Here's How Disney's Live-Action Remakes Screw Over the Original Writers

'The Lion King'Credit: Disney
Disney is queuing up reboots and remakes for many of its animated films, updating them with live-action and new CGI -- but it's screwing over the writers and creatives behind the originals. Find out how and why. 

When you come up with an idea, you expect to be compensated fairly. That's sort of the deal in Hollywood.

But it happens incredibly rarely. And it's not happening right now when it comes to some reboots and remakes. I am thoroughly enjoying all the movies Disney puts out. But when I watched the video below...I think they had a point.

Check out the video from Center Row and let's talk after the jump! 

The Problem With How Live-Action Disney Remakes Are Written

It was a short and funny video, but the root of the problem here are two things: 

1. Disney is cannibalizing its own stories and thus robbing us of originality.

2. The artists behind these works are not being fairly compensated. 

The Hollywood Reporter ran an article showing just how these remakes and reboots stifle the people who made the originals come alive.

First, there's one main thing to understand: Animation artists and writers are not currently afforded the same residuals available for members who write live-action films and TV shows covered by the WGA. That means when these movies are remade as live-action films, their original writers often do not get credit for their ideas.  

In the mid-90s, The Simpsons' writers advocated to join the WGA and were allowed admission, making some animated TV shows covered by the Guild. 

But animated film writers had no such crossover. 

Now that Disney is rebooting all these animated movies and turning them into live-action blockbusters, the writers of the originals do not see residuals or payment for their scripts essentially being copied or transcribed. Even when the new writers are using almost all of their plot points and dialogue. 

Leading the charge for justice is Linda Woolverton, who wrote the original animated films Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King

Not only does she not get residuals for those animated classics, but her ideas -- the foundation for the remakes -- don't get her paid, either. Woolverton now works in live-action film and states that the reason she left animation was how poorly those writers were protected. 

This issue will be something to keep an eye on as these reboots dominate the Mouse House.     

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Your Comment


In the case of Lion King - tough sh*t. They didn't write it -- the creators of Kimba the white lion did.

November 20, 2019 at 4:46PM



November 24, 2019 at 4:31AM

Kerrin McLean
Director / DP / Editor

Nice one

November 22, 2019 at 3:48AM, Edited November 22, 3:48AM

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