Disney’s remake of Lady and the Tramp takes a step further in production with the first cast member signing on.
Earlier in the year Disney fans were informed that a Lady and the Tramp remake was underway and being sent straight to Disney’s new streaming service, which will launch in the fall of 2019. With Charlie Bean (director of The Lego Ninjago Movie) set to direct, the studio began looking for lead and supporting cast members. Now, Ashley Jensen (Extras and Sherlock Gnomes) is the first cast member set to voice a supporting role, Deadline announced.
Jensen will play Jackie, which some of you may remember as Jock in the original 1955 movie. Jock was a friend to Lady, an upper class cocker spaniel who falls in love with a stray that’s called the Tramp. If you’ve never seen Lady and the Tramp, you at least know of the iconic scene where Lady and the Tramp share a dish of spaghetti, and end up kissing upon eating the same noodle. It’s probably one of the most romantic moments in Disney and overall cinematic history.
All jokes aside, the first cast member signing on to this movie is only making this production more real. And for some, that can be exciting. Recently, Disney has been doing all that they can to remake as many animated classics as possible into live-action films.
If you think I’m kidding when I say “as many animated classics as possible,” think again. The first big, notable release of a live-action/live-action CGI hybrid remake was Alice in Wonderland in 2010. This was followed by Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016), and Beauty and the Beast (2017). That puts us at four remakes up until now.
To name a few of the remakes coming after 2018, we have Dumbo (2019), Aladdin (2019), Mulan (2020), Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, and joining Lady and the Tramp in the straight to streaming service releases, The Sword in the Stone and a third The Parent Trap. And, again, those are just to name a few. That list is excluding the number of origin stories and spin-offs also set to release within the next few years.
Whether you’re for or against live-action remakes, you have to admit that that’s a lot. Though, revamping old cartoon classics has been a trending pattern, and Disney isn’t the only one to pick up on it. With the return of Rugrats upon us, young adults were confused as to why the reboot of the series along with a live-action/CGI hybrid feature was necessary.
Sarah Levy, the interim president of Nickelodeon, stated that they “are thrilled for a whole new audience to meet these iconic characters,” which makes sense. They’re recreating something that they know young audiences love and that they know will do well. However, at the same time they’re hoping that young adults will be able to bond with kids of today about the classics that they once loved that are now being recreated. But what if young adults don’t like what’s being done to their beloved cartoons?
Growing up with Disney movies, it can be hard to watch a studio take a classic animation that you once loved and have it get turned into Emma Watson singing with autotune. Don’t get me wrong, she gave a great performance as Belle, but if something like this is going to be made, maybe Disney should find actors that they know can act and sing without the assistance of autotune.
Or what about the horror that Mulan fans had to suffer through when they discovered that the remake of the 1998 princess film may not have any music included? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world where a Mulan movie without “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” exists. It’s things like this that make the remakes not worth it.
Aside from the Dumbo remake, which will be directed by Tim Burton, I’m under the impression that the upcoming Disney films will be almost exact recreations of the originals. But with a case like Mulan, it makes me wonder if they’re going to throw in some curveballs that no one saw coming. Whether it be a lack of music, a complete plot change, or songs being added, who knows what’s to come. In the case of Beauty and the Beast (2017), fans were a little confused when some songs that weren’t from the original movie started playing. The same will go for the upcoming live-action Lion King, where Elton John and Tim Rice are writing a song specifically for Beyoncé who will be playing Nala.
It’s not that live-action remakes aren’t appreciated. Disney is taking the time to revamp and recreate beloved classics into something more realistic and theatrical for us to enjoy. It just seems like it’s getting to a point where enough is enough. We don’t need every classic to be remade into something that no one ever asked for it to be.