Story by Macayla Jones, Columnist
Photos courtesy of Amazon.com
Disney classics like “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” always filled my childhood with music, laughter, and adventure. When I was younger, I used to dream of being characters like Belle or Cinderella for Halloween and memorized all of the catchy tunes word for word. Now as a young adult, my favorite films are being adapted into live-action movies with real people and “real” animals, but is it the real deal?
For me, part of the magic of Disney is that it’s like stepping back into time when I watch the original films. I become a part of that character’s story. “Aladdin” took me to the Arabian deserts of Agrabah, while “The Lion King” introduced me to Africa’s beautiful expanse in the Pride Lands. At first, hearing the news of Disney recreating these classics made my heart soar. I thought I would get to relive my childhood all over again as an adult. But, in order to stay current with the times, the movies had to lose that vintage magic.
Now, these once breathtaking films are filled with CGI and plots that skew from the original. Is this okay? Are the movies still good quality?
In my opinion, it’s hit or miss. I adored the ballroom scene in “Beauty and the Beast”. I thought that the added magical map that took us to the place of Belle’s birth was wonderful.
However, “The Jungle Book” oozed with unrealistic CGI that rubbed me the wrong way. Mowgli was wandering around a fictional green screen jungle with animals that weren’t actually alive. The sense of beautiful innocence that my childhood heart aches for lacks in the newer renditions of the classics.
In my eyes, nothing will ever beat the originals. Each Disney classic came out in a special time period for that specific movie (eg: “The Little Mermaid” in the 80s, “Beauty and the Beast” in the 90s, “Frozen” in 2014, etc). This represents a cherished time for animation and children around the world. It also helps the audience keep track of the progress animated films have made throughout the years.
CGI scratches away all of that history and artwork, turning into something artificial and, ironically, less realistic. I pray that future generations of children are not only shown the “latest and greatest”, but also the originals that started it all. I pray that magic never fades or is seen as too old.
Nevertheless, I’m still going to watch the newer remakes with an open heart and allow my giddy inner seven-year-old self to leap at seeing my favorite characters once again.