The House of Mouse is moving ahead full throttle with its plan to turn its beloved animated films into live action movies. And after the success of Cinderella and the smash that was The Jungle Book the next flick to hit theatres will be Beauty and the Beast (see trailer below).
From the trailer the film, which stars Emma Watson (Harry Potter franchise) as Belle and Dan Stevens (‘Downton Abbey’) as the Beast, seeksto recapture the magic of the 1991 original which was a huge critical and commercial success and the first animated film to nominated for Best Picture. The effects look great, I like the dark tone and I am glad they kept the talking objects though they do look a bit odd. And hearing the Academy Award winning titular song really transports you back 20 years. We’ll have to wait until March 2017 to see if the film is more beautiful than bestial.
After Belle and her furry friend we will be treated to a whole lot more live action Disney reboots including Cruella, Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo and The Sword in the Stone. But on the list there are few standouts and here is my top 5:
#5 Pinocchio (1940)
We have not heard anything about this project since it was announced back in April 2015. This whimsical coming of age tale with a dash of darkness could be fun in live action and the scope of it, from freaky carnivals to giant whales, does lend itself to the cinematic. They will need a strong child actor for Pinocchio though as the movie would hinge on that performance.
#4 The Lion King (1994)
This project was announced in September 2016 and Jon Favreau, who wowed audiences with The Jungle Book and will be returning for the sequel, will be at the helm. Of all the films on the list this might be the most tricky because there are no human characters in the story. Which begs the question – do we really need a live action version?
But from Jungle Book we have seen how masterfully they can bring animal characters to life so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. They better not mess it up though because this is one of Disney’s best movies and a personal favourite. Consider yourself warned.
#3 The Little Mermaid (1989)
The story of a mermaid who gives up her fish parts, her world and her life just to be with a guy may not be the most PC of story lines but a magical adventure set under and above the seas could be a swimming good time.
Chloë Grace Moretz was linked to the role of Ariel in a Universal adaptation of the story but has reportedly dropped out. For the Disney adaptation a friend of mine suggested Miranda Cosgrove (‘iCarly’) but I am drawing a blank. And how are they going to work the talking crab with the Jamaican accent? Good thing I just review films and don’t make them.
#2 Mulan (1998)
Mulan just screams live action reboot. The tale of a woman who pretends to be a man to become a soldier in the Chinese army would be a fun, action packed thrill ride. And they definitely need to get Eddie Murphy back to voice talkative dragon Mushu. Unlike the other entries on this list we actually have a date for this one – November 2018.
#1 Aladdin (1992)
I can see it now – Aladdin and Jasmine soaring through the night on a magic carpet in brilliant IMAX 3D. This grand, sweeping adventure is tailor made for live action. English director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes) is in negotiations to direct and his ability to blend action and humour would make him a good fit. Sadly with Robin Williams’ death we will not have his hilarious antics for the Genie but I am sure they can find someone to do the character justice. Even without the original Genie of all the upcoming Disney live action fare Aladdin is the whole new world I am most excited for.
So did I leave out any Disney animated movies that you are excited to see get the live action treatment? You can tell me about them in the comments.