Is Disney Taking It Too Far With CGI?

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Is Disney Taking It Too Far With CGI?

A child comparing photos of the classic animated Genie and the new live action Genie.

A child comparing photos of the classic animated Genie and the new live action Genie.

Ariana Edgar

A child comparing photos of the classic animated Genie and the new live action Genie.

Ariana Edgar

Ariana Edgar

A child comparing photos of the classic animated Genie and the new live action Genie.

Ariana Edgar and Ava Morin

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Millennials are skeptical over Walt Disney Studios’ live action remakes and fear CGI might not capture the magic of the original animated films.

CGI stands for computer-generated imagery, which uses technology to create special effects in movies. The purpose of CGI is to immerse a viewer into the world of the movie. With the increase in use of CGI, it is easy to distinguish between what is good CGI and what is bad. This can be proven successful, like with the CGI fantasy realm of “Alice in Wonderland”, or it can do the opposite and flop.

Recently, Disney has released the teaser trailer for a live action remake of “Aladdin”, starring legendary actor, Will Smith, as the Genie. The internet has mixed reactions on his appearance and some people believe it doesn’t capture the magic that made the Genie so memorable. Ahna Bielik, an avid movie watcher, had this to say about Will Smith’s Genie: “They didn’t have to make [Will Smith] blue, that wasn’t necessary.” USA Today mentioned that the actor “was ‘terrified’ to go up against [Robin Williams’] ‘iconic’ role.” But, Smith commented that his genie will be “different enough and unique enough to that it would be in a different lane.” This shows that, aside from what people saw in the trailer for the remake, Smith might bring something new to the character that will stand out from Williams’ genie.

African Americans have long been absent from Disney films. It wasn’t until Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” did they get their first all African American cast. People like Beyonce, and even

Will Smith, have always wanted to be part of Disney productions. However, what’s more important for people of color watching, like Devin Latimer, is the representation of these actors. “It’s kinda weird, in my opinion, especially with Will Smith,” Devin said. “Like I’m down for representation, but only when its done right, or correctly–not with some photo-shopped blue guy.”   

Ava Morin
Two animated movies (Aladdin and The Lion King) that are getting remakes coming in 2019

 

Not only are fans skeptical, even some actors are wary about this new adaptation. Over twitter, many actors have has been re-posting the trailer for their fans and expressed disapproval over the genie’s design. “The Will Smith genie makes me feel the same way I feel when a celebrity dies: Nauseous, sad, and like I can’t wait to tell everybody about it,” Kyle Buchanan, a well known celebrity, tweets.

Now this wasn’t the first time Disney had done something so drastic. They have attempted to bring to life their animated classics with Broadway productions. Much like the live action remakes, these musicals require actors to sing. The problem arises when actors who are not as experienced in singing are given lead roles. Lauryn West, a Broadway expert, sees this as one of the largest growing issues with live action Disney remakes. Lauryn references “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson as Belle, saying, “[Watson] didn’t do too great as Belle. She is a great actress, but I just think her singing didn’t work.” Disney wanted to find a balance between good acting and singing, but in this case, one overpowered the other.

Disney’s CGI is being used to immerse the viewers into the story, and introducing details that a hand-drawn film could not provide. Starting in 2010, Disney released “Alice in Wonderland” in theaters and were met with critical and box office acclaim. Once they realized the potential these films had, they decided to release more. What soon followed was a series of life action versions of Disney classics.

Disney made extensive plans to re-release Disney classics as live action films. In 2019, Disney plans to release two life action remakes of “The Lion King” and “Aladdin”. Based on past live action remakes by Disney, fans have set a high expectation for these new films.

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