We live in a world where technology is constantly developing and improving. This can be seen across all forms of media, particularly in film. The improvement of CGI (computer generated imagery) has not gone unnoticed by moviegoers, as the ever-growing high standard of special effects has the ability to transform movies into cinematic masterpieces. It was recently announced that Jon Favreau will be directing a remake of the 1994 Disney classic, “The Lion King”, a live version whereby CGI will undoubtedly play a key role in lieu of you lifting your cat up on your Snapchat story. This news was met with a very mixed reaction from the general public, causing many people to pose the question: are film remakes improving or ruining classic movies?
This is not the first time that Disney has remade one of their classic tales. Live versions have already been made of Cinderella and The Jungle Book which were met with both praise and criticism, and Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as the lead role of Belle is set to be released in March 2017. Some die-hard Disney fans have not been too impressed with these live versions, with many claiming that they do not possess the same magical, “Disney” quality, and that there is nothing wrong with the original movies, why toy around with them? If it’s not broke, don’t try and fix it and subsequently ruin our childhood films.
Although these arguments are completely valid, other fans would debate that these movies are recreated in order to recapture the magic for future generations as well as keeping up to date with technological advancements. The same story is still being told, just in a more modern and digitally enhanced way.
Regardless of what Disney fans may think about remakes ruining classics, there is simply no denying that remakes have ultimately improved other classic films. Take King Kong for example, a story that has been consistently popular since its first original release in 1933. Although the 1933 version of the movie captivated audiences worldwide back then, it is laughable to assume this film would have made the same impact on a 21st century audience. This is not to discredit the work of the crew; they made the best out of the resources that were available at the time.
However, fast forward seventy-two years to 2005, and it is evident that director Peter Jackson’s remake of the classic story starring Jack Black was a massive improvement. CGI made all the difference in the world and brought the story to life. It pleased fans of the original version all over the world to watch the movie in a much more realistic setting, as well as gaining a new legion of fans and further increasing its popularity.
A remake of the 1960 western adventure movie The Magnificent Seven has been released in cinemas recently, receiving an overall positive response from moviegoers. The original 1960 version, directed by John Sturges, has proved to be a firm favourite of fans of the western adventure genre, so to be able to relive it and enjoy it all over again in 2016 has impressed such fans. Again, advancements in technology such as CGI and music production are the reason behind this movie’s success as developments have allowed for 2016’s director Antoine Fuqua to improve the quality of the story and allow fans and other viewers alike to experience the same story in a more modern way.
Of course, there is no right or wrong answer to this open-ended question of whether film remakes improve or ruin classic movies, as it all boils down to the directors’, producers’ and writers’ attention to detail as well as the public’s perception. It has already been proven that developments in technology can make a great movie even better, so Disney fans should not be so quick to judge Jon Favreau for wanting to do the same with The Lion King. His adaptation of The Jungle Book impressed millions of audiences worldwide, so there is no reason to believe he will not be able to pull off this remake as well. Directors like Jon Favreau should be applauded for taking on what is most definitely a huge challenge in their career. No director aims to ruin a classic movie, they just want to retell it in a more modern way for new audiences, and there is no harm in that.