Originality – Where Has It Gone?

Do you ever feel that certain film-makers/production companies are running out of ideas and turning to nothing but remakes? Well I certainly do sometimes. There’s one particular film company which I feel is totally losing originality – Walt Disney Pictures.

Walt Disney Pictures, in my opinion, is one of the greatest production companies of all time. It’s most certainly popular among film fans worldwide and has produced some of the finest films the industry has to offer; Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Up, etc. Yet it did bring out some bad films as well. These include The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, Bolt, James & The Giant Peach, Fun & Fancy Free. However in recent years, Disney has seemed to run out of ideas for new films, hence turning animated features into live-action films. Though they would come up with an original project now and then i.e. Into the Woods, which I have yet to see. But all I hear about is live-action remakes to cartoons.

The first live-action animated feature Disney released was an adaptation to 1961’s 101 Dalmatians which came out in 1996. That film was okay. There was some originality to it; the dogs did not speak, the casting was impressive, though I wish the producers didn’t have to make an excuse to add an unnecessary fart joke. Then there was the sequel 102 Dalmatians which I haven’t seen, but oh well. Then I hear Tim Burton has directed a live-action sequel to Alice In Wonderland for the company; an obvious reference to the 1951 film. I saw it and it sucked! Last year, we saw the release of Maleficent; obvious spin-off to Sleeping Beauty and this year, a live-action version of 1950’s Cinderella. The two latters, I did not see and didn’t feel I needed to. I saw Doug Walker’s review of Maleficent and I don’t blame him for expressing his negativity. I didn’t think it would be that good anyway.

But now I hear that Disney is extending their resume on live-action cartoons; The Little Mermaid, Dumbo, The Jungle Book, Beauty & The Beast, Mulan, The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, the latter which I couldn’t care less about, because I never enjoyed the film anyway. But what really gets to me is that another film they plan to live-actionize is my all-time favourite one of them all. Yes folks, it’s Pinocchio. I’ve loved that film ever since childhood, so to see a live-action version of the film sickens me. There is no way one of them could compete with the animated masterpiece. Pinocchio is like the symbol to awareness of all aspects of evil around the world. To me, it was an awesome way to demonstrate that people can sometimes scam you into things, as I once stated in one of my previous blogs (The Worst-to-Best Movies Produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios). A live-action version will be an obvious repeat. God knows what Dickie Jones would think if he was still around.

I mean, what’s going to be next? What other cartoons could Disney possibly live-actionize? The Sword In The Stone? Atlantis: The Lost Empire? The Emperor’s New Groove? To tell you the truth, I should like to see Disney try and live-actionize The Lion King and Robin Hood. In case you probably couldn’t tell, I was being sarcastic.

I do have yet to see Maleficent and the live-action version of Cinderella, so I can’t say whether they’re good or bad until I’ve seen them. I was reluctant to watch them when they came out. First of all, those two sorts of things are usually aimed for a female audience and I’m not female. Second, the reluctance relates back to when I saw Tim Burton’s version of Alice In Wonderland and I predicted I would get the same cheap result from the films. The fact that I did not enjoy any of the Despicable Me movies certainly put me off seeing Minions. Plus, the fact that now Disney is turning to remakes of their own material; the films that most of us grew up with. Some of those films are among the ones I want my future children to grow up with and I wonder what impact the remakes are going to have on today’s kids. For instance; if Pinocchio‘s going to be ‘live-actionised’, are children going to think about the remake, each time they think of the title, and ignore the original? This, I personally find disturbing. I don’t mind remakes as long as they’re good ones, but that seems to be all that Disney’s doing now. Some of my friends are giving up on Disney as a result, and for that I don’t blame them.

On the recent news that I hear Tim Burton is to direct a remake of Mary Poppins for, you guessed it, Disney;

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Okay, this is the very last straw. Disney have overstepped the mark. I’m never watching a new Disney movie again.

I just feel as betrayed as certain fans of the company do. Disney, I ain’t angry, but I’m very disappointed. They produced some of the best quality work in history and now they’ve clearly run out of ideas.

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