Should Disney Stop with the Live-Action Films?

Jamie Doo, Writer

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Having nostalgia and being sentimental for things in the past is part of human nature. But what happens when advertisements and large companies take advantage of that?

Animation giant Disney recently released the official, full-length trailer for their live-action Beauty and the Beast Movie on November 14th, which is set to be in theaters in 2017. Disney fans were immediately hooked  – the official Beauty and the Beast twitter (@beourguest) stated that in 24 hours, the trailer reached a staggering 127.6 million views.

With tons of reaction videos that spawned from this one trailer, it’s safe to say that Disney gets a fine profit from its live-action films. For example, recent films such as the 2015 Cinderella film garnered a sizeable 543.5 million USD, and the 2016 Jungle Book topped that with 966.5 million USD.

Thus, it appears as though audiences keep coming no matter what Disney does release in the theaters, and that is especially worrisome. Disney has a whole host of live-action films ready for production, including Mulan (2018), The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Lion King, etc. according to Seventeen magazine. Disney is perpetuating the animated classics that were an integral part of many millennials’ lives.

The problem that seems rooted in Disney’s machine-like productions of these live-action films is that they just realistic recreations of a past successful idea. In the trailer for the Beauty and the Beast movie, all tropes are maintained, down to the clothing and music, with Belle’s iconic yellow dress, and the glass case that houses the Beast’s rose. But posts about this movie are rather vague, the Huffington Post stating that Disney would “keep the live-action remake as close as possible to the first movie based on the classic French fairy tale,” with no major changes to the plot and characters.

But a criticism can be said about the character designs. Animation’s power is that it can present fantastical elements with no questions from the audience. However, since live-action films closely adhere to the standards of the world, there are certain rules of reality that cannot be tampered. Although Beauty and Beast are known as a fantasy, could this gritty retelling change the entire atmosphere of this story? Will Disney’s attempt at edginess with all their films replace happy, vintage ideas with more modern, cynical ones? Or will it bring success?

     It’s quite hard to tell whether it is a good thing or not. Perhaps it benefits Disney the most – an immersive movie style that always appeals to everyone. Either way, the original Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991, almost 3 decades ago. It’s not clear to see whether the modern retelling of this classic movie will able to match, or perhaps surpass its predecessor. However, there still is hope that Disney will produce more original films versus the avid recycling of past themes. Here’s hoping to more creative futures!

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