[Review] Disney live action movies spark controversy and lacks critics expectations



From left, Alexander Molony as Peter Pan, Ever Anderson as Wendy, Joshua Pickering as John Darling and Jacobi Jupe as Michael Darling in Disney’s live-action “Peter Pan & Wendy,” exclusively on Disney+. (Disney Enterprises, Inc./TNS)

Liliana Griffis, Reporter

Disney has recently been producing many new films including live action remakes of some of Disney’s classics. This includes Cinderella, Pinochio, Maleficent, Mulan and many more. These movies have phenomenal CGI and high quality production, although some select live action remakes have sparked up controversy and decreased watchers’ excitement for these new movies.

One movie that generated much controversy was “The Little Mermaid,” which stars Halle Bailey, an African American actress, as Ariel. The movie, which premiers on May 26, 2023, has received backlash because of the star’s race. Her outstanding performance has apparently been overlooked, due to some fans being so accustomed to seeking Ariel portrayed by a fair-skinned girl. It seems that some are upset about the idea that the movie is not keeping true to the original movie they remember.

Despite this, I think the movie keeps true to the classic animated film. Though it does take out a classic song, “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” but does a beautiful job with the effects and costume designs and it was overall fun to watch.

Another live action twist on Disney movies was “Lady and the Tramp” came out Nov. 12, 2019, and is a fan favorite as an animated film but not so much as a live action. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes have given some interesting reviews. Such as a review from Robbie Collin states “It is impossible to shake the sense that the film exists primarily to tick itself off the studio’s to-do list.”

Many critics described that the movie probably didn’t even need to be done at all. I agree with these reviews as well, the original movie was great and the live action just seemed like a movie that was made not for the great story, but more as a money hungry film. This film was overall an okay film and is great to watch with the whole family.

“Alice in Wonderland” had an interesting twist to the original animated movie, the plot seems to be Alice coming back to Wonderland as an adult. Many critics seemed to enjoy this movie as did I, and the special effects were great. The pacing seemed decent and the actors do great in portraying our classic characters, though Alice seems to have matured much more since the last time she arrived in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland” came out March 5, 2010 and as a live action was one of their bests before Disney seemed to start slacking on their live action remakes. This is because the film is also one of few live action Disney movies that actually came up with a new plot rather than remake a perfectly good original story. This gives the viewers more suspense for what may happen with the next live action movies Disney makes.

Overall, Disney live action remakes seem to be lacking in creating the same excitement compared to their newer movies. Though these live actions are still very entertaining if you haven’t watched the originals or just to spend more time with your family, I would recommend watching Disney’s movies with their new plots rather than making sappy remakes.