Disney's Remakes, Ranked

It's Mickey Mouse's birthday, and in tribute we're ranking the live-action remakes in the house of mouse.

Jesse Conner

By Jesse Conner

Key art from "The Lion King (2019)."

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse! In tribute to the big guy on his special day, we're celebrating and ranking the live-action remakes in the house of mouse, because really, it's a Disney world, and we all just live in it.

  • 12101 Dalmatians
    Glenn Close in "101 Dalmatians."

    © Buena Vista Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

    If you’re a dog person, then this movie will give you the cuteness overload. When the franchise started in 1961, audiences were thrilled by the cartoon family of 101 dalmatians all living together under one roof…so if the animated dogs in that film were awesome, the sky’s the limit for these real-life ones.

    101 Dalmatians Poster

    101 Dalmatians

    Children / 1996 / G

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  • 11Dumbo
    Dumbo from "Dumbo (2019)."

    © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    With elephants, usually their most unique characteristic is their abnormally long trunk…not this time. Here, a small elephant has ears so large they could be used as shelter...or wings to fly. The kids film was converted into a live-action movie in 2018, once more helmed by Tim Burton. While it's cool to see Dumbo soaring through the circus again, it’s tough to compare it to the original, which is an established family classic.

    Dumbo Poster

    Dumbo

    Fantasy / 2019 / PG

  • 10Alice in Wonderland
    Mia Wasikowska in "Alice in Wonderland."

    © Walt Disney Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say hello, good-bye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.” It's a must-see Disney film, and if you haven’t seen it yet, it's really not too late. The original created a fantasy world within the real world that defied the laws of physics and showed kids creativity has no bounds. Tim Burton’s remake stars Johnny Depp, and it’s wild and weird...given it’s Burton and Depp, though, maybe not as weird or original as you’d expect.

    Alice in Wonderland Poster

    Alice in Wonderland

    Children / 2010 / PG

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  • 9The Lion King
    Young Simba (voice: JD McCrary) in "The Lion King (2019)."

    © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    While Disney man Jon Favreau hit commercial and critical peaks with "The Jungle Book," his live-action remake of "The Lion King" was somewhat of a disappointment since it's mostly a note-for-note, hyper-realistic rendition of the original. Still, audiences enjoyed a little more "Hakuna Matata."

    The Lion King Poster

    The Lion King

    Adventure / 2019 / PG

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  • 8Maleficent
    Angelina Jolie in "Maleficent."

    © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    We’ve all heard of "Sleeping Beauty," but what about the unfairly maligned "evil" fairy? Here, Disney sets the record straight. The Mistress of All Evil, known as Maleficent (Angelina Jolie), is a powerful force to be reckoned with, but she's not everything she initially appears to be. The film didn’t get the praise of the original "Sleeping Beauty," but it did great at the box office, enough to warrant a follow-up.

    Maleficent Poster

    Maleficent

    Action / 2014 / PG

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  • 7Aladdin
    Mena Massoud in "Aladdin (2019)."

    © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    Ever found a lamp and had the sudden urge to rub it? If so, maybe you've seen the movie that makes everyone feel that way. In the original, the late, great Robin Williams took over screens and hearts with his unforgettable genie that admittedly will never be surpassed. Still, Will Smith gives the role a playful spin in this 2019 reimagining.

    Aladdin Poster

    Aladdin

    Fantasy / 2019 / PG

  • 6Beauty and the Beast
    Emma Watson in "Beauty and the Beast."

    © Walt Disney Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    With the well-known and cherished 1991 animated romantic fantasy, Disney passed on a heartfelt message that it’s not about what’s on the outside, and everything about the inside. The live-action remake also captures that sentiment, with Emma Watson perfectly cast as Belle in a faithful adaptation that captured the imaginations of worldwide audiences.

    Beauty and the Beast Poster

    Beauty and the Beast

    Children / 2017 / PG

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  • 5Mulan
    Liu Yifei in "Mulan (2020)."

    © Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

    It's unfortunate that "Mulan" debuted in the COVID era, and stateside, premiered only on the small screen, as it truly is an epic film about the legendary young woman who fought for her country and served better than any of her male peers. It's a timeless tale, well told in the live-action arena, and will be worth revisiting some day with retro screenings at the cinema.

    Mulan Poster

    Mulan

    Adventure / 2020 / PG-13

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  • 4Christopher Robin
    Ewan McGregor in "Christopher Robin."

    © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    He's the iconic Disney character from Hundred Acre Woods, and so popular he received his own update in theaters in 2018. Though Winnie the Pooh looked a little more worn in this live-action flick, his familiar voice and light-hearted personality drew folks right back to their childhood memories.

    Christopher Robin Poster

    Christopher Robin

    Fantasy / 2018 / PG

  • 3Cinderella (2015)
    Lily James in "Cinderella (2015)."

    © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    It’s the ultimate love story, about the mystery princess who loses her glass slipper. The unforgettable classic from 1950 taught moviegoers that it’s not about what you have, it’s about the person you are. Following the huge success of the original animation, Disney finally brought a live-action version to theaters in 2015. It was well-received by audiences, and with Richard Madden playing the prince, there were probably more than a few hoping to see if their foot would fit in that slipper.

    Cinderella (2015) Poster

    Cinderella (2015)

    Children / 2015 / PG

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  • 2Pete's Dragon
    Oakes Fegley in "Pete's Dragon (2016)."

    © Walt Disney Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Disney’s 1977 live-action/animated musical fantasy told the story of an orphan boy who runs away from his abusive foster parents with the help of a jolly green dragon. Although the original received somewhat mixed reviews, the studio took the gamble on a remake anyways, and produced a winning, heartwarming family film.

    Pete's Dragon Poster

    Pete's Dragon

    Children / 2016 / PG

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  • 1The Jungle Book
    Baloo (voice: Bill Murray) and Neel Sethi in "The Jungle Book (2016)."

    © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

    "Look for the bare necessities. The simple bare necessities. Forget about your worries and your strife." From the beloved tune on down, "The Jungle Book" is an absolute necessity, so popular Disney created this 2016 live-action remake, which strikes the perfect balance between respectful reverence for the original, and innovative technology that really does bring the jungle world to life.

    The Jungle Book Poster

    The Jungle Book

    Children / 2016 / PG

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About the Author

Jesse Conner

Jesse Conner

Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.

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