After Dumbo and Aladdin and The Lion King (not to mentions all those already made previously), are there any animated movies – Disney or otherwise – actually unlikely or unable to be remade in live-action?
Only after sending out this week’s assignment did I realize that we’d sort-of done a similar topic a couple years ago. The difference, then, will be that this one focuses on remakes we hope never come to fruition, rather than those we’d actually like to see.
Something older and less friendly like Bambi comes to mind, but even newer movies like Finding Dory, Minions, and Monsters, Inc. seem like poor candidates to be remade in live-action. Even so, they probably will be remade, and it may be sooner rather than later.
To get further away from Hollywood’s would-be remake projects, I’m looking to Hayao Miyazaki and Spirited Away. The film’s animation contains such a large variety of characters and creatures that the challenge of creating a cohesive live-action remake might deter a generation or so of producers and digital artists.
I really hope there’s never a live-action remake of Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. Not only has the film not aged terribly well, the idea of watching two real teenagers laugh at each other for over 90 minutes would be tedious. Don’t get me wrong, I love those idiots, but I can acknowledge that my nostalgia buoys my affection for them and not any lingering quality. Perhaps if Alex Wolff and Ross Lynch took on the parts it could be granted some additional weight or turned into a genre-bended horror film, but I know I’m dreaming here.
M. Enois Duarte
Following the life of pop-star Mima Kirigoe’s rise as a film actress, Satoshi Kon’s 1997 visual masterpiece Perfect Blue would be immensely difficult, if not impossible, to adapt into a live-action motion picture. Okay, if we’re being perfectly honest and completely unbiased, I suppose it is technically possible to adapt this criminally underrated animated feature, especially given how far CGI technology has come in the last few years. But I have my doubts a modern adaptation would achieve the same impact. This is a story about a young woman slowly losing her grip on reality, unable to distinguish the real world from her warped hallucinations, as the stress and pressure of maintaining celebrityhood ceaselessly mount and a stalker weighs heavily on her mental health. The seamless blend of dreams versus facts while a serial killer is on the loose is a gorgeous spectacle of the imagination, making the audience question whether the character is dreaming or awake even in the most mundane conversations. The animated psychological thriller is perfect just the way it is and would hate to see any filmmaker attempt to make a live-action adaptation.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
Sure, you could adapt The Brave Little Toaster to live-action, but why? As this 1987 not-really-a-Disney-production revolves almost entirely around anthropomorphic and extremely expressive appliances, pretty much all of your central characters would have to be brought to life via CGI. A faithful adaptation would either have you training a dog to drive a pickup truck (time well spent!) or yet again resorting to gobs of computer animation. Human characters are so few and far between that even a mix of CG and live-action would be a wasted effort.
It wouldn’t be as tricky as adapting, say, the psychedelic fantasy of the Hungarian film Son of the White Mare, no, but it’d be every bit as pointless. Nevertheless, if some high muckity-muck at Disney were determined enough, I’d cast Josh Hutcherson as the older Master Rob, Laura Marano as his girlfriend Chris, and Danny DeVito as repair shop owner Elmo St. Peters. And in the role of the titular brave little toaster…? A 2003 Honda Element.
Fritz the Cat seems perhaps a little too obvious, huh?
I was going to pick something from Miyazaki, but Brian already stole my thunder with that. Personally, I think that some of his super-weird early works like Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind would be even harder to adapt than Spirited Away.
From the Disney catalog, we’ll know that this remake cycle has hit its nadir when production begins on the live-action versions of lower-tier titles like The Fox and the Hound or Oliver & Company. The people running this ship at the studio have got to stop before getting to that point, don’t they?
What animated movies do you dread seeing turned into live-action? Assuming Hollywood does it anyway, who will get cast?