Essay on Disney Movies And Their Role in Our Life

Being the Disney geek that I am, I never miss a live-action remake of the original animation movies; I have even seen the originals more than once. I’ve watched Beauty and the Beast more than 10 times since it came out in 2017. Sometimes it can be hard to choose what Disney movie to watch, especially if you don’t know which one would be more enjoyable. For those who have never seen Disney’s original animations or their live-action remakes, I have studied and taken notes of which one would be more enjoyable to watch. Since each brings something different to the table or as we see it, the TV, the movies will be judged on the way the storyline is proceeded or maintained, how well the characters are portrayed, and if it keeps the viewer’s attention.

With there being many Disney movies with live-action remakes, I only chose a couple to evaluate. The movies chosen for this evaluation are Cinderella, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast. I will be reviewing these movies either on Netflix and/or on VHS/DVD. I will only be evaluating the first movie of each and not any others if they are part of a series.

To begin, Sleeping Beauty was released in the year 1959 and the live-action remake, Maleficent, emerged in 2014. These movies are about a princess that was born and then cursed by an angry “witch”. The curse is that Aurora will die on her 16th birthday by pricking her finger. After she was cursed, her parents sent her with three fairies to a hidden cottage. As Aurora grew older she started to adventure on her own and on her sixteenth birthday she runs into Prince Phillip. They quickly fall in love and go to a ball together at the castle. She gets the urge to go to a spinning wheel and prick her finger on the needle. When she does she goes into a death-like sleep. Phillip is upset and sets out to find the “witch” and kill her. He does and goes back to Aurora and kisses her, which releases the curse. They get married and live happily ever after.

The first difference that you will notice is that the remake is in the point of view of Maleficent, the “witch”, instead of Aurora. Throughout the movie, the storyline is consistent with original, but it does, however, share more details about Maleficent and her backstory. With there being more details as to why Maleficent acts harshly, it gives the movie more emotion to her situation. Also, in the remake, Maleficent had a love interest who ultimately betrayed her to become the king. This backstory in the live-action remake makes it more clear on to why Maleficent has a grudge on the royal family and cursing their child. Even though the point of view of the remake is based on Maleficent, it does show moments and insights of Auroras view, which follow along with the original storyline. The original movie doesn’t include the added details that the remake contains, which makes the remake easier to follow.

The original Sleeping Beauty and remake have identical characters. In the original, the three fairies are red/orange, blue, and pink, which is the same in the remake. Maleficent is spot on, as well. In both movies, she wears all black and her accent color is dark purple, they also gave her the same staff that she carries around. Also, Aurora has her signature blonde hair with curls, however, she does blue instead of pick throughout the movie. Pink is Aurora’s main characteristic, that’s what makes her, her. In the original, Prince Phillip had a red cap with a feather in it, but the remake he isn’t wearing any sort of cap. On the other hand, the actors who portrayed the original animated characters fit the roles perfectly. Altogether, there are very minimal differences in the characters appearances and how they are portrayed.

While watching the original movie I was hooked by the first entrance of Maleficent entering the castle. In the remake, I was intrigued by seeing a young girl who did not fit Aurora’s appearance in the slightest bit, but then I figured out that it was Maleficent. Seeing Maleficent’s world and what her life was like before Aurora was very neat. It definitely made me want more insight into her world. Experiencing her world and seeing what led up to Aurora’s fate was a needed fresher. It gives the viewers more sympathy towards the so-called enemy. Throughout each movie, there was various acts and scenes, which makes the story more interesting and keeps the viewer attached and wondering what is coming next. Each version of Sleeping Beauty gave something different to keep the viewer interested in the story. 

Moving on to the next, I watched and studied Cinderella, the original came out in 1950 while the remake was in 2015. If you have never heard the story of Cinderella, here is a rundown: Cinderella is a princess that begins in as a commoner. Her mother died when she was young and her father remarried. Soon after her father passed, she was left with a stepmother and stepsisters, both of which are evil. A ball is taking place at the palace and they all attend, one way or another. The Prince is looking for a bride during the ball. Cinderella meets the Prince and they get separated. Cinderella loses one of her shoes. The Prince calls his Steward and guards to find Cinderella by having every maiden try on the shoe. He eventually finds her and they live happily ever after.

The storyline of both movies are somewhat similar, they follow the same event but the remake has added details and. In the original, Cinderella already has deceased parents and is living with her stepmother and stepsisters, but in the remake, the movie starts with her being young having both of her parents before they pass away. The remake shows and tells how her parents die and how she was overthrown by her stepmother and stepsisters. Also, in the live-action remake, Cinderella’s real name is Ella, it shows how her name came to be Cinderella. In both movies her only friends are animals, however, she doesn’t have a dog named Bruno and the mice do not wear clothes. The mice in the remake do not walk on their hind legs. Cinderella meets the Prince in the forest, in the remake, when her horse goes out of control. In the original, she meets the Prince at the ball and not before. The remake also gives the Prince a name, Kit, which is what he is referred to as. In addition, when Cinderella sees her fairy godmother, her godmother is old but then she turns young and princess like and not refreshingly old like in the original. The father of the Prince dies in the remake, but in the original he is alive. The old and new version of Cinderella is closely related in order of events. The remake doesn’t stray too far off from the original. Having added more aspects and incidents gives the live-action remake more enthusiasm and realism.

The character that most different than the original was the Grand Duke. He was much more evil in the remake of Cinderella. After the ball when Cinderella was seen dancing with the Prince, Lady Tremaine made a deal with the Grand Duke. That deal was that one of Cinderella’s stepsisters would marry the Prince. Throughout the movie, he made schemes to make sure that the plan followed through. Since the live-action remake showed both of Cinderella’s parents you could tell there love and devotion of kindness to Cinderella and everyone they met. This gave the remake a realistic insight of what a perfect family looked like before bad events marched in. The cast that played the roles of the characters in the remake was vastly similar to the originally animated individuals. The original and the remake were very alike in terms of characters and those who represented them.

When you first put in Cinderella you immediately become attached to the small family and how much love they share for each other. Then about five minutes later it rips them about, which makes you wonder what happens to the little girl, Cinderella. Also, in the remake when Cinderella was in danger in the forest and Kit came to save her, you get butterflies because of the immediate spark between the two. It will definitely snatch your attention. All of the extra moments between Kit and Cinderella makes the viewer want more and more. Between the remake and the original, the original doesn’t have the extra sprinkle of magic that the live-action remake does, which ultimately makes the viewer enjoy the remake more.

Finally, coming out in 1991 and 2017, Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast are about a commoner named Belle and a Prince who was cursed by an enchantress and turned into a beast. The Prince, now called Beast, has to learn how to love and be loved again to lift the spell. Belle’s father travels to the Beast’s castle and the Beast imprisons him. Belle gets worried and sets out to find him. She finds and enters the Prince’s castle and switches places with her father. Soon after the Beast’s servants who were also cursed help to make Belle fall in love with him and him to her. Belle and the Beast eventually fall in love and they lift his curse, transforming him back into a human. In the end, they get married and live happily ever after.

Both of these movies had the exact same storyline. Each movie stayed on track without veering off from the original storyline. At the beginning of each movie, it began with the story of how the “spoiled” prince came to be cursed and what he would need to do to lift that curse. Additionally, all of the original songs were played and sung in the remake, which did add a nice touch. Since the storylines are the same, however, there was nothing really exciting about the remake of Beauty and the Beast. Unlike the previous Disney remakes, this one didn't have anything special to offer, no added details or surprising events. Everything pretty much stayed on its original course.

All of the characters in the Beauty and the Beast remake had much more detail than the original and some new characters. In the live-action remake, I noticed a new character. This character was in the form of a piano, he was the husband on the wardrobe in Belle’s guest bedroom in the castle. This character, who was a musician in human form, added new music and a special touch that enhanced the wardrobe’s character and relations between all of the living objects.

Also, the tiny details that were included on characters appearances and in scenery made the live-action movie magically realistic. It made it as though you could walk up and touch it. In each movie, Belle had her signature yellow ochre dress with swirly, beaded designs, which were also added on the Beast’s suit outfit. Another element or added detail was given to Gaston’s right side man, LeFou. LeFou was portrayed as gay, unlike in the original. Most people found this a much-needed aspect of the movie because of this age in time. As for the actors that were taking on the roles, did an excellent job at portraying the characters and their unique personalities. Both versions of Beauty and the Beast were quite similar in the character realm.

The beginning of the original Beauty and the Beast starts with a scene of a peaceful waterfall and the remake starts with a sneak peek of the Prince’s appearance while he gets ready for his party. This scene is very exciting because the viewer is waiting with anticipation of when the enchantress will curse the Prince. These movies hook the viewers as soon as the Prince is cursed and when Belle enters the picture. Since the live-action remake follows exactly along with the original, you can guess what happens next, which is sort of a let down considering that you would hope something magical would happen. The original and the remake have the same effect when it comes to hooking the viewers.

Even though the live-action remake movies will never live up to the originals, the remakes of Disney's originals have more action, magic, and romance, which make the movie more enjoyable and attracts a bigger variety of viewers. Since they follow the storylines while adding uniqueness and more excitement, the live-action remakes give off a realistic feel and never lets go of the viewer's attention. Altogether, the live-action remakes of the original Disney movies would be more exciting and thrilling to sit and enjoy. So, put in one of the live-action movies and grab your popcorn and soda then sit down, relax and enjoy the show.



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