Walt Disney Studios turns classic animations into live action adaptations


Sierra Perales,

The year 1937 marked the release of Walt Disney Studios’ first-ever animated film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Since then, Disney has gone on to release numerous animated films that would create a new form of family entertainment and sense of nostalgia, for millennials in particular. While continuing to create animated films, Disney has also begun producing live-action adaptations of some of their classics.

On March 6, Walt Disney Studios released a teaser trailer for its newest live-action adaptation called “Christopher Robin” based on the stories and the 1977 animation, “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” Winnie the Pooh will join the list of classic stories that are being re-told through rapidly developing technology. This creates a way for new and old audiences to connect with some of their favorite characters.

Millennials may find it hard to connect with these revamped versions of Disney films because they have the potential to strip the nostalgia from the classics. At first thought, it can be hard to imagine how films about princesses or imaginative characters like talking animals and genies can be brought to life, however, Disney has done an excellent job of recreating some of their most popular animated films. But there are some cons that have arisen.

“Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast” are some of the recent stories that Disney has already recreated with live action and CGI. “Cinderella” was released in 2015 and followed the original storyline of the 1950s version very closely. The live action adaptation featured key elements of the animated classics such as the royal ball and the transformation scene, yet the live adaptation was able to portray them with much more “magic.”

One key element that was missing were the classic songs “Bippity Boppity Boo” and “The Work Song” where the animals sing while preparing Cinderella dress for the ball. Although, the absence of the songs didn’t ruin the movie. Disney films are often filled with music for the audience to sing along to.

“The Jungle Book” transformation from cartoon to live action may have raised a little more concern than Cinderella as most of its characters were animals, but Disney did not let that stop them. The voice talent and imagery created the feeling that the characters were going to jump right out of the screen. The film also featured all of its original characters: Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie and more including the two hit songs “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You.”

Although Disney was able to bring “The Jungle Book” to life, it added a scary element to the film with real animals which may not be completely suitable for the age group that the classic film seeks to target. The classic film was more colorful and fun compared to the newest version.

Last but not least, the 2017 version of “Beauty and the Beast,” was almost a perfect recreation of its original 1991 cartoon version. It matched the original storyline and portrayed the characters extremely well.

Not every movie created can be exactly like the original even though Disney fans may always feel a little skeptical towards new and improved versions of their favorite films. Walt Disney Studios will keep the live-action adaptations coming. Along with “Christopher Robin” in late 2018, live adaptations of “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” have tentative release dates in 2019 followed by “Mulan” in 2020.