Don’t hop on the Disney remake hate bandwagon

Disney’s remakes are here only to help, not to be targeted

More stories from Ryan Huling


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Walt Disney with his greatest creation, Mickey Mouse.

The Oscars are just weeks away and many great movies, actors and directors are nominated for various awards.

Beyond all the amazing movies of 2018, however, there are many highly anticipated movies of 2019 that are worth looking forward to and perhaps some that are not. Are Disney’s remakes something to be excited for or dreaded?

In the next year, Disney will release live-action remakes of “Dumbo,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King,” three beloved Disney classics. After those, Disney won’t be stopping their live-action storytelling anytime soon.

Expected in the near future, Disney has at least four more live-action remakes in the works, and that’s if you don’t include “The Jungle Book” sequel, “Maleficent” sequel and “Cruella.” Some of these movies don’t even have finished scripts while others will be released in just weeks.

Disney has an incredibly long history of telling stories and, more importantly, telling them well. Their movies, animated pictures especially, hold creativity that is unique to their company and has helped them grow into the immense corporation we see today. The new movies, however, may seem like Disney is losing steam.

While many of Disney’s tales are reimaginings of age-old tales such as “Cinderella” and “Hamlet,” Disney didn’t make what could be considered a “remake” for some time. It wasn’t until the year 2000 when they released “Fantasia 2000,” which retold and added onto the story of the 1940 animated picture, “Fantasia.” After that, remakes seemed to pique the interest of Disney, who made a few here and there with movies like “Freaky Friday” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

Now that we’ve caught up to the present, why is Disney making so many remakes?

For one, people like these movies.

“The Lion King” has grossed more than $8 billion since its release. “Dumbo” was Disney’s fourth fully animated project released to the public back in 1940.

Nostalgia brings in the buyers.

It’s one thing to watch your favorite movie, but reliving the experience of seeing all these things happen for the first time is something I’m sure we all wish we could get back. Seeing the opening of “La La Land” or watching the final moments of “Zodiac” when Jake Gyllenhaal encounters Arthur Leigh Allen for the first time are moments I personally wish I could feel again.

Nostalgia is something we all yearn for. The chills, the adrenaline and the laughs. We want them all over again. That’s what Disney wants to do with these remakes.

Furthermore, young kids couldn’t experience “The Lion King” in theaters like their parents did.

We’ve all gotten some form of ridicule from an older family member or acquaintance for not having seen a specific movie. Somewhat selfishly and to feel like a part of the group of cool people who saw it in theaters, we want to see it too. Disney is handing that to people with these remakes.

Many people on social media are quick to jump on Disney for being too lazy to create new ideas, too cash-hungry to take risks or too scared to venture outside the traditional boundaries of movie-making. Will Smith as the Genie in “Aladdin” has gotten a lot of flack for not looking the way the animated version looked.

When it comes to movies, music, theater and any artistic form of entertainment, every person will have a preference.

One person may love what another thought was a terrible work of art. Many people’s preference falls under the traditional hand-drawn animation style that Disney became so popular for. That’s why movies from Disney’s Golden Age (1937-70) and Renaissance (1989-99) are the movies that Disney is remaking. They are the movies that made money because people loved them and they will gladly make them again.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea to see Will Smith reprising Robin Williams’ spectacular performance in “Aladdin” or Emma Watson dance with a CGI somewhat-handsome Beast in “Beauty and the Beast.”

But for the children that live in the world today, it’s not fair to drag the movies Disney is releasing. These kids want to relive what the older generation lived while seeing the best Disney has to offer. Money grab or not, these movies are meant for the audience to enjoy themselves. Why not just focus on that?

Huling can be reached at [email protected].