No more live-action adaptations, please

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I’ve never understood the need to turn classic, beloved animated films into mediocre live action versions. Look, I get it, you want a film that’s guaranteed to make money so you just re-do the films that everyone knows and loves. With few exceptions, that hasn't worked out all too well. While the adaptations of Disney’s "Cinderella" and "The Little Mermaid" were acceptable, there are way more films in this category that are not so satisfactory.

One of the worst live action adaptations is that of "Avatar: The Last Airbender." From mispronounced names to a cast that has no resemblance to the original characters, it’s hard for viewers to see this as anything other than a poor recreation of a beloved television series. Why did Paramount even bother with a film like this? It did nothing but tarnish their relatively spotless record.

Disney has also entered this market, and I don’t care for most of their adaptations either. While a couple have successfully stuck to the original plot while adding details that enhance the story, there have been some that have missed the mark entirely for one reason or another. Probably the worst one has been the 2020 remake of the classic Disney film Mulan. The original animated 1998 film was a classic that will be enjoyed for generations. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about its remake.

As one might recall, the original animated film included beloved songs such as “Reflection” and “Make a Man Out of You.” Well, in this version there’s no songs. At all. "Reflection" was how the audience knew what Mulan was longing for. It was her “I want” song, and without it her desires are somewhat unclear. The low-quality screenwriting also didn’t help clarify her desires aside from wanting to save her father.

The writers also decided to take out several characters to try to make the film more historically accurate. There’s no Mushu, Grandma, Cricket, Shan Yu or even Li Shang. The writers and producers claimed to have done this to uphold more of the original Mulan legend, but many still feel they missed the mark. Additionally, because Mulan has a sister, bringing honor to the family doesn’t solely rest on her shoulders, taking away a lot of the stakes of the original story.

Someone also made the decision to give Mulan magic powers, which diminishes the courage and strength Mulan had in the original. They stripped away all of Mulan’s flaws by giving her the power of Qi and making her a strong warrior right from the start. Maybe this was how it was in the original legend, but it doesn’t make the character of Mulan seem like a real person with flaws. The creation of this movie alone is enough to convince me that re-making the classics is just not what the world needs.

I firmly believe that live action remakes are just an excuse for studios to not invest in new stories which take a lot of time, money, and risk. A studio will never know how good a film will do until it’s released, so remaking older movies is a better guarantee that they’ll make money.

So yes, I hate live action adaptations. The small amount of them that are good doesn’t outnumber the staggering amount of those that are bad. There are so many other stories out in the world that deserve to be told rather than wasting time and money remaking old films that have already had their moment in the spotlight.