Top 10 Disney Animated Classics That Need to Go Live-Action
Not only is Kenneth Branagh’s blindingly bright take on “Cinderella” due in cinemas this weekend, but Bill Condon is directing a "Beauty and the Beast" movie, and now it was also announced that "Mulan" is going to get her own live-action movie.
10.The Sword and the Stone
Let’s face it, “The Sword And The Stone” basically needs a remake because it’s crap. I’m sorry but it’s true.
Despite possessing songs that were written by the iconic composers the Sherman Brothers, its flimsy plot is at first non-existent, and then just fades into obscurity.
However, this could easily be corrected in its live-action version, while its blending of over-the-top characters and fantasy elements, against a more rigid take on the mythical King Arthur narrative, would make it unique. As long as all of the characters have English accents that is, because the fact that the original The Sword And The Stone’s Arthur sounds like he’s from Brooklyn is on of the most ridiculous oversights in movie history.
Because feral cats get a bad rep nowadays and that needs to be corrected! I kid; “The Aristocats” was the last Disney film to ever be approved by Good ol’ Walt himself, and its delightful tale of a broken, upper-class family being saved and then re-built by the alley cat Thomas O’Malley is genuinely uplifting.
It’s also eminently cinematic too. Duchess, Marie, Beriloz, and Toulouse’s physical and spiritual journey as they trek from the countryside back to their home in Paris has been seen dozens of times before, while the vast array of different animals could also be brought to life in unique fashions utilizing modern technology.
Plus it has a heinous villain, which any actor would adore to portray …
8.Lilo & Stitch
Possessing sun, sand, sea and aliens, Lilo & Stich was a rare success for Disney in the early ‘00s. It was also packed with sass, charm, was gloriously funny, wrapped in emotion, and was even a tad groovy too.
But you never truly got a sense of either Hawaii or the crumbling family dynamic at its heart, plus a live-action version of Stitch could be both truly terrifying and adorable at the same time.
What I’m thinking is The Descendants meets Gremlins, just without the horror-aspect of the latter. Obviously I wouldn’t even consider touching the film’s Elvis Presley soundtrack. In fact, I’d actively encourage more songs from The King.
7.The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
Disney’s 34th animated feature, released in 1996, was far from a flop, but it isn’t cherished in quite the same manner as many of its comrades.
A live-action version could change all that. But rather than looking to mold Disney’s lightness with live-action (like Cinderella has), it should follow Malificent’s example and embrace the dark, more edgier approach.
You could make Quasimodo hideously deformed, and much more vengeful of Esmeralda and Phoebus’ love - or you could even probe further back into Quasimodo’s youth and what made him so isolated.
Does Aladdin really need an upgrade? Probably not. It’s luscious visuals are still hypnotic, while Robin William’s barn-storming performance as the genie is not only one of the greatest animated vocal portrayals in the history of cinema, but it also brought a whole new level to the voice acting profession, and opened the gates up for the likes of Tom Hanks, Mike Myers, and Chris Rock to follow.
Still, Hollywood’s never been one for sentimentality, and Aladdin’s evergreen popularity means that if a live-action film was ordered the anticipation would be instantly fervent.
Released in 2010, Tangled helped to set Walt Disney Animation back on the straight and narrow after several years of misses.
Loosely based on the legendary fairy tale Rapunzel, there is plenty of scope to the story that could be perfectly taking advantage of by live-action - especially since Rapunzel/Tangled is one of the purest and most heartfelt love stories ever-created.
Unfortunately, despite its many plus points, Tangled failed to truly pull at moviegoers heart-strings because the animation genre did its part to block the chemistry between Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from becoming too potent. If they can cast the right leads, then a live-action remake of Tangled could right this wrong.
Disney’s second animated feature film was released all the way back in 1940, which means that 2015 marks its 75th anniversary. And while I may have mentioned before that Hollywood’s not a place for sentimentality it is a place where they exploit anniversaries for dough.
It would make perfect sense for Disney to announce Pinocchio a live-action treatment to celebrate its 75th birthday (though obviously the movie wouldn’t come out until later). Plus, the film’s cast-iron reputation as a stone-cold classic means that people would be instantly interested.
3.The Emperor’s New Groove
The Emperor’s New Groove is an underrated Disney gem that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves because it was released during a bleak period for the studio.
There’s no denying the fact that its script already possesses the laughs and heart that will be required to resonate with today’s moviegoers, and its exotic South American-esque location would also lend itself perfectly to live-action too.
Rather than a full-on upgrade, The Emperor’s New Groove would just need some tweaks and adjustments.
2.The Little Mermaid
Released over 25 years ago now, The Little Mermaid continues to hold a dear place in the heart of anyone who saw it in their infancy.
However, in the time since its release, it has lost the edge that it once had thanks to the funnier animated gems that have since been released, while even those who are angling for a nautical kids film to watch will now head straight for Finding Nemo before even considering Ariel and her gang of under-water adventurers.
Plus with Aquaman due out in 2018 there’s clearly an opportunity to tap into the box office potential that comes with water-based blockbusters.
Listen, we all know that it’s going to happen anyway, so what’s the point in waiting any longer? Frozen’s nauseatingly powerful success at the box office 18 months ago means that Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the other, more forgettable minor characters will be repeatedly returning to pop culture for decades to come.
A Broadway show is already planned, a new short is attached to screenings of Cinderella, and just earlier today it was officially announced that we will soon be seeing a Frozen 2.
I say, let Disney go full hog and just release a live-action version of it at the same time. Then they’d really be taking the piss. I don’t even want it to be big-budgeted. In fact I’d prefer if it was made on a shoe-string budget, with fake snow and wooden back-drops that repeatedly fall-over. It’ll probably still make a $1 billion no matter what anyway.