Old Disney reigns supreme over remakes

December 4, 2020 — by Anjali Pai
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New animated Disney movies lack the charm and creativity that old Disney movies have.

My childhood radiated with Disney magic. With movies like “Beauty and the Beast,” “Lilo and Stitch” and “Cinderella,” my generation grew up with movies that exude charm, class and quality. However, young children nowadays are being fed mediocre movies with characters that look exactly the same in every movie. 

I love the classics, but the new remakes, both animated or live-action productions such as “Christopher Robin” hurt my soul. Somehow, the movies have lost their charm in almost every way, from their art styles to their plots.

My biggest annoyance with the new Disney films are their repetitive and unrealistic depictions of characters. While most animated films are going to have stylistic simplifications of human bodies, the repetitive use of the same simplified features goes too far. 

How hard is it to create a little diversity between characters from movie to movie? I don’t mean to body-shame Disney's new animated characters, but when every Disney character from Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” to Vanellope from “Wreck-it-Ralph” has abnormally large eyes, nonexistent noses and heads disproportionately large compared to their bodies, the movies get monotonous and harder to watch.

Around the time of Disney’s Golden Age, lasting from the 1930s to the 1950s, each animator the characters and scenes. Every movie had different animators who would add their own touches to their work, giving each piece its own charm and warmth that has not yet been achieved with modern CGI. For example, Eyvind Earle, the illustrator of “Sleeping Beauty,” structured everything with a distinctly thin, straight and geometrical pattern. 

In CGI movies, the characters have little variety. Characters like Russel from “Up” to Riley from “Inside Out” could easily be from the same world and be interconnected due to the similarities between their facial structures, the style of setting and animation overall. 

These days, every Disney princess has an overexaggerated hourglass figure, with bug eyes and a button nose. There is nothing wrong with transitioning into the modern world of CGI, but diversifying each character's features would be a good first step.

To make matters worse, Disney’s recent live-action remakes do no justice to the classics; they have unnecessary variations that take away from the classic stories they are remaking.  

A case in point: In the recent live remake of “Aladdin,” Disney made several unnecessary changes to the main characters. Jafar’s backstory is shown as a street rat and Jasmine is shown to be setting her sights on becoming the next sultan rather than marrying for love. 

Marrying for love instead of becoming the next sultan would have made the plot of the remake far more wholesome, and revealing Jafar’s backstory removes the mystery associated with his character. If you are going to remake something, then remake it as is instead of making changes that do more harm than good. 

Since many of Disney’s best films were charming and creatively animated — think of classics like “The Aristocats” or “Robin Hood” — they should just stick to creating movies like these with creative plots, rather than remakes and unique art styles that show diversity in animation.


In general, Disney needs to stop while they're ahead. Stop remaking old classics and instead dream up new classics that will be worthwhile for this generation. Otherwise, future generations will be stripped of the Disney magic that ours and earlier ones got to experience. For their sake at least, bring back the charm to the animated films and, above all, scrap the poorly made live-action remakes.