Hard Pill to Swallow: Disney needs to stop remaking its classics into live action films

By: Jayme Fisher

Waltonian | The Waltonian Source: Pexels

Growing up, there was nothing better than curling up on the couch to watch the “Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog” or “Tangled.” Each of these films holds a special place in my heart because I adore each of the female lead characters in them. 

I admired Ariel growing up because she was curious and willing to bend the norms of her culture. Tatiana was exciting, brave and courageous and was able to deal with what fell in her lap. Rapunzel was extroverted, cared for those around her and was willing to stand up to Mother Ethel. These were the figures I appreciated and admired throughout my childhood.  

Over the past few years, Disney has been recreating and making these beloved characters into live action versions.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love some of these movies. The live action “Cinderella” starring Lily James and Richard Madden was a great film. I think the actors put on a great performance. Not to mention, the film is just visually stunning. 

However, the more Disney comes out with these live action movies, the more I worry that they are going to ruin my beloved childhood role models.  Take the Marvel Cinematic Universe for example, as they have produced more and more of these films, the quality of them has significantly decreased.  Instead of making quality movies, Marvel appears to be more focused on putting out a large quantity of movies. 

As someone who loved Marvel movies two years ago, I worry that this will happen to the live action classic Disney movies. Let’s look at the recent live action Pinocchio, which I haven’t seen and I don’t think I will. 

I saw a clip on Twitter with Pinocchio and Honest John where Honest John is trying to figure out stage names for Pinocchio.  He names a few ideas and then lands on “Chris Pine.” 

Some may find this reference funny, but I think it oddly modernizes a classic film. Not to mention the overall CGI quality is terrible. The movie looked silly and made silly jokes.  To me, this ruins Pinocchio. He is a beloved character and should be left alone.  But Disney’s need to produce and make money trumps telling a good story. 

I understand Disney’s motives to keep producing these kinds of films. They want to make money and grab the current young generation while also pulling earlier generations who grew up with the characters. However, it just feels like a money grab, not necessarily telling a great story. The story was already told and usually in a beautiful way. So, Disney should leave it alone. 

As I keep seeing these remakes, I wonder if Disney has simply run out of newer ideas. I would love to see live action movies that feature new princesses that would fit with our current culture. 

If we want strong role models like Ariel and Tatiana, don’t you think it would be powerful to introduce a new one? One that maybe gives the girls of today someone to look up to? And maybe fits into today’s culture?

Instead, Disney is remaking classics and having them fit into today’s society. To me, this changes the character and oddly modernizes the story. 

I grew up in a different time than the young girls of today. Ariel and Tatiana were inspiring during my time and today’s young girls even go back and watch those films. 

However, if Disney started writing new stories that would inspire and help young girls, I think Disney would be making a more powerful impact. Ariel and Tatiana’s stories have already been told.  Instead, Disney should produce something for today. Don’t bend past stories to today’s climate.

So, Disney, stop making movies that appear to just be a lazy money grab and start producing something for today’s generation that will give them something to aspire towards.  

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