In recent years, Disney has reopened its vault of classic movies but releases them with a twist - with life-action films instead of cartoons. In the beginning I was skeptical about all of the remakes, but most of them have been true to the original story lines, but normally go into much more detail about the characters.
One critique I've always had about original Disney movies is that they can sometimes lack strong female personalities, diversity, and depth. I think Disney realized this, too, and has tried to remedy the past lack and incorporate it in the new films. The newer movies have female leads that don't necessarily need a man to rescue them, they've incorporated a more diverse cast, and develop the characters' backgrounds. Of course, there is always more improvement that can be made but I think Disney is taking a step in the right direction with their live-action remakes.
Of all of the remakes that have come out, these are my three favorites:
One | Beauty & The Beast
You knew this one would be number one. Beauty & the Beast is my all-time favorite Disney movie and the re-make did not disappoint. I love the development of Belle's character - she's an inventor, adventurous, a bookworm. I also really like the background that they chose to give on Belle's family, especially her mom. The beast's past got deeper, delving into his parents' lives and how he became the person that he was when the enchantress appeared at his doorstep. The empathy shown in this film is much deeper & more profound than the animation.
I also really enjoyed how Disney kept all of the original songs and cast, but added in several songs to add to the depth of the characters. I felt like I knew more so many more characters' storylines by watching this production of the story and I love that they brought my favorite characters to life even more than the original.
I also thought that every character was cast perfectly. Ewan McGregor was the perfect Lumiere, Emma Watson actually is Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast was scary good. I mean, guys, does it get better than this?
Two | The Legend of Tarzan
Okay, so this was made by Warner Brothers but technically it's a remake of a Disney movie, right? Or a remake of a novel? We'll pretend it's Disney. I loved this movie because of Margot Robbie's character, Jane. She is strong and caring and smart. Her character has so much more depth than the Jane from the cartoon, although she's pretty cool, too.
This movie isn't actually a remake by definition, it's more of a sequel to the cartoon; what happens after Tarzan marries Jane. It starts out in England where Tarzan is adjusting to life that is much different than the one he had previously in Africa. However, Tarzan and Jane travel back to Africa to get the plot of the movie flowing. It touches on difficult topics like family dynamics, race, poaching, as well as others.
The Legend of Tarzan is packed with action, romance, & cunning, and is definitely one of my favorite "Disney" remakes.
Three | The Jungle Book
Last but definitely not least, The Jungle Book's live action remake takes the cake in terms of remakes. It too kept the original songs, but the storyline got that much deeper, showing the characters' flaws and personalities on a more personal level. It stayed true to the original but like Beauty and the Beast, it too went into more detail about the characters and issues. It was like a grown-up version of the animated classic. The visuals were stunning, which I was a little concerned about going in. How were they going to make Baloo & Bagheera & Shere Khan look realistic? I don't know how they did it but they did.
Might I add that the casting in this film is amazing?! I mean, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Lipita Nyong'o, Christopher Walken... need I continue? Little Neel Sethi was the perfect Mowgli; adorable but headstrong. Whoever did this casting, I love you.
I'm so looking forward to the slew of new Disney remakes scheduled to hit screens in the coming years. Have you seen any Disney remakes? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
Hi, I'm Madeline
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