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YMMV / Disney Live-Action Remakes

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  • Animation Age Ghetto: Many critics, including Lilo & Stitch co-director Dean DeBlois, criticize the remakes for further perpetuating the notion that animation is a lesser medium. From Matt Zoller Seitz's negative review of Aladdin (2019):
    Seitz: As is often the case with the recent Disney remakes, this one seems to adhere to the same misconception that affects the rest of the film industry, particularly where science fiction adventures, superhero narratives, and fairy tales are concerned: that if it’s animated, i.e. a “cartoon,” it’s somehow not a “real movie,” and thus not worthy of the automatic respect bestowed upon the most expensive and heavily promoted motion pictures, and not as validating to the people who’ve paid to see it. All of which is also strange, considering how CGI-dependent these sorts of movies are, even when they’re trying to make the mountains and buildings and tigers and parakeets made of ones and zeroes look as “real” as possible.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The remakes are often a pretext to "fix" plot lines or characterizations that became contentious as time went by. This isn't always seen as a positive though, because many fans feel that the common talking points these remakes go out of their way to "fix" are fussy, pedantic complaints about minor inconsistencies that aren't really a big part of the story, and that these plot points were changed in a way that actually makes the story worse.
  • Bile Fascination: A lot of moviegoers have admitted that the only reason they paid full price for the live-action remakes was just to see how bad they were. Aladdin (2019) became perhaps the most notable example of this, when Genie's Uncanny Valley redesign underwent Memetic Mutation that made it a huge target for mockery.
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  • Broken Base: While many people love the live-action Disney remakes for the depth they consider they bring to the older Disney films (oftentimes disliking them for what they see as being corny, outdated and having slightly sexist/racist elements), there are many who absolutely hate the live-action Disney remakes for what they consider to be soulless imitations of the movies that they loved for years, and feel like Disney is running out of ideas and are just producing them to rake in money via nostalgia pandering. They also feel that it's another attempt to minimize 2D's influence in current Disney, considering how as of yet there's no word of live-action remakes of the Pixar or current CGI Disney movies.
  • Common Knowledge: In 2019, rumors that the line was going to include a remake of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, with Guillermo del Toro directing and Tom Holland starring, popped up on the internet. Despite the fact that the rumors were discredited (by del Toro himself, no less), many people still believe that it's going to happen, if only because an Atlantis reboot with del Toro at the helm would be amazing.
  • Critic-Proof: No matter how much the critics and some fans harp on the remakes for being unoriginal and bland, they always end up being at least mild successes, simply because of the nostalgic value attached to them.
  • Epileptic Trees: A lot of theories about the "Disney Universe" come to fruition with these remakes, considering even though most of the time periods don't match, the movies still can be considered to all exist in the same universe due to similar aesthetics, writing, etc etc.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • TRON fans are not pleased on how Disney has approved of over 20 live-action remakes while they're left in the dark because of Tomorrowland bombing at the box office. The failure of Sanzaru Games produced RUN/r, which also caused Sly Cooper fans to resent the remakes, did not help.
    • Star Wars fans also have some resentment after more live-action remakes were approved in the wake of Solo failing as well, and several Star Wars projects were also canceled or indefinitely postponed.
    • A small fandom rivalry has emerged between Disney fans who adore the remakes for the nostalgic value and the fans who adore Disney but really dislike the remakes, thinking they're just a continuation of a "creatively bankrupt" era that began with Bob Iger where Disney's preoccupied less with producing original, groundbreaking animated movies and more with selling and focusing attention on franchises, sequels, Star Wars and Marvel-related content although . There's also the fact that traditional animation at Disney is mostly dead, which sours the opinion of many fans — though Jennifer Lee, the head at Walt Disney Animation Studios after John Lasseter left, has said they're open to doing 2D animated films again in the future, so there is hope.
  • First Installment Wins: Maleficent is the film with the largest fandom. This is due to it being an Alternate Continuity rather than a straight-up remake of a previous animated film. There's a lot of Fanfic Fuel in it as well. Much the same applies to Alice in Wonderland (2010) if you take it instead as the start of the trend since it's not a straight-up remake either but a sequel to the general story, unconnected to its animated namesake.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • Beauty and the Beast (2017) got a lot of criticism for its changes, which many viewers saw as gratuitous pandering to adult fans who had trivial complaints about the original. note  To a degree, this was also true of Cinderella (2015) and The Jungle Book (2016), which were much less divisive. Among other things, Cinderella gave Lady Tremaine additional backstory to explain her hatred of Ella, and The Jungle Book changed King Louie into a Gigantopithecus to placate people who complained about an orangutan being in India. But those small changes were mostly overshadowed by larger changes that actually made for stronger stories; Cinderella gave the Flat Character the Prince considerable Character Development to make his relationship with Ella feel like an actual relationship, and The Jungle Book greatly streamlined the original's meandering narrative while giving Shere Khan a far more prominent role as an antagonist.
    • The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast both faced accusations of Stunt Casting, with many critics feeling that Bill Murray and Emma Watson were cast more for their star profiles than because they were well-suited to their roles (neither of them had a great deal of singing experience, making them rather questionable choices for major characters in musicals). Ultimately, though, neither of them really had a negative effect on those films' critical receptions; Murray's performance as Baloo was mostly balanced out by newcomer Neel Sethi's acclaimed turn as Mowgli, while Watson's performance as Belle drew rave reviews for her acting (though her singing was less warmly received).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Beast from Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Genie from Aladdin (2019) have similar designs to Stranger and Abe from Oddworld.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: From Cinderella (2015) on, the remakes tended to have scenarios very close to the original animated movies, rather than being sequels or new takes on the stories, which have garnered a negative reaction.
  • Memetic Mutation: Facebook comments often have people replying on how Disney will remake all of its animated films in live-action, even unpopular ones such as Chicken Little, impossible to adapt films such as Wreck-It Ralph, and unreleased ones, given there are 55+ movies, and over 20 confirmed remakes as of 2019.
  • Older Than They Think: Maleficent may officially be treated like it's the first Disney live-action remake, but 18 years before that, another animated Disney film came to real-life: 101 Dalmatians (1996), with Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil. It's a well-known film but it tends to get forgotten when talking about remakes.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Popular consensus is that Disney has yet to release a remake that is both a good movie on its own and absolutely necessary. The closest movie to achieve this so far is The Jungle Book. If you count Pete's Dragon as part of the lineup, it's the only remake to have a higher IMDb score than its original counterpart.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: While critics usually accuse the live-action adaptations, particularly Beauty and the Beast (2017) and The Lion King (2019), of being inferior rehashes that don't need to exist, a lot of the changes haven't exactly been welcomed either. Fans of the Disney Princesses who are sick of the What Measure Is a Non-Badass? treatment they have received from movie critics, feminists, parent groups, and the general public really hate what they see as the remakes needlessly indulging their complaintsnote . With that said, the live-action adaptations that are more well-received, such as Pete's Dragon (2016) and Christopher Robin, respect the elements audiences connected to and loved about the original stories while being far enough removed from what they're based on that they can stand on their own merits, so it more depends on how much of an insult fans feel the changes in the remakes are to the animated originals (for instance, turning one of Disney's most famously dastardly bad guys into a misunderstood Jerkass Woobie who only acted the way she did because a man hurt her in Maleficent).


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