Why All the Live-Action Remakes?

It’s no secret that the last decade or so has seen a lot of live-action remakes of a lot of anime and cartoons with… varied… success. Many of these remakes take their source material and run it in new directions for better or worse. Over the coming weeks, I want to look at these remakes. Why do they exist, and why are so many of them ill-received by fans of the source material. Are there problems intrinsic to live-action remakes from animated source material, or can such remakes actually capture the spirit of the source material. 

A line needs to be drawn between remakes that intentionally deviate from the source material and those meant to recreate the source material in a live-action medium. Still, another line needs to be drawn between live-action remakes of series and remakes of movies because each type of source material presents its own set of challenges. For now, let’s focus on why such remakes exist in the first place. 

The reasons so many live-action remakes exist are fairly simple. In the west, that is to say, North America and Western Europe, there is a cultural assumption that animated movies and TV shows are for children and, as a result, don’t tend to market well to older age groups with some exceptions. However, it’s not uncommon for teenagers and young adults to gravitate back toward the things they enjoyed as children as a source of comfort. The answer? Remake it in a live-action version that they’re not societally expected to be embarrassed about. However, as we’ll discuss in-depth over the next few weeks, these remakes often fail to capture what their presumed target audience is actually looking for.

Next week, we’ll start looking at remakes of classic animated movies and whether or not they work or can work. 

Categories: About Animation, The Animated Tea RoomTags: ,

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