A Hate Letter to Disney Re-makes

Love them or hate them, the Disney remakes certainly create some strong opinions

Kayleigh Fraser
3rd November 2021
Image Credit: IMDB
The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp - three of my favorite classic Disney films... until they decided to remake them.

I've always been a sucker for a well made, classic Disney film. Like many of us, my childhood revolved around sitting in awe in front of the television watching every Disney film under the sun. The iconic rose of Sleeping Beauty, Belle's mirror and beautiful gold dress and screaming 'A whole new world' at the top of my lungs.

So, you can imagine my horror when Disney announced in the 2010's that many of their classic or 'renaissance' films were being re-made. At first, I was optimistic. I thought, surely, this is just a one off? Naive 15 year old me presumed the brand spanking new Cinderella would be a one off. Once again, I was disappointed.

It really hit home for me in 2019 when Disney released not one, but four remake films. These included The Lion King, Dumbo, Aladdin and Lady and the Tramp. My question has always been the same: why?

The Lion King was released in 2019, a remake of the 1994 film.

When re-watching the classic version of the films, I found no fault in them. Why was a re-make needed if the original is still just as good? Do Disney feel the need to just re-hash the same old plot lines and characters like an eternal film ferris wheel?

Do Disney feel the need to just re-hash the same old plot lines and characters like an eternal film ferris wheel?

There are however, some exceptions to this rule of the re-hash. One film I thoroughly enjoyed from Disney came in 2018 with the release of Mary Poppins Returns. It was remarkable how the studios brought back a much loved character to life after so many years with a fresh story and likable protagonists.

Image Credit: IMDB

It goes to show that Disney can partly remake something with a new plot and still maintain the sparkle of the original characters. This is why a duplicated copy of the same plot, same characters and same endings just doesn't work for me. After all, I've seen it all before.

What joy can I get out of watching the exact same film as a teenager? Must I constantly tell myself that it's a brilliant film because it's 'new'? Well, newsflash Disney, a film isn't automatically a new classic because of new animation technology. Underneath all the life like movement and attention to detail, it's the same movie.

Disney Pixar's movie Soul was a breath of fresh air for the studios.

In my opinion, Disney need to get back to their creative roots. We all saw the success of Soul released in December 2020. It grossed $120 million in the box office amidst the peak of COVID-19. Disney can clearly roll the dice and be successful, so why can't they do it more often?

Alas, Disney's remakes still looks like they will continue. In 2022 we'll get Peter Pan and Wendy, then The Little Mermaid in 2023. Disney, you just keep disappointing me.

Although I can wish and wish upon a star for some brand new movies, my dream's just won't come true.

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AUTHOR: Kayleigh Fraser
Campus Comment Sub Editor for 2021/22 and Head of News at NSR. English Literature Student heavily obsessed with politics, bath and body works and making positive change. Also slightly infatuated with iced coffee, guinea pigs, my dog and binging The Simpsons.

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