Not a single soul:
Disney: Bambi is the next film from Disney’s vault to get the live-action remake treatment.
Bambi, the 1942 Oscar-nominated classic, will be getting the same CG treatment as other Disney staples such as Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, The Lion King, Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp . . . the list goes on. This version will be penned by Captain Marvel writers Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Lindsey Beer.
The original movie tells the tale of a fawn named Bambi, prince of the forest, as he navigates life in the animal kingdom. He comes of age with his two best friends, a rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower, and endures the ultimate heartache—the loss of his mother, who gets gunned down by a hunter. That act has been determined by some psychologists—and parents—to be too traumatic for children to watch, so in the age of everyone taking über-offense to everything, it’s going to be interesting to watch how Millennial and Gen Z audiences receive it.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio views it as a complementary piece to other recent remakes such as The Jungle Book and The Lion King—both hits that utilized CG technology to create realistic natural landscapes. So far, this formula has worked from a box office perspective. Last year’s live-action version of The Lion King—with voice work from Donald Glover and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter—became Disney’s highest-grossing live-action remake, making an estimated $533 million domestically and $1.6 billion worldwide.
But it’s not an infallible formula: Tim Burton’s remake of Dumbo was savaged by critics and grossed just $114 million in North America on a $170 million budget. The original 1941 version is at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes while the 2019 version is at a wan 47%. Meanwhile, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (a sequel to the 2014 Sleeping Beauty-inspired Maleficent) grossed $114 million in the U.S. (less than half the domestic haul of its predecessor) and reportedly failed to recoup its estimated $500 million overall budget, even with a decent overseas showing factored in.
And at some point, audiences are going to start rejecting Disney’s creative bankruptcy.
Disney built its reputation on the magic of discovery, with each generation falling in love with a new crop of films and characters. Recent examples of fresh and inspiring tales from the media giant are Moana, Coco, and the first Frozen. These movies offered new stories and became worldwide box office hits. But those fresh takes are fewer and farther between.
Bambi joins an ever-growing list of Disney remakes that are in development, alongside Mulan, Cruella deVil, The Little Mermaid, Peter and Wendy, Pinocchio, and whichever other titles the bean counters are crunching the numbers on at this very moment. A new Lady and the Tramp debuted on Disney Plus last year, so you just know The Aristocats is next.
There’s every chance it will be more of the same boring rehash loaded with distracting CG. But hey, at least it’ll be better than Cats.