There isn’t anyone who hasn’t at least heard of Disney. For decades on end, this company has been bringing joy to people of all ages with their animated films, many of which are an object of nostalgia to almost everyone. Whenever you see an old Disney movie you can’t help but feel like you’re right back in your living room, eating snacks and playing with toys. This feeling is pretty pleasant, so nostalgia tends to sell a lot, that’s just basic knowledge. Because of this, in 1994 Disney released a live action remake of The Jungle Book, originally released in 1967. This wasn’t the brightest idea, as in total they only got $13.2 million dollars in profit, which is not very good big-picture wise.
However, they decided to risk it again in 1996, when they released a live action film called 101 Dalmatians, based on the original movie in 1961. This, actually, was not a bad move at all, as the studio got $245.7 million dollars back in profit. They had found a new formula. In 2000 they released a sequel, 102 Dalmatians. In 2010, they released a remake of Alice in Wonderland which was mostly made with, you guessed it, live action and CGI. Then Maleficent in 2014, huge success. Cinderella in 2015. The Jungle Book in 2016, followed by Alice Through the Looking Glass that same year. Then Beauty and the Beast in 2017.
By this point, Disney has significantly dropped their rate of producing original films; the last Pixar original animated movie was Coco, in 2016. Christopher Robin, in 2018. Finally, in 2019, Disney has released a whopping 5 live action remakes of their classic films, including the infamous one made out of expressionless CGI lions, also known as The Lion King. By this time, the audience was getting annoyed. However, it didn’t stop them from buying a pair of tickets to the cinema, of course. It was The Lion King, everyone’s favorite childhood movie! It was so lovely and nostalgic back then, and besides, the graphics are hyper-realistic, so there’s no way the movie is going to be exactly the same, right? Wrong.
According to many, many reviews, The Lion King was basically an exact carbon copy of the 1994 film. Same plot, same dialogue, less expressive animation, just lackluster in general, which tends to be a trend in pretty much all of their love action remakes. Despite this, they movie did make money. And that, like most companies, is all Disney cares about. Everyone is always saying how annoying the live-action remakes are, how tired they are of them, and yet they go and watch them anyway because they’re bored, or because they think the CGI looks cool, etc. Disney has found their formula, and whether we like it or not, it works. We will keep going to these remakes, and as long as we’re paying Disney will keep making them.
But what will happen once they run out? In the past three years Disney has done nothing but announce live action remakes and sequels (of live action remakes). To add onto this, there are only a couple of movies left to remake that still cater to the nostalgic adult niche, as it’s unlikely that too many people will be hyped for an ‘Inside Out’ live action movie. Disney used to be known as a maker of worlds: they made beautifully (2D or 3D) animated movies where unique and expressive characters traveled universes beyond our imagination. Lately they’re basically just known for their sequels of such characters, CGI movies, and owning pretty much every entertainment company in the world. (No, seriously. They own the History Channel.) As an artist it is pretty much impossible to notice the drastic decline in artistic creativity in their recent films, and once you notice this, it truly is very, very sad. Of course, the team and animators aren’t any less talented: they are just not given much to work with. You can tell.
Disney is becoming a gray, money-driven monopoly that’s just taking over the entertainment industry which, funnily enough, tends to be the sort of place a classic Disney villain would originate from. How ironic. Disney is no longer an animation company: it is simply a company, and while it is certainly difficult to maintain a happy cheery image when you’ve become such a large industry, but sometimes it seems they aren’t even trying to maintain it in the first place. Will Disney ever be able to return from this predictable loophole? Well, they don’t really have a choice. As previously stated, they are going to run out of old stories to retell eventually. But we don’t have to wait for that to happen. If you do actually enjoy these remakes, then who are you not to support them? They are nice to look at after all, and it’s always nice to see your favorite childhood characters in a different light. However, if you’re getting tired of this lackluster and predictable loophole, there might be a way to stop it from going down any further. Disney might not listen to their audience, but we can manipulate the one thing they listen to: money. Don’t want to see more live action sequels? Don’t pay for them. It seems too easy, but it truly is that simple. One person might not make too much of a difference in a $100 million dollar scale, but perhaps if everyone who isn’t happy with this trend attempts to protest in the only way that can truly be seen, Disney will realize that this recipe won’t work forever they will get back to work on original films, and take back their title as an imaginative and loved children’s entertainment company that still manages to reach out into everyone's hearts.