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October 26, 2023

Column: Live-action movies don’t bring real-life magic

Pranavi Ramineni
Though live-action films are beautiful, they lack magic that can only be produced with animation, no matter how hard studios try. The Sidekick staff writer Ishana Sharma thinks that the removal of beloved characters and the lack of emotion and personality greatly affects the film and its representation of the original story.

When I heard there was going to be a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, one of my favorite Disney movies growing up, I was skeptical at first, wondering how on earth the original magic would be replicated in the new movie.

As blown away as I was by the stunning elements in Beauty and the Beast, it simply does not feel the same as its animated counterpart. Seeing the characters as real objects and people take away from the charm of the animated version.

The general setting, especially the castle, appears significantly darker than the original movie. The live-action version does not fully encapsulate the intangible magic of the animated version of Beauty and the Beast.

A few years later, when I watched the live-action of Mulan, I was taken aback and disappointed by the number of changes from the original animated film. Mulan’s dragon companion, Mushu, is nowhere to be seen in the live-action. Mushu plays a key role in the original movie, helping Mulan through adversity, encouraging and comforting her, and most importantly, throwing in some humor within the seriousness of the movie. 

Mulan’s love interest, Li-Shang, is also omitted in the live-action version. Instead, his character is replaced by a man named Chen Honghui, who is Mulan’s ally throughout the movie and then is weakly portrayed as her love interest in the end. 

The absence of these two iconic characters makes the live-action version bland and less exciting. It takes away the light-hearted aspects of the animated movie and replaces them with a more serious and realistic tone.

No matter how hard movie production companies will try, they will simply not be able to incorporate the same magic and innocence of the original animated films into their live-action counterparts.

Through animation, imagination has no bounds, and whatever it may be, be it a green sky or blue grass, would not strike as unusual or “wrong.” There are no constraints to reality, which helps the audience escape into a world of fiction for two hours. As closely as live-action movies capture these whimsical elements, it is strange to see such landscapes in real life because they clearly look artificial. 

Animation gives room for characters to express exaggerated emotion, which enhances the story and helps to understand their personality better. When characters in real life attempt to act and speak the same way, it lacks the magic of the original. Sometimes, the actors do not display enough emotion, taking away from the feeling of that particular scene.

Live-action movies also take away people’s original perception of a character. After I watched the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, my perception of the Beast changed. It felt strange when I saw him portrayed as actor Dan Stevens. The innocence and affection I associated with the animated Beast is replaced with the image of the real Beast or Prince Adams.

As visually appealing and close character compositions are in real-life films, they simply cannot replace the charm and magic of their original versions. 

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About the Contributors
Ishana Sharma
Ishana Sharma, Staff Writer
Ishana is a junior and second-year staff writer for The Sidekick. She was born in Bangalore, India. In her free time she enjoys reading, baking, watching TV shows and hanging out with friends and family. She has been playing the piano since she was seven. She has a mixed breed dog named Snowie who was adopted in 2017. Her way to de-stress is by going on long walks with her dog while listening to music. Her favorite TV shows are Friends and Outer Banks. She could read and re-read the Harry Potter book series and never gets bored of it because it is an escape from reality, and prefers the books over the movies any day. Her favorite drink is iced coffee, and her favorite foods are Thai food, tacos and anything chocolate. Her favorite candies are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Twix. She would go to the beach everyday if she could because she finds the ocean waves calming and peaceful. You can reach out to her through her email at [email protected] or on Instagram at @.ishana_sharma.
Pranavi Ramineni
Pranavi Ramineni, Staff Writer
As you walk into the lavender room of Coppell High School sophomore Pranavi Ramineni, your eyes may catch the Haikyu poster, or a picture of Pranavi as a child with her grandfather, maybe her Coppell Middle School West Team Volleyball poster or the plethora of underwater watercolor paintings. Each of these are a facet of her identity. As your eyes continue to wander, they will set on the girl perched on her bed watching TV. You will first notice Pranavi’s hair, always out and as expressive as her. “There is a lot of my story behind my hair,” Ramineni said. “I cut my hair twice in elementary for cancer patients. In third grade, I cut it 12 inches. In fifth grade, I cut it eight inches.” But that inherent kindness to help the community shows in everything Pranavi does. As a first-year staffer on The Sidekick, Pranavi initially joined to surprise her friend for their birthday but continued because of her hopes to be a cartoonist and page designer. Regardless of whether she is painting with watercolor or singing for the Coppell Choir, Pranavi believes people can tell a story through a variety of mediums. In her free time, she enjoyed reading books, watching TV shows like the Real Housewives, or sitting at the local neighborhood park with friends that are able to be wholeheartedly themselves. In the future, Pranavi wants to apply computer science to the world of architecture and interior designing. You can contact her by emailing [email protected].

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