Disney Classics

Kasandra Parker

When I was a little girl, my weekends consisted of binging Disney films. I would have my collection of VHS tapes, a large assortment of snacks and my enthusiasm at the thought of getting to sing along to songs from “Mulan,” “Beauty and The Beast” and other films. For me, those weekends were times when I let loose and got to be someone else, someone special. Those were the times I learned about life, love and death. I cried with Simba when his father died, I ran along to the “Colors Of The Wind” with Pocahontas and I felt what it was like to be different like Lilo. The Disney films I grew up with served as a guide to understanding the deeper complexities of life and navigating the unknown as I got older. Flash forward to 2014, when the first live-action Disney Princess film was released. “Maleficent” hit the screens and helped give the Disney franchise a soft reboot. Although the film was met with mixed reviews, it was an overall success, grossing over $758 million dollars and becoming the fourth-highest grossing film of 2014. Since 2014, one major live-action remake has been released every year, and one can only conclude it’s from the major success the franchise has seen. The live-action remake of “The Jungle Book” came out in 2016 and was once again met with acclaim, winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects of that year. “Beauty and The Beast,” 2017 was highly anticipated. Not only was this one a live-action remake, but it was also a musical. 2019 came around and two major Disney live-action remakes were released. “Aladdin” was met with a lot of mixed reviews from the critics and the audience but proved to be a worldwide success grossing about $1 billion and becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2019. The film was also a musical remake and received praise for staying true to the original animated film’s musical scores. The most recent remake to hit the screens in 2019 is “The Lion King.” Another highly anticipated film due to its all-star cast, and photorealistic live-action remake. “The Lion King” has proven to be Disney’s most successful live-action remake to date, grossing over $1.6 billion dollars worldwide, becoming the second highest-grossing film of 2019 and the seventh highest-grossing film of all time. The film was praised for its visuals, music, vocals and storyline similar to the original animated version. With the success of the Disney franchise, the resurgence of live-action remakes has propelled new and old Disney lovers alike into a new era of film. Whether we watch these films for the nostalgia it provides us, or for the experience of seeing the latest computer-generated image advances in film, it’s clear the remakes have gathered enough interest in the public to keep them alive going into the new century.