They tried to make up for it by giving Stanton a different backstory, but I don't know that it worked that well. The story just makes more sense when it's about a young, hungry opportunist.
Del Toro's movies always look fine but he's just not very good at delivering a story in my opinion. His version was okay but a lot of time it just sort of driffloats along without making much of an impact.
The 1947 one isn't that great but I basically enjoyed it, the performances at least had a bit more energy to them.