The cartoons of our childhood become live action

From “Dumbo” to “The Lion King”, the animated characters are transformed into real actors, thanks to the CG


Those who once were children who dreamed while watching cartoons, today have become adults who are dying to live again those same emotions.

Disney knows it well and certainly does not want to miss out on this potentially lucrative new market: this is why, after The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, at least a dozen new films are coming, remake or sequel of the original animated, which will give life to those characters that until yesterday were only designed in two dimensions.


All the remakes of animated films in live action

The first on the list is Christopher Robin, released on August 3, the live action version (that is with real actors) of Winnie the Pooh (animated for the first time in 1966).

The true protagonist of this film is no longer the teddy bear we have come to know, but the child who has become an adult. As all of us grew up and had to put aside his now lost imagination to make room for obligations and rationality.

Not just a re-adaptation, but a real new chapter in which both the spectator and the protagonists have grown, evolved and aged. Thus begins a new adventure thanks to old friends.

The next March 29 will come in theater also Dumbo, which we will all remember from the cartoon of 1941, with the new film directed by Tim Burton.

It is not simple, but for this beloved director is not the first time with a live action movie, infact all of you remember the white rabbit with Alice in Wonderland. Dumbo and the other four-legged characters will not be interpreted by authentic actors, but they will be created in computer graphics.

Recently, the shooting of Aladdin, made by Guy Ritchie, is scheduled to be released on May 24, 2019.

And in July of the same year the remake of another great classic as The Lion King will arrive in the theater, whose director will be Jon Favreau, the same as The jungle book.

But many other titles are already being studied, from Mulan to The Sword in the Stone, from Cinderella to Snow White, from Peter Pan to Pinocchio, from The Little Marmaid to Lady and the Tramp.

This trend, in short, is gaining ever greater popularity, even if it is not an absolute novelty: in recent years, in fact, there have been live action movies based on cartoons, some of which turned out to be authentic small masterpieces.

For example, think of The Flintstones (1994), Mr Magoo (1997), Inspector Gadget (1999), Scooby Doo (2002), all inspired by highly successful cartoon series. Or to Casper (1995), taken from an animated short that dates back to 1945, or more recently to the Transformers (2007).


How difficult it is to give life to animated films

Although adapt an animated film in a movie with real actors is still a very complex and thorny operation that, not surprisingly, has led in the past to numerous failures. And this not only for reasons of screenplay, but above all for purely visual reasons.

The cartoon characters have their own distinctive and recognizable appearance: think for example to Jafar, the villain of Aladdin, with his typical long face and zig-zag beard. This is the face that viewers will expect to see even on the screen, but it is difficult, if not impossible, to find an actor who really looks like him.

To avoid this problem, directors sometimes apply a different and personal style to the remakes: but even this creative intervention can not go beyond a certain limit, in order not to compromise the nostalgia effect. Therefore, the balance to be respected is particularly delicate and fragile.

Luckily, the latest technological innovations in the fields of CGI and VFX took place in this kind of production, taking off at an exponential pace in recent years. If the film One Hundred and One Dalmatians- This time the magic is true of 1996 (based on the cartoon of 1961), still showed obvious limitations, in fact, only a decade later The Jungle Book has even come to deserve an Oscar in the Best Visual Effects category.

The jungle full of talking animals has been recreated to perfection from Disney to the computer: a real virtual magic.

Even in this case it is better not to exaggerate: an excessive unjustified use of digital graphics could distract the viewer from the story.

But when these techniques are applied wisely, then they produce authentic masterpieces.

Capable of making us relive with imagination those cartoons that fascinated us as children, and at the same time make us more easily identify with the real characters. And also ensuring (certainly not a detail, for the big screen industry) safe achievements at the box office.