Anybody who has memories of the original Disney animations will surely agree, their music was so much better than their live-action remakes.
First, a disclaimer. We're not saying the live-action remakes of our favourite Disney movies are horrible, we simply don't think they're as good. Here's why...
Ask any adult why they'll go and watch a Disney remake, and they'll tell you it's because of nostalgia. Many of those of us who saw the original The Jungle Book want their kids to experience the joy of The Bear Necessities, and are curious to see how it's performed. In this particular instance, Bill Murray actually does a great job of bringing Baloo's character to life in the song. Even though his actual singing voice is crude and out of tune, it's what you expect from a lazy bear.
It's when you start looking at Will Smith playing the Genie in Alladin, and the delectable Emma Watson as Belle in Beauty And The Beast that you understand. Both actors did a sterling job with their performances, with that there is no doubt, but both scores had fatal flaws.
With Ms Watson, Disney cast her with actors who have years of experience, receiving professional vocal training and singing in Broadway musicals. Perhaps the reason that Disney added so much auto-tune to Watson's voice was that she just didn't have the range of her cast members. Either way, it's a glaring statement to an otherwise terrific remake of Beauty and the Beast.
In Alladin, Will Smith had a mighty hill to climb as the Genie, a role that Robin Williams knocked out of the park in the original. Unfortunately, instead of allowing Smith to apply his own family-friendly comedy genius to inflect in the songs. He's given a score that leaves him somewhere in the middle, not as good as Williams and not as good as himself. It's a pity because Will Smith could have breathed new life into a much-loved character.
There is a lot of history here too, so if you want to hear more about these and other Disney flicks, like The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Tarzan and Mulan, as well as the Disney Renaissance in the early 80s, then best you watch the video by YouTuber, Sideways, below. It's a treat!