Guess originality & creativity isn’t a surefire way to earn giant movie-making conglomerates money anymore, eh? The 2019 Lion King remake is now the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, beating long-time winner Frozen.

The remake garnered US$1,334,603,826 while Frozen is at US$1,276,480,335 at this point of writing. Yes, the 2019 shot-by-shot remake of a 1994 animated film that borrowed a lot of elements from an Osamu Tezuka classic is currently the top-grossing animated film of all time.

Even the mightiest of film critics aren’t able to touch this recycled story that is essentially Disney’s Hamlet with Hakuna Matata shoved in for good measure. My review stated that this film has no point existing “save to line Disney’s coffers”. It doesn’t matter; all the marketing, the hype, the goodwill the 1994 film has garnered along with its multiple spin-offs (Timon & Pumba TV show, anyone?), and everybody’s rose-tinted nostalgia glasses. It will take a miracle for Disney to fail hard at garnering money for The Lion King remake.

What Does The Future Of Disney Films Look Like?

Pretty bleak, if you hated the company’s recent remaking fares. Let’s take a quick look at what’s coming in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

2019

  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. The sequel to the Sleeping Beauty remake Maleficent.
  • Frozen 2.
  • Lady & The Tramp, the live adaptation remake of the 1955 classic animated film of the same name.

2020

  • Onward, an animated film from Pixar.
  • Mulan, a remake of the animated 1998 film.
  • Soul, an animated film from Pixar.
  • Jungle Cruise, an action film based on the Disney ride starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.
  • Cruella, a remake of a remake of 101 Dalmations starring Emma Stone.

The Future

  • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, a remake of the animated 1996 adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel.
  • Jungle Book 2, the sequel to the remake of the 1970s animated classic.
  • Lilo & Stitch, a remake of the 2002 animated classic of the same name.
  • The Sword In The Stone, a remake of the 1963 film.

That’s 6 friggin’ remakes out of the Disney production & directing catalogue. If these films garner even a fraction of the 2019 Lion King’s numbers, Disney will be relying a lot on the remaking template and will not even attempt anything original. That’s pretty frightening if you’re the kind of person who wants to see a second Disney Renaissance.

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