From Charming Classics to Lifeless Remakes: The Disney Animated Canon Then vs. Now

From Charming Classics to Lifeless Remakes: The Disney Animated Canon Then vs. Now

Walt Disney Pictures

The year is 2036. Disney has depleted its whole back catalog of animated masterpieces. Not only the sacred canon, but also their second-tier “classics,” and even the gritty reboot of Atlantis: The Lost Empire was met with a general shrug. And the trailer for the grittier adaptation of Song of the South has just come out. It is a Beloved-like, magical realist drama helmed by Classy Director — and the usual crowd is complaining that, you guessed it, it ruins the original by making it “political.” It’s almost as if they refuse to understand anything. These are dark times (but the DC vs. Marvel movie sure was awesome, wasn’t it?).

Still, this situation is not new. No, not the gimmick for this intro, don’t be mean. We mean the whole Disney remake situation. Disney has been doing live-action, CGI-infused adaptations for a while, mostly with subpar results. Some of them have been actually good, and even great, as we will see. But many of them (one could say, way too many) have been horrible CGI slugs tarnishing the reputation and legacy or their perfect and beloved originals because those juicy CEO bonuses ain’t gonna squirt themselves, you know? In this Pictofact, then, we take a look at the whole Disney live-adaptation affair: Why it exists in the first place, but also the highs, the lows, and even the terrifying films (by which we mean Pinocchio).

Ignored Potential

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Tarnishing brands while ignoring the true potential Disney blew their wad early by remaking such cultural juggernauts as Aladdin and The Lion King - with commercially successful, but deeply forgettable results. Instead, true creativity could spring lesser films like Robin Hood, The Fox and the Hound, or Oliver and Company to new relevance. CRACKED.COM

Source: Game Rant
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

CGI

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now From animated masterpieces to by-the-numbers CGI orgies The Disney canon is almost entirely masterpieces. Most are hand-drawn animation, and the remakes are all live-action or photorealistic CGI. But even the less mediocre new versions have contributed nothing, except giving inferior products to kids when the superior version is right there. CRACKED.COM

Source: CNET
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Problematic

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now From problematic themes to glossing over the problems Since hindsight's 2020, we can say the whole Princess trope is icky, while still acknowledging the films as classics. Moreover, non-canon films like Moana, Tangled, or Frozen feature complex and badass female characters, while the canon itself only gets a shallow layer of girlbossy pandering, which just makes the original issues stand out even more. CRACKED.COM

Source: Collider
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'The Little Mermaid'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now The Little Mermaid Imagine being mad about the casting for the remake, when the original's best character by far, Ursula, was a direct homage to drag queen and American badass Divine. Imagine knowing so little about capitalism, market trends, or the general moral progress of humanity to consider Ariel's casting is a problem. Also, the original movie is delightful. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'The Lion King'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now The Lion King Jon Favreau's remake might have been interesting if its Simba were, say, a white lion (why did we think of that?). Instead, it just removed any semblance of emotion from the characters, turning a tale about lush wildlife into a lifeless FX showcase. And now let us tell you what we really think. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Pinocchio'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Pinocchio The 1940 original uses disturbing plot points and visuals to get the simple moral teachings across. Robert Zemeckis' sanitized CGI fever dream misses all the points: It loses the narrative darkness, while also teaching Pinocchio that lying can be useful. Truly, a cynical cash-grab worthy of our era. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'The Jungle Book'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now The Jungle Book Made shortly after Walt Disney's death, the 1967 original is so fun that it effortlessly makes up for the declining animation. And Jon Favreau's 2016 remake knocked it out of the park. It's darker and loses the original's jazzy bubbliness, but it's also one of the best Disney remakes. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'101 Dalmatians'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now 101 Dalmatians 2021's Cruella was an interesting exercise in Disneyfying the punk aesthetic to sanitize an animal abuser (that didn't deserve Emma Stone's talents). As for the 1961 original, the cheaper animation fits with the whimsical story, the city sceneries, and the jazzy mood, an all-around success. The fun 1996 remake also deserves some love. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Aladdin'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Aladdin Guy Ritchie's Aladdin is... decent? It's colorful and fun, but a tad too try-hard (and don't even get us started on Will Smith's tired, tired shtick). Still, the remake repeats the classic's old orientalist stereotypes - except without the fun, charm, and delightful visual inventiveness. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Lady and the Tramp'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Lady and the Tramp The original was never one of Disney's greatest, but in its defense, that's a damn high bar. Still, it was simple and charming, if perhaps too sentimental. The live-action/CGI hybrid remake, however, padded the runtime with the usual action and new characters, and the CGI is just creepy. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Pete's Dragon'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Pete's Dragon This time, giving a gritty painting to a silly original actually worked. The original is OK fluff, at least for 1977, while the 2016 remake is an improvement in every sense. It looks better, the dragon is way cooler, and the story adds a dramatic complexity that makes the sweetness even better. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Alice in Wonderland'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now 10/6 Alice in Wonderland While coldly received at first, the trippy 1951 original quickly became a beloved classic. Tim Burton's 2010 version was a huge success, and is considered responsible for ushering in the current remake era. Its own sequel, 2016's Through the Looking Glass, was roundly ignored by, um, certain internet writers. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Sleeping Beauty'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Sleeping Beauty The movie encapsulates everything wrong with Disney's sexual politics - but it's also awesome, let's not be party-poopers over here. 2014's Maleficent smartly changed the viewpoint to tackle more complex issues, and Mistress of Evil, its sequel, was an interesting effort too. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Cinderella'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Cinderella 1959's Cinderella looks overwhelmingly beautiful. The backgrounds are alive, the colors are rich, and the main characters are, well, the exact opposite. Still, the high-quality of the film was honored by the surprisingly good and refreshingly earnest 2015 Kenneth Branagh adaptation. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Beauty and the Beast'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Beauty and the Beast One of the best examples of Disney's absolute confusion when it comes to updating their most problematic stories, the 2017 adaptation is nevertheless quite competent. Still, the messy pandering and icky themes taint a tale that works better when played straight - like in the original. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Dumbo'

Disney Remakes Then vs. Now Dumbo 1941's Dumbo immediately became a beloved and timeless classic (well, except for the overt racism). But then Tim Burton just had to insert himself in the character to try to say something about, erm, Disney, we guess? As one critic put it, what's more Disney than Disney controlling the ways in which a filmmaker can critique Disney? CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

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