By Megan Sulak, staff writer
When sophomore Alex Lasky saw the live-action Disney film “Cinderella” for the first time, he was blown away by the quality.
“I remember being like, ‘Woah, this is weird because I’ve seen the cartoon, and now this is coming to life,’” Lasky said. “It was an all together really cool experience.”
The Walt Disney Company has recently created six live action films, including “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) and “Cinderella” (2015).
Along with these movies, Disney has announced the release dates for “Mulan,” “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” in 2019, according to www.thisisinsider.com.
As well as the release dates for these three movies, each have released their cast list. “Aladdin” will be starring Will Smith as the Genie, along with multiple other actors. “Mulan” recently casted their movie with Liu Yifei as Mulan. “The Lion King” released their cast list on Nov. 2, starring Beyonce as Nala.
While creating most of these live-action films, casting directors have casted popular actors in their films, notably casting Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway in “Alice in Wonderland” and Angelina Jolie in “Maleficent.”
Lasky admits that one reason he enjoyed “Cinderella” was because the actor playing Cinderella, Lily James, also starred in the television show “Downton Abbey.” Lasky expressed that having Lily James in both the television show and in the movie was very exciting because he has watched both the show and the movie.
Although actors like Emma Watson in “Beauty and the Beast” are noticeably in the movie, some well-known artists like Emma Thompson, the voice of Mrs. Potts in “Beauty and the Beast,” take place behind the scenes instead. “The Jungle Book” was also full of animated characters, such as Baloo, who was played by Bill Murray.
Both of these movies used Computer Generated Images (CGI) to create the castle and the jungle characters seen in the films. Mrs. Potts, created by the visual effects team of “Beauty and the Beast,” aimed for the animation in the film to look less like an animated movie, but not so real to the point of making the animated character over the top, according to qz.com.
Senior Allison Buck, who has seen “Beauty and the Beast” “probably too many times,” expressed that while the movie is live action, animation can and is used in a compelling way.
“I think [the animation] is cool and makes the movie more interesting,” Buck said. “Having animation mixed with live action can make it seem more realistic in a way. … It brings the movies back to life in an unique way.”
However, Lasky believes that the animation from the live-action movies overpowers the “magic” found in traditional Disney films. The animation used in these movies makes it harder to make a movie more realistic for him. Nevertheless, Lasky doesn’t mind the animation in these films because some movie elements can’t be in live action.
Sophomore Sarah Darcy also thinks that the animation found in the live-action movies are bearable. In “Beauty and the Beast,” Darcy understands why they would make the Beast with CGI, but does not believe that the whole movie should be filled with CGI like the “Star Wars” series, which used CGI to create planets and lightsabers. Darcy reckons that using a balanced amount of animation is acceptable for a live-action movie.
Although the amount of animation might be a disagreement among viewers, the dispute over animation and live-action features is a minimum among movie critics.
“Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast” both scored high on Rotten Tomatoes, “Beauty and the Beast” receiving a 71 percent and “Cinderella” receiving a 83 percent, both lower than their animated versions.
However, the live-action movies’ earnings don’t necessarily match their ratings, with “Beauty and the Beast” bringing in $1billion dollars worldwide, whereas “Cinderella” brought in $132.5 million worldwide. According to www.hollywoodreporter.com, “Cinderella” earned the lowest amount of money of all live-action films.
Although the low money intake, Darcy prefers “Cinderella” over “Beauty and the Beast.” Darcy loved the visual effects throughout the film and enjoyed how pretty the characters’ dresses were. Both Darcy and Lasky can agree on the visual appeal of live action with animated features.
“I think [live-action Disney movies] are so much fun,” Lasky said. “Especially because we all love the cartoon versions, so everybody wants their favorite Disney movie to become live action. I think [these movies] pull audiences in to go watch them.”