With the release of The Lion King (2019) this weekend, we’ve now had 11 of these Disney remakes. Some people and some people hate them. For me they’re pretty much a mixed bag. Some are genuinely terrible while others may even be better than the original. Today I’m going to rank all of the Disney live action remakes. I’m only including the ones post 2010.
11. Alice Through the Looking Glass
The less said about this the better. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse than its 2010 predecessor it does. Every performance is painful and the characters are so bland. I guess the visual effects are solid but no other aspect of the film really works.
10. Alice in Wonderland
I felt like Burton did a fantastic job here with the visuals. Throughout the movie there were some fantastic looking sequence. But the story felt like a complete mess. Johnny Depp is undoubtedly a good actor but I really do not like him in this role.
Like all of these Burton Disney live action remakes, the visuals help this film. Danny DeVito actually feels like he’s trying but everyone else is bland because they have nothing to really work with. Keaton on the other hand was so over the top and I had no idea what he was doing. There’s a reason the animated was only an hour and by extending it, Burton created a really stretched out and poorly paced movie. Also the irony that Disney made an anti-capitalist is hilarious.
8. Beauty and the Beast
These are the type of Disney live action remakes I don’t love. It was basically the same as the original but weaker in every way. I love Emma Watson but her singing was a weak point. Furthermore, the character design for all of the non-human characters apart from the beast was very unsettling. A common problem with these remakes are that scary characters aren’t scary anymore. When the beast first shows up I’m supposed to feel fear but over here I don’t.
7. The Lion King
Disappointing. The Lion King is one of my favourite movies and this version was one of my most anticipated of the year. Unfortunately, it lacks any energy the animation has and feels lifeless. For my full review click here.
Angelina Jolie’s performance is fantastic. It’s the best in any of these movies. The visual effects are gorgeous and its central message works really well. I enjoyed the shift in focus compared to the original, which I’m not the biggest fan of. I kind of wish they didn’t cop out and make Maleficent a hero but that’s just me.
I was not expecting anything from this movie at all. The trailers looked horrendous to me and some aspects of the movie were. They stripped all jafar’s characteristics and instead had a bland character. The new Jasmine song was poorly placed and Guy Ritchie’s style did not suit the movie But I actually found it to be surprisingly charming. Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud had chemistry, the musical numbers were fun and Will Smith put his own spin on the Genie while still staying true to the character. A lot of changes made also led to some good humour. However, I wish they explored the soldier character more as it could’ve made the moment in the final act more powerful.
4. Christopher Robin
Christopher Robin is a perfectly fine movie. It is a little dull when it starts off but the moment Pooh and Christopher Robin reunite, it becomes a very charming story that I had fun with.
3. Pete’s Dragon
I appreciate Pete’s Dragon for making many changes from the original and having this feel of sincerity throughout. David Lowery is a filmmaker who always seems to make good movies and this is no different.
2. The Jungle Book
Apart from a weak central performance I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The VFX was undoubtedly incredible and the voice acting was near perfect. In my mind Shere Khan is now always going to be Idris Elba in my mind.
Cinderella is easily the best Disney live action remake in my opinion. It was an updated version of the original that gave the characters more depth and actually made them more interesting as I find the first one very forgettable. Kenneth Branagh does not get the love he deserves for crafting this one.