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The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

Disney’s live action productions surpass animated classics through diversity

Walt Disney is renowned for personally crafting the magical elements that contribute to the experiences and creations presented by the company. As one steps into Disney’s classic tales, a handful of animated stories transform into live action.

“I prefer to watch the older versions of the movie because of its nostalgia and how it takes me back to my childhood, ” sophomore Rania Abdelmalak said. “I feel like the Disney movies coming out recently are more boring compared to the old classics.”

‘Mulan’

The animated version of “Mulan” was created in 1998 and the live action was released in 2020 starring Liu Yifei. There were subtle changes that were noticeable in the live action compared to the animated version in “Mulan.” One of the significant changes is the disappearance of the magical dragon Mushu. In the animated version, the traditional Chinese audience did not agree with the representation of a dragon in their culture which caused the director to remove Mushu from the live action because the dragon is more of a sign of strength rather than a sidekick. 

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“The live action version of ‘Mulan’ is better even though Mushu is not in it,” freshman Srinika Kallem said. “Mushu was one of my favorite characters growing up.”

Another distinct change is that in the animated version, Mulan transforms from clumsy to heroic through training, while in the live-action version, Mulan has natural combat skills tied to her chi. She also shares a connection with Xianniang, a powerful female witch, as they were both strong women facing societal constraints. 

‘Aladdin’

The original “Aladdin” movie was created in 1992 and was marketed by Disney as a wondrous journey filled with action and laughter. The remake was created in 2019 featuring Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin. 

“It is hard for me to choose between the animated and live action ‘Aladdin’ because they are both similar,” freshman Advait Kothuri said. “I like the live action because of the Genie, but I like the animated version because it reminds me of my childhood.” 

In the remake, the most notable change was that Jasmine wanted to take the role of the Sultan, instead of the animated version where she wanted to marry for love instead of power.

“The animation is better because of the characters,” Abdelmalak said. “But I liked the live action because of Princess Jasmine and her confidence in the movie.”

‘The Little Mermaid’

The latest movie that was added to the live-action collection of Disney movies is the “Little Mermaid” in 2023. The original version was created in 1989. This movie took everyone by surprise by casting a woman of color, Halle Bailey, to play the main character, Ariel.

“Personally, the new version of the ‘Little Mermaid’ was so much better because of the actors and how Ariel showed representation,” Kallem said. “Ariel was so beautiful in the movie which made it more exciting to watch.”

According to the Walt Disney Company, diversity is their main focus and the movies reflect the diversity of the consumers worldwide. Disney is committed to capture the imagination of all their global audience. 

“Diversity is important in Disney movies because it creates more of an audience for people,” Kothuri said.“It makes more of a difference watching authentic representation.” 

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Athula Cheboli, Staff Writer
Athula Cheboli is a freshman in her first year with The Purple Tide. Outside of school she does dance and enjoys reading. In her free time, she hangs out with her friends and watches Dance Moms.
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