Walt Disney Pictures
If it seems like Disney has been making a more aggressive push lately to turn its animated classics into live-action films, it’s because it has been — and the company hasn’t been subtle about it, either. After the success of 2016’s The Jungle Book and 2018’s Beauty and the Beast, Disney has doubled down on its commitment to breathe new life into its animated movies. In 2019 alone, Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King all received the live-action treatment (though, The Lion King is more of a CGI animation than a live-action production), with many more adaptations in the works. But while some OG fans of the classics are thrilled that their favorite tales are being revamped with a greater emphasis on inclusivity, others are a bit more skeptical about Disney’s decision to dive in deep with the remakes.
So what is it that critics have against Disney’s colossal wave of live-action adaptations? For some, they think it’s a sign that one of Hollywood’s most revolutionary studios is running out of fresh ideas. And rather than putting in the work to come up with new stories it hopes fans will enjoy, it’s much easier for the corporation to continue with the same old classic tales that have been successful in the past. Why? Because Disney owns the intellectual property of all its animated classics, which basically means the company can continue to remake as many versions of these same stories as it would like, in perpetuity.
To some, this decision to re-tell the same stories using real actors and CGI effects comes off as uninspired, and several people feel that it doesn’t at all exude the type of creativity and innovativeness that Disney’s known for. “The things that made the movies classic, and great were the expressiveness, and personality,” Adam Martinez, a fan of the classic movies, tweeted, “and I’ve yet to watch a ‘live action’ one that matches or exceeds the originals quality. Why? It’s not original.”
But loyal fans of the animated classics aren’t turned off solely because Disney appears to be taking the easy road to financial success. In her review of The Lion King, Kendra James of The Verge wrote, “The new Lion King will make a lot of money, and hopefully, some of that money can be used to make films that have more artistic integrity, narrative ambition, and bare reason to exist.” And that seems to be the general consensus among some fans, as well. By recycling old tales, some feel that Disney is using their millennial audience’s unceasing desire for nostalgia to lure them back to the box office. “We live in an age where the majority of the millennial generation was born and raised on the Disney classics,” Anthony Cain, a critic of Disney’s live-action trend, told MTV News. “Instead of trying new and interesting things, they play it safe.”
Though, even critics of Disney’s live-actio