Fulfilling Dreams of Past and Present


Walt Disney Studios

Dumbo, which will be released in 2019, is one of numerous upcoming live-action adaptations.

Caitlyn Truong, Editor

Amid the new ideas and developments of the twenty-first century, some classics are loved so dearly that they are repeatedly brought back much to the joy–and criticism–of their fans. In recent years, popular films of the late 1900s have been transformed and re-released in modernized forms and live adaptations. This age of revival has received mixed levels of success and fan-approval but is a pattern that is sure to continue.


Several movie franchises have already been rebooted with a new cast and plotlines altered to fit the modern times. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, for example, included famous actors Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in a remake of the 1995 original starring Robin Williams. The Jurassic Park franchise also received a major reboot with Chris Pratt starring in the Jurassic World trilogy set years after the events of the original films but sharing a similar storyline. Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider films were also rebooted with Alicia Vikander as the lead. The beloved Mary Poppins, played originally by Julie Andrews, will also be revived by Emily Blunt, who stars in Mary Poppins


Remakes of age-old favorites risk strong criticism from fans of the original films but are also great box-office material. Critics such as Scott Foundas of Variety deem remake movies such as Jurassic World as “an undeniably vigorous assault of jaw-chomping jolts and Spielbergian family bonding that nevertheless captures only a fraction of the original film’s overflowing awe and wonderment.” However, others such as Mattie Vouga (11) praise the remake as “a refreshing new take on the first movies. The original Jeff Goldblum films are timeless, but the newer ones are also fun to watch.”


In addition to these reboots, live-adaptations of popular animated movies have also dominated the box office. Disney has primarily led this live-adaptation trend beginning with Alice in Wonderland which starred Mia Wasikowska in 2010. It was followed by Maleficent in 2014, Cinderella in 2015, The Jungle Book in 2016, Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2016, Beauty and the Beast in 2017, and Christopher Robin in 2018.


Disney’s upcoming live-adaptations are an ambitious list including Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, Maleficent II, Lilo & Stitch, The Little Mermaid, Cruella, and Pinocchio, according to Variety. Other non-Disney live-adaptations also in production are Dora the Explorer, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, among numerous others.


Why are so many movies being re-released and made into live action films instead of new, original movies with the potential to become age-old favorites themselves? The age of cinematic revival is most likely influenced by feelings of nostalgia from the fans of the original films. Watching movies are associated with feelings of comfort and tranquility, and those watched during early childhood years are likely to bring back warm memories while also fulfilling popular wishes to see continuations of well-liked films. In any case, the next decade will undoubtedly be filled with dozens of remakes, reboots, live-action adaptations, and everything in between.