Walt Disney live-action remakes: What classics are they remaking?

The Lion King
The Lion King is only one of many Disney movies being released as a live-action movie. Pic credit: Walt Disney Studios

With the release of The Lion King trailer this Thanksgiving week, fans are excited about the many releases they can expect from Walt Disney Studios next year. The Lion King is only one of a few remakes, including Dumbo and Aladdin, which are both set to come out in the spring.

While we can also look forward to another Mary Poppins movie and Frozen 2, we’ve decided to only focus on the live-action remakes from the classic Walt Disney vault. And we decided to throw it back a few years, noting the releases that have already been made into movies – just to provide you with a more comprehensive list.

What has already been released?

Even though it may not qualify for the classics list, we’d like to give a special shout-out to 101 Dalmatians with Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, and Joely Richardson. Disney has already hinted that another movie is coming out called Cruella.

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101 Dalmatians (Official Theatrical Trailer) [#1]

While many may not associate the Alice in Wonderland from 2010 as a live-remake movie, it actually has the Walt Disney Studios written all over it. It was directed by Tim Burton, who is currently wrapping up Dumbo. The movie starred Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter.

Alice in Wonderland Teaser 1

Cinderella was the second of the animations to be made into a live-action movie. Cinderella was released in 2015 and despite being a Disney remake, it wasn’t exactly the same story. However, it captured the audiences and there was plenty of cute mice to fall in love with.

Disney's Cinderella Official US Trailer

The Jungle Book was released in 2016. It was directed by Jon Favreau, who will also be directing some of the upcoming Disney revivals in live-action format. Disney was so thrilled with The Jungle Book that a sequel is on the way. No set release date for that one.

The Jungle Book Official US Teaser Trailer

A year later, Beauty and the Beast hit theaters. The much-anticipated live-action remake stars none other than Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the beast. Luke Evans shines in the role as Gaston.

Beauty and the Beast – US Official Final Trailer

This year, we saw a different kind of movie from Disney.

In May 2018, the studio released Christopher Robin, the story of a working-class family man who befriends Winnie the Pooh and his friends in Hundred Acre Wood. While there is a debate on whether Winnie the Pooh is part of the Disney vault, we decided to include it on the list.

Christopher Robin Official Trailer

What has been announced?

Christopher Robin was the only release in 2018, but there are three set to come out in 2019. And the first film is only a few months away.

Dumbo is set to be released on March 29, 2019. Dumbo is directed by Tim Burton and stars Eva Green, Colin Farrell, and Lucy DeVito.

Dumbo Official Trailer

Less than two months later, Disney fans can revisit the magic of Agrabah, as we are headed there to revisit Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu, and the other beloved characters. Aladdin will be released on May 24, 2019.

Will Smith will take over the role of the Genie, while Mena Massoud will play Aladdin, and Naomi Scott will play Jasmine. As for Jafar, Marwan Kenzari will take the evil role.

Disney's Aladdin Teaser Trailer - In Theaters May 24th, 2019

The Lion King is set to be released on July 19, 2019, just two months after Aladdin. This is the last live-action movie from the vault that Disney is releasing in 2019 with Frozen 2 being released on November 22, 2019.

The release of the live-action The Lion King film is coming 25 years after the original 1994 animated movie. Seth Rogan, Donald Glover, Keegan-Michael Key, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Billy Eichner have all signed on. James Earl Jones is returning in the role of Mufasa.

The Lion King Official Teaser Trailer

What we can look forward to?

Mulan has already been revealed to come out on March 27, 2020. In fact, Disney confirmed this news way back in 2016. Chinese actress Liu Yifei will take the role as Mulan.

The Little Mermaid has also been revealed to be undergoing a remake version for a live-action movie. Little is known about the movie, but Lin-Manuel Miranda from Hamilton, and Alan Menken, who has a long history with Disney, are set to write the new songs.

Snow White is another one that appears to be coming out in a few years alongside Pinocchio. Not much is known about these projects, so it’s just something we want to put on your radar.

In this category of uncertainties, we also find The Sword in the Stone, Peter Pan, Lady and The Tramp, and Fantasia.

What we don’t find on the list is Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Rescuers, The Fox and The Hound, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver & Company, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules.

While some of these aren’t considered classic films from the Disney vault, they are definitely some that Walt Disney Studios should consider remaking into live-action movies.

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