Aladdin’s Bizarre Adventure – A Short Introspective On Disney Live Action Remakes

I’m sorry,I KNOW I said today would be a weekly anime recap in yesterday’s post,but after seeing this travesty,I just HAD to talk about it.

What travesty,you ask?

Well.

Oh. Oh no.

I once had aspirations of being a 3D CGI Artist, and so I like to think I know quite a bit about the basics of how to make CGI look good within the context of the real world. I’m sure everybody here is familiar with the uncanny valley, and some of you may even think THAT doesn’t look as bad as I’m making it out to be.

Well,that’s because you haven’t seen it moving yet.

It’s crystal clear that Will Smith’s face was haphazardly grafted onto a CGI character’s body,instead of the CGI body being made to fit Will Smith’s appearance. It’s things like this that end up giving CGI a bad rap because it only distracts you from the movie when Will Smith’s face is stiffly moving along with the dynamic CGI genie body in scenes that once bought laughter and joy to us. Well,they still do here, but I’m laughing for a completely different reason.

It’s the movie equivalent of Will Smith standing behind a cardboard cutout of Genie with the face cut out. While we’re here, let’s also talk about Jafar,who I would like to assume is a WAY younger version because of how nasally high his voice is. If you compare his animated version’s “BRING ME THE LAMP!” to this live-action version’s smug and whispery tone is a bit jarring,to say the least.

To be honest,Disney live-action adaptations have been a pretty mixed bag,all things considered. I REALLY loved Jungle Book-

but pretty much every single one of the other movies ranged from “eh,it’s okay”-

Funnel gowns aside.

– to hilariously terribad.

I know it’s technically a “sequel”,but this movie is just Disney funding Tim Burton’s weird fanfiction

I have always been of the opinion that these remakes are pointless if they’re just gonna rehash everything, but my problem lies with their new twists on the old story being just plain bad most of the time. Jungle Book probably did it best by not doing an exact adaptation,but instead one that manages to capture the spirit of the original film.

I don’t want the exact same thing all over again but worse,nor do I want an edgy reimagining of it that’s done in poor taste. If you’re gonna remake something,make it have a unique identity that it can call its own instead of relying on nostalgia. I know these movies make a billion dollars because people like nostalgia,but they don’t have any staying power. I barely remember what different or interesting things happened to the ones I thought were okay,and that’s a bad thing when you’re remaking an unforgettable classic.

Do I think these shouldn’t exist?

Well, not really. People in Disney need jobs,and audiences are perfectly happy reliving the nostalgia,albeit in a slightly worse fashion and having to pay for it instead of just popping in the superior original version. I just wish that they would give these remakes more soul,so I can look back on it in the same fond way I did it’s predecessor.

I will of course hold my final judgement of the Aladdin movie until it comes out,but it’s a significantly tall order. Aladdin is, more so than the relatively obscure Jungle Book and Sleeping Beauty by comparison, an absolute classic that is EXTREMELY popular and embedded in people’s minds. It will be an uphill battle defeating the expectations of literal decades of nostalgia, and I doubt Aladdin (2019) will even meet half of them.

What do you guys think? I want to hear your thoughts on the topic.

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17 thoughts on “Aladdin’s Bizarre Adventure – A Short Introspective On Disney Live Action Remakes

  1. Sometimes I wonder, with all the money Disney has, why they can’t afford to do it better? It really is a bit baffling to me.
    I know money can’t fix bad acting, but dang, it can fix costumes, sets, and CGI.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. That would make sense if the MCU movies were failing horribly and needed to be financially shored up… But they don’t. They’re making buckets of money, they’re self funding and then some.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sure,but I imagine the money from those end up being halved thanks to all the marketing and wages they have to give away, so stuff like Aladdin is essentially a side earning gig for Disney to keep the gears turning.

        Like

  2. I just don’t understand why these remakes exist at all. Yes, as you say, Disney needs to make money and whatnot, but it’s not as if they’re short on properties that they could make new, original work out of. They own a significant proportion of Western popular culture at this point, after all — so it just baffles me why they feel the need to remake things that are still perfectly fine movies in their original animated incarnations.

    The great thing about a lot of the older Disney stuff is that it had a timeless quality — and thus wouldn’t NEED updating for a new audience. (This obviously excludes the older stuff that is regarded as “racist” these days, but in most cases those were live action or hybrid movies and thus hadn’t aged quite as elegantly in technical terms as well as in artistic, thematic terms, anyway.) Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, Lion King, Aladdin… all of these movies are still just as good today as they were back in the day, with a big part of their universal appeal coming from their animated nature.

    In fact, I might even go so far as to argue that live-action remakes miss part of the “appeal” point. I know when I was a kid, I was much less of a fan of live-action movies than I was of animated movies, so a live-action Disney movie would have been considerably less appealing to me as a kid than an animated one. I may be alone on that one, though!

    Also, apropos of nothing, I would also just like to add that the stage show of The Lion King is boring crap that isn’t a patch on the movie. Keep things in their original medium for great justice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually haven’t minded the remakes. They aren’t amazing but I don’t necessarily have any problem with them. Will admit, that trailer and image of the genie is causing me a few concerns though. That’s not great.
    In terms of who these exist for I would suggest several people in my family who just blanket refuse to watch anything animated (stuff with CG characters like Beauty and the Beast live action apparently doesn’t count as animated). For them this is the first time they get to see these ‘classic’ stories. Still it isn’t as though these were original version when Disney made them so basically they are adapting their own adaptations of stories that existed long before they got a hole of them so I’m just going to shrug and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Genie CGI…No…just, no!

    Granted, I tend to stay away from a ton of mainstream movies in general, but the only live action remakes I’ve seen from Disney are The Jungle Book or if you go back a long time ago 101 Dalmatians. I wasn’t crazy about those movies (original or remakes), but this trend of all these remakes has gotten on my nerves. It’s just a safe bet for studios to keep cranking out movies without putting the effort into making new IPs.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against remakes on principle. Some can work well and they can be fine in moderation. This trend from all these studios just shows a ton of laziness especially when some IPs were considered risky decades ago. You can also add mindless sequels and prequels to that mix.

    Going back to Disney, I do agree that the remakes play off nostalgia, but constantly. I’m not a Disney fan, but even I agree that most of those movies should be left alone whether I liked them or not. Not going to lie, I was furious when I first heard about that (controversial opinion, ahoy!) Lion King remake when it was announced years ago for three reasons. One: Kimba the White Lion. I rest my case. Two: Why is there a live action remake of a movie with no human characters? Three: Watching the original movie as an adult and as a minority, I couldn’t stand the unfortunate racist implications of the hyenas especially researching things like the Namibian Genocide and Congolese Genocide where people were annexed and starved out.

    It’s just obnoxious how so many of their properties are getting the live action treatment as a major method that’s not part of the animated canon or any of their other subsidiaries (LucasFilm, Marvel, and now Fox) instead of trying to make quality movies, being original, and not be so reliant on high production values and banking on nostalgia.

    Whew! End rant.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, obviously. It did bug me when when I heard the term “live action” from both people and from some articles online. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear in my little rant. Kind of a misnomer about a not-live action movie, don’t you think?

        That also brings me to a different point which goes back to your point about The Genie. Why so much CGI in general? Would it kill to have things like makeup, prosthetics, or natural set designs for so many films?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I gathered that you knew it wasn’t live action,don’t worry, it’s more the “style”. I just wanted to talk about it as a 4th point since it’s being lauded as one.

        As for practical effects,YES, I miss them.

        Mad Max: Fury Road is the closest we will get to the best of both worlds at this point. Practical effects enhanced by subtle CGI

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sure thing, Lumi. I do agree with your 4th point, so don’t get me wrong. It is annoying how people have been hyping that example up as a live action film when it clearly isn’t. We both agree that realistic CGI animal characters doesn’t count as live action. Hahaha!

        Yes, and I feel the same way.

        I haven’t seen that movie, but the trailers made it look well-integrated. CGI in moderation and for it to be seamless is just fine with me.

        Liked by 1 person

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