Today I saw the second trailer for Disney’s Aladdin remake. And honestly… I liked it. Now I know what you’re thinking “You are on the internet, aren’t you supposed to hate it because Will Smith wasn’t blue in one pre-released picture!?!” Well I have a surprise for you, we’re allowed to like remakes! Many people’s response to this trailer, and movie in general is negative. Something I find funny is how people are referring to the 1992 animated movie as ‘the original.’ Like many of the Disney 2D animated films that came out around the 1980’s and 1990’s, it was not an original idea. The story of Aladdin is based on of an Arabic folktale from One Thousand and One Nights. I mean at least we’re not talking about The Lion King which was a clear rip off of Kimba (look that one up) but there still was a lot of ground work done on the characters before Disney made their version. And don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing film, but my love for it does not mean I cannot enjoy the new movie coming out in a few months.
I loved Robin Williams and everything that he did, including the genie from the 1992 movie, and may he rest in peace. That being said, I think it’s acceptable for someone else to play the role. Although I only met Robin Williams once and he made fun of my brother when we were kids, I don’t know how he would feel about this remake, but I would like to think he would rather you enjoy the new film instead of pushing negativity onto it unjustly. Disney Studios has been getting great heaps of online hatred lately for their decision to remake 2D cartoon movies into 3D/live-action films. Personally I wasn’t a fan of The Jungle Book remake that came out in 2016 but my reasons were based in the movie, not blindly hating it for a twisted sense of nostalgia. However I think a lot of people seem to forget that Disney live-action remakes are nothing new. The 101 Dalmatians cartoon movie is still amazing after 58 years. But in 1996 they make a live-action remake starring Glenn Close as one of the worst villains of all time Cruella De Vil, I mean she wants to murder puppies… I don’t care, she’s the worse of them all. I was only six when the movie came out so I don’t know if there was an outrage, but I don’t hear too many people still talking about how Glenn Close doesn’t deserve the role. Certainly not the way social media has treated Will Smith for wanting to make a children’s movie.
This hatred is not singular to the “Disney Princess” films. Star Wars and Marvel movies have also been put under the same scrutiny. The MCU has dealt with thousands of “real comic fans” that have been complaining about certain choices in the films. Most of these hate filled videos and posts are justified because the speaker read the comics when they were younger and that has entitled the person into theinking their opinion is important. Members of the ‘Fandom Menace’ have spend countless hours complaining about the Star Wars sequel trilogy and any other movies that came out under the Disney banner. Both groups tend to have some common themes with the groups of people complaining about the other live-action Disney movies. Because these are IP’s they enjoyed when they were younger they are upset the newer movies are not catered for them. And that a revamp, re-imagining, or sequel to that property is not as good as it should be.
This isn’t just an issue that Disney is facing. A few years ago The Ghostbusters remake, with an all female cast, was dragged through the mud before it was even released. Every remake lately is met with extreme scrutiny and retaliation for no other reason that it dared to exist. In no way am I saying a remake isn’t going to be bad, asome of them are. And of course every viewer is allowed to have an opinion (I’m a big fan of freedom of speech) but instead of blaming Hollywood blindly, consider why there are so many remakes being made. I’ve heard multiple people say “Why wont Disney just make original movies?” Well they have, and they failed. Last year the studio released ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’. It only grossed $54.9 million. Another attempt was ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ that barely broke even on profit and was panned by critics. Meanwhile The Beauty and The Beast live-action remake made over a BILLION dollars. So one of two things are true here. Either the people complaining about the remakes are a very small vocal minority, or they’re hypocrites. Either way you cannot blame a studio that pays millions of employees to back the genres and IP’s that make money over the ones that result in flops.
I used to complain about movie remakes. This isn’t a condescending rant (I’m realizing it may be coming off that way.) I remember hating the idea of a Power Rangers movie remake being created. That TV show was something that I spend a very long part of my childhood watching. I didn’t see the 2016 movie when it came out in theaters and ranted on social media that every trailer sucked and how Hollywood had run out of ideas. When I had eventually watched it… I loved the movie. I don’t know what to say. It was part of a few movies and gmaes around the time that showed me the errors in that line of thinking. Us audience members tend to forget that the people creating these movies were children too. Not everyone at Disney is some corporate hack without a soul; trying to rob you of your hard-earned dollars. They were children once and a lot of them have some of their own. The people working in the new Aladdin movie are helping because they loved the cartoon. A part is made for the people like them, that love the IP, but most of it is likely for the kids because after-all, that is who films are for.
As much as we complain about big companies ruling the world, the consumer is the real dictators. Anyone that has an issue with Hollywood making remakes should go support small budget and indie films. However no matter how many tickets you buy to ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’, you will not compete with the child market. Children’s movies dominate the theaters. Of the Top five highest grossing films of 2018, all five had a PG-13 or under rating. Of the Top ten, only 1 was Rated R (Deadpool 2.) Not counting Avengers: Infinity War, which I feel I should but moving on, six of those films were markets towards children. If you happen to be an adult that is complaining about your childhood being ruined by movies, realize that maybe the hard working creators of these films are less concerned with ruining your memories and more so with making some for their new audience members
Kids today are making their own memories. They’re filling their eyes and hearts with new heroes, or new versions of the stories you loved. I’m not saying Hollywood should only cater to children but last time I checked, us adults have real lives with real responsibilities. Our sense of wonder and imagination have mostly been crushed. But those children in the theater going to see Aladdin, Mulan, or Lion King have nothing to do but enjoy it. I know a four-year old who left Avengers: Infinity War actually thinking the victims of The Snappening were never coming back. That is inspiring to me. Because every adult I know said “well we know they are coming back in the next one.” Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney movies are for children first and foremost. That is not up for debate, that is a fact. They are great stories for all ages but they also contain positive messages meant to teach the young to be better people. No matter how good of a parent you are, a child will absorb what they see on TV, and these companies are making sure to have children watching learn positive lessons. That’s what Walt Disney always thought and it is still continued throughout his company. Go in and enjoy the film, have an opinion, but remember that these movies are not for you. Don’t go ranting about how someone isn’t the right race or gender, or complaining like a baby that you didn’t get exactly what you wanted. That mentality will teach the children the wrong lesson.
I plan on seeing Aladdin when it comes out. I loved the cartoon when I was a kid, and that’s WHY I’m going to go see this new iteration. That’s how nostalgia works, not the other way around. All I can do is hope it captures the joy and mysticism I felt when I was a child, and if it doesn’t it’s no big deal. It’s just a movie for me and I see like 100 of those a year. Worst case scenario, it’s a train wreck, in which case I can watch the cartoon again. It’s not like it’s locked in the Disney Vault anymore. Childhoods cannot be ruined, they are what they were, no matter what kind you had. They are not dictated by the movies you watched when you were younger. They are defined by the people you shared those memories with. So go bitch to family and friends about how your time with them means nothing because Will Smith is the genie and see how they react.
Article written by Disney shill: Troy Smith