I submit that some of the disney live action remakes are, regrettably, a bit off. But not all of them. A lot of them are really good. Here’s why.
-Lion King did really put me off with the lack of expressions. I’m not sure if I have much to say about it, lol I’ll have to see it and let you know. Honestly though I don’t think I can because I love the original Lion King so flipping much, it’s a masterful movie and part of its mastery is the beautiful hand drawn animation and its expressive characters. I can’t think I can watch a bunch of real lions just talking. Who knows? I’ll keep you posted.
-Alice in Wonderland, one of the first of them, had some really good feminist moments. I love the Hatter and Alice’s love for each other, I guess he’s like the only human in Wonderland so it makes sense. But I get some weird ideas because the denizens of Wonderland are supposed to mirror the characters in Alice’s real life, and since the only redhead in Alice’s life is Hamish, that weirdo who asks her to marry him and he’s a total jerk…. and the Hatter is a redhead too…. idk it’s weird. Also it’s weird if he represents her dad because number one he’s dead and number two it’s incest, but the Hatter does say a few things that her dad said at the beginning….hmmm… fishy. However I feel like I can rest assured because this might just be the case of “Johnny Depp came to shoot today in a homemade cosplay and nobody can stop him because he’s just a mad genius”, in which case why do they keep letting him do that??? I don’t mind the hatter’s design, but can you imagine Just Plain Old Johnny Depp In All His Sexy Glory as a mad hatter? It would have been fine. They had to give him a gap between his teeth, CGI enlarged eyes, crazy red hair, white and pink makeup… oh well, whatever, it’s fine. I like how Underland looks a bit more like Narnia than like a Tim Burton land; I honestly don’t know if they gave him complete creative control when it came to the CGI set design. It might’ve been cool to see that.
-Cinderella was wonderful, I thought. I really love how Cinderella and the Prince interacted a lot more, falling in love over a long period of time. In fact, I feel like it was a spiritual remake of Ella Enchanted(which, in my opinion, Disney really botched up because the book was just so amazing), so they did really good in my book. My brother, however, hates that at the end she just twirls in her tower and doesn’t do anything to save herself, when in the original she tried to escape. He thinks it’s really unfeminist and he doesn’t want his daughter to act like that. I agree on that mark, but I’ll let everyone watch it. Also they threw a little bit of the Beauty and the Beast original fairy tale in there when her dad, a merchant, asks what she wants and Cinderella asks for the branch that brushes his arm or whatever; similar to a single rose, when her sisters ask for riches. I also liked the handling of Lady Tremaine; it really humanized her and I felt for her. The stepsisters were silly as per the usual. The King went from a bumbling psychopath(the cartoon) to a very melancholy, concerned father, and I cried at his death scene. Bravo, Kenneth Branagh, bravo.
-I really like all of Beauty and the Beast, although I do think that they made Lumiere & friends a little bit too important in this movie. I needed more moments between Belle and the Beast that were in the animation! Evermore was breathtaking though, let’s be honest. Although let’s be honest, I REALLY REALLY wanted to see a shirtless Dan Stevens emerge from a wall of rose petals because that sounds absolutely magical and super HOT. I’m so mad they had to redo it. Also I like the subtle crush Lefou has on Gaston; I’ve always wondered if he liked him. I do wish that Josh Gad had toned it down with his fabulousness though, because although I love fabulousness I wonder if it was slightly offensive. I really liked Gaston, and I feel like he could have gone a little bigger and with more bravado, could have been from slightly comedic to VERY comedic, but I think that’s alright. He did a great job. And as for everyone complaining about the villagers being really nasty and openly evil towards Belle, I actually liked it. It’s clear in the cartoon that the villagers whisper behind Belle’s back, but I feel like she just has a small smidgeon of an idea that they think she’s weird. In this, they freaking ATTACK her. They’re like ‘We can’t have smart bicc’s in our town! Get out me town!” It is a bit on the nose sometimes but I think it works because it helps Beast and her relate to feeling like outsiders. I do think the Beast knowing how to read kind of gave them something in common as well, but I disliked how he scoffed at her favorite book, Romeo and Juliet. I wish he had been more understanding like, “There’s this poor girl whose library is like, seven books, and amongst those seven books, one of which is probably the freaking bible because they belong to a pastor, her favorite is basically a romance. She’s not well read; I’m going to show her the classics.” Which back then was probably, like, idk, Voltaire? Too soon? Eh I’m not sure when it takes place. I do wish he’d gifted the library to her though, that was a nice gift for her in the previous movie. (Here’s the thing; the Beauty and the Beast cartoon is basically a perfect movie and I don’t think anything can live up to it, but this one was good too. It wasn’t better, but nothing can be better than that movie. Except maybe the Princess Bride or the first Pirates of the Caribbean or the stage production of Phantom of the Opera. No, not even then.)
-Dumbo? I haven’t seen it yet, I’ll have to and update this.
-Okay so Aladdin is really good. I entered the film with the meme cringe in my mind, totally expecting it to look weird and bad, but honestly Will Smith was such a great actor! And I actually freaking cried so many times because number one: the genie was aladdin’s father figure that he never had! He taught him how to date! Number two: the genie got his true love as well, and you see her and their kids at the beginning of the movie! SPOILERS btw. Sorry. Also Number three: they picked Will Smith to play the genie because he’s HITCH of course! The matchmaker extraordinaire! (I just love Will Smith. I wish he would run for president; it wouldn’t be the first time we had an actor in the white house. Just kidding, I don’t want to burden him that way, and there are really smart candidates this year to choose from. I just am urging everyone to go vote, and no more harambe crap!!!!) Also Jasmine had a nice new empowering role in this movie. I just sort of wish Jafar had been more menacing and villainous. But his actor was fine, just a bit soft-spoken.
-Lady and the Tramp- I started it on Disney+, I need to finish it. I’m halfway there.
-Christopher Robin is a gift; it’s both simple and complex. It has a lot of nice metaphors and I could feel my heart hurting for much of the film. Seriously good aesthetics as well, Director of Photography!!!
-The Jungle Book is a really good remake! So much excitement, and I could totally see Bill Murray in Baloo. (I think it’s equal in terms of story to the movie Mowgli, although Mowgli had that nasty little surprise at the end, I’m still hurt about it.)(also in comparing, the CGI is similarly good, but Mowgli wanted to do a really ambitious face capture thingy and I’m not sure if it worked,(uncanny) but it was interesting! It was also a lot darker. I think they’re both good.) Ben Kingsley was superb, of course, as Bagheera, as always, and he has a really fatherly voice(I thought Christian Bale did well as Bagheera as well, but he was more of an action figure in that movie, less of a father/teacher figure). And John Favreau, as always, went the extra mile to bring the action, the writing, and the moral through, and made it super good for children at the same time!(the same cannot be said about Mowgli, as there were some violence/action things that go beyond ‘peril’, hence it’s PG-13 rating) My one discrepancy was the voice of Kaa. Scarlet did fine, but I always thought of Kaa as a boy. I think they could have found a slithery voice actor for Kaa. Benedict Cumberbatch did really well as Smaug, hissing and growling, and he could have done well. I also think that Tom Hiddleston could have done a great job; he has a really gentle and pliant voice that can turn menacing in the matter of seconds, and if it’s about the snake being sexy as Scarlet Johanssen(haha what??), I think that Hiddles can bring it.(I’m not quite sure what I’m talking about at this point so I’ll shut up now.) I do feel like Mowgli started shooting way before The Jungle Book was even a glimmer in John Favreau’s eye, and that kind of makes me want to root for Mowgli because I’m sure that different movie houses have people working in both, probably swapping stories with their friends, and I’m sure it wasn’t an exact copy, but I can totally see Bill Murray in Baloo’s face and that can’t be by accident. Just saying. Not calling Disney out or anything, but I’m sure they can take it, they have like a trillion dollars. Anyway. Still a good one.
-Haven’t seen Pete’s Dragon.
-101 Dalmations, I know this shouldn’t count but it just does. I loved watching this as a child. I’m so happy they didn’t make the dogs talk? Haha it usually works when they do, but it gave a lot of room for Doctor House and Mister Weasley to interact. Also Glenn Close is great. I think this movie’s a good example of a career woman who decides to get domesticated and her sista is like, “Girl, you can’t do this! We have to be strong women! You have to come back to work!” But Anita is all, “Girl, respect my decisions! Feminism isn’t forcing your girl to be exactly like you, it’s giving me the respect to make my own decisions. If I want to have a baby with my husband, that’s fine. I want to be a mom!” I feel like the “new” 101 dalmatians remake they’re gonna make, will have a different opinion. Similar to wicked and maleficent, it’s going to humanize Cruella, but I just hope that they’re nice to Anita. She’s such a smol soft bird and if she wants 2 billion dogs and one baby, that’s fine… ugh, that’s gotta be like so much dog poop in her house… anita what are you doing…
-Maleficent. Obviously I love it. I love how those arguing fairies are super incompetent at raising Aurora because they’re too busy fighting, so Maleficent has to swoop in and rescue the princess. I like how Maleficent is a fae and it’s so sad how there’s like this rape metaphor when Stefan cuts off her wings, and that would be reason to curse his baby, especially because they were in love and he betrayed her! Stole her wings! Married someone else! T^T Maleficent, you poor misunderstood fairy! I love her motherly relationship with Aurora. I love that she’s the one who kisses her forehead to wake her up because Philip met her just that day. However, I don’t like how they just shove Philip out of the way, because Sleeping Beauty is honestly so romantic, and I love how they dance together and everything. I also like the raven boi. I ship him and Maleficent so hard and I hope he doesn’t die in the sequel, I haven’t seen it yet.
-So technically the Parent Trap is a remake. It’s awesome. It gave my childhood so much romance and prank ideas. It’s much better than its predecessor, especially because the mom in the old one is, like, urged to look prettier by her butler(wtf?!?! YOu’re FIrEd?!?). I’m so glad we’ve come so far.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Are the remakes better? In some cases they are. I think Cinderella is better than its predecessor. I think the original Alice is very good, as a nonsense movie, and I feel like the remake is equally good, but they’re different movies with different motives and plots. The original Beauty and the Beast is my favorite and it’s perfect, so the new one isn’t better, but it is really great and I love it, too. Anyway, that’s all.