Tale as Old as Time: How Remaking Classic Fairytale Films Balances Recognizability and Social Progress
Opening ParagraphThe Walt Disney Company has spent decades producing movies centered around fairytales, with most of these princess films reaching worldwide fame and acclaim; international audiences have contributed to millions of dollars of gross revenue, attended multiple rerelease premieres, and purchased millions of home copies, all per individual movie. Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast are two such animated Disney films that have become classics loved by children and adults alike. The continuous love shown to both movies even after decades have passed since their productions contributed to their elevated classic status and led to two live-action remake productions of the same titles and storylines. Using Foss's theory of ideology, I argue that Disney reimagined its animated classics as live-action films while balancing recognizability and social progress. Through ideological criticism, this paper seeks to uncover how the telling and retelling of traditional fairytales affects the boundaries of identifiability and recognizability. I investigate how the rebranding of well-known princess movies affects the story being considered "the same" while also recognizing the changing expectations of womanhood over time. The research question that guides my analysis is, "How has Disney rebranded its older, classic films into modern live-action remakes?"