You may have noticed in recent years how Disney’s been going out of their way to adapt some of their old animated cartoons dating at least till the early 90s into live action remakes. And these remakes are even getting the race-change treatment, as the planned remake of The Little Mermaid from 1989 makes clear:
Following the announcement that Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid, Berry took to social media to celebrate the 19-year-old actress.
In case you needed a reminder… Halles get it DONE. Congratulations @chloexhalle on this amazing opportunity, we can’t wait to see what you do! #TheLittleMermaid #HalleBailey pic.twitter.com/z0Rik2nxRe
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) July 3, 2019
Hmm. I wonder if anyone noticed that the eponymous heroine from the original animated film looks slightly darker complected in the picture Berry posted? I don’t think she was drawn that way when the original production debuted. Is this some kind of absurd gimmick to justify their direction now? Pretty ridiculous alright, and they decidedly missed an opportunity to conceive a separate fantasy film which could just as easily star black figures, and come off much more delightfully. Just another obvious effort to resort to “diversity” at all costs rather, including divisiveness, rather than concentrate on story merit. Does Disney even create new tales anymore?
While we’re on the subject, I can’t recall if I spoke about the 2017 live action remake of Beauty and the Beast from 1991, but according to this Federalist review from 2017, it was both sexist and absurdly feminist simultaneously:
In Disney’s animated story, Belle is the Beast’s prisoner of her own volition. When she discovers her father’s imprisonment, she begs the Beast to release him because he is sick, pleading, “Surely there’s something I can do!” Beast callously replies, “There’s nothing you can do.” In the following pause, Belle is obviously considering her choices, then softly says, “Take me instead.” Rather than allow her ailing father, Maurice, to remain locked in a dank dungeon, Belle willingly relinquishes her freedom in exchange for her father’s release.
Disney’s live-action movie obscures this powerful act. Instead, it is Beast who asks, “Do you wish to take your father’s place?” The exchange of Belle for her father is no longer of Belle’s own initiative, which considerably cheapens the sacrifice.
In the animated film, Belle’s refusal of Gaston is a side story that contrasts Gaston’s self-absorption with Belle’s self-denial. In this film Belle is independent, but it is not Belle’s defining characteristic, as Watson would have the audience believe. In Watson’s retelling, Belle does not want to marry Gaston because she expects it to be an imprisonment of washing clothes, shining boots, cooking meals, and birthing children. She wants an adventure like in one of her beloved books. In the new retelling Belle’s major concerns are for herself, rather than a commitment of love to others such as her father.
So it was two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, Belle takes her father’s place as a hostage because Beast offers her the choice, and on the other hand, she’s portrayed as selfish and doesn’t want to marry Gaston because she doesn’t want to do stuff most women are accustomed to doing even when they’re not married, and she doesn’t want to have children either. Sounds almost like Angela Merkel and the recently resigned UK premier Theresa May. They may claim it’s all played for laughs, but there’s some things that just aren’t funny, so much as they are insulting. And there was even homosexual propaganda thrown into the live action remake for extra measure:
Unfortunately, in the lead-up to the live-action movie’s release, Watson’s feminism and the director’s identity politics have far overshadowed the story’s inherent themes of selflessness and redemption. In a recent article, director Bill Condon explained that LeFou, Gaston’s bumbling sidekick, was reinterpreted as a gay character who gradually comes to terms with his sexuality and true feelings for Gaston. […]
In Disney’s animated film, LeFou was written as comic relief and to showcase Gaston’s cruelness. The new interpretation of LeFou is appalling in inserting adult-level latent sexuality and upstaging the beauty and selflessness of Belle’s love with the shallow love LeFou has for the villain Gaston. Indeed, how can audiences celebrate an infatuation with a cruel, self-absorbed object? “Groundbreaking” though this alteration may claim to be, it still falls woefully short of being praiseworthy.
…did we really need to have realistic renditions of those sidekicks? In the original film, part of their charm came from fluidity of their animation. This version turns them into stiff, mostly lifeless entities, because, after all, an actual clock and a real teapot are only capable of so much mobility. The candelabra has a bit more, since its arms can move. The same goes for the coat rack, and at least the operatic armoire features some internal curtains to replicate the movement of a mouth speaking.
Sounds like they made this live action movie on a shoestring budget compared to the cartoon, instead they spent their resources concerning themselves with the PC messaging.
In the end, this says pretty much all we need to know about where Disney is going with their products. Next up is Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, and The Sword in the Stone – and these three are scheduled long before the new Little Mermaid is set to debut, which makes it seem odd that news of this film broke before the others. Could it have anything to do with stunt casting? No way.
They’ve also announced The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Lilo & Stitch, Pinocchio, and even Snow White.
Even without the prerequisite identity politics, the live action remaking suggests they no longer consider their classic animation good enough. Depending how long Disney will still be around, we should probably expect live action remakes of Toy Story and Monsters Inc, because even 3-D computer animation isn’t good enough for them any longer. Then they’ll take the Mickey Mouse & Co. costumes worn by performers at their theme parks and turn all their anthropomorphic animals into live action actors to boot. We’ve clearly reached a ludicrous stage where art forms such as illustration aren’t considered worthy any longer.
No wonder the Marvel movies matter so much more to Disney than the comics do.
Originally published here.