Do we really need to remake classics like The Lion King and Beauty and The Beast? - Firstpost

Do we really need to remake classics like The Lion King and Beauty and The Beast?

After Disney's live action remake of its own film, The Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau, earned more than 900 million dollars at box office and garnered critical acclaim; the production house has confirmed in a press release that The Lion King remake has been "fast tracked to production".

Yes that's right. Our favourite 90s film is going to be remade.

According to the release:

"The Lion King builds on Disney’s success of reimagining its classics for a contemporary audience with films like Maleficent, Cinderella, and the upcoming Beauty and the Beast."

The film will once again be directed by Jon Favreau who tweeted about his next directorial venture.

Like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King will include songs from the animated film.

But the inevitable question that arises is; do we need remakes of classics like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast?

The original film The Lion King, released in 1994, grossed more than $968 million at the box office and won Academy Awards for the original song Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Elton John, Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer), plus two Grammy Awards, with the soundtrack selling over 14 million copies. In 1997, the stage production The Lion King made its Broadway debut, winning six Tony Awards.

The Lion King (1994). Image courtesy: Facebook.

The Lion King (1994). Image courtesy: Facebook.

Also, how do you remake a film about animals talking to each other? But since the visual effects in the 2015 The Jungle Book were so astounding, it's clear that Disney can pull it off. All of the characters will be computer generated, and so this technically isn’t live-action, but just photo-realistic.

The original Beauty and the Beast grossed more than 424 million dollars at the box-office on its release. Will the live action film live upto its original glory?

With Emma Watson as the lead, we can hardly say that it will fail to attract audiences, but living upto a classic is a big deal.

Fans who have seen original classics cannot help but compare an original classic to the new 're-imagined' or 'remade' version. It's inevitable.

Take the recent The Magnificent Seven for example; which is a remake of  Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai. Not only does the plot fail the film, the film is constantly compared to Kurosawa's 1940 magnum opus and fails miserably on that front.

There's no real answer to whether one needs remakes of classics or not — it's subjective. There are many millions who loved The Jungle Book live-action 2016 film, and Disney is only furthering its audience base. However, as 90s kids, we hold films like The Lion King and The Jungle Book (animated version) very close to our hearts.


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