Disney has been creating films since 1923, beginning with an Alice in Wonderland cartoon series. But it wasn’t until 1937 that the memorable Snow White and the Seven Dwarves animation was released. Ever since then, Disney Studios has had a fairytale film career with many major successes.
I’m sure everyone holds a Disney animation close to their hearts because of its influence on our childhoods. (Mine is Sleeping Beauty (1959), which I grew up watching on VHS throughout the nineties.) Even today, children are still growing up watching Disney films.
Disney is continuing with its successful films about princesses and magic, but more live-action remakes of the classics are in development rather than brand new animated tales.
It seems we can’t stop loving the old stories. Or, perhaps the old-fashioned animations don’t fascinate the iPad-savvy kids of today.
WHAT REMAKES ARE COMING NEXT?
With rumours of The Lion King being remade as a live-action, I didn’t realise how many more are in the pipeline until I looked into it.
Most recently, the trailer for the film Mowgli was released by Warner Brothers.
(Although, does anyone else feel like this is an identical remake of Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book? Read about the twin movie phenomenon here.)
See if your favourite Disney picture is being remade as a live-action below.
Which one are you most excited for?
Christopher Robin (2018)
Remake of: Disney’s Winnie the Pooh (1966)
Although not my cup of tea, I appreciate that Winnie the Pooh is close to the hearts of many, and after watching the trailer (please see below) I expect to cry all the way through it anyway. This live-action film is directed by Marc Forster and will be released this coming August. Christopher Robin is all grown up in this film, and will be played by Ewen McGregor.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Sequel to: Mary Poppins (1964)
Emily Blunt will star as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns, which is to be released at Christmas time this year. That’s 54 years after the original live-action Mary Poppins film, which is the longest gap between live-action film sequels in history. It’ll also star the beloved Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and Ben Whishaw. While not technically a remake, it is a live-action sequel of the beloved Mary Poppins.
Remake of: Dumbo (1941)
(Yeah, I’m put off by the above image too.) Dumbo, the live-action remake, will be released in March 2019 and directed by Tim Burton. Burton is a natural choice because he began his career on Disney’s Fox and the Hound (1981), co-produced James and the Giant Peach before directing Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Alice through the Looking Glass (2016). Dumbo will star Colin Farell, Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito.
Remake of: Aladdin (1992)
To be released in May 2019, this live-action remake will be directed by Guy Ritchie, co-written by John August (Big Fish) and will feature Will Smith as the genie (I miss Robin Williams!). However, there has been some controversy regarding casting, with complaints from fans of ‘white-washing’ after non-Arab, non-Middle Eastern actors were cast.
The Lion King (2019)
Remake of: The Lion King (1994)
To be released in July 2019, I’m sure this is one of the most anticipated live-action Disney films since the release of the animation in 1994. Directed by Jon Favreau (Elf) with Donald Glover cast as Simba, Beyonce as Narla, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan as Timon and Pumbaa respectively.
Remake of: Mulan (1998)
I get told off frequently when I admit that I haven’t seen the original animated Mulan, but I hear it is a favourite for many. The storyline is different to all other Disney princess fairytales after all. Not much is known about the film yet but casting for Mulan appears to have been a bit of a drag as casting took place across five continents and 1000 people were auditioned for the iconic part. The director is New Zealand’s very own Niki Caro.
Spin off of: One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
We know jack about Cruella de Vil so far, only that Cruella will be played by the amazing Emma Stone. Strange choice, but I have full confidence that Emma Stone will be brilliant.
There are even more live-action Disney films in early development including Pinocchio, another Snow White film called Rose Red, and a Cinderella-based film called Prince Charming.
There’s a Lady and the Tramp live-action/CGI version coming out in 2019. This is to be directed by Charlie Bean.
The Little Mermaid is being made into a live-action three times! The first one is to be released is a loosely-based indie version, which is to come out in 2019. Universal is working on a version with Richard Curtis as the writer and starring Chloe Moretz, and Disney is in extremely early talks about their film.
There’s also two Peter Pan films in the making: Peter Pan is to be directed by David Lowery, and fans are crossing their fingers hoping that Tom Hiddleston will be cast as Captain Hook. The second Pan film is Tinker Bell, featuring Reece Witherspoon (originally Elizabeth Banks) as Tink!
(Thanks to time.com for the tip offs!)
TIMELINE OF THE DISNEY CLASSICS:
Which is your childhood favourite?
1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
1940 – Pinocchio
1941 – Dumbo
1942 – Bambi
1950 – Cinderella
– Disney’s first ever live-action film Treasure Island
1951 – Alice in Wonderland
1953 – Peter Pan
1955 – Lady and the Tramp
1959 – Sleeping Beauty
1961 – One Hundred and One Dalmatians
1964 – Mary Poppins (live-action)
1966 – Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree
– Walt Disney dies on December 15 of lung cancer
1967 – The Jungle Book
1970 – The Aristocats
1973 – Robin Hood
1981 – The Fox and the Hound
– First Disney home video released (Dumbo)
1989 – The Little Mermaid
1991 – Beauty and the Beast
1992 – Aladdin
1994 – The Lion King
1995 – Pocahontas, Toy Story
1996 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame, James and the Giant Peach, 101 Dalmations (live-action)
1997 – Hercules
– First Disney DVDs released
1998 – Mulan, A Bug’s Life
1999 – Tarzan, Toy Story 2
2000 – The Emperor’s New Groove, 102 Dalmatians (live-action)
2001 – Monsters, Inc.
2002 – Lilo & Stitch
2003 – Finding Nemo
2004 – The Incredibles
2006 – Cars
– Disney acquires Pixar studios
2007 – Ratatouille
2009 – Up, A Christmas Carol
2010 – Alice in Wonderland (live-action), Toy Story 3, Tangled
2012 – Wreck-It Ralph
2013 – Oz: The Great and Powerful (live-action), Monsters University, Frozen
2014 – Big Hero 6
2015 – Cinderella (live-action), Inside Out, Brave
2016 – The Jungle Book (live-action), Alice Through the Looking Glass (live-action), Finding Dory, The BFG (live-action), Moana
2017 – Beauty and the Beast (live-action)
2018 – The Incredibles 2
2019 – Toy Story 4, Frozen 2
Along with the classics are well-known stories with a twist: Saving Mr Banks is the heartwarming ‘behind the scenes’ story of Mary Poppins, while Maleficent is about the villain in Sleeping Beauty, and Into the Woods is a jumble of well-known fairytale characters in a musical.