Disney’s new frontier has already been explored but that isn’t stopping their trap game.
Who knew that regurgitation could be so profitable? The executives at Disney wear their gold fronts well. Yes, the suits at the house that the mouse built have discovered that trapping is easy. Very easy. With product, a.k.a. a vault of classic titles, that people fiend for like crazy, re-issuing stories has become an easy hustle. You can call it being creatively lazily or just recognize how genius their hustle really is. Rapper Rick Ross would be proud.
Let’s be honest. Box Office dreams are seldom obtained with original material. General audiences love the familiar. Sure people always scream that they’re way too many remakes and sequels. But check the scoreboard and you’ll see what wins at the Box Office — remakes and sequels. It’s not even close. And the familiar is what Disney has tons of in their vaunted catalog.
The Disney arsenal includes a treasure trove of fairytales and stories. Many considered classics when they were first introduced to audiences. All loaded with more mass appeal than Gang Starr.
Now Disney has discovered the very profitable business of the remake. The familiar sells and sells very well. When you start with a winning blueprint it’s very difficult to mess things up. Thus Disney has gone into hyper drive flipping animated masterpieces into new live action movies. Expect more than 20 remakes in the next few years.
The Disney trap move allows them to do three very important things. Number one, update. The technology is better and you can spin the stories to appeal to modern taste. Number two, Disney can delicately and very politely add just a bit of diversity. They ain’t going crazy with it but it is fun to see more black and brown faces in the mix. And number three, Disney can introduce these timeless stories to new and younger audiences. Thus allowing for more merchandising sales and theme park additions.
You really can’t fault Disney. We have been doing this with Shakespeare for years. Now Disney is in the house and pimping game so fiercely it’s competitors can hardly keep up. They got other studios so thirsty, they out here buying water from wells.
Billion dollar global hits ain’t nothing to Disney. They expect their tent poles to perform like beasts. Speaking of, their latest remake is “Beauty and the Beast.”
The film centers around the ultimate trap queen, Belle. You could argue that her appearance in the 1991 animated classic reignited the princess craze for a whole new generation. And the princess craze is huge business. A bit culturally demeaning but this ain’t that story.
In the remake Belle is played by Emma Watson who made a name for herself and generated a global following from the Harry Potter movies. That’s what you call brilliant in front of and behind the camera casting.
Yes, Disney continues its romp through its catalog of beloved animated films, turning them one by one into live action remakes. Emma Watson is terrific in the movie. Luke Evans of “The Hobbit” movies steals the show as the overbearing jerk Gaston. Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” is the misunderstood Beast. The movie also features Disney’s first openly gay character played by Josh Gad. This generated an over-blown and mini-controversy not worth talking about.
Directed by Bill Condon who directed the under appreciated “Dreamgirls” in 2006, guides the proceedings with skill. This live action version of “Beauty and the Beast” stays mostly faithful to the animated version while adding some much needed zest. It’s playful enough and gorgeous looking. And it’s perfectly designed for Box Office success around the world. Expect another billion dollar earner and expect a lot more remakes from Disney. They ain’t playing and their trap game is strong. Prediction, a bright Future ahead for Disney.
1. The live-action “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson as Belle is less a movie and more like a grand example of corporate cloning. But it’s very entertaining and built for global consumption. The film features Luke Evans as Gaston, Ewan McGregor as the candelabra Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Ian McKellen as the clock, Cogsworth. In theaters March 17th.
2. Disney bought a script in 2015 to bring “Mulan” to life. The movie is scheduled for release November 2, 2018. The film follows a young woman who disguises herself as a man, takes her father’s place in war, and saves China.
3. Disney announced that “The Lion King” will be a live-action film. The story follows young Simba, who, with the help of his friends Timon and Pumba, must eventually save his kingdom from his evil uncle, Scar. Jon Favreau, who directed “Iron Man” and the live-action “Jungle Book” remake, is set to direct.
4. Tim Burton is going to direct Disney’s “Dumbo,” a remake of the 1941 movie about a young elephant bullied because of his big ears. The film won’t use real elephants on screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney will use a mix of CGI and live action. There’s no set release yet.
5. Disney is going to remake 1963’s “The Sword in the Stone,” which follows a young King Arthur, when he was an orphan, and his lessons with the wizard Merlin. The remake will be written by “Game of Thrones” writer/producer Bryan Cogman.
6. It won’t just be princesses with their own live-action remakes. One of the Prince Charmings (from Cinderella or Snow White) will be getting his own movie.
7. The Genie from Aladdin, voiced by the late Robin Williams in the 1992 classic, is getting his own live-action prequel titled “Genies” about how he ended up in the lamp.
8. Aladdin is also getting his own remake. Guy Ritchie is set to direct.
9. Glenn Close played the villainous Cruella de Vil in the 1996 live-action remake of 1961’s “101 Dalmatians,” but Emma Stone is set to play her in “Cruella,” an origin story for the villain.
10. Disney will also release a live-action adaptation of Winnie the Pooh, first animated in 1966. The film will feature an adult Christopher Robin visiting his old friends in the Hundred-Acre Wood.
11. “Peter Pan” has been brought to life in numerous incarnations, but Disney is set to remake its 1953 animated film.
12. David Lowry, who directed “Pete’s Dragon,” will next set his sights on re-imagining “Peter Pan” as well.
13. Peter Pan’s fairy companion Tinker Bell is getting her own live-action film, “Tink,” starring Reese Witherspoon.
14. “Pinocchio” was Disney’s second animated film, released in 1940. It is being adapted into a live-action version which will be loosely based on the original animated film.
15. Before the release of Disney’s remake of 1961’s “The Jungle Book,” the studio already started planning a sequel. Jon Favreau is expected to return to the director’s chair for “The Jungle Book 2.”
16. Angelina Jolie is set to reprise her role as Maleficent in the sequel to the 2014 origin story of the notorious villain from 1959’s “Sleeping Beauty.”
17. Disney is also working on a live-action version of its first animated classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” The fairy tale will have new music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who most recently wrote the lyrics for the hit film “La La Land.”
18. Additionally, another film will follow Snow White’s sister, Rose Red, who is featured in Grimm’s fairy tales. “Rose Red” will feature her adventure with the dwarves to save Snow White after she bites the poisonous apple. Evan Daugherty, who previously wrote “Snow White and the Huntsman” starring Kristen Stewart, is working on the project.
19. Disney is set to release its own “Little Mermaid” remake — Universal is already working on one — with new music from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken.
20. Disney is apparently in talks to remake Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach,” which was adapted as a stop-motion film in 1996.
21. It’s not just animated movies getting the movie treatment. Popular duo Chip ‘n’ Dale are getting a CGI/live-action film based on the animated series “Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers” that aired for three seasons.
22. Disney also green lit a movie for one of its darkest characters — Chernabog — the demon from “Fantasia.” The character was featured in an 11-minute segment called “Night on Bald Mountain.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney’s take will be similar to what was done with Maleficent, the villainess of “Sleeping Beauty.” That film humanized one of Disney’s darkest villains by telling her backstory.
23. The “Mary Poppins” sequel isn’t exactly a remake, but it is a continuation of the classic 1964 Disney film that did include some animated components. Emily Blunt is set to star alongside “Hamilton” wunderkind Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Mary Poppins Returns” will be released December 25, 2018.
DISNEY’S 2016 TOP 5 HITS
1. Captain America: Civil War $1,153 Billion
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $1,053 Billion
3. Finding Dory $1,028 Billion
4. Zootopia $1,023 Billion
5. The Jungle Book $966 Million
THE 5 BEST DISNEY REMAKES
1. The Jungle Book (2016)
2. Alice in Wonderland (2010)
3. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
4. Maleficent (2014)
5. Cinderella (2015)