Add another movie to the list! Disney just announced that they are moving into the production phase on their next live action adaptation of their animated films: Aladdin. The film will be directed by Guy Ritchie, although further details are limited. Will it still feature the memorable musical soundtrack from the beloved Disney classic? Will they go with an entirely ethnic cast? With Beauty and the Beast coming to theaters next year, and plans for live action Mulan and The Lion King films, Disney seems to be dipping into its huge catalog of proven-successful stories. However, should any of these films be avoided, or even be considered off limits? Here are the 5 animated films Disney SHOULD NOT adapt.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
While Disney found relative success with the release of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996, the film also received its share of criticism and nit-picking. The most obvious complaint was that of the films portrayal of people with disabilities…an even more difficult task to present in live action. Other complaints were that the film was too dark and was lacking a true love story. Logically speaking, it would make sense for Disney to skip this one.
Maybe it’s just a personal thing, or maybe others will agree, but Robin Hood is often one of the forgotten treasures of Disney animation. People just don’t find it as memorable as most of their other features, and maybe that’s enough of a reason in itself for Disney to pass on a live-action update. There’s also the issue of diluting the industry with Robin Hood films…a trend that continues to thrive.
While personally, I consider Tarzan one of the best Disney films of the past 20 years, the logistics of filming a live-action Tarzan adaptation sound extremely expensive. The original animated feature used a plethora of amazing action scenes, vine swinging, and colorful musical numbers, and the idea of bringing those to life through film and actors seems a burdensome task.
While a nice thought, and a classic that can’t be discounted, Bambi would certainly feel more like a documentary if adapted to live action. Yes, recent technology has allowed Disney to bring The Jungle Book and The Lion King to life in “live” form, but Bambi lacks the drama and action that make those films exciting for moviegoers.
Yeah…probably not the wisest decision for Disney to invest in. The potential for racially and culturally offensive creative decisions unfortunately make Pocahontas a treacherous film to adapt. In fact, even in its early stages of development, Disney’s latest Mulan project has received blowback and criticism for not casting an entirely Chinese cast. We’ll see if Disney ever decides to make a similar move.