“Every single one” of Disney’s animated films is objectively better than its live-action remake, according to one of the directors behind 1991’s Beauty and the Beast and 1996’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Credited as “creative consultants” on the 2017 re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast that starred Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise both admit to having “mixed feelings” over Disney’s crop of remakes that include Aladdin and The Lion King. The filmmakers, who haven’t teamed on an animated Disney film since 2001’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire, addressed the studio’s live-action remakes in a recent interview with Collider:
“I sort of have mixed feelings about the live-action remakes. On the one hand, it’s great to have been involved in movies that have had so much longevity and have created so much affection in the audience that they’d be excited to see a new adaptation of the movie,” Wise said. “But sometimes I found myself saying, ‘Just go watch the old one, it’s still good.'”
Added Trousdale, “My completely objective and non-varnished opinion is that the animated ones are better anyway — every single one of them. But that’s just me.” To that, Wise said, “It’s not just you.”
Asked if creatives from the animated Beauty and the Beast benefitted financially from the Bill Condon-directed remake that grossed over $1.2 billion, Wise said he “certainly didn’t get a red cent from the live-action [movie].”
The creative consultant credit came as a “surprise” for Trousdale, who attended the live-action film’s premiere because Don Hahn — producer on multiple animated and live-action Disney films, including both versions of Beauty and the Beast — pulled some strings. “I was there sitting in the audience with my girlfriend,” Trousdale said, “and the credits went by, and I went, ‘Holy crap! There I am.'”
Two of Disney’s most recent remakes, the Will Smith-starring live-action Aladdin and the Jon Favreau-directed CG-animated Lion King, each grossed more than $1 billion at the global box office in 2019. The studio’s remake of Walt Disney’s Lady and the Tramp premiered as a Disney+ launch title in November.
After the live-action Mulan, the first film to be released via the all-new Disney+ Premier Access platform in September, Disney will revisit 101 Dalmatians with the Emma Stone-led Cruella and a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey. Other coming remakes in various stages of production include Peter Pan & Wendy, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Pinocchio.
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