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Hollywood's Reboot Syndrome (?)
#1
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So, because I keep seeing nothing but terrible trailers for live action and Illumination Studios reboot cashcows nobody asked for, I decided to pull up the Wikipedia full list of films (regardless of if they are high-grossing or not) for the fiscal years of 2018, 2019, and 2020. The following were counted:
  • Live action films that effectively reboot or adapt franchises that previously only existed as 2D animations (TV/film) OR videogames
  • 3D/CGI films that are adaptations or reboots of media that originated in the form of toys
  • 3D films (Illumination pictures mostly) made out of media that existed previously as toy lines or popular culture phenomena of the mid to late 2000s OR generally obscure/niche ideas that only landed them a 3/10 on IMDB
  • Films by separate studios, but essentially plagiarized each other's ideas (i.e. Truth or Dare 2017 vs 2018) with little differences
  • Sequels to 3D movies that have existed as original franchises (like Toy Story) or are adapted from books/novels do not count. Reboots that overwrite previously existing book-adaptations do count (except IT since I'm pretty sure the 80s movie was a TV showing)
TOTAL = about 33 
This includes both potentially good and blatantly bad titles for the sake of quantitative evaluation, but the real point of this thread is to discuss the future of animation for Hollywood and 3D filmmaking in general. I acknowledge that not every adaptation of old media will be a soulless cashgrab; Alita did very well against most expectations and there was a lot of heart put into it. In the cases of a potential AKIRA live action set in America however (this is theoretical but dont be shocked if this will be the case), this would have consequences regarding erasure of the social and political context in which Katsuhiro Otomo wrote it (that contributed to its success as both animation and a piece that is permanently part of postmodern/postwar popular culture). But this is a topic for another thread.

So some ideas for thought (just for ur opinion, you don't have to answer these directly btw)
  • Will we eventually see a future in which reboots will outnumber the amount of interesting and original ideas out there?
  • How far are Hollywood investors willing to dump cash into soulless live action reboots of Disney films? And why do they sometimes insist on the weirdest ideas that either bootleg successful Pixar films or just use an existing IP for shallow profit?
  • Does it even matter because Disney is slowly engulfing everything and expanding its empire constantly (much like the theory that the universe is constantly expanding, hm?)
Some examples of soulless cashgrabs:


See also: Angry Birds, Emoji Movie, the Smurfs, Shark Tale, Sing, Trolls, the list goes on

Personally, until Spiderverse, I was convinced Hollywood saw little value in animated films other than serving only to market it towards children. Plots tended to be shallow or just not interesting enough if they weren't busy trying to use Angry Birds or Emojis to try and cater to a generation that currently finds humor in things that are either nonsensical or things that cannot be explained to middle-aged executives beyond old cringey memes from 2007. Ready Player One wasn't that bad either for being 90% CGI and being full of pop culture references; people ragged on it for this but it isn't that different from actual online games. Fortnite's emotes are full of references to meme dances (Carlton dance, for one), MMOs may choose to create cosmetic items referencing different pop culture figures, Overwatch made sprays for Baptiste that blatantly reference old memes (Do You Even Lift Bro, Cool Story Bro) or dragonball memes of 2009 (Over 9,000, his scouter, Moira's kamehameha sprays, her Gendo pose spray, her AKIRA spray, etc). We just don't like it when corporate entities try to be part of the in-crowd because using memes via social media is a recently frowned-upon marketing tactic.

It's hard to tell if after Spiderverse's success, we will see more teenager/young adult themed animation. Overall, I keep getting this feeling that aside from creatively original and unique shorts Disney allows people to create, the things that get picked out from the crop are shallow and unoriginal ideas because they don't care how much heart is put into it (musical theatre has the opposite principles, ironically enough). They only want whatever makes money without any real effort, because money talks, and not every moviegoer is that picky other than wanting to have a good time with friends and family. It feels like it will end up stifling the leaps and bounds the Western animated film industry made in the 80s and 90s in terms of technology and creative work. 

But enough about my rambles, I'll step off my soapbox so others can make their own rant. Lmao
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#2
Ah, I see you are another avid person who seeks out the incoming films in the next few years.

I don’t want to make a broad, large, generalization since this is only referring exclusivity to Hollywood films, as you addressed, since there are many independent films and B-movie films that don’t gather enough attention unless it has a large following or an famous person attached to the project.

I also not trying to make a theory about the Mouse consuming everything, even if it is a bit troubling, if not, terrifying, that Disney holds such incredible cinema powers in the United States, but at the same time, if can attest to something like that if you chose to cut out other film studios and independent artists. I agree that the Mouse is getting too big in its empire—but it won’t be such an awful concerned until it absorbs something like Sony and Paramount Pictures.

And I think that Hollywood being invested in animation films or not is more of a United States thing, rather than international. Animation in other countries explicitly touches on adult themes (without going to the hens with ties markings), but in America, it is largely still considered kiddy. Even in the face of Spiderverse, it will be cast aside as “a children’s cartoon flick with incredible animation, and that’s that.” 

Even if Spiderverse deserves way more recognition.

Safety is perhaps the biggest gripe that’s draining films, well, popular ones. No one wants to take a chance to create an original product with own invoking themes—especially currently. Instead, they rather touch upon old works, while adding a touch of their spin and call it a day.

I mean for Christ’s sake; we’re going to have a Scooby Doo film… again! Then Monster Hunter Film. Apparently, we’re due for a Dora the Explorer film (which is nothing more than an Indiana Jones Inspired Flick…)... inb4 they made a horror film of Scooby Doo because hey, we gotta edge it up, right?

Brightburn is a clever blend of two genres mixed in a good (hopefully) narrative setting. So, I have high hopes for that. Plus, Get Out and US are best sellers among the crowd that twist the ideas of the genre in a different direction, but time and time again, safety is the best way to go things. It’s the same (in a sense) issue that action cartoons get—the big wigs believe children are dumb as rocks to following a series that have a dedicated story arc and opted for comedy-centered series, despite time and time again, children are capable of doing so.
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#3
If I may be honest, chief, I just got so triggered by seeing the announcement of Aladdin, Lion King, Dumbo, then a bunch of ugly-ass cashgrabs made of toy lines nobody asked to be made into a shallow movie I decided to see once and for all how much of these have been made in the span of 3 years. And it isn't counting any potential ones that might be announced later this year!

I just don't remember this many being made over the last decade or so, but the amount of Animated Disney films getting turned into Live Action has increased to multiple per year; I've yet to look up all the ones done prior to 2018 but I felt like they weren't made that frequently. Illumination is the greatest offender to me since they enjoy making things like this that always end up on Netflix soon after their release. Normally I wouldn't be so pressed about it, but they have a remarkable talent for turning these cutesy cartoons with so much effort put into them by throwing them into a woodchipper, replacing the story with some shallow moral theme we all have heard of ad nauseum in most children's books OR some grimdark edgy plot mixed in with a dulled down color palette that makes the detail of the CGI models completely pointless (aka Lion King). 

Illumination is a worse offender because they essentially make bootlegs of whatever is popular if they're not busy enough making more Minion movies. Not even creative bootlegs!
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#4
(04-12-2019, 07:17 PM)LoopyPanda Wrote: If I may be honest, chief, I just got so triggered by seeing the announcement of Aladdin, Lion King, Dumbo, then a bunch of ugly-ass cashgrabs made of toy lines nobody asked to be made into a shallow movie I decided to see once and for all how much of these have been made in the span of 3 years. And it isn't counting any potential ones that might be announced later this year!

I just don't remember this many being made over the last decade or so, but the amount of Animated Disney films getting turned into Live Action has increased to multiple per year; I've yet to look up all the ones done prior to 2018 but I felt like they weren't made that frequently. Illumination is the greatest offender to me since they enjoy making things like this that always end up on Netflix soon after their release. Normally I wouldn't be so pressed about it, but they have a remarkable talent for turning these cutesy cartoons with so much effort put into them by throwing them into a woodchipper, replacing the story with some shallow moral theme we all have heard of ad nauseum in most children's books OR some grimdark edgy plot mixed in with a dulled down color palette that makes the detail of the CGI models completely pointless (aka Lion King). 

Illumination is a worse offender because they essentially make bootlegs of whatever is popular if they're not busy enough making more Minion movies. Not even creative bootlegs!

That is an understatement on the amount of Disney films increasingly doubled  in the last year. Dumbo, Aladdin and Lion King, Maleficent 2 and Lady and the god damn Tramp are all releasing in short frequency in one year, I wonder what next year looks like (Cruella film, Lilo and Stitch! Film…..)

There is a confirmation of the Little Mermaid film in development. I wonder why a sudden rush is there to developing a different take on beloved cartoons, nor why it deem necessary in the first place. Perhaps it is to boost their services on Disney+? At this point, it’s more of a Disney thing, than a Hollywood thing.

My issue is that they’re constantly trying to give live action films or sequels (usually without advice from the creators/directors of the first film) to cash in that money.

Considering that they had Mario under development... it will most likely be shit unless Nintendo is really adamant of their product being represented in a good light.
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#5
Some of the Disney remakes have been fairly interesting. For example, the original Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland movies were far different from the originals and weren't much different from someone making their own rewrite of an old book with a much different spin. Ex. The sheer number of different King Arthur books, or even the one re-write of Romeo and Juliet I read once that sucked.

As much as I enjoyed the Christopher Robin movie because I happened to be the target audience, I can't really say it was that unique since we already had tried and true ideas applied to other Disney movies.

And then, like, just... Everything else. It's the same.
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#6
Alice in Wonderland was a good soft-reboot, although I feel like it's the most recent Disney cartoon turned Live Action I've seen in a while.  The Looking Glass was visually interesting, but the plot I can't really recall compared to the first.

They could be appealing to adults or keep it marketable while maintaining the cartoons as part of the special DVDs that come out of the "disney vault", but the only really interesting Live Action that comes to mind for that is Maleficent for me. I would say that they are just saving money for Pixar movies, but I'm not sure about that either. Disney and Illumination don't release more than 2 fully-animated films in one year, with only 1 on average, and I'm pretty sure we don't get more than 3 Marvel movies per year. Since Disney acquired Marvel Studios, they've released an average of 2 Marvel Movies per year until 2018. Since then the count is 3 per year for 2018 and 2019. According to wiki, they want to release only 2 in 2020 before going back to 3 for 2021 and 2022. 

Looking at those numbers, you'd be led to assume it's just cheaper to make Marvel movies, but those also may use an extensive amount of CGI. Then again, since American pop culture is very much engrained with the superhero genre, it's a no-brainer that it would turn a greater profit. For smaller studios like Illumination and STX for cartoons, though, they don't seem to be part of King Mickey's empire, so what excuse do they have to make their generally uninspired meme culture movies?


But even so, this got me thinking, "well, as much as I despise corporate, they can't abandon the very thing they were built on" so there has to be some semblance of care... what if Disney prefer live action adaptation of the cartoons not just because it's potentially cheaper/easier, but it may boost the appeal of what draws people to the Disney Parks in the first place. Even if you've not seen the cartoons from the Disney Rennaisance in so long beyond the toy aisle and school supplies with the cartoon girls on them, you certainly will see the cartoons at the park rides or as part of the costumes and rides (excluding the princess meetups). Perhaps they want to make the parks even more magical by making the originals more 'rare' to see? I mean, all that revenue they make has to go somewhere after paying lawsuits for accidents at the parks like measles outbreaks (lol), right?

 this is an animatron for an upcoming Beauty and the Beast ride for Tokyo:
[Image: 8Wt0S9H.gif?noredirect]

Not cartoon, not 3D, but a real animatron in our plane that moves and acts like it was in a 2D space. It is 3 dimensional but has the style of Disney cartoons rather than realistic rendering.

This was a big disney-centric post but yknow. Lol

I might in my downtime just look for Illumination/Whos that make copycat 3D films and count those up compared to disney animations. Just for fun and to see how many are cashgrabs.
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#7
I don’t have much memories of the Alice movie, since it’s been a while, but I thought it was largely “okayish”. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the most awful film of the Live-Action Disney film series (that title goes to Cinderella and Maleficent).

Jungle Book, I think, shows that these films can be worthwhile, but it depends on direction, choreography, and the ability of the director, producer and the production team. Dumbo was panned by critics as lacking charm as the original (I mean, it IS a Tim Burton film). 

I think the problem is that animation is largely still being chained down as “children’s programming and entertainment”, whereas adult themes won’t prop up on it as much. Even though repeatedly, children (and adults) can appreciate worthwhile content and understand themes, even if it’s all entirely animation, it seems that confident isn’t as strong. I don’t think it’s cheaper, since each film has different directors, different sets of teams and production, but rather, Marvel found their golden egg and keep the gravy train rolling. If Brightburn turns out to be successful, you will most likely see more superheroes blended with other genres in the future.

They’re looking at the market and the audience and responding to it accordingly. SpiderVerse could’ve been the change, but it seems that it didn’t impact it enough (although, this, on the other hand, shows that Sony is perhaps backing away from live action spider-man films and sticking with animated features). 

The best approach is to get more directors and writers to features animated flicks with powerful themes and push them hard, but the United States is not there yet.
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