Thoughts on The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast reboots

So earlier this week, it was announced that there was going to be a reimagining of The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau, after the success of The Jungle Book reboot.

To be honest, I’m not surprised at all. I’m just wondering what EXACTLY they’re going to do. We have very little on the plot or cast or other details. We can presume that it’s going to be filled with CGI animals, but we have no idea if there’s going to be any human characters or if it will be filmed on location in Kenya or something.

But you know what? I’m actually excited. Since I was totally enthralled by The Jungle Book, I can expect The Lion King to be utterly spectacular. Which is more than I can say for the Beauty and the Beast remake coming next year.

Image result for beauty and the beast 2017

I just…what is this? That’s not Lumiere and Cogsworth. Lumiere doesn’t even have a face! And there’s way too much detail, it’s distracting, and it doesn’t make the characters look appealing. They look too real!

And then there’s this lovely image, courtesy of Stitch Kingdom:

Look how fucking BORED Emma Waston looks. She should be gazing longingly at the Beast, especially since she’s wearing the famous yellow dress (which would indicate they’re at the part where they’re in love). Instead, she’s turned away and looks unamused. Or she’s trying too hard to be dramatic and serious.

The Beast just looks boring. Why couldn’t they have taken a cue from the Broadway show and gave him some makeup? Instead of CGI. He looks sad and pathetic, and not in a sympathetic way.

But the biggest problem is that there’s no love radiating out of these two. Which is kind of a problem when you’re making a movie about BEAUTY AND THE GODDAMN BEAST.

Okay, maybe I’m too hard, but ever since the teaser trailer, I’ve hated the look of this movie. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s just so boring. The colour palette is limited (whereas in the animated movie it had lush colours), and there’s a little too much CGI when practical effects could’ve been used. (I know The Jungle Book was CGI-heavy, but to be fair, it’s easier to work with CGI animals than animatronics or real animals!) The fact that Lumiere’s new voice does not fit at all doesn’t help.

I guess ultimately I’m biased. The original was perfect, there’s really no reason to remake it. I mean, of course they’re going to remake it for money and copyright reasons, but couldn’t you TRY to do something new with it?

I think I would’ve had more faith if it was directed by Guillermo del Toro or Francis Ford Coppola. del Toro is great for making really unique, awesome looking films without relying too much on CGI, and Coppola directed the 1992 Dracula movie, which was extremely sumptuous and romantic and had no CGI whatsoever. I can see them making a live Beauty and the Beast into something truly stunning. But, it looks like for now we’re getting another generic remake.

We’ll have to see how it all goes. But my expectations are going to be kept low for the time being. I’m going to be more excited for Disney’s original animated offerings than remakes of them.


Author: Laura Alexander

My name is Laura, I use they/them pronouns, and I'm a recent graduate of the Social Service Worker Program at Sheridan College. I'm on the autism spectrum (Asperger's) and I have a passion for film and animation, social issues, and helping others, all of which will be featured on The Flying Red Robot blog. Please read the about page before commenting or following. "Big Hero 6" is my favourite movie.