Sunday, September 13, 2009

Disney to Remake Yellow Submarine

Yes, you read correctly, Disney is going to remake the beloved Beatles-song-based animated film, Yellow Submarine.

I'd like to start off by saying, not all remakes are bad. Some take an old film or an old idea and bring something new to the table. Perhaps new technologies and situations have changed the way something would play out, or the older film just wasn't living up to the potential of the plotline. There is room for remakes and homages, and some of them are excellent films.

But there are certain films for which remakes seem not only unnecessary but actively negative and stupid. I would like to suggest that Yellow Submarine is one of these films.

Now, I have a soft spot for the film: Yellow Submarine was the film my parents put us in front while they had to focus on packing for family holidays. But it goes beyond childhood memories. Yellow Submarine is not just a psychedelic movie set to 16 Beatles songs, it's indicative also of a time of a place and an artistic vision that simply no longer exists. It all came together in 1968, and I doubt very much it can all come together now.

I think that all artists sit around saying, "I wish I could do something like what was done with Yellow Submarine/Casablanca/1984," but it's only major companies like Disney who can afford the rights to the exact songs and the voice actors to actually take the ridiculous step. Other artists have to use their imagination to pull out something 'inspired by'-- and end up with something new and relevant, rather than something that's simply the most thoughtless remake.

What is Disney thinking, really? What can possibly be driving this desire to remake something so intrinsically tied to a date over fourty years ago-- using much of the original film? Is it money? Are they really going to make significant money on this project? I have no idea.

To me, this marks the end of Disney. Nothing about this suggests that there are intelligent people behind the decision making process at Disney. I hope this movie contains jumping sharks, because that would be its only redeeming factor.