Disney was once the champion of releasing innovative new, and exciting content. The studio brought excited new generations to theaters to become enamored with Big Hero 6, Frozen, and Zootopia, among others. While the other classic films would always be associated with how Disney became such an iconic studio, such as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King, classics were precisely what they were.
While they would always remain an integral part of Disney’s history, it was understood that they were not the new content that the studio wished to provide for the audience. While those original animated films and their soundtracks would always hold a special place in people’s hearts, viewers still had room for new characters and stories.
But, over the years, things have changed. The occasional Disney live-action remake has become the studio’s standard release. Instead of picking a few to re-create as a way to show that CGI has caught up to the original animation of the movies while still having a focus on new and original content, such as Encanto or Moana, the studio’s central focus has been on remaking nearly every original animated film. All it is doing is suggesting that Disney may be running out of fuel for innovation and creativity.
Original content is still available from Pixar, even if they have an array of sequels. Comic book adaptations are still rampant from Marvel, which has had its own controversy surrounding Phase Four’s quality. Star Wars continues coming out with new content for a pre-existing world, growing out a franchise that some would argue did not need the extra movies.
While Disney is not the only studio to rely on reboots and remakes, they are certainly not helping to calm down the problem of those being one of the main types of films to be released. It does not help that the remakes are not impressing longtime fans.
Constantly rebooting animated films is a lazy way of making money, even if it feels like a guarantee. Disney is making alterations to their animated classics, but rarely is it enough to show it is a brand-new feature. Instead, Disney shows its desire to capitalize on projects that have already proven to do well rather than do the work to continue making original hit films that had also helped define a new generation.
With plans to turn Moana, Bambi, and Lilo and Stitch into live-action films, Disney continues to show that they are not listening to their audiences, as fans are begging the studio to leave remakes in the past and make original content the priority.
When the studio takes time to develop new and original content, they have done reasonably well for themselves. Disney does not need to rely on what they think will be guaranteed success. Instead, Disney is a studio with the ability to take risks.
Given Disney’s influence and understanding as one of the biggest mainstream production studios, the company should take steps forward to show that it can leave its past behind, respecting and valuing what it had been while also being willing to craft exciting and emotional new stories.