What’s Up with All These Disney Remakes?

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The Jungle Book. Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty. Beauty and the Beast. For the past five years, Disney has been in an experimental relationship with live-action fairytales that (as far as I can tell) has no end in sight. In 2015, Cinderella racked in $132 million globally on opening weekend. Try $294 million for The Jungle Book. Needless to say with figures like these, Disney has taken a cute from Queen Bey is about to put a ring on remakes.

But what’s so magical about a remake, anyway?

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In high school, I did a lot of babysitting because I had no money and two X chromosomes. We watched The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Tarzan, the usuals. Every week, I would optimistically offer up suggestions for movies that I had loved growing up. The Aristocats, 101 Dalmatians, Snow White, Pinocchio, even The Jungle Book. After being shot down like Bambi’s mom time and time again, I finally caught on.

“That movie’s too slow.

“It’s a boring one.”

“No, that movie isn’t very funny.”

The next generation is a new audience with new expectations.

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But all hope is not lost. Many animation studios make the bulk of their profit from tentpole films, meaning movies with never-ending sequels like Kung Fu Panda 3, The Avengers, Shrek, etc. With the exception of Marvel and LucasFilms, Disney hasn’t relied too heavily on tentpole films in the past. Lion King 1 1/2 happened against our will, and yes, Pocahontas II disappointed audiences everywhere because apparently Mel Gibson is too good for sequels. But these were just home releases – a small boost, not a blockbuster.

But now the tides are turning. To stay relevant, Disney has three options. Generate new blockbusters (Frozen), reinvent forgotten classics (Pete’s Magic Dragon), or set up new tentpoles (Star Wars). While I believe all three are in the works, there seems to be a strong emphasis on creating forgotten classics with the goal of establishing new tentpoles.

Clear as mud, right?

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Basically, live-action remakes are low risk and high reward because fans already love the story. They’re also an easy (though expensive) way to reinvent old stories for young viewers, which will allow Walt’s legacy to stay relevant in the age of CGI. In short, it’s fish bait for your children. The craziest part? It’s working like magic.

So, what’s next for Disney?

According to US Weekly, “Other projects in the works from Disney, all set for release between 2017 and 2019, include A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay; Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; Dumbo, directed by Tim BurtonMaleficent 2, starring Angelina Jolie; and Jungle Book 2, a sequel to the just-released live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling‘s book, starring Neel Sethi,Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Idris Elba.”

Notice how I put this in quotes because I was too lazy to research it for myself. Regardless, you can see that Disney is preparing for a tidal wave of live-action profit, that will hopefully position the company for years of financial gain and never-ending merchandise opportunitites.

Personally, I think this is excellent news. The possibilities are literally endless, folks! I am thrilled to see old Disney icons like Pongo, Belle, Marry Poppins, and Mowgli meet fresh, young eyes because these characters mean something to me. As they live on, so does a precious sliver of my childhood. Through these films, old dreams drift into the future. They are the Bing Bong to my Riley, the White Rabbit to my Alice.

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What are your thoughts on all of the remakes?

 

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We NEED to Talk About the New Beauty and the Beast Trailer

In case you missed it, Disney released a trailer teaser for the new live-action Beauty and the Beast, which is code for “DROP WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING AND WATCH IT RIGHT THIS SECOND.”

Sorry not sorry for the drama, but we’re reliving the birth of the Disney Renaissance, folks. Your undivided attention is a must. As a self-professed Disney princess enthusiast whose favorite film happens to be Beauty and the Beast, I’m basically on sensory overload. That being said, I’ve tried to catalogue my thoughts as coherently as possible! In this post, I’ll mostly be talking about my reaction the trailer, but for a more thorough rundown of the film itself check out The Disney Blog.

From the trailer, it appears we will be treated to a darker retelling – I expect somewhat similar to the 2016 The Jungle Book and less like the 2015 Cinderella. Personally, I’ve always been drawn to the gothic undertones of the story more than the glitz and glam of the Disney princess franchise, so obviously I am thrilled the trailer is more suspenseful than romantic. Here are a few other quick thoughts I had while watching (and re-watching) the clip.

First Thoughts

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  • Unlike the live-action Cinderella, I am ecstatic to see that (so far) the musical score remains true to 1991. We all know Alan Menken is gold, and if you don’t cry during the “Transformation” score you should probably post a listing for your missing heart.
  • Although I never had a single doubt, Emma Watson is perfect. Just perfect.
  • Cogsworth and Lumiere sound pretty much exactly like the original, and this news is just wonderful.
  • I think I stopped breathing for a full 10 seconds as the camera panned over the ballroom. So, when can I move in?
  • In the original film, the only portrait shown is the one Beast scratches, which shows his human self. In the new trailer, we are shown a different portrait with three figures. Could this hint at a long-awaited backstory for Adam?
  • I’m glad our first look at Belle is in the blue dress, not the gold dress. It seems trivial, but I’m a big advocate of blue-dress Belle. After all, she’s only in the gold dress for, what, an hour tops?

Hopes and Dreams

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  • We haven’t yet seen the Beast, and honestly I hope we don’t until the film. It’s good to leave something for the imagination, right?
  • If this resembles Beastly in any way, I’m going to break down in tears.
  • Although I’m not positive the musical aspect is going to fit into this retelling, I am still highly optimistic Emma Watson may sing a number or two.
  • It may be a stretch, but I would love to see a cameo or two from the original cast – Enchanted style.
  • The Beast’s roar sounds a little like a stalled lawn mower, but I don’t hate it. It reminds me of a cat-like purr, almost. After seeing The Jungle Book, I am very optimistic in a realistic, animalistic portrayal of the Beast.

Things I Wish We Had Seen

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  • I’m dying for a look at the costumes. While I am typically a stickler on reinvention, I adored the way Disney updated iconic outfits in Cinderella while staying true to the original.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I’m dying for some stained glass.
  • Obviously it was just a teaser, but I can’t wait to see Gaston’s unanimated counterpart. I also hope that every inch of him is covered in hair. If you think I’m being creepy, here’s the song.

Things I Hated

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  • Ha! Seriously. Good one, guys.

So, fellow fans, what is your immediate reaction to the trailer?

15 Times Nigel Thornberry Totally Got Your Life

1. Every time you walk into a Barnes and Noble.

2. The first time you were ALL about that bass.

3. HOLD UP. Did someone say Pumpkin Spice Latte?

4. You + Ulta + Marc Jacobs Perfume =

5. Whaaaaaat?! Your crush is going to that party? You totally had NO idea. #WokeUpLikeThis

6. Grandma has used “Surprise Kiss” attack. WHOA! It’s SUPER effective. Critical hit!

7. Pop Culture 101: This is a milkshake. It brings all the boys to the yard.

8. Remember that moment when you suddenly realized that your ex looks like Janet Reno?

9. Don’t lie. We all know an ugly baby. #RealTalk #SoPrecious

10. Two words. Ned Stark.

11. Why yes, I DID get a haircut. Thank you for noticing!

12. Oh, this? It’s just my new Bath and Body Works shower gel. You couldn’t afford it.

13. C’mon. We’ve all had at least one bad experience with Google.

14. That awkward moment when you pretend to be Ariel in your dog’s outdoor kiddie pool.

15. Remember when you read that super weird but totally hilarious Nigel Thornberry blog post?

If You Give a Disney Princess a Cell Phone…

If you give a Disney princess a cell phone, she’s going to buy a cute cover. ASAP. I’m thinking precious his and hers matching cases. Adorable, right?

Now, if you give a princess a cell phone and she buys a cute cover, she’ll start texting all of her friends (well, those with opposable thumbs at least). Say goodbye to royal balls, saving China, growing legs and taming beasts – it’s text time. BRB.

If you give a princess a cell phone, she’ll buy a cute cover , start texting all her friends and jump on the Facebook bandwagon. Eventually she’s going to grow tired of texting the same old royals all the time, hearing the same old tales as old as time. She’s ready to branch out, make some new friends! Hello Facebook app…

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And Twitter…

And Instagram.

If you give a princess a cell phone, she’ll buy a cute cover, start texting all her friends, get hooked on social media and stumble upon her own Internet meme. Eventually, when there’s nothing to refresh on her Twitter feed, she’ll get sucked into the vortex known as Reddit and Imgur. She’ll spend all day LMFAOing at Disney princess hipster memes because who doesn’t enjoy their own meme?

That definitely includes the Disney Princess Musical, btw.

If you give a princess a cell phone, she’ll buy a cute cover, start texting all her friends, get hooked on social media, spend all day laughing at memes and take a few selfies. C’mon. Who doesn’t love a good selfie or two? Look out, Selfie Olympics! There’s a new queen in town, and she’s already got the gold.

If you give a princess a cell phone, she’ll buy a cute cover, start texting all her friends, get hooked on social media, spend all day laughing at memes, take a few selfies and inevitably tick off a few friends. I’m talking real drama, people. Like, Housewives of Beverly Hills drama.

If you give a princess a cell phone, she’ll buy a cute cover, start texting all her friends, get hooked on social media, spend all day laughing at memes, take a few selfies, tick off a few friends and start a full-fledged war. Of course, she’s still a princess, so this is a really great opportunity to show off her bad-a kung fu wardrobes. Oh, and her fighting skills too (said only Mulan).

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If you give a princess a cell phone, she’ll buy a cute cover, start texting all her friends, get hooked on social media, spend all day laughing at memes, take a few selfies, tick off a few friend, start a full-fledged war and die. All of them, dead. A troubling thought, I know. It’s okay, though! As princesses, they’re still fabulous post-mortem. This is a great opportunity to start  a punk rock band.

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If you give a princess a cell phone, she’ll buy a cute cover, start texting all her friends, get hooked on social media, spend all day laughing at memes, take a few selfies, tick off a few friend, start a full-fledged war, die and start a punk rock band. Wait. Can you imagine how terrible a Disney princess punk rock band would sound? Seriously, just no. The world has enough troubles already, so do us all a favor, won’t you?

Don’t give a Disney princess a cellphone.

12 New Year’s Resolutions from Disney Princesses

1. Make More Wishes

Whether it’s upon a dream, a well or a star, never stop thinking about your someday. Who knows? It might just come true.

2. Buy the Shoes

Who said a simple pair of shoes can’t change your entire life? Imagine how disappointed Cinderella would have felt had she settled for plastic. Exactly.

3. Get More Sleep

Okay, maybe 100 years is a little excessive. But couldn’t we all use a little more beauty sleep? Plus, you  might just wake up to a handsome prince. Don’t worry, you’ve met before – once upon a dream, of course.

4. Speak Up

Oh, so you didn’t have your voice ripped from your throat by a morbidly obese sea witch? Then don’t be such a guppy! If you don’t want be a poor unfortunate soul, then say what needs to be said.

5. Put Your Nose in a Book

There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book, amiright? Far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise! Your next adventure in the great wide somewhere awaits.

6. Discover a Whole New World

Who couldn’t go for a new fantastic point of view? Sometimes all you need is a new perspective to find that diamond in the rough.

7. Paint with All the Colors of the Wind

I really have no idea what this means, but I know I want to do it.

8. Be True to Your Heart

If that means chopping off your hair, dishonoring your family and rushing to join the army, then you just do it. Remember, the flower that blooms in adversity is the most beautiful of all. Now, cue cheesy 90s theme song.

9. Take the Plunge

You thought I was going to say work harder, didn’t you? Sometimes in life you just gotta’ take the risks, especially if that risk is a hottie named Naveen. Go big or go home, right?

10. Break a Few Rules

Rules were made to be broken, right? If you’re ready for your life to begin, then you gotta take a few chances. It could just be your best day ever!

11. Keep Your Eye on the Target

Remember all those hopes and dreams and goals? Go get them. Today is the day to change your fate, all you need is a little aim, a rockin’ bow and a hearty dose of bravery.

12. Let It Go

The most beautiful thing about a new year is the opportunity to start over. So for the first time in forever, let it go – leave your worries, fears and failures in the past.