Why do Disney feel the need to keep remaking their classic animated films?

In 2019, Disney are set to release not one, not two, but three live-action remakes of their classic animated films, with even more planned for the next few years as well; the problem is, they’re all totally unnecessary.

We already know the story of Aladdin, Dumbo and The Lion King and the animated versions of these films are widely regarded as classics, so why on Earth do we need live-action versions of the same films?

As an audience, we don’t. But Disney however, have a constant desire to make more and more money and that’s where the remakes stem from.

Just take a look at some of Disney’s recent attempts at creating new and original live-action films and you’ll see why they’d rather remake old classics instead.

2018 saw the release of A Wrinlke in Time, 2015 had Tomorrowland and 2012 saw John Carter released to the world. All three of these films bombed hard at the box office despite fairly substantial budgets. 

Whereas if you take a look at the money-making machine that was 2017’s remake of Beauty and the Beast, that earned a staggering $1.2 billion, you can see why Disney are taking this direction. It makes sense for the big-wigs at Disney to remake tried and tested films rather than taking risks on new projects that could easily lose them money.

From a business standpoint, it’s a great idea for Disney and requires much less effort than pushing an original film on audiences. However, for us cinema-goers, it’s frustrating that Disney are shying away from taking risks and instead rehashing their old films.

While this new batch of live-action remakes may look pretty and offers a slightly different viewing experience than their animated counterparts, you can’t help but feel the animated version of the film you’re watching did everything better.

What these remakes do is prey heavily upon nostalgia, especially remakes based on the animated films of the 90s. People who saw these films growing up will have kids of their own by now, and it’s a great opportunity to bring these stories back to their original audience and to a new generation as well.

However, when Disney have run out of films to remake, where do they go from there? Virtual reality remakes of films again in 20 years time? While they may be seeing success now, what does their trend of remakes mean for the future of Disney’s film-making?

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