Over the past few years, Disney has remade many of their classic animated films as live-action features. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was a surprise smash hit in 2010, and since then, Walt Disney Pictures has produced remakes of Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and several of their other popular films.
While other remakes are on the way, Disney seems to be ignoring many of their previous movies. Here are a few animated Disney films which deserve remakes.
The Black Cauldron
The Black Cauldron is Disney’s cult classic. The film was a colossal flop when it was released in the mid-1980s, however, it has steadily grown a dedicated fan base since it was released on home video. Now, more and more Disney fans appreciate the film’s attempt at a darker spin on the classic Disney formula.
All the classic Disney elements are there – a plucky young hero, a princess, and a coming-of-age journey – combined with a very frightening villain and his army of skeletal zombies. The film has also garnered acclaim in recent years for its stunning and detailed animation.
Despite all this, even the most ardent fans of the film will generally admit that it could have used a better story and more character development. The Black Cauldron is an intriguing film with major flaws, so talented filmmakers would certainly be able to improve upon the source material while honoring what was good about the original.
Hercules features some of Disney’s best work. It features Hades, one of the best Disney villains, Meg, one of the best Disney love interests, and “(I Won’t Say) I’m in Love,” which is arguably the best Disney song.
Yet, Hercules is not often remembered as one of the best Disney films. This is because it has a stale story, a bland hero, and a soundtrack which is largely unmemorable – one great song notwithstanding. A remake of Hercules wouldn’t feel like a waste of time; if it was put in the right hands, it could go down as a classic Disney movie. Improving the story of Hercules shouldn’t be too difficult, given that there are so many great Greek myths for Disney to draw upon.
The Aristocats is cute; there’s nothing else to it. It’s a film without substance, great performances, great music, or even serviceable animation. Disney has occasionally made films on the cheap, but at least the studio was able to hide low budgets through clever filmmaking in movies like Dumbo and Lilo & Stitch. On the other hand, The Aristocats has roughly the same budget as a Saturday morning cartoon and that shows.
There’s nothing wrong with the basic premise of the film – it’s essentially Homeward Bound with a dash of romance thrown in. The story of the remake would not have to be a complete overhaul of the original film a la Pete’s Dragon. A remake of The Aristocats would appeal to fans of the original as well as newcomers, if only it boasts a larger budget and more effort than the first film.
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