The way Disney sees things nowadays, adaptations of past shows they’ve done mean “taking the same old story and just prettying it up with either live-action theatrics or awesome tech demos for realistic 3D CG“.
But here’s the thing: adaptations can also mean a chance to improve upon the source material while staying true to what makes it stand out in the first place. What didn’t work back then can be given new life and a new audience in an adaptation. Ergo, there’s a place for remakes if it somehow supersedes its predecessor.
In the House of Mouse’s case, they’re doing it wrong, though the box office results and profit margin prove otherwise. Because why play it dangerously when you can repackage past goods with a new sheet of wrapping paper and a prettier bow tie laced with scary & ugly CG animals?
So we ask this: why not use the power of adaptation and remakes, and instead focus it on the films that truly need it? The forgotten and maudlin Walt Disney animation works that really need a jump-start and a fresh new audience via a crystal clear perspective and reworkings?
The main takeaway from these films we’ll be talking about is that they have great premises and ideas, but are executed in a mediocre and aggravating fashion. Or they came out at the wrong place at the wrong time like in the company’s Dark Ages; 60s to 80s to be exact. Or they just plain suck.
We believe that with Disney’s remaking and cash-grabbing scheme with their Renaissance hits –Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, and so forth- they can flip the script and instead turn these melancholy medleys into bigger and better things.
Look, we do wish Disney would just make more origial stories like Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph. However, if they’re proceeding with this remaking bender, at least do it on the films that truly deserve a kickstart. With that in mind, these are the top 5 films that can benefit from Disney’s Remaking Renaissance.
What Is It? A family of Parisian felines are set to inherit a fortune from their kooky owner when suddenly the jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country (understandably so). They’re aided by O’Malley the tomcat, voiced by the awesome Phil Harris.
The film also has a catchy song about how it’s cool being a cat. And that’s all the positives we have for this film because this is Disney being friggin’ lazy. The first of many times anyway.
Why It Needs Remaking? This is exhibit #A that highlights Disney’s creative slump. Apart from one likeable lead character -tomcat O’Malley- the film is an hour too long. The story is just slapstick antics and cats being cute; you expect this from Hanna-Barbera. but not so much a pioneer in animation and film-making.
Sure, it was a box office success, but most critics deride this film as fluff at best; the kind you have playing on the TV to keep the kids occupied and mesmerized.
Recast O’Malley after a suave James Dean-style persona but in this generation. Coupling this film with likeable characters and devilishly comical villains would help get more butts on the seat. Art-wise, the new Aristocats should use 3D CG with a Claude Monet and Vincent van Gough filter, or even tailor after lovely art films like The Illusionist. The film is set in Paris, after all; why not accentuate its French roots further?
Also, get John Favreau to direct. He’s going to make bank with the Lion King remake and his Jungle Book reworking is admittedly solid. He’ll do fine in elevating The Aristocats beyond its mediocre source.