Hot take: Disney remakes are fanfic.
Let me tell you why.
Who in Disney isn’t aspiring to the glory of those good old classics? Those money busters. Those idea exploders. And those story spinners. The original Disney had their issues. But I loved them (don’t know about you). Fan fiction is written by a fan of the original movie.
Looking at interviews with the directors that remade these movies, they really do have a whole lot of love for those classics. You can see it. But, love isn’t enough to carry a corporate. We loved those classics too, and that’s why we’re falling prey to the Disney machine. The machine that wants to pump us full of old ideas different but not better. The fans have passion, but they make sweeping gestures at the plots we remember. With shaking hands they sketch for us, but we are craving Zdzisław Beksiński. Or maybe not, this is Disney, after all.
Disney uses the same characters to tell you a new story. Part of the appeal of fanfic is to build on old knowledge. If you can pull on old ideas, you have less explaining to do and you can focus more on the conversation you want to have with your viewers. For some that means having known characters act out your fantasies. For Disney it’s sanitizing anything questionable from their prior media. Have they added anything interesting to the conversation? Anything new? Anything compelling?
If you’ve seen it, tell me. So far I’ve found myself disappointed, but maybe I missed something.
They’re pulling on old characters and putting them in new patterns. These Disney remakes are nothing but culturally accepted fanfic. And tell me why we’re slamming fanfic when we’re filling our own heads with the stuff every day. Disney rewrites us something, but is it any better? Or just different? Or maybe worse?
Well, only you can really judge that.