Discussion

Disney Continues to Remake All Its Animated Movies With Sword in the Stone

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Did you like the live-action Cinderella? Love Angelina Jolie as Maleficent? Enjoy the heck out of Alice in Wonderland? If the answer is yes, then you’ll be stoked to hear that Disney will remake the 1963 animated movie The Sword in the Stone. The original movie was loosely based on T.H. White‘s classic children’s novel. Brian Cogman, a writer for Game of Thrones, will pen the screenplay.

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, this is Disney’s new strategy – remake its animated classics into live-action big-budget extravaganzas. Alice in Wonderland will get a sequel, Through the Looking Glass, in 2016. Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson is in production (and I can’t wait), John Favreau is directing a live-action Jungle Book, Reese Witherspoon is developing Tinker Belle, there will be an Aladdin prequel, Tim Burton will have a go at Dumbo, and a new Mulan production is underway (but she won’t be appearing on Once Upon a Time any time soon). I’m excited for all of these except for Dumbo, and indifferent on The Jungle Book, since I didn’t like the live-action version of that tale before.

As Alex said to me earlier today, “We await the inevitable announcement of a live-action Bambi, guest starring the Duck Dynasty asshats.” Actually, Saturday Night Live already has Bambi covered! And it was hilarious.

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We explored the obsession with remakes and sequels in our What the Fangirl podcast episode #6. As we discussed, there are pros and cons to this movement. For the studios, there is less risk and less marketing needed to sell movies people are already familiar with. This is especially helpful with the international box office, which has taken on increased importance during the last decade. Although we feel a lot of creativity is being lost with some of these remakes, the bottom line is the bottom line: these movies are making tons of money. Disney, alas, is no different than any other studio in this regard:  they want to pursue projects that make the most money. Arguably this strays from Walt Disney’s original vision for his company, but it seems that’s the way it goes. (#StillMadAboutMaelstrom)

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Maybe we’re in the minority in preferring new movies, though. If we play devil’s advocate, it’s important to note that Disney continues to put out innovative movies through Pixar, and it scored an original hit with Frozen. People are voting with their dollars, and they are voting for more sequels, remakes, prequels, live-action and reboots. If there have been to live action movies of cartoons, I’m glad it’s Disney and not of Don Bluth studios, though sign me up for a live-action of Anastasia!

What are your feelings? Have you wanted a live-action version of these or any other cartoon? Was Dimitri a childhood crush? (You know he was!)

 

Bri is the founder and co-editor of What the Fangirl. She loves chai lattes, Disney and fairy tales.

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