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With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots

With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots

It’s another week and time for another winning entry from our annual student competition. For the previous excellent submissions check here.:

Live Action
By Claire McGinnity

For the past nine years, it seems the biggest trend in entertainment has been reboots of older properties, especially live-action versions. This isn’t a new concept, live-action movies have been a consistent aspect of media properties, especially for cartoon shows or comic books, take the 1994 live action Flintstones movie or really any superhero movie, for example. However, there seems to be a rapid uptick in the live action reboots and, unfortunately, a notable drop in original or compelling content for them. The trend seems almost like a new “gold rush” that different studios are trying to capitalize off apparent interest instead of truly developing a story for the property that fits the media.

Starting with Disney’s yearly release of a live-action version of their classic Disney princess movies to today’s current live action tv show reboots like the recent Avatar, the Last Airbender are some of the main offenders of this issue. These properties have their origins in animation and are beloved by the public for their vibrant storytelling, fantastical worlds and characters, and beautiful artistic styles. Though not impossible, these aspects are very difficult to replicate in live action, and each release has seen varied success in doing so.

The live action versions also tend to lose some of the fantastical elements of the properties in order to increase the “realism”. It is unclear if this hyper-realism is an artistic choice by creators or just a downside of the medium of live action, but either way reveals a disconnect between this material and the reason why many fans enjoy the original properties. Additionally, many of these live-action reboots tend to just repeat the same story as the animated versions, which increases the accessibility of the content, but honestly does a disservice to the storytelling opportunities of each property. This isn’t to say that there is no value in re-telling a story in a different medium, in fact I believe that some of these reboots have had valuable updates to outdated stories and created space for previously underrepresented groups in Hollywood, like Asian representation in the Avatar reboot. Continue reading “With Further Ado #299: Guest Columnist – Let’s Look at Those Live Action Reboots”