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.
Tonight was the night. Tonight he was going to see how she felt about him. For months she would come, they would talk, walk about the grounds, tend to the garden that his mother used to pride herself on. Her company was wanted, it was needed. He loved having her around. It became a necessity for him. The young man would wait patiently, well almost patiently every day, until she arrived, so he could just be in her presence.
Pierre and Ben stood before him checking him over. His green eyes stared through the tall Pierre at the wall as he tried to remain still.
“My lord… calm down. You’ll do wonderfully.” Ben’s gruff voice stated.
“Yes yes, you should take deep breaths Master.” Pierre agreed. The young master nodded trying to get his thumping heart to slow in his large chest. She hadn’t been afraid of him since the first few days, he shouldn’t be so worried. However, he couldn’t keep himself from worrying. He was…a monster, had always been one on the inside and for years his outsides matched. She was so beautiful, so energetic, curious and fiery… he loved her.
Once they finished brushing his suit free of lint, and tamed his fur, he looked at himself in the large mirror. It’s been decades since he looked like this, dressed up. Even though he was much larger than his human body, he supposed it would have to do.
“It’s time sir.” Ben held the door open, he took a deep breath and followed Pierre out of his room and into the corridors. He followed them through the winding halls to the ballroom. Pierre opened the door and he descended the right set of stars to wait for his… what were they calling it these days? Date? The young lord waited, feeling nervous as time ticked by. What was taking so long?
The door opened and there she stood at the top of the left set of stairs. His eyes widened as she gracefully descended to meet him. Her curly dark hair was slightly pinned, allowing her face to be framed by small curls, the yellow gown she wore complimented her brown skin so beautifully. Where did Prudence even find that gown? He’d never seen it before? He mentally berated himself, focus Jasper. He needed to focus on her. She was perfection. Inhaling nervously, he held his arm out for her, she smiled and slipped her arm into his and they walked side by side down the middle stairs into the ballroom.
Music began to lightly play, Mrs. Chambers materialized at the old piano. It’d been meticulously cared for over the years but today it looked new. She began to play. The young lord took hold of her waist gently, mindful not to hurt her. “Relax.” She whispered resting her left hand on his shoulder.
They began to dance. Yes. Tonight, he would tell her how he felt and he silently prayed to whoever was listening… that she felt the same way.
One of my shorter ones, but as I haven’t posted in a while, I just had to! But this is part of my “Beauty and the Beast” novel, unfinished lol so this part is completely new.
There was one last door left unexplored. It was so unlike the other doors, it was as if whoever came to care for the Manor left this door just as untouched as they did the land around the Atwood Manor. The outside looked dark and twisted, the trees overran the grounds, the iron gate was dark and rusted, the light posts, tangled in roots and vines. There was no way she was going to venture the outside grounds by herself, especially with Atwood Manor being pushed so far back into the forest. It was creepy enough. But this door…creepy doors were different. Kind of.
Yasmine twisted the bronze doorknob and the door creaked open. She half expected it to be locked. She pushed the door open further only to see… more stairs. That was fine with her, she was going to see what was up there anyway. With a deep breath, the young woman climbed the stairs to the landing. It was dark and unlike the rest of the house, extremely cluttered and dusty. The only light was a dimming candelabra. The dark curtains blocked the moonlight from the large window at the end of the room.
The dark room contained lots of… junk. There were trunks pushed into corners, one of them held old dresses that seemed similar to the ones in one of the rooms downstairs. Just not nearly as nice. Another trunk held moth eaten clothes fit for a young boy.
“Hmm, I wonder why these clothes aren’t as nice as the ones downstairs.”
There were also a few family portraits, none of which looked professionally done similar to the ones hanging on the walls in the corridors. Old paintbrushes, easels and caked up paints were stashed in wooden crates. Perhaps one of the Atwood’s painted? Of course the fairy tale she kept near and dear to her heart did not detail much outside of the regular story but it would be nice to know. Hanging on the wall was a ripped portrait of a person. They were slashed right across the face, the only part she could clearly see was the green of their eyes, they were so intense, so arrogant that she as she attempted to the fit the pieces together, she couldn’t help but to dislike the handsome face.
Who destroyed this portrait? Who removed it from the wall in the corridor? These questions were quickly forgotten as something near the window caught her eye. Sitting near the window was a tall bedside table, atop that table was something golden slightly hidden beneath a cloth. Yasmine tilted her head in curiosity and removed the cloth.
“An hourglass… it’s so beautiful.”
The hourglass was golden, as if it was shined and buffed everyday. There were three columns connecting the top to the bottom and the glass cups held tiny grains of sand. However, the weird thing was, was that the sand sat at the very top of the hourglass unmoving. The sand was not falling the way it should. Yasmine bit her lip wondering if she should touch it, but why not? She lifted the beautiful object and stared at the sand trapped in the top half. If she just shook it, the grain should start to move.
Just as she started to shake the hourglass, she froze feeling hot air against her neck. Her brown eyes widened in fear, she clutched the object tight prepared to use it as a weapon.
“What are you doing in here?” The voice was deep, gruff, inhuman and animalistic. Her breath caught in her throat at the voice and it took everything in her not to scream in fright. “Do not make me ask you again.”
The figured moved from behind her and stood before the dark curtains. His form was hidden from her but it was large, tall and wrong. It… couldn’t be human.
“I-I was j-just looking. I didn’t mean any harm.”
The figure growled, it actually growled at her before snatching the hourglass from her hands. She jumped back, a yelp escaping her throat at the abnormal hands… no paws… claws? that jumped out at her.
“Wh-what are you?”
This is super late but man this day was busy lol. This is also sort of kind of a scene from a book I’m working on and it worked for this free write. I wonder if the story it’s based on is easy to figure out.