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.
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.
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.
Fantasy / 2019 / PG
10Alice in Wonderland
“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.
9The Lion King
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."
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.
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.
Fantasy / 2019 / PG
6Beauty and the Beast
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.
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.
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.
Fantasy / 2018 / PG
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.
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.
1The Jungle Book
"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.
About the Author
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.