From flying elephants to magical lamps, there seems to be a fairytale story for each and every one of us in Disney’s astounding collection of feature films – but what about the influx of remakes we’ve been treated to in recent years? How would they rank from worst to best?
Alice in Wonderland (2010) & Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) – 2/5
By lacking spirit and frustratingly diverting from the original story, the remake of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and its sequel were a huge let down for audiences – especially considering that the stellar cast set the film up for big things. Unfortunately, both of them flopped with critics.
Maleficent (2014) – 2/5
Following the backstory of ‘Sleeping Beauty’s mostly unexplored villainess, 2014’s ‘Maleficent’ certainly intrigued audiences when it was first announced. However, other than Angelina Jolie’s brilliantly wicked performance, the film bored easily and failed to ignite any sort of Disney magic.
Dumbo (2019) -2/5
‘Dumbo’ has always been one of Disney’s most beloved heart-rending tales, but 2019’s remake betrayed the original by unsuccessfully valuing style over substance. The only thing saving the film from being a total blunder is director Tim Burton’s distinct and fantastically creative cinematography.
Christopher Robin (2018) – 2/5
A.A Milne hit a streak of genius when he created the cherished characters of ‘Winnie the Pooh’, and when Disney announced a live-action remake, the world felt ready to revisit them once more. Although the story is somewhat warming and charming in its own right, audiences still felt a little deflated from its lack of genuine childhood nostalgia.
The Lion King (2019) -2/5
The original ‘Lion King’ is quite possibly Disney’s most adored feature film to date, and the hype for the recent remake release spoke for itself. However, audiences couldn’t help but feel let down by its copycat formula that simply didn’t feel necessary. Plus, you can’t call it a live-action remake if it’s mostly shot in CGI…
Pete’s Dragon (2016) – 3/5
1977’s original ‘Pete’s Dragon’ is a rather unloved classic amongst the other Disney greats, but 2016’s remake proved there’s definitely still something to love about the tale of orphan boy Pete and his pet dragon. Although it’s remarkably different from the original musical, the re-imagination was praised as being a sweet and entertaining cinematic spectacle.
Aladdin (2019) – 3/5
2019 brought us three hugely anticipated Disney remakes, and ‘Aladdin’ is by far the best. Despite having its flaws – again being that it feels like a needless knock off – the beloved soundtrack, striking special effects, and entertaining performances from its cast are just too exciting for you to care.
101 Dalmatians (1996) and 102 Dalmatians (2000) – 4/5
As one of the first Disney remakes, 1996’s remake of ‘101 Dalmatians’ set the bar for future live-action reboots. Although the sequel isn’t quite as entertaining, the first is undeniably fun. Plus, Glenn Close’s phenomenal performance of Cruella DeVil is genuinely frightening.
The Jungle Book (2016) – 5/5
The CGI of ‘The Jungle Book’s remake is truly outstanding – it’s no surprise that it won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the 89th Academy Awards. As well as it being visually glorious, the performances from its voice actors are also particularly great. Plus, 13-year-old Neel Sethi’s breakout performance of Mowgli is nothing short of extraordinary.
Beauty & The Beast (2017) – 5/5
Taking the top spot, 2017’s ‘Beauty & The Beast’ is everything you’d want from a Disney live-action remake. It takes everything you love from the traditional story and makes it even more magical by bringing it to life and making it bigger and better.
Whether you want them or not, Disney has announced 14 upcoming live-action remakes – from ‘The Little Mermaid’ to ‘Pinocchio’. Does the world still believe in Disney magic? We’ll have to find out.