’t being made for you, you idiots (#sorrynotsorry). Okay, I’ll stop there, but I could go on and on about it LOL.
Lyric changes- okay, this one gets me. I feel like the songs in the original movies should be preserved. I mean we loved them as kids in the originals right? Why do they need to be changed? This is where my keep the classics classic thought comes in- I get that we live in a very “woke” time, but also, like if we can’t at least preserve art- what can we preserve with certainty? Also, someone wrote those songs, I feel like it’s disrespectful on some end to change them, any way you spin it. And specifically for The Little Mermaid, where I’ve read that some of the most iconic songs from the OG film are being altered for the live action (Poor Unfortunate Souls and Kiss the Girl)- a man named Howard Ashman wrote them (with Alan Menken) for the movie and he is no longer alive. I feel like his work, when being re-used, should be used in it’s original form as he wrote it. That’s the kind of stuff I’m sentimental about.
Adding songs- I think adding songs is a beautiful thing and exciting to see and look forward too in the live action movies! I loved when they gave Jasmine her own song in the live action Aladdin movie, I think it added to the story and made her character even stronger, which made their love story in the movie stronger as well (IMO). I heard there’s a new song for Eric in The Little Mermaid live action and I’m looking forward to it. I feel like giving these characters more depth in the live actions, makes them even better because you feel like you’re getting to know the characters as actual people now rather than a cartoon character.
Alright, so that is where I will stop for now LOL. We’re a little over a month away for The Little Mermaid live action and I am so so so excited for it! I haven’t been excited to see a movie in what feels like forever, so the anticipation is REAL.
Well, what are your thoughts about Disney’s commitment to doing live action remakes? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Interesting opinion there. I have only seen a few Disney live-action remakes, so I’m not knee-deep in that or many of the newer Disney movies. It does seem like overkill that Hollywood is rolling out so many remakes, but that’s the mainstream film industry, and not just Disney. I heard some of the remakes are better than others, but there have been good live-action versions made by other people, such as the 2009 Chinese Mulan: Rise of a Warrior film which was very good and has that authenticity being made in China.
While I’m not a fan of The Little Mermaid, I do agree that the #NotMyAriel crowd was insane and racist. People should really get over themselves, and I’m sure they were the same ones who freaked out when they saw Finn in that Star Wars trailer. Having Halle Bailey as Ariel could be interesting and she has a great voice, but her casting isn’t a get-out-of-jail card for Disney’s history with racism like the crows in Dumbo, Song of the South, the Siamese Cats from Lady & The Tramp, Pocahontas, or aspects of The Lion King with the portrayal of the hyenas or how Disney trademarked the phrase “Hakuna Matata” which is pure cultural appropriation, but that’s a different conversation. I will respectfully disagree slightly with the issue of changing some lyrics. It’s understandable when some changes are pointless when the original song is innocuous, but some changes needed to happen like “Arabian Nights” like how in the original theatrical version had a lyric of “They’ll cut off your ear if they don’t like your face. It’s barbaric, but hey it’s home!” which made the Arab community rightfully ticked off, so they changed it for the VHS release and again for the remake.
While I have my issues with the Disney company, it was good that you were able to explain your points and not come off as some deluded fan or act like Mickey Mouse can do no wrong.