I love Disney, I have always loved Disney and I will love Disney FOREVER! I think their movies are great, sure there are some misfires but overall, Disney is solid. So there are a nice amount of Disney remakes coming up, they are live action remakes of some of their animated features.
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
I remember when they announced this, it seemed to take a while since I think Angelina Jolie got sick around that time. But, I was excited. I never really liked Sleeping Beauty like that, however, I started a Disney animated marathon (didn’t finish) and I have a new appreciation of that film. It’s a beautifully animated film. Man. Anyway, I expected more, I left disappointed. I didn’t mind the fact they tried to give Maleficent a reason to be angry other than “not being invited” but a few things I didn’t like:
The fact that her name was Maleficent as a child, her parents set her up for failure.
The fact that she mended her curse instead of allowing the fairies to give a loophole.
The curse is supposed to make “Aurora prick her finger and DIE!” and Merryweather uses her gift to make her fall into a “death like sleep”. In Maleficent, the King begs and she changes it herself. Meh.
The fairies were stupid. If anything, Sleeping Beauty is the fairies’ movie and I did not like how they were turned into twits just to make Maleficent look good. Meh.
Anyway, this is not a review but I’m just saying. Maleficent was okay.
I actually liked this one, I wasn’t sure how I felt about her dress because of the butterflies but once I saw the movie, the transformation, while long, was beautiful and I understand why the butterflies were there but I still didn’t like them.
I appreciated that Cinderella and the Prince (Kip) met before the ball and their relationship continued and that it wasn’t just a one night thing. I know in some versions of the story, it’s a three night festival but ya know Disney cut it into one. I also appreciated how Prince Kip received a story line instead of just being Prince Charming. The stepsisters of course were there and were funny but not important. Cate Blanchett was wonderful as the Stepmother and I did really like Ella’s character.
The only “negative” thing, I can think of right now is that it didn’t seem like Ella really had a reason to stay… she left and that’s how she met Kip in the first place. She said she didn’t leave because she wanted to protect her house or whatever, but then she marries the prince and leaves the house anyway. So, it didn’t really seem like she didn’t have a choice to stay compared to the animated film where Cinderella really seemed locked into her life… I don’t know, just something I noticed.
Cinderella was really good. Beautiful movie and the music was lovely.
The Jungle Book
I really really liked this one, probably my favorite live action remake out of the three we’ve gotten in recent years. I would need to watch it again to do a review, which I always planned on doing, just never got around to it. But the young actor who played Mowgli was great in his role, I appreciate his casting. The music is great, and I just loved how real the animals looked.
I thought this was cute, I never saw the original but I enjoyed the movie. You can read my review for this film here.
So moving forward, we’ve had a few announcements about live action remakes. Up next is Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens which I am super excited about. Personally, I find Beauty and the Beast to be a masterpiece and to be Disney’s best animated film, so I have high hopes for the remake, it already looks promising. Next we’ve been told about The Lion King, Mulan and I think I saw rumors about Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, I’m not sure if the last two were confirmed but I’ll mention them anyway. I’m excited about them all honestly, yes the animated versions are amazing and are untouchable but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore anything else that comes out of them.
Mulan: Mulan 2
The Lion King: The Lion King 2, The Lion King: 1 1/2, a Broadway show, Timon & Puumba, and The Lion Guard
Aladdin: Aladdin: Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Aladdin: Animated Series, Jasmine’s Princess Power Hour (it was a special thing with Ariel).
The Little Mermaid: The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, The Little Mermaid: Animated Series, Broadway Show.
So it’s not like these movies are “untouched” lol.
I think Mulan, if given a Pirates of the Caribbean treatment, could be awesome. Disney needs to give it an epic feel.
Cast: An all Chinese cast is imperative.
Eddie Murphy should reprise Mushu, if they bring him back. Excepton.
Real horse for Khan but animate Khan’s expressions though.
I think Ming Na Wen should play Mulan’s mother, as she was the original Mulan voice.
Music: The music needs to be amazing.
“Make a Man Out of You” should actually be in the film.
“Reflection” could be instrumental in that scene, or be internal instead of outright sung.
The Villain: They should do a bit more with him because that dude is one of the “weaker” Disney villains. Very forgettable.
Mulan could be epic. Just imagine that avalanche scene in IMAX or even the scene where Mulan uses the fireworks to blow up the villain. I think it could work if they give it lots of care.
The Lion King
It’ll be given the same treatment as The Jungle Book, which is fine with me.
The cast: Black actors. Do not ignore African actors.
Bring back James Earl Jones, Mufasa must be James Earl Jones
However, I will not be opposed to Samuel E. Wright voicing him. He was the Original Broadway Mufasa. Fun fact: he also voiced Sebastian in The Little Mermaid.
Heather Hedley could be Sarabi (Nala from original broadway cast).
Jeremy Irons should reprise his role as Scar, he would be an exception lol.
I think it would be nice to show Simba’s teenage years with Timon and Pumba.
Music: The Lion King has some of the most iconic music, and only three of them are technically sung by characters in the film.
“Just Can’t Wait to Be King” should be sung by young Simba.
“Hakuna Matata” obviously, though I was never a huge fan of that song.
“Be Prepared” I think that would be a cool scene.
I would like for some of the Broadway songs to be added:
“Endless Night” is such a beautiful song. I think that song could be part of the soundtrack, Simba doesn’t have to actually sing it, it could be an internal song.
“Shadowland” is great song for Nala and a nice introduction to her adult character.
“They Live In You” and “He Lives In You”
It’s been a while since I’ve seen the animated film, but perhaps the instrumentals of these songs are sort of there.
Thoughts on Rafiki: I am not against Rafiki being male in the movie, but I wouldn’t mind a woman like in the show and she can lead “Circle of Life”. We don’t have to see Rafiki singing it but the actress could sing it. I think it could be great! I’m excited lol.
My third favorite Disney animated film.
Cast: People of color. That’s it. As the location is based on a few different places, it’s hard to say so just people of color.
Iago shouldn’t talk if in the live action film.
Abu didn’t really talk but he shouldn’t either (think the monkey from Night at the Museum).
Rajah should also be there, as I read that tigers (and monkeys) are a large population in Agra India.
Agrabah is based off Baghdad, Iraq and Agra, India. The Sultan’s palace is based off of the Taj Mahal.
The Genie: I think this would be a challenge as Robin Williams has passed and he was iconic in this role. I’m not sure how he would be handled. They shoud look at some genie or jinn mythology
A physical person, use technology to help his appearence, but I don’t think he should look exactly like his cartoon counter part.
They shouldn’t try to copy Williams’ performance with someone else as most of his lines were improvised and that version was written with Williams in mind.
“Friend Like Me” is hard to replicate without Robin Williams, as well as that particular version’s energy, comedic timing etc… but if approached different might be okay. Otherwise, leave it out. Or look, at the Broadway show for ideas.
The live action Aladdin could have an “epic” feel to it too. Give a chance for more story telling, character expansion, especially for Jasmine.
Explore Aladdin’s life a bit more before meeting the genie.
The Cave of Wonders could be kind of scary in certain aspects.
Aladdin and Jasmine should have a few more meetings before they decide they’re in love.
I think the final showdown between Aladdin and Jafar should be a bit more involved.
It’s great in the film of course, but let the people do some stunts!
Aladdin doesn’t have to sing “One Jump”, it can just play in the beginning, just to prevent from being too cheesy and too “musical”.
“A Million Miles Away” is a song from the show, it’s during the scene in Aladdin’s apartment after they meet in the marketplace. It’s such a great and sweet song, gives insight into both characters.
“A Whole New World” can stay in the same spot. Bring it!!
The Little Mermaid
My favorite and I will be totally critical of this one, so critical. There is a version in works with Chloe Grace Moretz attached, but to be clear, her version is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s book, not the Disney film, which is why she will keep her blonde hair and her name will not be Ariel. While the Disney film is based from the book, the live action DISNEY remake will be on their own movie, not the book. So, just like with Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, there will be two The Little Mermaid movies.
Music: It’s such a big part of the movie and I think it should stay.
“Part of Your World” may be a challenge as it’s an underwater scene. It should remain in the movie but be handled carefully.
“Poor Unforntuate Souls” is the same, a great song and scene.
I think this one would require a ton of care due to the nature of the film. It’s not like mermaids can’t be done, we’ve see it, in Splash, Aquamarine, Hook, The Thirteenth Year, Peter Pan (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and H20: Just Add Water, just to name a few. They all looked good in their respective movies and different, only thing would be with the talking underwater. Obviously, they wouldn’t really be talking underwater, but it’s just making sure it looks believable. So we’ll just have to see with this one.
So these are my thoughts, at the moment, on these Disney live action remakes. Considering what we have, I’m optimistic about what’s to come. I truly believe Beauty and the Beast will be wonderful and I think the others will be too, just as long as Disney takes my suggestions lol. Just kidding, but no seriously. I’m excited to see what they do with these upcoming films, I can’t wait to start pictures and I can’t wait for Beauty and the Beast.
Below are some links to songs I want to be included. Enjoy them, they’re all beautiful.
Aladdin: A Million Miles Away
The Lion King
“Endless Night” sung by Jason Raize (RIP).
“Shadowland” sung by Heather Headley.
“They Live In You/Reprise” Samuel E. Wright is Mufasa in this video and Rafiki is a woman here.
via Daily Prompt: Silence (another part from what will become an “Aladdin” story).
She swung the double doors open of her father’s study, she flung the royal purple curtains away from the opening revealing herself to her father, who sat at his desk, his quill still moving furiously across the parchment. His dark eyes glanced up for a moment before turning back to his work. Jade frowned before swiftly walking over to his desk.
“I need to speak with you.” He nodded his head indicating he wanted her to continue. She blew out a sharp breath. “Father I-“
“I’m glad you’ve returned to us unharmed my dear.” It was the lilting voice of her mother, she swept into room like she was floating on air. She stood next to Jade’s father, her hand resting on her father’s shoulder. He paused in his writings to squeeze her hand.
Jade watched them both. Part of her still fuming over what transpired a mere hours ago and the other part falling in love with her parents’ love.
“-as I was saying,” her mother gave her a sharp look, causing Jade to glance away for a moment “I, uh-“
“Do not stutter dear.” Her mother interrupted again. Jade squeezed her hands into fists trying to reign in her anger. They both acted so unassuming or indifferent at times and she wondered why. They were royalty, they were the king and queen, they were her parents, they should be interested in what she had to say. They are, you’re just being a baby. No I’m not.
“There was a boy in the market, he saved me and cared for me while I was there. Just this morning, we left our shelter and the guards swooped in like a swarm of black bats and they arrested him! They had no right!”
Her father tilted his head to the side, his eyes focusing on his daughter, it made her want to squirm but she didn’t move. Her mother didn’t react.
“Dearest, Nazar handles the arrests-“
“Exactly! They said he was the reason why they wouldn’t release him when I demanded it.”
“You need to speak with him. If their orders came from Nazar, perhaps he can shine better light on the situation. I know nothing of this boy you speak of. He may be a well known thief if Nazar has the guards actively searching for him.”
“But he did nothing wrong. He helped me!”
Her mother moved from behind the desk and came to Jade’s side. She took her hands in hers, the look in her face allowing Jade to know her mother was on her side. Neither woman liked Nazar but he was the king’s best friend. They grew up together in the palace. Her father a noble prince and Nazar, the son of the king’s royal advisor. Her father trusted Nazar more than he probably should. He allowed him to handle issues he may not be able to get to himself, such as petty thieves on the streets and the poor.
“Chinelo.” Her mother’s firm voice said. The king frowned, he pushed away from the desk and stood, his tall frame moved gracefully towards the women he loved the most.
“Jade. Just, speak with Nazar. You’ll find he has reasons for the things he does.”
She knew this wasn’t going to be a conversation that would end in her favor. With an annoyed but resigned sigh, the young princess pushed her curls from her face before giving a quick nod. She pulled herself from her parents hands and slowly moved towards the door. Fine. He wanted her to speak with Nazar, then she would. She would get the answers she wanted.
It didn’t take her long to find him. He seemed to just appear in the large ballroom. Jade always wanted to know where he went, he must have secret passages but she could never find them, nor could she ever catch him escaping or entering one. One of these days.
“Nazar.” Her voice echoed in the large room, his dark eyebrows lifted as he approached the young princess. Jade met him in the middle of the room, her jade skirts moving quickly against her legs.
“Ah princess, how may I be of serv-“
“The guards took a boy from the market this morning, they said they were ordered by you to imprison him.”
Nazar’s face gave away nothing and it infuriated her. He was tall, with long limbs, his eyes were cut sharp, with intense dark eyes, his skin was not as dark as her father’s, unlike her father he wasn’t bald. He always wore dark colors, today it seemed a dark purple was his choice. The bird on his shoulder squawked loudly at the girl, causing Jade to startle just a bit, but she only scowled back. The bird was horrid but it didn’t frighten her. At least, not all the time.
“Ah yes, the street rat. They were operating on my orders, the boy is a criminal.”
“What was his crime?”
“Why, thievery, kidnapping, disorderly conduct, disturbing of the peace. The list goes on majesty.”
“Kidnapping? He never kidnapped me, I ran away.”
Nazar raised his eyebrows in surprise. Feigned surprise. The princess before him held a haughty and irritated expression and he couldn’t help but to inwardly smirk. The brat truly worried about his prisoner. The boy was of use to him, he was of no use to the princess. He touched his hand to his cheek, scratching at his dark beard, shaking his head.
“Oh dear. I wish I had known that before.”
“What have you done?”
The bird on his shoulder bristled at her tone, but with a gentle touch to its chest from Nazar, it calmed. Jade noticed the reaction and frowned. That bird… so strange.
“The boy has been sentenced. His death was only an hour ago.” His tone was indifferent but his expression help sorrow for the princess. Jade crumpled. No. He can’t be…
“W-what?” Tears begin to well in her eyes, she tried to hold them to not cry before this man but it was painful. That boy, she didn’t even learn his name, but he was kind, handsome and she liked being in his presence. He was full of life. Life she wanted. She stumbled away from him.
“Princess-” He reached out for her but she slapped his hand away from her.
“Do not touch me, you-you monster! He was just a boy!” She turned away so fast, that she was worried she might fall. But she was a princess, she would never fall in front of watchful eyes. Nazar watched her run from the room, her jade skirts swishing behind her, her long dark curls bouncing behind her. Her muffled sobs faded into silence. The bird squawked. Nazar nodded.
“Yes my dear. The princess’s attention has been diverted. She will mourn the boy, but it matters not. He is of use to us and she will never see him again.”
Alijah sat, his back against the dank stone walls of the royal dungeon. Manacles were attached to each wrist, both manacle attached to lengths of chain that barely gave him enough room to move them.
The princess. He was so angry with himself for not knowing. But how could I have possibly known? No one has ever seen the princess’ face. Anytime the royal family paraded through the town, Queen Kamaria and Princess Jade’s faces were always covered. Hot sun.
“Idiot.” He mumbled to himself. Alijah rubbed his wrist, wanting to scratch the itch he couldn’t reach. She probably thought he sounded stupid, all of his stories, his tricks of surviving the street, he thumped his head back against the wall, wincing only slightly at the pain. Then she had to see him be friendly with Maria and her brothel. He could die right now and not even be bitter about it.
It didn’t matter anymore. They arrested him without telling him what he did. At least that time. He was sure it was something about the melons but they never said and they weren’t even in the marketplace when he stole the melons, or the apples. It was impossible for them to have known.
“Street rat-” He perked up hearing the scraping of the prison door. It was too dark to see who entered but from the dark mass and the gravelly voice, it was the head guard. Kondo.
“The princess, is she alright? Did she make it back home safely?” Deep laughter sounded and Alijah frowned. What was amusing? It was a serious question. “It’s a serious question.”
“The princess is no longer your concern ingrate. You will never have to worry your criminal head again.”
What? Alijah frowned at those words. Was that a threat? His brown eyes narrowed at the man as he came into the moonlight streaming into the iron bars. It’d been a long day, he’d been down there since morning and he was tired. This was no time for games.
“What do you mean?”
Kondo stood down before Alijah, just enough out of reach that if the boy attacked, the chains would prevent him from touching.
“Midnight tonight, you will receive your punishment. All these years of stealing-“
“It’s only been food. To live, to feed my dog. I’ve never stolen anything important. Just food and trinkets people will never miss.” Those people didn’t care about their wooden carved camels, their broken beaded necklaces, or old worn shoes and their small balls he gave to Fox for enjoyment. Kondo grabbed the front of Alijah’s shirt, yanking him forward, fear flickered through the boy’s brown eyes but he refused to give him the satisfaction.
Kondo continued like he was never interrupted. “-lying and running from us is going to end. That stupid mutt will be without it’s master. You’ve been allowed to avoid this for far too long. That ends tonight.”
He flung the boy away from him, Alijah colliding with the stone wall. He stood a bit too gracefully for such a large man and he swept out of the dungeon. Alijah breath caught in his throat. This wasn’t his first time being caught by the guards, it wasn’t his first time spending time down here, it wasn’t the first time he’d been threatened with death or roughed up a bit but this was the first time that threat was eminent. What was he going to do? The silence around him seemed crushing and it took everything in him not to break.