Which is better? Animated movies vs. live action remakes

November 9, 2017 — by Anna Novoselov and Anishi Patel

In March, a tale as old as time got a fresh, new look as Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” live-action remake starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. The film broke multiple records after its release, raking in $1.2 billion in worldwide ticket revenues.

Compared to the original animated classic from 1991, which made $450 million, the live action “Beauty and the Beast” is far superior.

Although original animated movies will always have a place in Disney fans’ hearts, live action films have established themselves as an integral part of Disney’s world.

“I think the remakes show more feeling,” sophomore Simrita Advani said. “I love the classics, but now that I’m older, it's just more interesting to watch live action.”

Disney released its first live action remake in 2010: “Alice in Wonderland.” The film grossed $1 billion worldwide.  

Motivated by positive reviews and box office success, Disney began creating more live action films. “The Jungle Book” made $960 million worldwide, making it the third most successful Disney remake to date. The 2016 live action film “Maleficent” became the fourth most successful, at $760 million.

The success of live action movies is based on many factors, one of which is the casting of real-life actors.

Actors in live action movies are able to convey emotions more effectively than animated characters, making the films more appealing to larger audiences. Special effects and classic song lyrics combine to form an all-inclusive experience for the viewer.

Fans applauded the casting of Watson as Belle. She had already created a name for herself through her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, and was renowned for her wit and acting abilities.

In another move to appeal to larger audiences, Celine Dion’s original rendition of the song “A Tale as Old as Time” in “Beauty and the Beast” was replaced with a cover by popular artists Ariana Grande and John Legend.

Although some fans claim that Disney is simply commercializing nostalgia — that is to say, making money off the classic tales viewers already know and love — live action films are far from mere copies of the animated movies.

Live action films incorporate familiar storylines, mixing unique twists with the bare necessities of the beloved classics to create captivating plot lines.

For example, “Maleficent” is told not from the princess's point of view, but from the villain’s, allowing the viewer to experience the story from an different angle.

Additionally, the live action “Cinderella” gives more insight into the characters’ backstories, allowing viewers to better understand personalities and motives for actions. The story begins with Cinderella’s upbringing, and uncovers her dedication to preserving her home.

Unlike the animated version, the Prince falls for Cinderella’s heart rather than her beauty. The two first meet in the woods, where he conceals his royal identity, and is attracted to Cinderella’s kindness and lighthearted spirit.

As a result, the Prince’s character is given deeper meaning, intensifying the chemistry between the protagonists and showing that love does not simply come at first sight.

In addition, live action films better resemble real life, embodying powerful themes of compassion, perseverance and bravery. While animated classics contain noteworthy messages as well, remakes are better able to convey these ideas to modern audiences.

But Disney’s collection isn’t complete yet. The multinational mass media company will continue its remake trend, with many more live action movies already in the works. These include “Mulan,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin” and “Ariel.”

It’s a whole new world out there, and live action remakes are about to take it by storm.

 

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