After the recent adaptation of Cinderella hit theaters, news came up of other fairytales/memorable Disney classics (Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo) following suit. Really, it’s nothing more than a new trend Disney is trying out, but do we need live action versions of all the animated films most of us grew up on?
I say yes.
I view fairytales in the same way I view Shakespeare – both of the source materials are well known and old enough that they can be interpreted in a thousand different ways, each with a new twist to keep it refreshing and shed new light onto the story. Cinderella has been retold in about ten different ways in the past two decades alone. This has been seen in Ever After, A Cinderella Story, the Roger and Hammerstein musical, Into the Woods, and a few episodes of Once Upon a Time. Each different from the last, but still clinging onto what made the original story endearing.
Seeing these new versions with the right costume designers, the right cinematographers, the right directors, cast, etc, would be brilliant. The major issue I take is that these will apparently all be handled by the same company.
For this trend to work, it’d be best that different parties do their own spins rather than Disney pushing out a new one every year. Disney will try to keep to their animated adaptations while other companies would have more courage to stray away from the more well known versions to make something more unique. There’s also the chance that we could end up with a wonderfully more grim storyline that fits well into the source material which is rarely seen and, when it is, rarely executed well.
I think back to Belle et la Bette and how dark that film felt at times just by the atmosphere, but also how beautiful the set was. It’s a little bizarre and a little grim, but it works. I’d like to see at least one revamp in the same spirit as this French film. Just one that plays around with the history and darker elements of the tale with a beautiful design. I’m also hoping for a film that will rely on traditional costume and makeup instead of CGI for the beast or any other elements depending on the story they choose.
I also know there is a Hunchback of Notre Dame stage musical and I would be ecstatic to see that turn into a motion picture much like Les Miserables. I see a great amount of opportunity here for some refreshing, yet nostalgic films. I’m only hoping that opportunity is ceased.