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Reason for the Reboots: Disney's Ultimate Plan

               Cinderella’s coming out soon! Yeah the movie!  So I’ll be taking the tykes to the pictures in the family Volkswagen Beetle and maybe on the way home we’ll get some ice cream at the malt shop and sing along to the juke. Oh wait…its 2015?
                Yeah Disney’s been in a bit of a strange place creatively lately. While their animation studio has had a definite comeback after a few years in a rut, they haven’t exactly known what to do with their live-action division. The Narnia and Pirates of the Caribbean series seem to have run their course (or are desperately trying to add another exhausting mile to the course) and movies like The Lone Ranger, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Stinkin’, Rootin-tootin, Awful as Hell, I Would Kill for a Vicodin, Very Bad Day failed to make much of an impact. It’s clearly the animated films that have stood the test of time and products relating to them have sold the best. So at some point Disney decided it would be a great idea to simply remake those. But only the most famous. No one’s going to remake The Black Cauldron (despite it being perhaps most in need of a remake). It only makes sense especially considering Disney’s most successful live-action films like The Muppets and Into the Woods stick to the typical Disney animated formula.
                This idea seemed to be first realized with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland –that somewhat creepy and nonsensical re-imagining of one of Disney’s more mediocre films. It was a commercial success and Disney’s been doing these colourful re-tellings ever since. And now we have Cinderella. I consider myself a fan of the 1950 classic, one of the best executed Disney films of all time, so I have mixed feelings. Yeah it looks visually interesting and promising, but that’s exactly how Maleficent lured us in. It stars great actors like Cate Blanchett and Hayley Atwell, but it’s gotten rid of the lovable Jaq and Gus. So I’m not sure how I’ll react to it but I’m confident it will be a hit as well (if for nothing else that Frozen short). Same goes for The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and whatever else is on the remake slate.
                But I’m starting to think there’s a greater point to these films than simply to make a lot of money. Certainly that plays a large factor but then why didn't they start doing this back when 101 Dalmatians was a big success in 1996? I think Disney started looking at some of their other properties and subsidiaries of which Marvel Studios is undoubtedly the most successful, making film after film that interweave splendidly into a common continuity. Disney has also been paying attention to how well their Princess-line products have been selling since forever and came up with a common plan.
Yep. We’re building towards a Disney Cinematic Universe! Think about it. Disney’s seen Marvel’s strategy and much like DC, wants to mimic it. They couldn't go full Avengers-mode because of the hand-drawn to CGI animation ratio and the awkwardness of combining them. Much like DC in order to achieve their universe, they have to reboot. And it’s not a bad idea as you know someone somewhere has complained at there being only one female Avenger, so a whole team of Disney princesses interacting in an interconnected universe is bound to both make them happy and increase interest in this reinterpretation of a world. And is it just coincidence that Kenneth Branagh and Jon Favreau have both directed an installment in each universe? They’ve been building on it for a few years and in less than a decade we’ll have a team of Disney leading ladies uniting against evil including at least Alice, Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle. Maybe Jasmine or Mulan will also appear and spin-off into their own films. But, I know what you’re thinking: what about The Jungle Book? Disney’s remaking that and it doesn't have a princess? You are of course right as despite that haircut Mowgli is indeed a boy. But think about this, when Disneyvengers happens, they’re going to need a good villain. And of all the Disney movies on the remake slate so far, which has the best villain? The Jungle Book of course! Who better than the suave, smooth-talking, cunning Shere Khan to face off against our heroines? I mean they cast Idris Elba in the role, clearly he’s meant for bigger things! But don’t worry, The Jungle Book Part II will be a better showcase for Mowgli and Baloo as they meet up with Tarzan and Jane, Pocahontas, and Bambi no doubt setting the stage for Disney’s Civil War: Nature vs. MAN!

I for one am excited to see this universe realized. It’s the only explanation for these Disney remakes, as obviously it can't just be that Disney's out of live-action ideas and are scraping the bottom of the barrel creatively; and whether bad or good I’m looking forward to the results. Good luck to the DCU; at least its chances are no worse (maybe better) than the DCCU.

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