No seriously, Disney. Let’s take the classic movie Citizen Kane and make an animated version. We can alter the story a little. Let’s tell the story from Rosebud’s viewpoint. We can see Charles Foster Kane as a child sledding with his friends. We can find out exactly what role that sled played in his life, and exactly what that sled knew that got her shoved into storage and hidden away from the real world.
No? You don’t like that idea?
How about we do an animated Godfather. I know, we can tell it from the viewpoint of the cannoli. You know the scene. Right after they kill Paulie, Clemenza says “leave the gun, take the cannoli.” Let’s say that Rocco reaches into the car and grabs the cannoli, but one drops out of the box. We focus on the saga of that cannoli. How he got entangled with the mafia. Did some Italian goon make him a filling he just couldn’t refuse? There has to be a story there.
No? Really? What, are you afraid to take a classic and remake it in a completely different format? Really? Because if that’s the case then I have one last questions for you. WTH? A live action retelling of Dumbo? WTH?
I love you, Disney. I really do. I hesitated to post this, and not because I’m afraid of you, even though you own 36.98% of the free world. I hesitate to say it because someday I want to work for you. But, it needs to be said. Come on you are better than this? I know you are. Frozen proves that. That is so much more than a wonderful retelling of a classic fairy tale, beautifully told and then marketed into a global phenomenon. You’re brilliant. You really are.
I mean, yes, you occasionally make a mistake or two. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland comes to mind. As does 101 Dalmatians starring Glenn Close. Both of them did fantastic at the Box Office and both of them were visually stunning movies. But you know what they both weren’t. They both weren’t good films. In fact, at a certain level they were insults to good films. Here’s another thing they had in common. They were both re-telling of your classics in live action.
Now I’ll acknowledge that sometimes that can work. It may work next year with Beauty and the Beast, it did work last year with Maleficent, and we’ll shortly know if it works with Cinderella. But I’m sorry, I just don’t see it working with a story about a flying elephant and his friend, Timothy Q. Mouse.
I’m not the only one disturbed by this. Fan of Mickey has blogged about the same issue, and I think he is right on the money with his thoughts about Tim Burton directing this reimaging. I am actually a fan of Mr. Burton’s, although I do need to say this….. Tim, Bubala, get back together with Helena. (She’s a gift to this world that should not be discarded.) Also, I’m glad he seems to be taking a break from working with Johnny Depp, unless of course he plans on having Johnny be the ringmaster.
To me Dumbo is a true classic. It was, and is, visually stunning. It’s a great story with a great message not only for little kids, but for all of us. It was one of those films that changed the way stories are told, and films and movies are perceived. It doesn’t need to be remade, it just needs to be re-released.
There are just some things you don’t need to do. You don’t need to bring to life, through CGI, a flying elephant. Just like you don’t need to animate a sled or a cannoli. Just sayin’…….