So D23, Disneys own expo event happened a few weeks ago in California and it was a pretty exciting time for any Marvel, Star Wars or Disney fan – or fan of all the above with a slew of some good looking movies announced and shown at the expo, Disney definitely has a lot on their plate and some exciting projects coming up but their live action movies are some of their more controversial projects.
Then again I’m not so sure if they’re controversial as people seem pretty open to them and from what I’ve heard, reaction at the expos was very positive to The Jungle Book and Beauty And The Beast being revealed so we’ll have to wait and see with general reaction to trailers for that and other live action films they have coming up in 2016. On the whole though I welcome the idea, I remember watching Disney animated movies of the past and imagining them as live action – as you do when you’re a kid but this idea actually coming true is something that could really work for a few films.
Plus with the recent widely shown Jungle Book trailer, reaction seemed mostly positive and quite a few people outright loved the look of it.
Of course there are ideas that can work as live action Alice In Wonderland and Jungle Book especially in my opinion and possibly Aladdin, though some films are clearly harder to do e.g. The Little Mermaid, Hercules, some of Disneys stories are just really well constructed and they transcend their established platforms, with characters and plots that can work rather easily as live action as it turns out and Disney is smart for capitalizing on that. Looking back on recent films, the track record for their live action films aren’t great, Alice In Wonderland grossed $1 billion somehow but got a very mixed reception, Maleficent was very lukewarmly received as well and didn’t make much of an impact, while Cinderella was decent though it’s not a film that has really been on peoples radar from 2015.
It’s not that fans everywhere are crying out for these films but they’ll definitely go out and watch them anyway, as will I, as they’re Disney films and everyone loves Disney. Sure it’s a cash grab but as many of these films are treasured in our memory and in nostalgia but Disney is a company that needs to make money at the end of the day, not that they really need to do these films in any sense as Disney is pretty much printing money these days but hey.
The negative reaction is understandable though, why re-create already established stories and just do them again in live action, it’s a lack of originality and lazy etc but they are Disney properties and you have the choice to watch them or not at the end of the day and a lot of people will (and Disney knows that). It’s weird that I have less of a inflammatory reaction to this actually because the idea of live action disney movies initially might sound like a bad move but I’m pretty welcoming to them. And seeing some classic stories re-told in a different way is something I look forward to, seeing familiar characters in high definition and with new film making techniques could prove for some interesting visuals on screen. If Disney can buck the trend of lackluster live action films and knock it out of the park with The Jungle Book then I think they might just say public opinion on the issue and maybe have some more solid entries.