Maleficent and Live Action Remakes of Classic Disney Movies
By Andy Herndon (@andyherndon)
This Friday Disney will release Maleficent, a live action version of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. The movie looks very promising as the visual effects, acting, and premise seem remarkable.
This is the second live action version of a former animated classic by Disney. The first was Alice in Wonderland, starring Jack Sparrow, I mean Johnny Depp. Alice in Wonderland was a modest commercial success but honestly made very few waves in the realm of classic Disney movies. Notice I didn’t put 101 Dalmatians in that category as it fits into the category of live action canine movies by Disney which would include Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Air Buddies, but I guess technically it would qualify.
Just last week, Disney released a teaser for the new live action Cinderella and there are reportedly plans in the works for a live action version of the Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast. Many say the remakes will ruin the classic Disney movies for this generation. I understand the concerns of these Disney purists but believe these remakes are a great thing for the Disney movie fan.
These movies will bring new fans to the original animated classic from which they originated. Notice how Disney is rereleasing Sleeping Beauty on Blu Ray. It ’s a simple but genius plan for Disney as a company. Not only will Maleficent bring in millions but I would venture to say that Disney will see a marked uptick in Blu Ray sales of this original animated classic. Kids and parents will not only go see the new but will go out and buy the classic as well. These movies will also bring new audiences to these classic stories. Many see movies like Beauty and the Beast as an animated kids movie. Taking these stories out of the realm of animation will bring a new more mature audience to these amazing movies and many will see these movies are not just for children.
These remakes will also allow Disney to explore other aspects of the classic stories that were not or could not be explored in the animated versions. Maleficent is a prime example; we will get a backstory on one of the most infamous Disney villains. Perhaps with a new Beauty and the Beast movie, we can find out what was going on in the Beast’s castle the years before Belle arrived. Perhaps in the new Cinderella movie, Disney will explore more in depth why the “evil step sisters” were so evil. The sky’s the limit!
This weekend I’ll be with my kids seeing Maleficent in theaters. My hope is this will be the first in a long line of live action Disney fairytale classics.