Header Ads

Okay Disney- Where's The Live Action Pocahontas Remake?

Guest contributor  Jeremy Harrison thinks there's a glaring omission from Disney's slate of upcoming live-action remakes.

The original 1991 Beauty and the Beast is one of the most popular movies of the Disney Renaissance era.  It was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Picture” which is almost unheard for an animated feature, even to this day; moreover, it made it as the 3rd most financially successful movie for that time. In 2017, Disney remade that movie and thanks to a combination of nostalgic and Harry Potter fans alike; the movie has generated a little over a billion dollars. Now, it’s not like Disney hasn’t made live-action remakes of their animated movies before, but it could be argued that there was something they could have improved upon, modernize it, change it in some way for the better, but the original Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was nearly perfect. The only thing Disney could do was make it equal or worse to the original. Despite this, fans still flocked to see it; keeping the remake at the number one spot for three weeks straight, until it was beaten by another animated feature called The Boss Baby.

So of course, Disney with the success of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast is going to remake Aladdin, The Lion King, the Little Mermaid, Mulan and a few others into live-action movies; but oddly enough not Pocahontas! Today, people think of Pocahontas as a bad movie, but it isn’t! It had beautiful music, and fantastic animation the only problem was the story had tonal issues. Despite this, the movie earned $346 million which is $42 million more than Mulan and $135 million more than The Little Mermaid earned which started the Disney Renaissance era.

Disney put all its hopes and dreams in Pocahontas. Where Beauty and the Beast was just nominated, Pocahontas would be the one to win it. All or most of the senior animators went over to work on that story because on paper, Pocahontas would be this massive hit and Disney knew it. But as history goes Pocahontas was far outshone by a little side project called The Lion King.

22 years later and Disney is going to remake The Lion King and the live action remake will never top the original, but people are still excited for the project and it will make money, but the only thing Disney can do with Lion King is copy it. Most would be pretty hard pressed to figure out how to improve the story.

But Pocahontas does have an even richer story to tell than The Lion King. Disney should take a second shot at telling this American tale dealing with historical issues that were instrumental in the early steps of forming what is today thought of as America. The early history isn’t neat or pretty. It’s filled with pioneers, mistrust on both sides, racism and love and death! The children of ’95 are all grown up now with perhaps kids of their own and Disney can make a Pocahontas movie that is fully deserving of the Oscar. 22 years late, but better late than never.

Jeremy Harrison is a long time fan of animation who was born and raised in the Windy City of the United States of America. Works at the City Colleges of Chicago as a Science and Math teacher. He not only talks to the students about science but current animated films and the history of animated films in general as well. When he can, he volunteers at the Adler Planetarium and at Facet theaters in Chicago. He has also helped write articles for the Nashville Pride covering various sporting events, art Showcases, Science Talks and of course a number of conventions dealing with comics and anime when he was earning his master's degree at Fisk University in Nashville TN. Currently, the mild-mannered professor is going to be learning how to animate with ToonBoon, this summer to create his own science animation videos.