Disney plans to continue its trend of turning its popular cartoon characters and pictures into live-action movies as producers announced this week that a remake of the 1941 animated hit “Dumbo” is in the works.
Live-action movies from cartoons have been gold for Disney with Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent,” a new live-action take on its 1959 animated “Sleeping Beauty,” raking in more than $630 million at the box office so far this year, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
The celebrity newspaper said “Transformers” co-writer Ehren Kruger has been selected to write the script and will coproduce with Justin Springer, who contributed to “Tron: Legacy” and the Tom Cruise vehicle “Oblivion.”
“At 64 minutes, ‘Dumbo’ is one of Disney’s shortest features but remains one of its most emotionally satisfying ones as it tells the story of a baby circus elephant who is made fun for his large ears,” wrote Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter.
“When his mother steps in to protect him and is locked up for it, he ends up on the road with a mouse as his companion. The mouse instills into Dumbo the idea that with the help of a magic feather, he can fly,” Kit continued.
Kit wrote that the retelling of “Dumbo” would adapt the plot from the original movie along with the addition of a larger family story, helped with computer generated technology.
Lauren Duca of the Huffington Post bashed Disney’s trend of turning animated classics like “Dumbo” to live-action movies.
“With more classic films set on the live-action agenda, it seems like adding a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ backstory was just another step in prostituting the entirety of the Disney canon,” Duca wrote. “The thing is that not only do these movies not turn out very good – they’re perhaps not even trying to be. In its promotion, ‘Maleficent’ rested heavily on nostalgia.”
Despite the criticism, Disney has more live-action movies in the pipeline with “Cinderella” hitting movie theaters March 13, while “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau is working on “The Jungle Book, noted The Hollywood Reporter.” Bill Condon, who helped bring plays “Chicago” and “Dreamgirls” to the screen, has been tapped to remake “Beauty and the Beast.”
By Clyde Hughes