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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UTD chapter.

From books and animations to live-action adaptations, the past two years have witnessed a surge in
childhood favorites being remade. For many current college students, their childhood consisted of books
such as “The Hunger Games,” “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” and animations such as “One Piece.”
While this should bring excitement and nostalgia, so many people have been nothing but critical. People
complaining about character, plot, and dialogue changes have seemed to ruin the experience for so many
other fans. It’s important for older fans to realize that writers taking creative liberties does not ruin the
essence of the story.

Oftentimes these changes are beneficial for new viewers. An example of this is in Percy Jackson and the
Olympians; when the books came out they were primarily targeted towards younger audiences. In written
format, many of the scenes came across as PG, but when taken to a live action, it was decided they were
not suited for children. Many of the scenes were switched to happen off screen or done in a less violent
manner. The changes allowed a new generation of kids to enjoy the media while also not taking away
from the story. This decision was met with a lot of backlash, with people criticizing the writers for not
appealing to older audiences. Yet, it’s essential to recognize that the show caters to its intended
demographic—the books were aimed at pre-teens, and the adaptation follows suit. Shielding children
from graphic content doesn’t compromise the story in a significant way.

This wasn’t the only issue fans had. The three actors who were cast in the show all presented differently
than they had originally been written in the book. One of the main characters, Annabeth Chase, is
originally described as a white blonde. In the show, the African American actress Leah Jeffries took the
role of Annabeth. One of her co-stars, Aryan Simhadri, was also switched from a ginger character to an
Indian actor. Lastly, Percy is described as having dark hair and green eyes in the book. However, Walker
Scobell, the actor chosen, is blonde with blue eyes. Now, this would’ve been an issue if the original
characters’ appearances and races had affected the story, but in this case, it does not. There is no
substantial reason for people to have an issue with these characters. The actors were picked solely based
on age and acting ability, and according to the original author of the series, there is no better fit.

Another recent example of changes to source material being done correctly is the recent Hunger Games
movie “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” A lot of the original book consisted of mind games and
internal monologues, and is told completely from one character’s perspective. The movie not only allowed
viewers to see from multiple characters’ perspectives, but it also implemented a lot of new dialogue,
received mostly positively by audiences, because they were able to see new sides of the story that were
not seen previously. This was an excellent way for viewers who had not read the book to understand the
story without context that is otherwise difficult or boring to portray. Not every written piece translates
properly onto screen, and changes can be necessary to enhance the original story.

Books aren’t the only media receiving live actions, for the popular anime “One Piece” was given a series
that included some drastic plot changes. With over 1000 episodes, condensing the series into eight
episodes was already a difficult task. The writers chose to omit a lot of the filler characters and episodes
and skipped quite ahead in the plot. By toning down elements like lewd phrases and character
sexualization, the series widened its audience appeal while retaining the essence of the story.

Moral of the story, don’t jump to criticize live action adaptations just because they differ from the original
media. Remakes don’t take away from the original story, they just explore other possibilities in an already
familiar tale. I urge everyone to calm their inner child and let your adult self enjoy a reimagined version
of the stories that captivated you in your youth. You might be surprised by how much you love it.

Hello! I'm a general ATEC major at UTD. I've always loved writing and previously took part in my schools' newspaper. Some of my interests include gaming, crocheting, and photography. I'm looking forward to writing for Her Campus this year :)