Usually, I don´t do this, I don´t compare series or movies reboots to the original, then again… this is probably the first time I have seen the original movie and the reboot on the same day.
So.. Adventures in Babysitting is the most recent Disney Channel Original Movie -although I question the original part considering it´s a reboot- with Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) and Sofía Carson (Descendants) as Jenny and Lola, two young women that thanks to an accidental cellphone swap end taking care of some kids while running around the city at night with two “bad guys” chasing them.
The movie was fun, entertaining and while a lot f the time I felt like Sofia´s character just plain out a moron more than a bad girl, I liked it!
But then one of my friends told me she had purchased a copy of the original movie, the one released in 1987 and invited me to watch it at her house. Now my friend hadn´t seen the Disney Channel version so for some reason or another we ended up watching both movies.
Then… because I had already watched the Disney Channel one and I had some things to do on the computer, we decided to see that one first and the 1987 one right after.
Now, why do I feel the need to explain this? Well, you see I didn´t have any expectations for the 1987 movie, so imagine my surprise when I ended up liking that one more than the Sofia Carson and Sabrina Carpenter one -and I love those two! They are my absolute favorites!-
I discussed this with my friend and she pointed out that maybe the 2016 one is too Disneyish? In the past, I have heard this complaint from different people in different aspects, for example, talking about TV shows –Girl Meets World– , movies –Teen Beach Movie 2-, and even actors! –Brenda Song-. But I never really understood it or pay too much attention to it, after all, I do love Disney and watch a lot of Disney Channel…, but now, now I think I finally get it.
Allow me to explain, when researching Adventures in Babysitting from 1987 -right before watching it- I was really surprised to see that it was classified under the thriller genre -´cause nobody would for a minute consider the 2016 version of Adventures in Babysitting a thriller- but like 10 minutes or so into the 1987 movie, I got why.
In the Disney Channel version, Jenny and Lola are two competing young women applying for the same intern job. By accidents their cellphones get switch and Lola uses this to get what she considers “easy money” taking care of some kids, but that´s easier said than done ´cause soon a fire and a runaway teen have both girls racing to the city -along with all the kids they are in charge of- to maintain Jenny´s good reputation. That along with a unique ferret and two shady men will transform this babysitting night in a whole new adventure.
Sounds like a fun movie, right? Well… the 1987 version tells a similar story.
Chris Parker a “high school senior” is stood up by her boyfriend so… the only thing she can do is babysit Brad and Sara Anderson. Everything is going perfectly fine until.. her friend Brenda calls her, she is trapped in a bus station without money and wants Chris to pick her up, so our babysitter along with the kids and their annoying sex fiend neighbor Darryl, has to travel out of the suburbs to the big city. While there and with a flat tire, Chris, Brad, Sara, and Darryl get caught in the middle of a mafia deal lead by Dan Lynch because of all things a Playboy magazine, that´s after being shot at and ending up climbing a skyscraper!
Both movies are about babysitting, both have an adventure in the city, kids where they shouldn´t be and some shady businesses, but that´s pretty much where the similarities end; ´cause while the Disney Channel one takes some lines directly from the original one and modernizes some aspects -like the Babysitter rap instead of the Babysitter blues-, I have to say that I really think the 1987 is better -and not only because Sarah was a Thor fan!-
Maybe is because I don´t really know the 80´s
But I felt like this movie did a better job at giving you a feel of the era it´s set in, as well as at establishing and subtly developing its characters. Both movies are fun, but the Disney one lacked something that all the Disney Channel Movies seem to lack and somehow I wasn´t consciously aware of until now.
The stories are funny and fun, but there´s no real feel of urgency. I mean we know that at the end of the day our heroes are going to win and everything but we like to see them struggle, really struggle and believe for a moment that they might not make it and that, that doesn´t happen on a Disney Channel Original Movie -or at least not usually-.
What´s more for being a movie set in the late 80´s, the original movie presents characters that you wouldn´t imagine, -at least in those times- under a pretty awesome light, being the protagonist Chris and Joe Gipp -the car thief- a prime example of this.
At the beginning, I was a little upset with Chris lack of interest for going to college and Brad´s -one of the “kids” she takes care of- enthusiastic statements on the matter, to the point he mentioned something along the lines of… what would a girl like her do at college, or need college for?; anyhow that was kind of upsetting, but considering the year of the movie, I decided to let it slide and prepare myself for subtle things like this one, that would surely bother me. And then I actually got surprised when that didn´t happen and Chris turned out to be a capable, intelligent and strong woman.
The same can be more or less be said about Joe Gipp -the car thief-, who might not be one of the main characters, but was one of my favorite ones and showed some character development. Starting as someone that didn´t like what he was doing but didn´t see another wait out, and ended being kind of a hero, when he decided to stand up for other people and himself.
I even liked the “Babysitter Blues” more than the “Babysitter Rap” -or whatever it was-, ´cause the lyrics were kind of hilarious and the music so catchy!, then again the catchy part can be attributed to the fact it´s not every day I listen to blues but neither do I often listen to rap for that matter, anyway the point is that I really really liked the 1987 better, and I can´t really understand all of the choices Disney chose, after all, if they were going to pretty much mutilate the original film, wouldn´t it have been better to give it another name and called this 2016 an homage rather than a reboot?
I mean, I suppose I do get why some changes were made: the Playboy Magazine -maybe too much for the Disney Channel demographic-, the rap instead of the blues also makes sense from a generational standpoint, and the flat tire thing could be a non-issue thanks to cellphones, but the rest thought, the rest didn´t have to be changed, because for example I still don´t get why they needed both Sofía and Sabrina for this movie when originally there was only one babysitter and either of the two would have been more than enough.
Anyway, again is not that I didn´t like the Disney Channel version of Adventures in Babysitting, is just that after having seen the original one, I cannot help but think that it could have been better or at the very least more exciting, with a thrilling flavor, which seems to be missing on current Disney Channel Original Movies, but then again maybe this has always been an issue and it´s just now that I´m noticing.
So what did you think of Adventures in Babysitting (2016)?, Did you like it?, Have you seen the 1987 version? If not, you should really watch ´cause I´m curious, which one do you like more? and… do you think there´s an issue with the Disney Channel Original Movies?