Everyone talks about how there are too many Disney remakes. It’s always “why does there need to be a Lady and the Tramp live-action movie” this or “why do we call them live-action movies when they’re so full of CGI” that, and never “Why isn’t there a really good Robin Hood remake with sexy British fox men?”
Well, I’m ready to change the narrative if you are. Let’s do this.
(I am, unfortunately, going to leave out all Don Bluth films, as, you may have figured out, they’re not actually Disney. Yes, I want a live-action Thumbelina and Anastasia and, hell, even a Swan Princess film as much as you do, but until Disney consumes that studio like they eventually will consume everything, we’re just gonna have to live without.)
The Black Cauldron
The Black Cauldron. A film that, very nearly, ruined animation for everyone. (And is one of the reasons Don Bluth left Disney). It’s a dark film for a kid’s cartoon, certainly darker than most films were at that time, but felt like a movie that could have done well for kids obsessed with D&D and fantasy action flicks. Exciting and underappreciated (if a little messy plot-wise) The Black Cauldron would do pretty wickedly as a live-action film…if Disney were ready to go a little old-school with special effects. If there’s anything we’ve learned, looking back at films like Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal or even comparing the Lord of The Rings trilogy versus its prequel series it’s that physical effects will always be more successful at immersing the audience than pure CGI. And Disney, if you must give another film to Tim Burton, then go ahead. We’ll understand.
I know the film everyone is waiting for me to say is Atlantis, and you know, I wouldn’t be mad about it…but personally, I think the quasi-nautical sci-fi flick we could use is Treasure Planet. Yes, another film that weirdly didn’t do all that well at the box office, bt has its own cult following of kids who grew up seeing films at home on DVD and not in the theaters. And before you say, “You just have a crush on Jim Hawkins,” ha-ha, jokes on you….I was smitten with Captain Amelia, silly. And besides, we’re past Titanic-era Leo, so I don’t think you can tempt me with whatever definitely-seventeen-year-old boy gets cast. Just think of it: Space. Pirates. Pirates in Space. Johnny Depp will probably be there. Not sure we can do anything about that.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Now we’re talking. Definitely not a movie that could possibly have any sort of problematic casting issues regarding disability (unlike finding someone to play Long John Silver, right?) What about the location, you ask? Excuse me while I laugh, endeared at the concept that Disney would film it on location, and then comfort you by saying, I’m sure it will be rebuilt by that time. Nothing to worry about. Just the problem of g*psy (whoops, that’s a slur)-just the problem of xenophobia in Paris, the theme of religious extremism, and maybe a slight chance of post-traumatic stress for any viewers when the cathedral ultimately winds up on fire. Very timely.
Oliver And Company
Sure, Disney could skip one degree of separation and just do another Oliver Twist, but Oliver and Company just has a level of heart that Charles Dickens wishes he could have created. All you crazy kids that missed out on the terrifying feeling of watching Sikes roll down his window to threaten Fagan, (“Three sunrises, three sunsets, three days”) are really missing out. Oh, and did I mention that virtually everyone else in the film is a cat or dog? I dare you, Disney, to try and ruin “Why Should I Worry” for me. I dare you.
DuckTales. (Woo-oo). The cartoon show is out and excellent and nobody stopped to think if a Sonic the Hedgehog movie was a good idea…so why not strike while the iron is hot? Keep the same cast as the cartoon on Disney Channel. You know what, between the trailer for CATS and the newest Lion King movie, I say, bring on the hyperrealistic anthropomorphic ducks. You think you can make David Tennant not sexy to me? You think you’re God? Good luck trying.
At this point, if you’re begging me to stop, I’ll remind you that there is, of course, another option. Re-open your 2D Studios, Disney. We could really use some more of that old Disney magic. We’ll even settle for sequels, I swear. Why not another addition to The Rescuers? Tiny agent mice working for good, saving kids… Who doesn’t want more of that?!
With a rather intimidating lineup for Disney movies in the next few years, there are still those of us who are holding onto Disney we grew up with and believe in a great big beautiful tomorrow.
Are there any Disney classics that you think could use a live-action Disney makeover? Let us know in the comments down below!
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Lauren West graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English and Digitial Journalism in December 2018. She is a Southern California native, an INFP with anxiety, and at any moment trying her best.