Disney’s Live Action Adaptations: Will one finally measure up?


Disney’s next live action, “The Little Mermaid” hits theaters May 26th.

Sophia Prichard, Sr. Editor

What truly is so horrid and off putting about the recent Disney live-action adaptations? There’s the obvious: the uncanny valley level CGI and obnoxious appeal to our own nostalgia, and yet there seems to be something deeper. There’s something so wrong about them, something that is almost impossible to describe and yet I have committed myself to analyzing it.

My theory is that while some of the adaptations are truly that vile (Aladdin and The Lion King come to mind) some of the others aren’t actually as detestable, but rather they are new. If there’s anything to be understood about people it is that they actually despise things that are truly new, especially to this degree. They aren’t simply adaptations; they are remakes. They are attempting to replace, to make the exact thing again. And it’s too much for general audiences, let alone critics.

Most of the live actions keep bits and pieces of the original animation, and yet they change things that viewers love. Films like Mulan, where Disney got rid of the musical numbers or The Lion King, where so many of the emotional beats of the film were glossed over, since the CGI animation left little emotion on the characters’ faces. This trepidation toward Disney is extending to future projects, like The Little Mermaid and the recently announced Lilo and Stitch

Multiple viewers have already discussed their distaste of the changes in the latest production of The Little Mermaid, not just in the now-infamous controversial casting decision, but the altered lyrics in “Kiss the Girl”. The producers of the film have addressed their vision, that the original lyrics don’t fit in the modern world. But is that bad? Some internet users think so, but maybe if moviegoers are able to distance this new version from their preconceived notions and nostalgia it may be somewhat enjoyable, or at the very least, tolerable.