Placing a new light on an old film

Ca'ron Murphy, Features Editor

At a young age, most of us went through some memory-triggering experiences that will stick with us forever. For some it may be the first time going to the state fair, or maybe the time grandpa taught you how to go fishing. We can all think of a childhood moment similar to that. The aroma of freshly popped popcorn with hot butter generously applied along with a large soda that would almost certainly send you to the bathroom in an hour. 

Most people can remember the release of movies that impacted them as a child, such as: “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Men In Black,” “Jumanji,” “Dumbo,” “Star Wars,” “Child’s Play,” and many others. These 2019 releases give nostalgia lovers and movie goers alike much excitement, even if it is mixed with a hint of fear that they will not come to introduce the same nostalgia as the originals.

Resuming a legacy

The contrast of these movies comes in their construction. Some of the movies mentioned are created more as a continuation of the story line to their original films such as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and to a lesser extent, Men In Black: International. The Star Wars cast has changed by both introducing new castings accommodating the need for fresh faces, while some original characters remain as they are necessary for the plot. Men In Black similarly has some of the original characters play a role in the story, while other originals are mentioned, but not seen at all. These films focus on the basis of the originals with newer characters and language that modernizes the classics that we are most familiar.

 

Recreating originals

Movies were created to continue a series in a incremental way, there are also movies that are made as a remake of the originals. These films have the same plot and characters as the older movies in which they share their name. Some examples would be: The Lion King, Dumbo, and Aladdin. A majority of high students can remember watching these three animations as a child with their family. As these films were remade, they were turned into an update of their originals in two different ways. The Lion King and Dumbo both use some of the most advanced animations to make the film look like a live action portrayals of the original, while retaining the originals’ trademark songs and emotions. That same emotion and musical components can be seen in the Aladdin remake, while small changes can be seen in the performances of several of the songs to adapt to modern changes in music as well as the talents of the actors in the cast.

 

Re-imagining sequels

 

The final form of reintroducing old films is exemplified by Jumanji and Child’s Play. These films were recreated and re-imagined. Jumanji, now on its second film post-revision. is based on the idea of high school students becoming trapped in a video game which is different from how the original claims Jumanji is a board game. Child’s Play has the same central character of Chucky, the deranged serial killing doll, that we remember from the 80’s original, but with new satirical aspects of recent events and actions that modernize the horror without distancing itself from its origins. Rotten Tomatoes describes the new film as, “A contemporary re-imagining of the 1988 horror classic.” Both Child’s Play and Jumanji have an entirely new cast of people that change the direction and feel of the films drastically from the emotions grasped by the original. 

All of these modern takes on original classics can be appreciated and respected in their own right; however, those films that hold fast to the plot of the originals seem to have a deeper connection to the audience. We can all look back to the past and cherish the old feelings that are reintroduced by their new iteration.