To say that Disney’s live-action remakes come with a negative stigma is something of an understatement. The studio’s recent attempt at bringing their animated masterpieces to life for a second time on the big screen have been lukewarm at best and lifeless at worst. Although there are exceptions to the rule, their newest project might already be dead on arrival.
While ultimately harmless, Disney’s long list of remakes has gone from an interesting experiment to a tolerated yearly cinematic ritual to “why are they doing this?” Movies like Jon Favereau’s Jungle Book adaptation and Tim Burton’s Dumbo might be the rare exceptions, but there’s something borderline insulting about trying to redo Lilo and Stitch.
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On a certain level, it’s understandable why fans would want to see remakes of The Jungle Book and Cinderella, seeing how both of those stories are in the public domain and have been with us for decades. When Disney tries to remake more recent films, things get a bit dicey, especially if they’re dealing with untouchable movies like The Lion King.
Dean Fleischer-Camp, the man behind the well-recieved Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, is stated to be in the director’s chair for the upcoming remake of Chris Sanders’ passion project. While that might have softened the blow for some fans, the recent announcement featuring Zach Galifianakis being cast, supposedly as the role of Pleakley, might have some collectively wringing their hands.
One of the best ways to doom any remake is to cast an actor just because they’re popular. While Galifianakis has proven to be a competent actor, as demonstrated by his supporting role in Birdman, this feels like a forced casting choice.
Granted, this might be because the original film, released in 2002, is still fresh in many fans minds. Despite being over 20 years old, Disney has done an excellent job at keeping Stitch relevant. Next to entities like Mickey Mouse and Pooh Bear, he’s probably one of the company’s most marketable characters.
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With endless waves of merchandise, artwork, and a popular Meet and Greet at Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland, Stitch is nearly as sacred as the master mouse himself. Any attempt that is less-than-stellar is going to come off as a weak and shallow gesture to revive a character that’s doing just fine by himself. While no proper critique can be made until the film is actually released, it’s bound to have many biting their nails.
What do you think Disney will do to Stitch in the upcoming remake? Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below.