Disney’s foray into live-action adaptations of its beloved animated classics has been met with both anticipation and criticism. While these movies often generate excitement among fans eager to see their favorite stories come to life in a new way, some of Disney’s live-action endeavors have faced significant backlash.
One recurring criticism revolves around concerns of creative originality. Some argue that Disney’s focus on remaking animated classics rather than developing new and original content reflects a lack of innovation. Critics express disappointment that the studio seems to prioritize rehashing familiar stories over exploring fresh narratives. This sentiment has intensified as Disney continues to announce live-action adaptations for an extensive list of animated classics, potentially diluting the novelty of each new release.
Both Disney’s The Little Mermaid live-action and Snow White live-action have faced backlash due to changes from the original film. Variety shared a photo on X (formally known as Twitter) with Rachel Zegler and Halle Bailey together. Together, these two Disney stars have changed how live-action films are being conducted.
Halle Bailey & Rachel Zegler
Full conversation out Thursday. pic.twitter.com/CVxFDlEzQY
— Variety (@Variety) December 5, 2023
Disney’s The Little Mermaid live-action film was released in 2023 and caused a splash for some. Disney cast Halle Bailey as Princess Ariel. Bailey is known for her soulful voice and acting abilities. She rose to fame as one-half of the musical duo Chloe x Halle alongside her sister, Chloe Bailey. The sisters gained popularity through their YouTube covers and were later signed by Beyoncé to her record label. Halle’s undeniable talent and charisma caught Disney’s attention.
Bailey’s casting as Ariel was met with widespread acclaim, but it also sparked discussions about diversity and representation in the entertainment industry. Traditionally portrayed as a fair-skinned, red-haired mermaid, Ariel’s character underwent a significant visual transformation with Bailey’s casting. The decision to cast a Black actress as Ariel aligned with Disney’s commitment to diverse storytelling and challenged longstanding norms in the realm of fairy tale adaptations.
Rachel Zegler also has had her share of backlash. Rachel Zegler is a gifted singer and actress who gained widespread recognition for her breakthrough role as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 adaptation of West Side Story. Rachel Zelger also played Lucy Gray Baird in the newest Hunger Games film that was released in 2023. Zegler’s powerful performance showcased her vocal prowess and acting skills, earning her accolades and paving the way for a promising career. Disney took notice of her talent and cast her in the live-action adaptation of the animated classic, Snow White.
Rachel Zegler has made comments about moving away from the original 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs film, including several elements of the animated Snow White film that were considered to be cornerstones by Walt Disney himself. So far, Disney has stood by her side and is planning to release the live-action Snow White on March 21, 2025, a full year after it was originally set to be released.
Though the story is still set to unfold with Zegler and her live-action adaptation, seeing the two Disney princesses on the same cover is interesting.
What are your thoughts on these two Disney Princesses and their role in the company?