When Disney acquired 20th Century Fox’s library, they increased their already large library, with a focus concentrated on building upon rebooting the already established Fox franchises. The other concentration was simply more content for the upcoming streaming service, Disney+, in November.
Without a doubt, most fans are clamoring for the likes of a long overdue reboot of the X-Men franchise, especially since that would mean that Disney and Marvel Studios will only continue building to the ever so popular MCU. But there’s some films and franchises that simply shouldn’t be touched in my opinion.
On Tuesday, Disney head Bob Iger announced on an earnings call that one of the reboots in the Disney lineup for its Disney+ streaming service is Home Alone, which may have come to the chagrin of most fans.
Home Alone is one of the most beloved film franchises (minus the third and fourth films) in modern film history and a staple for Christmas time viewing. The first was a film (and it’s following sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York) that drew major box office numbers at the time of its release, and has continued living on as an all-time classic.
This eventual reboot shouldn’t surprise anyone, as it certainly falls in line with the current Hollywood trend that if its been made before — reboot it! And for a few reasons, I do understand the need for reboots. For the advancement in technology alone, it’s much easier to make a film now than it was before, in this case, the early 1990s. With the continued advancements in computer generated graphics, you can build much larger, enhanced worlds and settings that you simply could not do prior, bringing forth the wild imaginations of writers and directors to screen in a much more elaborate way.
Home Alone doesn’t fall into this category.
Yes, I do believe Disney, for the most part, is making these current “live-action” reboots of such films as The Lion King and Aladdin a cash-grab. But I also believe they’re able to tell, somewhat, their former stories differently now with better technology. But Home Alone is not one of those films that requires tons of CGI. The plot was that a kid was accidentally left at home all alone when his family went on Christmas vacation and was left to fend off burglars. The second one much the same, except the kid takes the wrong flight to New York instead of Miami when he gets left behind by his family in a crowded airport. Nothing about those plots screams the need of CGI. So I’m going with the cash grab with Disney on this one.
Iger also said during the call that the franchise would be “re-imagined for a new generation.” This is where I think this gets really interesting.
I believe the problem with creating new content, whether it’s in film or television, is that creativity is lacking because there’s little left to work with now to make plots sensible because of technology. Take the plot to Home Alone. How can you make this plot somewhat believable now with modern technology? If Kevin were left at home by himself now, he would have tweeted and snap-chatted his entire experience, including his fight with the burglars. Or, given his age, his parents would have had multiple apps on their phones letting them know what he was doing and where he was at. The police would have been there instantly — and maybe most importantly, Kevin’s mom would have never had to use a payphone. They would have turned around before they even got to the airport. This is why I believe Iger’s words of “re-imagined for a new generation” should really be thought through and even critiqued heavily by its release to see if it truly lives up to those words, because it won’t be easy.
To have a film like this make since in the 2020’s, when technology will only continue to advance, will be difficult. Just look what film franchises like James Bond have had to deal with. When the first 007 film was released back in 1962 with Dr. No, it was revolutionary, if for nothing else, the unbelievable use of gadgets Bond was presented with using. Now, those gadgets are more of a reality and less impressive to audiences because they have much the same gadgetry themselves or have seen it used somehow. With plots now, you almost have to take from the audience what they are used to in their own everyday lives by putting them in another time setting when those technologies couldn’t or wouldn’t have existed, or somehow creatively taking the use of technology from them.
Finally, lets not forget how difficult it will be to replace Macaulay Culkin, who rose to fame portraying his role as Kevin McCallister. Not only him, though, but also Harry and Marv, the goofy, idiotic burglars in parts one and two played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.