Cast Members Join the Conversation: Animation or Live-Action

The Little Mermaid
Credit: Insider

The Walt Disney Company is known for its iconic films. Walt Disney created his animations with the intent to bring joy into viewers’ lives. Some of his very first films, like Snow White (1937), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Mary Poppins (1964), did just that. As the company has grown and developed, we have gotten more beloved films like Peter Pan (1953), The Little Mermaid (1989), and Mulan (1998). Now Disney has a slue of movies set to release based on original animated films.

Peter Pan Animated Still

Credit: Disney

While so many of these stories have become classics, some fans believe they should be left as just that. Many originally animated films have brought iconic characters and songs that are forever a part of Disney’s history. Most recently, the reimagining of films and remakes into live-action movies has been in full swing. Fans always have something to say, but now even the Cast Members are joining in on the fun.

Live Action vs. Animation

Disney Theme Park reporter Scott Gustin tweeted this (not so serious) photo of a Cast Member in Disney World’s EPCOT. Specifically in the United Kingdom, Cast Members were polling Guests to see which form of entertainment they prefer. Gustin jokingly commented, “sets Google alert for “New data shows Disney fans prefer animation over live-action” headlines.” There were some additional mixed reviews in the comments sections, but most of them voted for animation.

Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

The difference between an animated film and a live-action is clearly very different, but I think the main struggle for Disney has been trying to adapt an animated film into live-action. Fans are pretty clear they enjoy the stories being separate with the mentality of why fix what’s not broken. An example is The Little Mermaid (2023), which received a score of 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the original received a 92% rating. Additionally, Aladdin (2019) remake received a 57% rating, while the original received a 95%.

Animation Still of Aladdin Dressed Like Prince Ali

Credit: Disney

It’s not to say the live-action remakes aren’t done well or don’t bring forward the same classic story, but it just seems not to be the same as the original. Although fans are quite honest about their opinions, Disney seems to push forward with more live-action releases this year. Fans can expect Snow White in 2024, Mufasa: The Lion King also in 2024, and Moana in 2025. Only time will tell if these films make the cut or if animation is still in the lead for all-time favorites.

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.