If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

In July of this year, I, along with 10 million fans of the original film, packed into our cars and bombarded the doors of every theater, excited to see the live-action remake of “Lion King.” I personally was especially anticipating the portrayal of the characters that I refer to as my parents (Simba and Nala). Unfortunately, I was very disappointed by the changes Disney made and resented them for creating the remake.

Disney, Nickelodeon and other big-name production companies have decided to remake classic movies, television shows and produce spin-offs to classic sitcoms and movies created in the past instead of coming up with new story ideas for our entertainment, and this is cheating the children of the magical experience that we once had. This demonstrates a huge lack of creativity, and it eliminates the overall message of the original projects.

According the British online newspaper the Independent, Disney has created 10 remakes since 2010, earning over $7 billion from films that promote the same ideas, yet take away some of the key messages. The remakes use the titles to create a buzz about them, and then they fail to meet the expectations of the viewers.

Even small changes can make a big difference to fans like me. In Disney’s live action “Lion King,” the writers and animators stripped Rafiki of his walking stick. Although the prop might seem minor in the production, the walking stick was important to Simba’s character development. In the animated production, a scene displays images of Rafiki beating Simba up-side the head, but this scene was changed in the live-action version. The new depiction of the character does not beat Simba on the head. In that moment the idea of Simba having to remember his identity was essential to the development of his journey. The scene is significant in displaying how everyone needs to be reminded of who they are.

Of course, it’s not just Disney that’s ruining classics with remakes, and it’s not just movies, but classic sitcoms. For instance, Nickelodeon’s “Full House,” which originally began airing in 1987, was revived as the Netflix Original “Fuller House” in 2016. The new show brought back most of the original cast, excluding the character of Michelle previously played by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. In the remake of this show, the character is replaced by the character of Kimmy Gibbler. Kimmy still brings comedy to the show, but a fan of the original can’t help but think what different aspects the third sister would bring to the show. Any fan growing up in the late ’80s and early ‘90s watching that character develop and grow in sisterhood and maturity would be very disappointed with the change.

New remakes are appearing every day. Disney alone is planning to release at least 12 more remakes in the years to come. Although the films are more realistic and the idea seems exciting, I am highly
fearful of how the next film will ruin the magic for my generation and many others.