A few weeks ago, Disney shared the first image of tom hank Interpretation Geppetto, the carpenter who, seeing a shooting star, made a wish. He wanted the figure he had just created to have a life of its own. the Framework served as a cover letter for the next live action which will be published. It is Pinocchiothe film that will tell the story of one of the most important characters in children’s stories, both in literature and in cinema, through different adaptations.
His story will be told again because many years ago, in 1940, Disney released an animated film of the character. Perhaps this, after other adaptations, is the most recognized in relation to the character. This film also has a special meaning for the company: it is the second feature film they have developed and the first released in the middle of Second World War. It is obvious that the company takes care of every detail of the new production. FOR Pinocchio It was followed, over the years, by a handful of productions that eventually became animation classics.
These are films that, beyond the interpretative license in the adaptation – the stories are generally more cruel – have marked several generations of children and adults. These are period productions, both for their designs and for their history; even several of these anime characters are currently being sold as part of the pop culture, although several years have passed since its inception. They remained in the collective imagination and this is one of the reasons why live actions of this kind of movies it is a risk.
The live actions
and recent Pinocchio background
Disney has made at least 17 animated film adaptations in live actions. Its history within these versions begins in 1994, with The Jungle Book: The Adventure Continues. The production, led by Stephen Sommerwas tied to the original film titled The jungle Bookcreated in 1967. The most recent reinterpretation of this style has been cruelDirected by Craig Gillespie and inspired by 101 Dalmatians. Before his arrival mulanDirected by Nikki Carobased on the animated story released in 1998.
In the case of mulan and cruel, Disney did something interesting compared to the other releases. The first was part of a strategy to promote and attract subscribers, conditioned by the pandemic caused by the COVID-19[female[feminine and isolation as a sanitary measure. The second movie It wasn’t part of a campaign to attract new users, but it was a twist on more traditional adaptations. It was based on the character of a story, with a look, a clear perspective, rather than telling an adapted story in an animated key.
Instead, the bulk of the other adaptations have been more conservative and classic compared to the work that came before them. maybe alone Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton, allows for several additional readings. The ascendancy of the animated work seems to have conditioned any eventual revision in many cases. Therefore, several of them appear to be an exact copy of the story presented through drawings. The clearest recent reference in this sense is The Lion King (2019), directed by Jon Favreauafter the animated film was released in 1994 to become one of Disney’s greatest classics.
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The risk with live actions
The feeling, in most cases, is that adaptation live actions doesn’t do the animated version justice. At this stage, it is worth considering some nuances. The first of these: one version doesn’t have to pay homage to another and perhaps, from the critics’ point of view, they too should be seen as independent productions. Even having similarities, they work as different stories. In turn, this aspect has a but: it is likely that the majority of followers will see one film because they liked the other.
Thus, his gaze is conditioned by this detail. Another problem is related to it: many films live actions that Disney has adapted in recent years have been a part of childhood and early adulthood for many generations. To represent this story is to stir memories, it is to enter a domain where emotions are the first filter to validate or not this new work. It may not be the fairest, but those are the laws of the market.
Based on this, I did it with cruel and mulan in the last, and with Maleficent (Robert Stromberg, 2014) has even more value. Although they retain references to animated stories, the semantic framework within which each story operates, they try (and succeed) to differentiate themselves. The first does it with solvency, until becoming a movie that lives beyond the animated story because it tells the origin of one of the characters in this story; something similar happens with Maleficent. It does not recreate the film. The second, although it has more to do with animated production, takes various licenses to give something new to the viewer.
Disney and the current opportunity
if we take cruel and mulan as an example, Disney might find a way on which to build its new adaptations. These productions, without ceasing to be faithful to a universe previously built in another format, refresh part of these stories based on a detail or by exploring a specific story. What happened in these cases? The viewer who grew up watching these productions found a series of references they knew and, in turn, found something new.
In other cases, part of the experience is truncated by dealing with stories with many similarities. It may be that on rare occasions, when emotionality and representation of a story are weighed in the balance, the latter wins out. If the industry in general (and Disney in particular) wants to return to these animated classics and avoid what came before, one way to do so without cutting ties with this tradition and at the same time offering a new discourse could be through these characters with potential and which have not been explored in all their dimensions or which incorporate other narrative elements, such as fantasy.
PinocchioDirected by Robert Zemeckis, will bring this debate back to the table. FOR waltz disney He is credited with the phrase that “when you are curious, you find lots of interesting things to do”. Based on that premise, the company could delve into these animated classics and find something with storytelling potential. Thus, bringing back these stories in an original way, as it has already done in some cases.
A possible outcome? Invoke those who grew up with them and cultivate some of that legacy in other generations. The animated format has a unique charm. This can be explained by the type of drawing at the stage of life in which they are usually discovered, childhood. The resource allows a series of freedoms that, perhaps, in another language may not work. That’s why it should be respected and, if it’s about taking stories of this style, watching them from another place so that they grow and discover something that has not been presented before .