Remakes are the rage these days, be it Bollywood, Asian films or Hollywood, but the latter took it to a whole different level in 2019. While Hindi filmmakers and musicians kept revisiting old songs, Hollywood decided to go one up and keep knocking on the door of erstwhile classic films. The main and only culprit — Disney, who kept converting their own, beloved animated classics to live-action, CGI-fuelled visual spectacles. Disney was so much in love with these animated-to-live adaptations that they did as many as five times in a solitary year albeit not always with the results they'd have desired, signalling that perhaps it's time to leave well enough alone, and look at newer, fresher ideas. From Dumbo and Aladdin to the Lion King and Lady and the Tramp — here are five times in 2019 when Hollywood (read Disney) fell back on its own animated classics for inspiration (read copy-pasting), but did not always emerge on the other side with the output of reaction it would have aimed for.
1.) Dumbo VIDEO
The first of the lot saw celebrated Director Tim Burton take up the responsibility of ushering in the 1941 animated classic for a younger audience, and though Dumbo was perhaps the best adaptation of the year, with Burton using all his expertise to retain the original's essence while leaving his own dark imprints on the film to take it in a bold new direction, perhaps it got a bit too dark for kids as the box-office numbers did not reflect the movie's sheer quality.
2.) Aladdin VIDEO
Aladdin was mostly a frame-by-frame remake of its immensely popular 1992 namesake, with ace Director Guy Ritchie surprisingly opting for previous little to call his own, yet dishing out even more precious little to recreate the magic of the original, with even
Will Smith, for all his talent, falling short of Robin Williams' rendition of the genie. The audience through did not agree with the critics as the film laughed its way to the bank in spite of severely mixed reviews.
3.) The Lion King VIDEO
The one remake this year loved by both the audience and critics. Looks like Jon Favreau is Disney's go-to man when it comes to doing this switcheroo right, as evidenced by The Jungle Book, too. This time, though Favreau didn't opt (surprisingly) to give the story his own touch as he had done with Mowgli and his buddies, mostly everyone agreed that the faithful adaptation worked on the fact that Favreau paid rich homage to the timeless theme of the 1994 masterpiece. Pro Tip: For Indian viewers, the Hindi version ends up being far more enjoyable.
4.) Maleficent: Mistress of Evil VIDEO
On the opposite end of the spectrum to Lion King, came Maleficent 2, which was generally panned by critics and rejected by the audience, too, shown in the lukewarm response at the box-office.
Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer's excellent performances and all the goodwill created by the far superior first part, released in 2014, together couldn't do much to lift this tepid sequel.
5.) Lady and the Tramp VIDEO
Though the last adaptation of the year was met with largely positive reviews, with many critics agreeing that it mostly did justice to the 1955 classic while also gushing over how the canines were too adorable for words, the box-office results proved otherwise, perhaps a sign that the audience have had their fill of these cartoon-to-CGI versions.
While it's not a bad idea that Disney is brining its classics to a younger audience on the back of groundbreaking technology, it'd be better if they did it with some creativity and fresher ideas, and it also wouldn't hurt if they spaced things out a little, so that moviegoers don't start feeling the entire exercise a tad monotonous. Stay tuned to BollywoodLife for more scoops and updates.
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