Animation-to-live action thread - A drawn out process

When does it work? When doesn’t it (very often)? When is it unclear which is which (that one Lion King movie).

I’m not inherently against it but I think you need a very specific visual flair and daring (specifically, risk looking ridiculous) to do it. Nothing is worse is to see beautiful, imaginative animation transformed into a drab-looking affair.


The Speed Racer movie > the Speed Racer anime


My big issue with redoing animated films as live-action is it’s just so … lazy. (Disney I’m looking at you).

The live-action Jungle Book is the first one I remember Disney trying this with, and it mostly worked. Calling it all live-action was a bit of a stretch since the animals were mostly still CGI, but it worked…

Beauty and The Beast was actually pretty good. It kept the same flavor of the animated movie, and the cast (yes even Emma Watson) worked.

After that, the big D really started to beat on the dead horse.

Christopher Robin was meh at best.

Dumbo was bad

Aladdin was pretty good. Once again it was a story with people characters instead of animals, so maybe that’s why. My husband much prefers the characterisation of the Sultan in this version over the animated one, and props to Will Smith for making his own version of Genie.

The Lion King not so good

Lady and the Tramp also not that great

Mulan gets mixed reviews. They tried to make it more historically accurate at least.

And we still have The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Lilo and Stitch, Snow White, Hunchback, Robin Hood, Hercules, The Sword in the Stone, Bambi, and Moana all still to come.



In terms of bad animation to live-action adaptations, there’s one we just have to get out of the way before further discussion. We’re all thinkin it, I’m just sayin it so no one else has to: M Night Shyamalan and The Last Airbender. And when I say “bad” I’m being euphemistic.


Netflix’s unanimated Cowboy Bebop was such a disappointment that I stopped about halfway through and am happy to never see the rest.

Were they not allowed to see the original first? Did they base their remake on the rambling recaps of a 3-year-old who really wished the original were more like other, sillier “cartoons”?

I’m not being nostalgic here. I had only watched the original anime series that same year.

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I mean, that’s not hard because the anime is mediocre, but the Speed Racer movie is highly underrated. I love the way it plays with anime tropes in a live action setting. That’s exactly how an animated-to-live action film should be.


Disney is doing with live action what it did in the 90s with direct-to-video sequels. Keeping their intellectual property active.


One of the big issues of translating animated properties to live action is the stunt work. If not handled correctly, the outrageous defiance of physics commonly seen in cartoons looks wrong in live action. An instance where it was done right was the 1980 Popeye movie (the one where Shelley Duvall WAS Olive Oyl to a terrifying degree). From little things like Wimpy catching a flipped burger in midair between two bun halves to major stuff like when Bluto slugs Popeye and sends him careening all the way to the docks, somehow it manages to look right.


Technically, Popeye was a comic adaptation, not an animated adaptation, but it did use animation tropes.

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Not sure how well that’s going to work. They don’t own most of their ideas, they are pulled from folk stories. (oh irony, thy name is Disney.)

The animated characters are different from the live-action characters in terms of copyright.

If you just mean keeping people interested in the various rides in the parks, that I can see.