OP: Should Disney Stop Making Live-Action Remakes?


For over a decade Disney has been remaking almost their entire catalogue of classic animated films into Live-Action Productions. Many of them would see acclaim from both critics and audiences and would bring plenty of revenue at the box office. But as time went one less and less people seemed excited for these films, to the point where people are starting to ask “Why even remake them?“.

This trend of Live-Action Remakes or L.A.R.s can be traced back to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland directed by Tim Burton. Though not a true “remake” the film borrowed heavily from the 1951 classic and would go on to gross $1.025 Billion on a $200 Million budget.

The trend continued in 2014 with Maleficent, a reinterpretation of Sleeping Beauty in the style of the Broadway musical Wicked. Though it did not receive positive reviews upon release it went on to earn over $750 Million worldwide.

The trend continued with 2015’s Cinderella, 2016’s The Jungle Book, 2017’s Beauty and the Beast and a barrage of Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Lady and the Tramp in 2019. But in 2020 (the year of the COVID-19 Pandemic) the trend began to grow tiresome amongst audiences. 

The remake of Mulan not only was a financial disaster both in theaters and on Disney Plus’ “Premium Access” program, but also received massive backlash due to the controversy surrounding the filming near Chinese “reeducation” camps. The 2021 Cruella prequel film didn’t do all that well either, barley passing $200 Million worldwide.

Now in 2022 we had the disastrous remake of Pinocchio and the backlash to the upcoming Little Mermaid remake. As of writing this the YouTube trailer for The Little Mermaid has reached almost 3 Million dislikes, making it the most disliked western production in history. It even passed the trailer for the controversial 2020 Netflix film Cuties in terms of dislikes.

With the entire idea of these films counting on you having already seen, and being familiar with the original films, the remakes are seemingly unable to stand on their own. From confusing plot changes, to bad writing, to awkward acting among other problems, audiences are starting to finally see the man behind the curtain.

With the honeymoon period of the L.A.R.s now seemingly over, does it make sense for Disney to keep making them? 

Currently Disney has a long list of L.A.R.s in the works, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to Peter Pan, to Hercules, to Bambi, to Lilo & Stitch and many more. Before you know it they’ll be remaking films from not that long ago like Princess and the Frog, Tangled and even Frozen.

The L.A.R.s have essentially become the modern day version of the direct-to-video sequels of the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Quantity over quality, as long as they made money.

For the sake of the company’s future and for the sake if their creative integrity it’s time to ask the question. Should Disney stop making these L.A.R.s and put effort into making all new and original content? If you say yes? Then the best way to tell Disney is to not watch them.

If you are one of the people who likes the L.A.R.s, then good for you, you see something that many others don’t. But to the rest, perhaps its time for Disney to put the foot on the breaks before the train derails any further. 

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.