The Bull's Eye

Times have changed, Disney has not

For almost a century, children have grown  up watching Disney moviesstories of beautiful princesses, conniving  villains, catchy songs and plenty of magic. Despite Disney’s efforts to create original content, today’s children are watching the same stories in a live action format, taking away from progress and evolution in children’s entertainment.

For the past few years, Walt Disney Studios has worked toward creating live action versions of previous animated movies. From “Beauty and the Beast” to “Jungle Book,” Disney continuously remakes their films, despite the success of new content like “The BFG” and “Moana.” This is similar to many other film studios, mixing new content while reusing the old, but unlike the other studios Disney is producing almost identical copies of older stories and repackaging them to seem new.

Disney is taking these nostalgic stories from our childhood and altering them to feature real actors, a slightly different perspective, more backstory and a couple new songs. Instead of providing moviegoers with new plots and storylines, they are reusing old ones.

Disney is not planning on stopping its flow of live action remakes anytime soon. In 2019 alone, the studio plans on releasing the “new and improved” versions of “The Lion King,” “Aladdin” and “Dumbo.” Unfortunately this is the new Disney, a company which used to value thinking that was outside of the box.

The 2017 remake of “Beauty and the Beast” is extremely similar to the animated 1991 version. Disney is milking this fairy tale, trying to reap more profit out of the same plot by adding a few new scenes and songs here and there.

While it was advertised as new and improved, the reality is that the only truly impressive aspect is the CGI used to bring the household objects to life.

“The Jungle Book,” made in 2016, is the tale of Mowgli, a boy raised by a wolves, and his epic adventure back to the human village to try and save himself from the evil tiger Shere Khan.

This familiar story, from Rudyard Kipling’s novel, is best known from the 1967 animated version, which includes the same songs.

When Disney goes out of their comfort zone to produce something new, the effort is seen in the quality of the plot. In “Maleficent,” the “Sleeping Beauty”-inspired story is told from the perspective of the villain herself. The movie is no longer about Aurora. The audience has compassion for Maleficent for the first time, as they see her backstory and heartbreak. Unlike the other remakes, the plot doesn’t stay within the lines of the original story. There are surprising twists, which keeps the story interesting and captivating.

In a way all of this can be seen as financially and temporarily profitable. Disney doesn’t need to spend time coming up with completely new and creative ideas if they can build off the same ideas other people had decades ago.

This strategy allows Disney to earn revenue by attracting not only kids but older generations, because these movies relate to what they loved in the past.

Disney has gone downhill in terms of creativity, and quality content. Their goal, it seems, is to make as much money as possible without much effort or time.

Disney is going backwards instead of pushing for new ideas that will inspire today’s children.

Some of their recent content that weren’t remakes, such as “Zootopia” and “Big Hero 6,” provides the audience with new stories. The messages behind these newer films relates more to our generation.

For example, “Zootopia” tackled stereotypes and discrimination, a message not portrayed in the older Disney movies. It’s films like these that should be influencing the children today: times have changed, and movies should too.

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