Why do people hate Disney’s live-action remakes?

Disney is unquestionably the biggest company in entertainment, and while every move they make seems to infuriate someone, they only grow in power. One of the most polarizing moves they routinely make is adapting their own classic childhood animated clips into modern live-action blockbusters, but they don’t stop there.

Disney has currently produced eighteen remakes of its own works, and a ton more with questionable release dates are on the horizon. Instead of inventing new stories, the notoriously risk-averse company has committed murder by updating stories with new visual effects. While some are thrilled to see their childhood nostalgia being passed on to the next generation with even more money behind it, many view these remakes as soulless cash grabs capitalizing on marketable intellectual property.

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While not a live-action film, the most financially successful Disney remake of their own content is John Favreau’s 2019 version The Lion King. This heavily marketed blockbuster, realized with photorealistic CGI, was among the most expensive films of all time. For those expenses, it was awarded $1.6 billion, making it the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time. The overwhelming majority of his financial earnings come from name exposure, tech demo promotion, and massive celebrity stunt casting. The Rotten Tomatoes score is split, with a fresh rating of 52% from critics and 88% from audiences. However, a closer look at this viewer rating reveals that the overwhelming majority of the praise revolves around nostalgia for the original film. The negative reviews are much more meaningful. Many see this 2019 remake as a grim sign of doom for Disney, or even the movie industry in general. This disconnect between profit and reception seems to exist in most of Disney’s remake efforts.


Some of Disney’s live-action remakes are real flops. Both mulan and Cruella suffered the wrath of the ongoing pandemic, which brutally eroded their potential for success regardless of their merits. Before that, however, several other examples of this tasteless technique failed to make box office successes. Tim Burton’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland arguably started this trend with immense financial returns, but its 2019s are picking it up dumbo remained well below expectations. This model also seems to have a problem with sequels. Alice Through the Looking Glass couldn’t get his total estimated budget back and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil barely balanced. This strategy doesn’t always work, but the successful entries are so extensive that it hardly matters. There hasn’t been a truly horrific box office disaster that can’t be blamed on outside forces, so there’s no reason to think this technique will go away.


Disney live-action remakes are perfectly timed to appeal to audiences’ emotional responses. Nostalgia has quickly become the most powerful force in Hollywood, and aging intellectual property is the most profitable asset a company can have. It’s just not worth making new things when old things almost guarantee a decent financial return from the name value alone. This risk aversion drowns out the medium’s creativity much more directly than the usual bad guys. People criticize the Marvel movies for bringing in millions of old ideas and establishing cultural hegemony, but surely Disney’s greater crime is remaking the same few ideas with glossier effects. But the notoriety that accounts for most of the profits also contributes to the uniquely negative reaction from the fan base.


Nostalgia is powerful, and nothing infuriates an audience quite like ruining the legacy of a beloved piece of classic media. By now, even hardcore fans know that the only reason to remake these movies is to capitalize on the fans who loved them as kids. Many fans love the idea of ​​their children enjoying the same novels they grew up reading, but they also want those works to be respected. Using a well-known IP is a gamble, and while it can get an audience to check it out, it can also piss off an entire fanbase at the company in general. After a few too many disastrous remakes, some fans might be hesitant to see anything Disney does. Nothing makes a fan madder than having their favorite childhood nostalgia ruined.


Disney could bear turning to another company that constantly tries and fails to broadcast beloved animated content in live-action, Netflix. The streaming service has produced several anime adaptations and hasn’t slowed down after most of them failed to find audiences. There are many reasons why Netflix has been losing subscribers at an alarming rate over the past few months, but the constant anger from fans has been a lingering sore. New content might seem like a bigger risk, but a bad original story comes and goes without too much fanfare. A bad adaptation of works everyone knows and loves will forever be remembered by its fans.

MORE: Lilo and Stitch Star want more representation in Disney’s live-action remake

https://gamerant.com/disney-live-action-remakes-hate/ Why do people hate Disney’s live-action remakes?

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