Does every Disney film need to become live-action?

Some Disney live-action reboots are great, but are they necessary for every Disney film?

Let’s be honest, there have been a lot of Disney live-action films popping up recently, like Aladdin, The Lion King, and Peter Pan & Wendy. Lots of people like them, but personally I find them exhausting. I understand that for Disney, some modern reboots recreate classics for the modern generation and improve controversial representation from the original films, but are they really necessary for every Disney movie ever created? 

There used to be a lot of new Disney movies, like Moana, Encanto, Frozen, Big Hero 6, etc. but now the majority of Disney movies that are coming out are sequels or remakes.  Sometimes they work out, like Beauty and the Beast, and sometimes they don’t, like the 2022’s live-action Pinocchio

Let’s be honest, you forgot that one was even released. 

Compare this to the stop motion Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio on Netflix, which isn’t even made by Disney. This retelling of Pinocchio won Academy Awards for its alluring animation and intoxicatingly creative and well-written story and paid homage to the original fairy tale while being something entirely its own. On the other hand, Disney’s recent live-action remake of Pinocchio is forgettable and shallow, simply a soulless copy of the original. 

But to an extent, live-action reboots of Disney movies can be good, especially Disney classics. Their old-fashioned style of animation and display of characters may not be as attractive to modern audiences as they were for past generations. Additionally, it makes sense to reboot Disney classics to keep them ‘alive’ as they grow older and older. On top of that, rebooting these old films can help Disney move past their controversies and racist representation instead of just adding warnings in front of movies like Dumbo, The Aristocats, and Peter Pan on Disney+. 

But this continuous release of movies that already exist doesn’t make Disney look like they’re trying to fix their mistakes—it just makes them look lazy and afraid of trying new things. There is nothing particularly interesting or unique about these new reboots. While movies like The Jungle Book (2016) heralded a new age of revolutionary CGI technology and Mulan made changes to the original movie, those like the 2022 Pinocchio and The Lion King were nearly direct copies of the original and the quality of CGI has only been going down to the point where they look decades old. 

Despite this cycle of lazy writing, cheap CGI, and shallow copies, Disney is now planning to reboot more than just controversial Disney classics. If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’ve also seen a potential live-action Lilo and Stitch and Moana. I believe this is completely unnecessary, especially since they were released fairly recently, Lilo and Stitch in 2002 and Moana in 2016. There was nothing particularly bad about the originals and both can still be enjoyed by today’s generation. 

So if Disney wants to stay true to their creator’s quote, “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare” and their purpose of bringing ‘magic’ to our lives, they need to wake up, take risks, and begin releasing things that are creative, fun to watch, and not based on something that already exists.