Normally, I really dislike reboots and remakes. We’ve come to lean on them as a crutch that prevents our most creative minds from thinking further and coming up with new ideas.
There are some exceptions. This is when the story looks almost entirely different but is still treated with care (last year’s a A Star is Born is a good example), or when technology has given us the opportunity to recreate the story in a fashion that allows it to come to life.
I believe the recent Disney live action remakes fall into the latter category and we should hope for a quality product that finds success in theaters.
This weekend, it’s Aladdins turn, and it’s tracking with middle of the road numbers. It should be the number #1 film over the holiday weekend and it’s got a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this publication.
My younger siblings adored the Aladdin story. It played almost daily on the VHS in my living room growing up. We’d like to see a strong film that does the story justice. We all know Will Smith has an uphill climb to take the place of Robin Williams’ genie.
The returns on Disney live action films have been mixed so far. Beauty and the Beast was a box office hit that received mostly average feedback. Dumbo was both a critical and financial flop, even with a gifted cast.
Whether Aladdin joins Beauty and the Beast in the “success” column or drops to Dumbo levels, these are experiments we need to encourage, especially with timeless Disney stories.
A lot of critics ask why these films are needed. I say it’s because a live action film has the ability to take a quality story to the next level. It’s not the cash-grab quick reboot that we see in theaters every other weekend or on the television each fall.
This also won’t be the last live action remake we see this year, the Lion King is due out later this summer and if the past is any indication, the epic story along with the stellar voice cast will propel the film into one becoming one of the biggest hits of the year.
And that’s a good thing for a new generation of Disney fans who deserve to have the story told in the best way possible.