Every Disney live-action remake ranked from "Beauty and the Beast" to "The Jungle Book"

Christopher Robin 101 Dalmatians Jungle Book Posters

Disney have released plenty of live-action remakes in the past few years, but which is best?

With Disney's latest live-action remake, Tim Burton's Dumbo, currently soaring at the box office, we take a look back on the best and worst that Disney's live-action department has to offer when remaking its timeless classics.

8. The Jungle Book (1994)

The 1994 remake of The Jungle Book takes last place on this list by default as this writer hasn't seen it.

However, going off the cheesy 90s trailer above, that makes the film look way more like Tarzan than the Jungle Book, chances are the film would stay bottom even if I can find some way to watch it.

On a surprising note, 1994's Jungle Book features a noteworthy cast that featured the likes of Lena Headey, John Cleese and Sam Neil.

7. Alice in Wonderland

Dumbo isn't Tim Burton's first attempt at remaking a classic Disney animation in live-action. No, that honour goes to 2010's Alice in Wonderland.

However, just as the reviews for 2019's Dumbo appear to damn the film quite harshly, Burton's Alice in Wonderland also suffered at the hands of critics but still made over a billion dollars and sparking Disney's recent obsession with live-action remakes.

The film features a remarkable cast, including the likes of Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall in voice roles as well as the main cast featuring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.

But the film itself just goes too far and is left a grim mess of unattractive CGI and unnecessary additions to the plot.

6. Cinderella

The only real plus point that came from Disney's remake of Cinderella was the emergence of Lily James who would go on to star in Edgar Wright's Baby Driver and 2018's Mama Mia: Here we go again.

The film itself follows the exact same formula Disney have employed with their other remakes, adding in new details and characters to try and justify the remake and give viewers at least something new to experience.

It's an average film and deserves its placing on this list.

5. Beauty and the Beast

2017's Beauty and the Beast set a worrying precedent when it released and blew up the box office, making a staggering $1.2 billion. It's worrying because it gave Disney the confidence to greenlight a whole swathe of new remakes and reboots. Not including today's release of Dumbo, Disney have another 10 remakes lined up to release over the next few years. Yay.

The film itself is enjoyable in places, namely Ewan McGregor's portrayal of Lumiere, but for the most part, it's bloated, overly lavish and a far cry from its 1991 predecessor. 

4. Maleficent

Maleficent is almost certainly the most original live-action remake Disney has spewed out in recent years.

The premise of Maleficent is definitely the most interesting aspect of the film. It tells the story of Sleeping Beauty but from the perspective of the villain. A bit like The Lion King 1 1/2 but with Angelina Jolie instead of Timon and Pumbaa.

Jolie absolutely steals the show in this gripping tale that is very much loosely based on the story of Sleeping Beauty. The differences from the source material are enough to give the film its own wings that help it soar to its high placing on this list.

3. 101 Dalmatians

Released in 1996, 101 Dalmatians is the second oldest remake on this list. The film takes third spot, not because of its refreshing and modern take on the original story for a new audience, but entirely because of Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams' hilarious portrayal of Jasper and Horace, Cruella de Vil's incompetent henchmen.

The film itself is a charming enough take on the 1961 original but is made complete by the excellent Glenn Close and her truly devilish portrayal of Cruella de Vil.

On the subject of Ms. de Vil, Disney are currently working on another live-action remake, this time focusing on Cruella herself, with Emma Stone set to play the titular character. This new adaptation would appear to follow the same formula that succeeded in 2014's Maleficent, telling the story from the villain's perspective.

2. Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin may not be a remake of one particular film but it did reboot the Winnie the Pooh series and did it in adorably charming fashion. 

Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin is delightful casting as he's perfect in everything he does. But what really elevates the film is the fact that most of the voice cast from older Winnie the Pooh films return and their characters' live-action teddy bear form makes for a truly wonderful time.

It's a film that can't help but make you smile. 

1. The Jungle Book (2016)

Jon Favreau's 2016 take on the Jungle Book is more a remake of the 1968 film than 1994's aforementioned attempt and that is an instant improvement right off the bat.

Coupled with a great voice cast, that features the likes of Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, is the absolutely jaw-dropping animation showcased throughout the film. While most of what you see is CGI, you can hardly tell.

The film's well-deserved success has also led to 2019's remake of The Lion King which will also be overseen by Favreau.

2016's The Jungle Book takes top-spot on this list as it's the first time the Disney remake formula has completely worked on its own. While it adds elements to the story that weren't present in the original film, they never feel forced.

But the crowning glory of the film is, without doubt, the photorealistic CGI throughout.

Disney's Lion King Dumbo Aladdin

And that's our list. Do you agree with our picks? Where do you think Dumbo will place on this list?

One thing is for certain though, no matter how you feel about Disney remaking every film they've ever made, they aren't going to stop while their remakes rake in heaps of money, are they.

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