Saturday, 5 January 2013

Remakes, Sequels and Spin-Offs

I enjoy my trips to Disney parks and I hope my humans do too.  There was a time when they had a much greater interest in all things Disney including the film making and the overall running of the company.  Andrew was once a Disney stockholder.

So here are some thoughts (with a little help from the humans) on certain types of film.  I don't know if I have all the correct words but I've called them remakes, sequels and spin-offs.  Basically, the point is whether film-makers should always seek something totally new or can re-use stories and characters they know have been popular in the past..

It used to be said of Walt Disney himself that he never made a sequel (no "Snow White Returns" etc).  One of the criticisms of his immediate successors was that they lacked originality and only wanted to make another "Herbie" movie.  The later management under Michael Eisner introduced many brilliant new stories and characters (Aladdin, Lion King, etc) but pretty soon we were also seeing a huge number of sequels too.

And as far as Walt himself was concerned, there was always a response that the fairy-tale movies were all to a formula: that, in effect, all his great classics were remakes.  Also, the "no sequel" claim could only ever be made of the feature animation:  the shorts depended on familiar characters in familiar chaotic situations.

One of the strongest current "spin-offs" is Tinker Bell and all the new Disney Fairies.  Here's a picture with of my Mikki with one of them I am still looking forward to meeting, Tink's sister!

Perhaps the talk about originality or remakes reflects a dilemma of film-makers.  For themselves, the actors and directors would like to explore new ideas, but they also want to please the public, who like an element of the familiar (and the financiers, who like proven winners).

I think that if you've got a good story it doesn't matter if it's a sequel.  "Toy Story 2" was a brilliant film  - and a sequel.  "Toy Story 3" was a quite different style of film - and still a sequel.

So here's my plan for the next sequel - or spin-off.  Pinocchio and Gepetto go to visit Hollywood where they have all sorts of adventures culminating in their precious kitten, Figaro, being acquired by Minnie Mouse (if I believe Jack Sparrow, Minnie stole him).  In later sequels or television spin-offs, Figaro has his own adventures in the modern USA (no aliens from space - not credible).  He then gets to appear in Disney parks and I can have my picture with him.

And I wouldn't mind a "based on an idea by" credit . . .

or a cuddle would do.


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