It seems like a lot of properties are being redone in entertainment. From television shows like 90210 to anime like Fruits Basket, and pretty much any film. I understand that technology is better now, the production value is much better, and there may even still be stories left to tell. But, there are two main problems that I have with remakes and reboots. I’ve kindly listed them below.
More often than not, when you see a movie or a show that is being remade it’s going to be underwhelming. Especially if you remember the original fondly. I ask you to think about any live-action Disney remake of a 1990’s movie. Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King were all blockbuster properties in the ’90s and still hold memories for many people. But the live-action remakes leave something to be desired.
Most recently, Disney released the Lion King and it did great at the box office. However, the Lion King didn’t add anything to the experience. In my honest opinion, the Lion King is an epic story. However, Disney’s remake left a lot to be desired. There was no facial motion capture for the lions, which made it hard for the actions to convey emotion. In the cartoons, the animation sold the emotion as well as vocal performance. That was sorely missing in the 2019 version.
But, Maleficent is actually a really go re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty. It reinvents the characters in an exciting way and opens up the lore and the world the way the animated version never could because Maleficent is an evil queen.
Sometimes the property is overdone. For instance, Spider-Man is walking that fine line of being overused. However, Sony’s partnership with Marvel created a new life for the character. The Avengers is such an epic story that it helped reinvent the way we identify Peter Parker. We now have a connection to him through Tony Stark a beloved character and that allows us as viewers to invest in Parker’s story moving forward in the MCU.
But let’s look at X-men. Sony released movies spanning back to 2000 and just relinquished ownership of the property with Dark Phoenix. After all of the lightweight reboots within the series, there was nothing to care about and no character besides Charles Xavier and Magneto to invest in.
Another movie that has been overdone is Batman. We had great movies spanning from 1989 to 1997 (even though they all had different actors playing Bruce Wayne), The Christopher Nolan series from 2005 to 2012 was excellent, and then the DCEU launched with Batman vs. Super and had nothing spectacular to add.
How many times can you reboot a property before enough is enough?
However, sometimes things work out. Let’s look at the anime, Dororo. Dororo re-imagined an entire series. It was adapted from manga to an anime in 1964, then made into a live-action property in 2007. Now, with its remake in 2019, it is one of the best anime’s released this year.
The series looks and feels completely different from its 1964 predecessor. Dororo has a personality of its own and draws in an entirely new audience that didn’t know it existed. I wrote a full review of it discussing how it is the best remake I’ve experienced in recent history.
I understand that there is a market begging for remade and rebooted properties. However, I just wish the concepts were looked at realistically so that the final product is amazing. Plus, everything doesn’t need to be remade. There are plenty of original properties waiting to be released.
But that’s just my opinion.