Jamie Neish: Danger of tarnishing Disney memories

Snow White. Pic: Walt Disney Corp
Snow White. Pic: Walt Disney Corp
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THE other day, news broke that Tim Burton, yes, the Tim Burton who has struggled to make a hit film since Alice in Wonderland, has signed on to direct a live action remake of Disney’s classic Dumbo.

The news fits in with a movement that’s been brewing of late - Disney reimagining some of its most celebrated animation films in live action.

It’s unsurprising in Hollywood’s current climate. Remakes, reboots and reimaginings are far more prominent than they were ten years ago. An apparent lack of original ideas, it could be easily argued, forcing studios to look back on past products.

But then, Disney films are a different beast. They hold a special place in many people’s hearts, both children and adults.

The lasting success of Dumbo and the likes of Cinderella can’t purely be attributed to their hand-drawn and more recently CGI, make-up, but it is a big part of what makes them so memorable.

But you only need to look at how Disney’s live action reimaginings have rated so far to understand why fans should be nervous.

Okay, Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Mirror Mirror all turned a tidy profit, but none sparked enough awe and delight to make them necessary.

In the next few years we will be treated to new spins on The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and a mooted Cruella film.

I’m not prematurely writing these off, but I’m nervous. Disney animations were such a massive part of my childhood, creating memories for me that I cherish to this day. I don’t want those memories tarnished purely so Disney and other studios can make a quick buck.

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