Live action movies Disney

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Disney’s 2019 Live-Action Adaptation of ‘Aladdin’ Joins Their Disney+ Library on January 8, 2020

It’s time for Aladdin, Jasmine, and the Genie to finally join the live-action Disney characters already living on Disney’s subscription service. This company shared an announcement about Disney+ and movies available for binge-watching during 2020. Less than a year after its release, the 2019 version of Aladdin will be on Disney+.

When will the live-action Aladdin be on this streaming platform? Here’s what we know about Disney+ and its upcoming release schedule, including the recently announced spin-off series about Prince Anders.

The live-action version of ‘Aladdin’ is coming to Disney+

What’s better than a beloved Disney story starring Will Smith? During 2019, Disney premiered its live-action version of the animated classic Aladdin. This time, it featured actors Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, and Will Smith. Months have passed since the movie premiered in theaters. Now, Disney has plans to release it on its streaming service, Disney+.

Disney is still tweaking its official release schedule. One of the best examples of that is Marvel’s blockbuster, Avengers: Endgame, which had an initial Disney+ premiere date of December 2019. The company later decided to add it to their streaming service’s library on its release date, Nov. 12, 2019.

Other live-action films, including ‘The Lion King,’ are coming to Disney+ during January 2020

Although Dumbo is already on this streaming platform, other live-action movies produced by Disney during 2019 will appear on their subscription service. That includes the photo-real adaptation of The Lion King, which, according to Disney+, will be available as of Jan. 28, 2020.

If you’re just a fan of Aladdin and Jasmine, your Disney+-related wish is officially granted. Other versions of Aladdin are available on this streaming platform. That includes the original animated film and its sequels, The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. There is more Aladdin content coming to Disney+, including an exclusive and original spin-off series.

Naomi Scott, Mena Massoud, Director Guy Ritchie and Will Smith attend a photocall at the Citadel, as part of the “Aladdin” Magic Carpet World Tour | Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Disney

Disney+ announced a new series featuring some of the ‘Aladdin’ cast members

There may be more Aladdin content coming to Disney+. One character from the live-action film, Prince Anders, portrayed by Billy Magnussen, is reportedly getting his own spin-off series on the streaming platform, Disney+. This news comes only weeks after Mena Massoud shared information about his career after Aladdin.

“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” Massoud said during an interview with The Daily Beast. “I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin. ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.’ It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out.”

As one of the view one characters who are white in a film that predominantly features people of color, the announcement of the Disney+ spin-off was met with some criticism from fans. Disney has yet to announce a release date for this upcoming series.

Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin will be available for streaming on Disney+ on Jan. 8, 2020. To learn more about Disney+ and to subscribe, visit their website.

Untitled Disney Live-Action Movie – March 12, 2021

At the rate in which Disney is producing live-action movies, especially ones based on their past animated films, it’s possible that this date could be reserved for the long in-development Pinocchio movie. Paddington’s Paul King is directing the film and the script is currently being worked on. Since it was reported that filming on Pinocchio could begin in either 2019 or 2020, it makes sense to release the movie in March 2021. Plus, that release date would coincide with Disney’s past live-action remake releases, such as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Dumbo – all of which have released in March of their respective years.


Untitled Disney Live-Action Movie – May 28, 2021

One project that is routinely in the news these days is Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. While the Mouse House has more than just live-action remakes in the works, it stands to reason that a movie like The Little Mermaid would do well in a prime summer release date. Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin movie will be a good test for this. While there’s no one currently attached to the project, it’s been reported that Mary Poppins Returns’ Rob Marshall is Disney’s top choice to direct. It’s certainly possible that he may board the adaptation depending on how successful his Mary Poppins sequel turns out. If he does take the job, then it would be his fourth Disney movie in a row, the previous ones being Mary Poppins Returns, Into the Woods, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.


Untitled Pixar Animation – June 18, 2021


Unfortunately, as with Pixar’s 2020 movies, there’s no telling what their June 2021 movie will be. However, it must be something big for them to carve out yet another June release date. Aside from Toy Story 4 releasing in June 2019, Pixar has released Cars 3, Finding Dory, Inside Out, and Monsters University in June over the past few years – three of which are sequels. Even though Pixar previously stated in 2016 that they weren’t considering any sequels to previous movies, it’s possible they could’ve changed their mind by now. And among all their movies that warrant a sequel, most people want to see another Inside Out. While there’s nothing to suggest that Inside Out 2 is in development, it could certainly be produced by the time 2021 rolls around if Pixar is interested in making it happen.


Indiana Jones 5 – July 9, 2021

Even though the Indiana Jones franchise is a Lucasfilm production, it’s not a Star Wars film, which is why it’s on this list. It was long believed that Indiana Jones 5 would happen at some point after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, and that belief came true when the studio announced in 2016 plans to produce another Indiana Jones movie. Unfortunately, it’s been delayed multiple times since then – first from 2019 to 2020, and then again one more time to 2021. Indiana Jones 5, which sees Steven Spielberg return as director and Harrison Ford return in the title role, is now being written by Solo: A Star Wars Story co-writer Jon Kasdan.


Untitled Disney Live-Action Movie – July 30, 2021

Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book 2 could potentially release in July 2021. The filmmaker released his first Jungle Book movie in 2016 and then almost immediately began working on a live-action adaptation of The Lion King (live-action in the way that it’s filmed). While there’s a three-year gap between The Jungle Book and The Lion King hitting theaters, it stands to reason that Favreau would have perfected making these movies by the time he gets going on The Jungle Book 2. Plus, it shouldn’t take as long to make a sequel than it is to start an entirely new project altogether.

Untitled Disney Live-Action Movie – October 8, 2021

Among their many, many live-action movies in development, it’s possible that Disney may attempt to release one of their live-action remakes in the fall season, particularly one that is closely associated with Halloween. It would be a step in a new direction for them, especially since they don’t typically release movies in this time-frame. Taking that into account, their live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves could release in this date, but they would need to get the ball rolling on that project sooner rather than later.


Untitled Disney Animation – November 24, 2021

While there are two Pixar movies hitting theaters in 2021, Disney has slotted the prime Thanksgiving release date for one of their Disney Animation films. It’s a time-frame they’ve seen astounding success with in recent years and not something they want to let go of. Even though they have quite a few projects in development, it’s nearly impossible to tell what this could be. However, it’s plausible that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s secret Disney Animation project could debut in 2021, depending, of course, on when it enters production.

Untitled Disney Live-Action Movie – December 22, 2021

Again, it stands to reason that every one of Disney’s upcoming live-action movies that are scheduled to release in December – from 2020 until 2023 – could be replaced with James Cameron’s Avatar sequels. In this case, that would be Avatar 3, which is reportedly titled Avatar: The Seed Bearer. It has already completed production and is now in the post-production phase.


Page 5 of 5: Disney’s Upcoming 2022 & 2023 Movies

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Every Disney live-action remake due for release in the next few years

Disney’s plotting a steady stream of live-action remakes (and some photorealistic animations) for release over the next few years, and we couldn’t be more excited. Whether it’s diving under the sea (and back into your childhood) with Ariel, or punk-rocking out in the 80s with Cruella, there’s plenty for Disney fans to get their teeth stuck into.


  • The biggest movie releases of 2019
  • When is Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake released in cinemas?
  • When is Cruella released in cinemas?

Here’s the complete list of upcoming Disney films you need to know about.

The Lion King – release date 19th July 2019

After a roaring success on the stage, The Lion King is finally returning to the big screen with a celebrity cast including Beyoncé, Donald Glover and Seth Rogen. Echoing The Jungle Book, the film offers stunning photorealistic animation, with Beyoncé voicing Nala. (Did I mention Beyoncé’s in it?)

Starring: Donald Glover, Beyoncé(!), James Earl Jones, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Keegan Michael-Key, John Oliver

  • The Lion King review: “a peculiar hybrid of nature documentary and coming-of-age tale”

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – release date 18th October 2019

Maleficent and her Gaga-esque cheekbones will return for a second instalment in the Sleeping Beauty villain’s origin story, following the first film, Maleficent, released in 2014. Angelina Jolie has said that the follow-up will ask whether Maleficent is “good enough” to be Aurora’s mother as we follow the pair making alliances to combat new enemies.

Starring: Elle Fanning, Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Lindsay, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Sam Riley, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville

Lady and the Tramp – release date 12th November 2019 (US only)

The upcoming live-action reimagining of Lady and the Tramp will star real dogs – yes actual, real, dogs – and humans. We can’t wait to see that spaghetti smooch on the big screen, but although the film’s due for release on 12th November 2019 in the US (via Disney’s new streaming service Disney+), it’s not clear when (gulp, if) we’ll be able to see it in the UK.

Starring: Janelle Monáe, Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Sam Eliot, Ashley Jensen, Benedict Wong

  • READ MORE: All the shows coming to Disney+

Mulan – release date 27th March 2020

Disney is hoping that its remake of Mulan will engage Chinese audiences in a way that the animated original failed to do, following the original Ballad of Mulan more closely this time around and casting Chinese American actress Liu Yifei in the lead role.

Starring: Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Ron Yuan, Chum Ehelepola, Boson An, Yoson An

Cruella – release date 1st January 2021


God is a woman according to Disney star Ariana Grande, but so is the Devil. Well, at least that’s what Disney’s been telling us since their 1961 animation with their not-so-subtly named fur-obsessed villain, Cruella De Vil. If she doesn’t scare you no evil thing will….

But things might be about to change. In their new live-action film Cruella, we’ll hear the story of how the iconic character became the woman she is. Expect a tragic backstory that’s more sympathetic towards Ms De Vil – and (arguably) an equally tragic fashion backstory… did you know that Cruella went through a punk phase in the 80s?

Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson

The Little Mermaid – release date TBC

The Little Mermaid, Getty

After thirty years confined to animation, Ariel can finally become part of our world in this live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Halle Bailey, one half of the US R&B duo Chloe x Halle, will make history in the lead role, becoming the first person of colour to play a Disney princess who was white in the original animated film.

But whilst the diversity of the cast is getting more realistic, the remake is set to retain its fantasy elements including talking fish, enchanted necklaces, and hair that remains perfectly in place despite salt, wind and magic sea battles.

Starring: Halle Bailey, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Melissa McCarthy

The Sword in the Stone – release date TBC

It’s going to be tough to convince Merlin’s loyal fan base (which, thanks to Netflix, now includes US viewers) that anyone but the BBC should touch the story of King Arthur. But in Disney’s defence, they did get there first with their 1963 animation. Plans are afoot to remake that version – let’s just hope writer Bryan Cogman has saved a shield or two from his work on Game of Thrones, in case Merlin fans aren’t impressed. This is another project set to debut on streaming service Disney+.

Starring: TBC

Peter Pan – release date TBC

We’ve already seen Peter Pan flying away from London in several live-action remakes, so you might be wondering how a new version could possibly compete. Answer: by not trying to.

Director David Lowery has told Collider “I didn’t know how I would do it better. Then, I started thinking, ‘Well, how would I do it, not better, but differently?’ As soon as I started thinking that, I started getting ideas and it seemed like a good fit”.

With a steady stream of live-action releases already lined up, Disney has been quiet on this one in recent years.

Starring: TBC

Pinocchio – release date TBC

Pinocchio has wanted to be a real boy since he was dreamt up by Carlo Collodi in 1883, and now his wish will finally come true. 136 years is an awfully long time to wait, so expectations are high for Pinocchio’s live-action remake, which will be penned by Peter Hedges (About a Boy). Sam Mendes (Skyfall) was attached but has since pulled out, and the last we heard Paddington director Paul King was being lined up to take his place.

Starring: TBC

Tink – release date TBC

Peter Pan’s sidekick Tinker Bell is reportedly back for a new live action movie. Originally meant as a minor character, she’s now a Disney icon and hugely popular with fans. Tinker Bell’s origin story has already been told in a 2008 straight-to-DVD animated version, and it’s as yet unclear whether the new film will follow a similar plot. There had been rumours that Reese Witherspoon will be playing the tinkering fairy but there’s been no movement on this project for a few years.

Starring: Reece Witherspoon (rumoured)

Rose Red – release date TBC

Rose Red – the elusive sister of Snow White, not the Steven King story – is reportedly coming to the big screen for the first time. In a “revisionist take that transposes Rose Red into the Show White tale”, the new film will be based on an original Brothers Grim tale, incorporating a character that was left out altogether from Disney’s earlier efforts.

Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Justin Merz (The Boxcar Children) are writing the screenplay, and DisInsider has reported that Brie Larson has been approached for the role of Rose Red.

Starring: TBC

Prince Charming – release date TBC

Rose Red’s producer, Tripp Vinson, is due to be joined by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman (Beauty and the Beast) for this new film all about Prince Charming. It’s going to be tough to beat DreamWorks’ depiction of him as an arrogant mummy’s boy in the Shrek films, but we’re fascinated. In the Disney universe, Prince Charming apparently lives a triple life as the beau of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella – just how charming can one man be?

Starring: TBC

Hunchback – release date TBC

Disney’s bringing Quasimodo back to the big screen for a new version of Victor Hugo’s Parisian tale of a man shunned for his disability. Expect new music from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, who also wrote the soundtrack for Disney’s first take on the story – The Hunchback of Notre Dame – in 1996. This is not the same project as Idris Elba’s Netflix version which sounds rather different to the animated original.

Starring: TBC

Lilo & Stitch – release date TBC

If this story of the extraterrestrial agent of destruction turned into a sweet family pet through the power of ‘ohana doesn’t warm your heart, we don’t know what will. Now returning for a live-action remake (with a little CGI help), it’s unclear whether Lilo and Switch will be released in the UK or just on Disney+ in the US. What is perhaps most intriguing is the hiring of Mike Van Waes, who is best known for his work in the horror genre, as the project’s screenwriter.

Starring: TBC

Genies – release date TBC

This prequel to Aladdin was first reported in 2015 but little has been heard of it since – and with Disney recently releasing a live-action remake of their animated original starring Will Smith, it remains to be seen whether Genies will ever materialise. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift were originally reported as writing the comedy origin story telling of how the Genie ended up in the lamp in the first place.

Starring: TBC


This page will be updated regularly, so stay tuned for updates on these upcoming releases

Grab your calendar, and take out a bank loan – here’s what you’re doing for the next three years. Disney has announced what it plans to bring to the big screen and when, as well as teasing us with several projects that aren’t yet dated.

Remember – Disney is an absolute powerhouse which includes Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm so that’s everything in the Avengers universe, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pirates, Toy Story, Cars and the live-action animation remakes.

It’s time to start salivating.


The Art of Racing in the Rain

So, yeah, this one’s about a family dog named Enzo who evaluates his life through the lessons he has learned from his human owner, a race car driver named Denny Swift. We promise we’re not making this up. This Fox film replaces Artemis Fowl in Disney’s release schedule. It’s out on August 9.

Ready Or Not

One of the most traditionally un-Disney releases of the year is Ready Or Not, a horror-tinged thriller which sees a young bride-to-be invited to meet her new husband’s rich, eccentric family, in order to participate in a tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival. It’s out on August 23 in the US and September 27 in the UK.

Ad Astra

Twenty years after his father left on a one-way mission to Neptune in order to find signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence, Roy McBride, an engineer, travels through the solar system to find him and understand why his mission failed. Another film that’s part of the Fox deal, this one stars Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones and actually sounds amazing. It’s out on September 20.

Maleficent 2

Angelina Jolie is back as Sleeping Beauty’s misunderstood antagonist along with Elle Fanning, Sam Riley and newcomers Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It will be released on October 18.

Ford v. Ferrari

James Mangold’s first film since Logan is about race care drivers – based on the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari for the dominance at Le Mans endurance race. It’s another Fox release, and it’s out on November 15.

Frozen 2

There’s no way Disney was going to (ahem) let this one go, after the massive success of the first Frozen. Anna and Elsa will be back to serenade us on November 22.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker


Yep, another Star Wars movie – with the details about this one still a way off. What we do know, though, is it will no longer be directed by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow – he left the project over creative differences and The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams is back.

Episode 9, like that movie and eighth instalment The Last Jedi, will open near Christmas – on December 19 in the UK and December 20 in the US.

Spies In Disguise

One of the Fox movies on Disney’s slate that feels like a traditional Disney release, this is an animated tale about super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and his scientist contact Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) who are forced to work together more closely after Lance is turned into a pigeon. Seriously. It’s out on December 25 in the US and December 26 in the UK.



Disney’s first release of 2020 will be a Fox movie about a crew of underwater researchers who have to find safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory. Starring Kirsten Stewart and TJ Miller, the disaster film will be in cinemas on January 10.

The King’s Man

Before we get the third and final Eggsy outing in Kingsman 3, we’re going right back to the beginning of the Kingsman organisation. The King’s Man, starring Ralph Fiennes, is a prequel set in the early 1900s, and it’s out on February 14.


Featuring Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer, Pixar’s Onward is about two teenage elf brothers who embark on a quest to discover if there is any magic left. We’ll find out when it’s released on March 6.


Following the success of the live-action version of Cinderella, Disney announced loads of other cartoons were being made into real-life productions, too. However, Mulan slipped two years from its original 2018 release and will now arrive on March 27.

The New Mutants

Josh Boone combines X-Men comics with horror movies for his unique take on the Marvel team. It’s maybe too unique – the film has been delayed and delayed, with rumours of costly reshoots changing the tone. It’s (finally) out on April 3.

Black Widow

The first movie of Marvel’s Phase 4 will be Black Widow, the long-awaited solo movie for Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. It’s set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, and is said to offer a whole new side to the spy-turned-hero when it comes out on May 1.

Artemis Fowl

This adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s fab fantasy which teams an Irish criminal mastermind with a fairy LEPrecon officer to defeat an evil pixie (it’s really good, honestly) will be directed by Kenneth Branagh. It’s out on May 29.

The second original Pixar offering of 2020, Soul goes from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realm to answer what makes you… you. Sounds deep. It’s out on June 19.

Free Guy

This Ryan Reynolds star vehicle shoves The Truman Show, Wreck-It-Ralph, and Grand Theft Auto together to create a live-action movie about a bank teller who realises he’s a background character in a violent video game that’s about to shut down. It’s out on July 3.

Bob’s Burgers

The Belcher family’s big screen debut finally has an official release date from Disney, and it’s good news – it’ll land on July 17, roughly the same time as the hugely popular Simpsons’ movie debuted way back in 2007. Fox and Disney will be hoping for similar success in 2020.

Jungle Cruise

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will be making a movie based on Disneyland ride Jungle Cruise, which slipped from 2019 to its current July 24 release date.

The One And Only Ivan

This animated film based on a children’s novel is about a gorilla who lives in a mall with an ageing elephant and a dog with no recollection of how they got there. When an abused baby elephant shows up, Ivan starts to care for her and, along with the janitor’s daughter Julia, they change all of their lives forever. Awww. It’s out on August 14.

Death On The Nile

Detective Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of a young heiress aboard a cruise ship on the Nile River. This Agatha Christie adaptation features an all-star cast, including Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright and Armie Hammer. Kenneth Branagh directs this follow-up to his previous Poirot movie, Murder On The Orient Express. It’s out on October 9.

Ron’s Gone Wrong

A new animated movie set in a universe where walking, talking, digitally connected bots have become children’s best buddies. Ron’s Gone Wrong tells the tale of an 11-year-old child who discovers his robot pal doesn’t quite work. It’s out on November 6.

Boasting one of the starriest casts of the MCU to date (Angelina Jolie! Salma Hayek! Richard Madden!), The Eternals lands on November 6 and could be one of the riskiest projects of Marvel’s Phase 4. Will they be the new Guardians of the Galaxy?


West Side Story

Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic movie musical will star Ansel Elgort as Tony, with teenage newcomer Rachel Zegler starring alongside him as Maria. Think Romeo & Juliet, but with street gangs and songs. The film’s out on December 18.


This live-action movie about puppy-killing villainess Cruella De Ville is set to star Emma Stone and will have an ‘80s-set ‘punk vibe,’ apparently. We can’t wait for the trailer. It’s out on December 23.

2021 and beyond

Disney has also locked down some release dates for their upcoming projects, and while we don’t know what is released on which date, save the following ones in your diary…

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

The MCU is getting its first-ever Asian superhero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings with Simu Liu taking on the title role. Not only that, but the ‘real’ Mandarin (played by Tony Leung) will make his MCU debut too on February 12, 2021.


This Fox animation is based on writer / artist Noelle Stevenson’s web comic, which centres around a bold young shapeshifter who’s also the sidekick of supervillain Lord Ballister Blackheart. It’s due in cinemas on March 3, 2021.


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Not much is known about the Doctor Strange sequel yet, other than it has a super-cool title, will tie in to WandaVision and star Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Oh, and it will be the MCU’s first “scary” movie. Chills. It hits cinemas on May 7, 2021.



Untitled Indiana Jones sequel


Or ‘Indiana Jones 5’ as we like to call it. Spielberg is directing, Harrison Ford is returning, but after that your guess is as good as ours. The film has slipped a year and will now be released in cinemas on July 9, 2021.



Thor: Love and Thunder

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is the first MCU hero to get four solo movies, and he’s bringing Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster back as the Mighty Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder. That title is enough for us to buy a ticket when it hits cinemas on November 5, 2021.


Avatar 2

20th Century Fox

James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel to his groundbreaking 3D film will finally arrive in cinemas on 17 December, 2021


UNTITLED MARVEL February 18, 2022



UNTITLED STAR WARS December 16, 2022

Avatar 3, December 22, 2023

UNTITLED STAR WARS December 20, 2024

Avatar 4, December 19, 2025

UNTITLED STAR WARS December 18, 2026

Avatar 5, December 19, 2027

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How Disney is remaking its animated films in live action

Walt Disney Pictures made its name on adapting folklore and fairytales into animated classics ever since 1937’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, and has continued in that vein right up to last year’s Snow Queen (loose) adaptation, Frozen.

Over time, the Disney empire has branched off into live-action feature production, and home entertainment has given rise to the notion of a metaphorical Disney ‘vault’, a treasure trove of content that is re-released in cycles in order to maintain demand. In recent years, we’ve seen a hybrid of both practices coming up, as the studio has remade its own animated features in live-action.

The first instance of this was 1996’s 101 Dalmatians, in which Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson, along with a whole load of dogs, brought the Dodie Smith novel to life for a new generation. A sequel, 102 Dalmatians, followed in 2000, going off-book to provide a second fling for fur-obsessed villain Cruella DeVil.

The films did quite well at the box office, and there have also been remakes of Disney’s previous live-action films, like Homeward Bound, Freaky Friday and Flubber over the last 20 years or so. But the trend of re-tooling previous Disney animated classics really broke with Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland.

Although the film was greeted with mixed reviews from fans and critics, it was one of the first big 3D hits, after weeks upon weeks of Avatar crowning the charts in early 2010, and the combined star-power of the director and Johnny Depp carried it through to more than a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

As well as spurring plans for a sequel in 2016, to be directed by Muppets helmer James Bobin, and inspiring other studios to mount big budget fairytale rejigs, such as Universal’s Snow White & The Huntsman, Alice seems to have got Disney mining the vault for other previous adaptations that could be remounted in live-action.

Last year’s Oz, The Great & Powerful did the job about right for Disney, in function if not in form. Even if Disney had a bash at L Frank Baum’s source material with the memorably off-kilter Return To Oz in 1985, Warner Bros’ The Wizard Of Oz is still the iconic version of the tale. Still, that was just the first to make it to the screen, and Disney is making progress with a number of live-action films based on films from its own vault. Such as…


Based on: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Plot: As the official synopsis has it: “Maleficent explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain, and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora.

“As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.”

How’s that going to work, then? Linda Woolverton, who wrote 2010’s Alice In Wonderland, has provided the script for this one, and Brad Bird and Tim Burton have both sat in and vacated the director’s chair since the project was announced. It will arrive in cinemas this May with production designer Robert Stromburg, (who worked on both Disney’s Alice and Oz) making his directorial début.

As you can’t fail to have noticed from the recently intensified marketing campaign, Angelina Jolie will be playing the title role, a character that was first made iconic by Marc Davis’ animation and Eleanor Audley’s formidable vocals. Elle Fanning will play Aurora, and there are supporting roles for Sharlto Copley, Imelda Staunton and Peter Capaldi.

Trailers for the film have drawn comparisons with Wicked, the Broadway musical that is still doing far too well on stage for a film adaptation to be entirely logical, and some have suggested that Disney are taking advantage of that show’s arrested development for the screen by doing a similar revisionist story with one of their most recognisable villains.

It certainly doesn’t look like there’ll be many musical numbers, so perhaps that’s unfair. At any rate, we know more about this one than any other film on the list, and it’ll be interesting to see if Disney has successfully explored new ground with the character when the film is released in May.


Based on: Cinderella, (1950) which was in turn based on the European folk tale The Little Glass Slipper.

Plot: Again, from Disney’s announced synopsis: “The story of Cinderella follows the fortunes of young Ella, whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. Keen to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella into the family home. But, when Ella’s father suddenly and unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family.”

How’s that going to work, then? This one started out as a project directed by Mark Romanek, previously responsible for One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go. Given the dark tone of his previous films, we’re intrigued by how this might have panned out. Romanek signed up Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, and had Chris Weitz (American Pie, About A Boy) working on the script, but left the project in January 2013 over creative differences with Disney.

He’s been replaced by Kenneth Branagh, and the film will be in cinemas in March next year. The title role was offered to Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and Alicia Vikander, but each of them dropped out due to other commitments.

Downton Abbey’s Lily James eventually won the role, with Game Of Thrones’ Richard Madden signing up as Prince Charming, who will apparently be christened as Kit in the interests of actual characterisation. In other casting news, Alice’s Red Queen, Helena Bonham Carter, will play the Fairy Godmother.

As Branagh told Collider last year, he came onto the project at the point where “…there was a kind of shape to things, and so, I was coming out of what you could call a classical point of view. I wanted it to feel fresh. I wanted it to feel very contemporary. I wanted it to feel very direct, but I also wanted it to have its classical roots, in a world and period that’s some distance from us: enough distance to accept some magic.”

From the synopsis, it sounds like a take that will be quite similar to what has gone before, but unlike Snow White, Cinderella is nowhere near the point of saturation in terms of recent screen adaptations, so we’ll keep an eye on this one.


Based on: The Jungle Book, (1967) which was nominally based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories.

Plot: No official synopsis for this one yet, but it’s safe to bet that Justin Marks’ script will follow Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves in the Indian jungle, making his journey from the wild into the world of man, abetted by Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther, while avoiding the clutches of the treacherous tiger, Shere Khan.

How’s that going to work then? In one of those situations where two movies are in development for release quite close to one another, the development of two Jungle Books at rival studios have been making headlines in the movie press lately.

Warner Bros had Alejandro González Iñárritu attached to direct until recently, and when he exited the project due to creative differences (again), the studio quickly signed up Andy Serkis for his directorial début on the film, which will presumably be produced in conjunction with the actor’s motion-capture studio, The Imaginarium.

Disney’s version already has a release date pencilled in for October next year, with Jon Favreau directing the live-action/CGI hybrid. We also have some encouraging casting news, with Idris Elba having signed up to lend his dulcet tones to Shere Khan. If you have to move on from George Sanders’ indelible performance, that’s arguably the way to go.

As we move into less certain territory with this list, it’s gonna be fun to speculate a little over who might take vocal duties on the other characters. While Mowgli is likely to be an unknown actor, (depending on how old this version of the character is) there’s tonnes of potential for voice casting. For instance, it’d be cool if Robert Downey Jr, who worked with Favreau on the first two Iron Man movies and his upcoming comedy, Chef, got in on the action.

Andy Serkis has already been talking about how he grew up loving Kipling’s source, so you can probably look to that for further exploration of the original stories. This seems more likely to follow in the same vein as the Disney version, though it remains to be seen if Favreau will keep those Sherman brothers songs and make this Disney’s first live-action remake that stays true to the musical spirit.


Based on: The character of Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians (1961) and the two live-action movies. Again.

Plot: We don’t have any plot details about this new new take on Cruella, but we know the script comes from Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, the upcoming Annie remake) and that Disney will be looking to see how Maleficent performs before pushing forward with another female-villain-centric movie.

How’s that going to work then? It’s tough to know without any advance word about who’s directing, but we can’t imagine that it will be a revisionist version of Cruella’s history- there aren’t many justifiable ways to make a murderous fashionista look cuddly.

It’s curious to note that Glenn Close, who played the role in the previous live-action films, is on-board as an executive producer. It would be stranger still if this actually turned out to be a delayed sequel to 102 Dalmatians, but we’re putting our money on a reboot. Also, if you have to re-cast a live-action Cruella, we reckon Tilda Swinton would be pretty good…


Based on: Beauty And The Beast (1991), which was in turn based on the French fairytale La Belle et la Bête.

Plot: Again, there’s no official synopsis just yet, but Joe Ahearne (Trance, and director on several episodes of the 2005 series of Doctor Who) is writing the script, which automatically suggests a darker, non-musical take on the material.

How’s that going to work then? It’s perhaps a little surprising that this one isn’t further along – Beauty And The Beast was the first animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, in a time long before the Best Animated Feature category was even a plausible suggestion. The story has been re-adapted a couple of times since, most recently by Christophe Gans, Lea Seydoux and Vincent Cassel, but the animated version is one of Disney’s best-loved films.

Guillermo del Toro has been attached to a new version of Beauty And The Beast for some time now, along with all of his other suggested projects, and it’s been heavily rumoured that Emma Watson withdrew from what became Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella in order to hitch her wagon to this one. It seems unlikely that del Toro would bring that back to Disney, so we could be looking at another Jungle Book situation in the next few years. As recently as last week meanwhile, Bill Condon was linked with the director’s chair.

As for groundless casting speculation, you can probably expect the Beast to be central, and perhaps played by a big actor working under prosthetics or motion capture, and Belle to be different enough to the Emilie de Ravin version from Once Upon A Time. If they stick to the Disney conception of the story, we’d like to see an actor like Henry Cavill take on Gaston – it’s a great opportunity to replicate the original animated movie’s message that even conventionally handsome dudes can be arseholes too.


Pete’s Dragon: The 1977 live-action/animation hybrid, about an orphan boy and his big cartoon dragon, is set for a remake. It should be something of a departure for writers David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks, who previously penned last year’s gritty drama, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Lowery is also set to direct.

Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers: Chip and Dale first appeared in short films back in 1943, and later found success cosplaying as Indiana Jones and Magnum P.I. in the Rescue Rangers cartoon series. The House of Mouse announced this one back in January, as a live-action movie with CGI characters, a la recent live action versions of Alvin & The Chipmunks and The Smurfs.

Descendants: A Disney Channel original movie next year, which takes place in “a present day idyllic kingdom” where the son of Belle and the Beast pardons the children of villains like Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, Jafar and the Evil Queen from exile on an island prison. Given that it’s coming from the producers of the High School Musical franchise, it may be too early to tell if this crazy crossover is going to be any good, or just really terrible. Either way, you can read more about it here.

So what can we take from this? Evidently, Disney has taken the success of Alice In Wonderland as a licence to revisit some of their best-loved films in live-action, showing off the best in production design and special effects, and other studios have noticed too.

Although we must stress that most of Disney’s classics were adapted from other sources to begin with, you also have Sofia Coppola re-imagining Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid (with Emma Watson attached again) for Universal and Working Title, Joe Wright directing a prequel to Peter Pan in the form of Warner Bros’ Pan, and Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. circling a long-gestating, Jane Goldman-scripted version of Pinocchio.

Who knows where else Disney could take it? A re-imagined version of Winnie The Pooh? A live-action remount of Aladdin? Another run at The Black Cauldron, in the context of a Lord Of The Rings/Game Of Thrones-style epic? Time will tell, but it will be interesting to see if the trend is overtaken by another unexpected global success in the vein of an Alice, before some of these projects reach fruition.

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Legendary Disney Animation Duo John Musker and Ron Clements Are “Bemused” By Live-Action Remakes

Posted on Monday, January 27th, 2020 by Hoai-Tran Bui

We’ve reached Disney live-action fatigue, and no one’s feeling it more than the directing duo behind some of the biggest Disney animated classics. Disney Legends John Musker and Ron Clements have directed acclaimed Disney animated films like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid and they have a few opinions about the House of Mouse’s slavish recreations of their greatest animated hits. Not all of them good.

Disney has been making bank on our nostalgia for the beloved animated films of the ’90s, but what of the actual animators behind those films? The animation industry is notoriously thankless and unkind to its many workers, but Disney directing duo have come out of it okay, earning the two of them Disney Legends status and a right to speak candidly on the Disney live-action remakes.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Musker revealed that they are “bemused” at best by the inexpressive, shot-for-shot remakes of classics like Aladdin and The Lion King, and called for more creative reinterpretations like Maleficent:

“I love to see new techniques being explored in animation. I also like the idea that the medium has enough elasticity and potential that there are many types of stories that have yet to be done in animation, and I am hoping in the coming years they will be. I am bemused by the live-action remakes, although the more successful ones to me are the ones ironically that reinterpret the source to a greater degree, like Maleficent.

I think Favreau’s a brilliant filmmaker, but the shot-for-shot fealty to the hand-drawn Lion King, as well as the inexpressive animation in his film, left me uninvolved. In general, I would rather see more original content, and fairy tales particularly by their nature don’t seem to accommodate or demand the extension and/or repetition of their self-contained narrative arcs. But Frozen 2 just made more than $1 billion, so what the heck do I know?”

Musker and Clements certainly know a lot, with more than 40 years of animation work under their belt, and Disney Legend status for helming films like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, as well as The Great Mouse Detective, Hercules, Treasure Planet, The Princess and the Frog, and Moana. The two of them have long been credited with reinvigorating Disney animation and helping to build into the giant of pop culture it is today — if you’ve seen the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty, you’d know that their 1989 film The Little Mermaid almost singlehandedly saved Disney Animation from the brink of collapse and ushered in a new golden age for the studio.

“John and I were in our early 30s when we started the project, and we were some of the oldest on it. We all knew the stakes were very high,” Clements said of that fateful film. “And I’ve always identified with Ariel. I know she’s taken some heat about giving up her legs just to get a guy, but I never saw it as that. Coming from a small city in the Midwest and dreaming of one day going to Hollywood to work for Disney, to me she was like anybody dreaming about being part of a world very different from their own, no matter how impossible that seemed.”

Now we only have to wait a few years for Disney to attempt to recapture that magic of The Little Mermaid in a lesser, live-action version.

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How Tim Burton Became Uncool

Tim Burton directs Danny DeVito in ‘Dumbo.’

Walt Disney

Walt Disney’s newest live-action redo/revamp of a classic animated property, one ironically directed by the man (Tim Burton) whose Alice in Wonderland kickstarted this sub-genre nine years ago, began its box office sprint with $2.6 million in Thursday previews. That’s a decent enough start for the indifferently-reviewed (5.65/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 52 score on Metacritic) live-action fantasy, one that cost an (arguably) too-high $170 million and is hoping to end up closer to $150 million global than $100 million by the end of its worldwide launch. Even in a year where Disney is expected to dominate in domestic and global box office, Dumbo still matters as it’s less of a sure thing than Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: Episode IX, Frozen II, The Lion King or Toy Story 4.

The good news is that if folks want to see a “live-action” Dumbo being adorable and flighty, the reviews won’t matter. Tim Burton is still a marquee draw, even if he has long specialized in “Tim Burton’s version of…” properties. Of course, with nostalgia and IP being far more valuable than originality in this day and age, Burton may be as valuable now as he ever was. To the extent that pundits and critics like to pick on him, I’d argue it’s because his one-for-me critical darlings like Big Fish, Big Eyes and Sweeney Todd don’t gross nearly as much as Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Planet of the Apes, so we get the notion that Burton has been in a post-Sleepy Hollow slump.

Of course, aside from Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, the vast majority of Burton’s live-action movies have been adaptations. That’s another mistake that adult fans make when discussing his legacy. From 1985 to 2019, the likes of Beetlejuice are the exception rather than the rule, as even Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was an adaptation of Paul Reubens’ existing stage character. It doesn’t help that Burton, perhaps the most influential director of his era, is both now a 60-year-old parent and a gazillionaire who inspired an entire generation of pop culture (not exactly the unloved outcast) and a victim of his own success. Where once Burton’s images and macabre ideas were both unique in the Hollywood mainstream and somewhat dangerous, now they are essentially par for the course.

In 1992, parents freaked out over Batman Returns’ grotesque violence and morbid humor. In 1993, Walt Disney released The Nightmare Before Christmas under the Touchtone banner and quivered in fear over traumatized children. In 2010, Alice in Wonderland was a PG-rated movie featuring a scene where Alice hops on severed heads in order to cross a small body of water. Not only did the film earn $336 million domestic and $1.025 billion worldwide, but not a single word was uttered about the presence of beheaded victims existing in a PG-rated family film. Moreover, the kind of larger-than-life fantasy spectacles that was once uniquely Burton-ian are now almost conventional Hollywood output. The Phantom Menace is less impressive after you’ve just watched The Mummy and The Matrix.

In 1989 or even 1999, movies that looked and felt like Batman or Sleepy Hollow stood out even among the big-budget action films. Without arguing that many/most Hollywood blockbusters look like Tim Burton movies, as that’s not remotely true, I will say that the Hollywood shaped by Tim Burton’s Batman is one where larger-than-life fantasy spectacles filled with impossible sights and implausible sounds are now the standard global box office diet. It’s not so much that Burton’s act got stale or that he lost his touch, but rather that we grew up. As we grew up, the technology grew to the point where the mere notion of a visually jaw-dropping big Hollywood movie is no longer a big deal. We expect big movies to look like jaw-dropping spectacles.

If you argue that Burton should have learned a few new tricks over the last decades, I again point you toward Big Fish, Sweeney Todd, Frankenweenie and Big Eyes. He’s not a Woody Allen-like workhorse who makes a new movie every year, but he works enough that you could merely sample his “one for me” movies and still get a vibrant and lengthy filmography. The problem, at least as far as critical consensus goes, is that he is often judged only by his “one for them” movies. Compared with our own nostalgic childhood memories, a three-star offering like Dumbo or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which is appropriately different from but not inherently inferior to the Gene Wilder 1971 classic) is held up as a crime against cinema.

No, Dumbo is not among Burton’s better movies, and nor was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But Big Eyes, which should have snagged Amy Adams a Best Actress Oscar, was three movies ago, is absolutely one of his best films and a total against-the-grain offering that should have changed the cultural conversation around this former outcast. Instead, we hold up Alice in Wonderland as indicative of who he is, Edward Scissorhands as indicative of who he was while concurrently demanding a Beetlejuice sequel or another superhero movie. But judging Burton as the guy who made Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands is no more accurate to his overall work than merely holding up Eddie Murphy’s handful of early 1980’s comedies as the “true” Eddie Murphy.

Like many of my generation (and those a little older or younger than me), Tim Burton was the first director who I knew by name (aside from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, natch) and the first who (by virtue of his visually distinctive output and now commonplace Danny Elfman scores) inadvertently taught entire generations about auteur theory before we were old enough to pour over Roger Ebert’s annual Movie Home Companions. That’s partially because we were (give or take your age) too young to watch Woody Allen movies or Ingmar Bergman dramas. We were too young to notice Scorsese’s Catholic guilt, Hitchcock’s voyeuristic self-punishment and (if you were younger than me) Tarantino’s notions about how history is told and interpreted through cinema.

So for us, film school was essentially the look and feel of Burton’s “outcast striving to fit in” fantasies and the notion that Spielberg made somber but hopeful/exciting movies about families coping with divorce. We learned about art direction, composers, favorite cast members and other auteristic notions through the kid-friendly fantasies that typified early Tim Burton movies. His films have only changed a bit here and there, with an eventual willingness to use CGI and a narrative change that comes with being a 60-year-old dad versus a 30-year-old wonder boy. Spielberg has stated that he couldn’t end Close Encounters of the Third Kind the same way today as he did as a young man, and I’d argue that Hugo is distinctly the work of an older Scorsese.

Hollywood has evolved to the point where the pop culture that Burton helped create has become the definition of mainstream. His standard operating procedure (putting his unique visual and narrative stamp on a known IP or brand) became the standard operating procedure for all of Hollywood, while moviegoers less inclined to seek out non-event films became thus less inclined to see his more artistically ambitious offerings. In a sense, he didn’t die a hero but (through Hollywood’s appropriation of his template) lived long enough to see himself become the villain, or at least the status quo of an industry and moviegoing populace no longer scared of his visions. It is beyond ironic that the man who once defined Hollywood outsider saw the industry molded in his image.

Tim Burton picks his next project

Hot off the back of the Oscar-nominated Frankenweenie, arguably his best movie in some time, director Tim Burton has seemingly picked his next project. It’s one that’s been in the works for quite a while, and it’s set to be a biopic of the painter Margaret Keane.

Keane’s distinctive art, recognisable in particular for her pictures of big-eyed children, was hugely successful in the 1950s and 1960s, yet her husband took credit for much of her work. That was to the point where Keane filed a lawsuit against her husband.

Her story has been worked into a screenplay by Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who penned the wonderful Ed Wood (which remains arguably Burton’s finest hour). And it seems that the cast is falling into place, too. It’s being reported that the role of Margaret Keane has gone to Amy Adams, with her husband being played by double Oscar winner Christoph Waltz. The Weintsteins are providing the financial backing.

Can we have a fiver now on Adams at least getting an Oscar nomination for this one? It sounds like the kind of role that might even land her a golden statue, if all goes to plan.

More on the movie, which is going under the title Big Eyes, as we hear it.


Disney announces Tim Burton for Dumbo, Emma Stone for Cruella

Disney confirmed the casting and directing positions for a number of its upcoming movies today, including Tim Burton taking on Dumbo and a new Dwayne Johnson project.

Although Disney didn’t provide any release dates for the new movies, the studio did detail some of the projects. Cruella, the live-action movie about the famous villain in 101 Dalmatians, Cruella de Ville, will star Emma Stone in the titular role. Dwayne Johnson will star in a movie called Jungle Cruise, although there’s no additional information on what the movie will be about.

As previously mentioned, Tim Burton will direct a live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated film from 1941, Dumbo, and Reese Witherspoon will star in a new Tinker Bell project. It’s unclear at this time whether Witherspoon’s adaptation will be a live-action or animated feature.

Disney also confirmed a few announcement details that were reported earlier this year, including Ava DuVernay directing A Wrinkle in Time and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda joining Emily Blunt in Rob Marshall’s sequel to Mary Poppins. Maleficent 2, starring Angeline Jolie, and The Jungle Book 2 were also confirmed in the press release.

There are a few other projects that the company pointed out, including a movie called The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which will assumedly be released around Christmas either next year or the year after, but there’s not too much information about the film at this time.

Besides these titles, Disney also confirmed it was working on three untitled live-action fairytale movies and two untitled live-action original films.

Although the company is being pretty vague, there’s a good chance more details will be released in the next coming months. Especially as we head into San Diego Comic-Con where Disney may give multiple updates on its projects.

Four Disney Classics Are Coming Back to Theatres

We are still months away until Walt Disney Animation whisks audiences back to the mythical land of Arendelle for the further adventures of Anna and Elsa in FROZEN II. How can you and your little ones pass the time?

AMC is here to help. We are bringing back our Dream Big, Princess program, which returns four beloved Disney princess feature films to the big screen for audiences to enjoy. Some of these haven’t been shown on the big screen in ages, meaning it might be a first-time viewing for young Disney fans. And that’s how memories are made!

The schedule for the 2019 Dream Big, Princess program will be as follows.

The Little Mermaid

September 6–12

Soon to be made into a live-action feature starring Halle Bailey, THE LITTLE MERMAID follows a restless mermaid who dreams of one day living on the surface. To get there, Ariel trades her greatest gift — her beautiful singing voice — for a pair of legs. Come for the music, including brilliant songs like “Under the Sea,” which won a Best Original Song Oscar® in 1989.

Beauty and the Beast

September 13–19

A tale as old as time … and one that always warrants a big-screen viewing. The 1991 animated version translates the classic romance for a contemporary audience, riding on the coattails of some incredible songs, such as “Be Our Guest” as well as the title track.


September 20–26

Rapunzel may have let down her hair, but TANGLED did not let down animation audiences looking for a new winner from Walt Disney Animation. Mandy Moore plays the fiery Rapunzel, and she is no damsel in distress. But the true star of TANGLED is the animators who turned Rapunzel’s flowing blonde hair into its own character.

The Princess and the Frog

September 27–October 3

Relatively new compared to the other titles on this list, though PRINCESS has built up a steady fan base over the years, and we expect them to turn out to see this one on the big screen once again. FROG has a distinct New Orleans flavor to it, tapping into the music and cuisine of the Bayou. But it also has star power, with Anika Noni Rose, Keith David and Oprah Winfrey all lending their voices.

As you can see, each film in the series will get a one-week run in participating theatres. It’s worth noting that this will be the animated version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST — the one that was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars® — and that warrants a big-screen revisiting every chance we get.

This won’t exactly carry us all the way through to FROZEN II, as that movie doesn’t reach theatres until November 22. But this is as good of a way to help pass the time as we can imagine.

For more information on tickets and participating theatres for this year’s Dream Big, Princess series, head to and search the title of the above movie you hope to see. And stay tuned for ticket information on FROZEN II, coming to the AMC Scene in the coming weeks.

It’s been a rough 2017 so far, but here’s a small piece of good news to keep you going at least till the fall: Disney has plans to rerelease a handful of classic princess tales in theaters. Starting Sept. 15, AMC theaters across the U.S. will host one-week screenings of Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, The Princess and the Frog, Brave, Tangled, and Moana. The marathon — called Dream Big, Princess — will also play at Hollywood’s iconic El Capitan Theatre, in case you feel like taking this celebration to a classier level.

The dates for the AMC theaters are as follows:

  • Beauty and the Beast, Sept. 15-21
  • Mulan, Sept. 22-28
  • Tangled, Sept. 29-Oct. 5
  • The Princess and the Frog, Oct. 6-12
  • Brave, Oct. 13-19

Tickets for the AMC engagements are on sale now, while the El Capitan dates go on sale Friday. Having seen Mulan and Beauty and the Beast in theaters in my youth — yes, I was alive in 1991 — I can confirm that seeing Mulan crush those Huns on the big screen is a truly inspiring experience. It also doesn’t hurt that Li Shang is a stone cold fox.

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Eliza Thompson senior entertainment editor I’m the senior entertainment editor at, which means my DVR is always 98 percent full.

After achieving its best ever year in 2019, the House of Mouse is ready to dominate again. The upcoming slate of new Disney movies will not only give you a delightful dose of nostalgia, but also introduce you to some of the most creative animated (and live-action) adventures heading to theaters in the next 18 months.

There’s just so much to take in. Not one, but two original Pixar films. A Mulan live-action remake. The Rock’s new movie. And an original Disney animated production. Phew. That’s without taking into account the new Disney movies coming in 2021 and beyond, including a Cruella origin story and a remake of The Little Mermaid. It’s all of our childhoods come to life, and it’s all just a quick scroll away.

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Release date: March 6, 2020

Pixar has two movies coming out this year. Their next animated adventure is Onward, a movie about a storybook world that’s rapidly losing its magic. Surreal sights such as unicorns and mermaids are being weighed down by the mundaneness of everyday life.

Tom Holland and Chris Pratt star as a pair of elven brothers who are on the hunt for a fix after an attempt to bring their dad back from the dead goes wrong. The trailer shows Pixar hasn’t lost the magic touch when it comes to making vibrant worlds teeming with life and laugh-a-minute visual gags.

An extended look was shown at D23. In it, Holland and Pratt’s characters (Ian and Barley) are given a staff as a present from their now-dead father for their 16th birthday. Ian, though, accidentally shrinks Barley in one of two clips.

Those holding out for that footage may have been disappointed, but Disney Pixar saved the day with a flick of their magic wand: a second Onward trailer is now out in the wild, featuring a look at Ian and Barley’s quest to revive their dead dad. It’s not as morbid as it sounds, promise.


Release date: March 21, 2020

The all-singing, all-dancing aspect of Mulan is gone, and red dragon Mushu is MIA, but Mulan’s trailer captures all the spirit of the original. Yifei Liu stars as Mulan, while the likes of Donnie Yen and Jet Li will also play a part in the Mulan live-action remake.

Yes. It’s a remake, but not as you know it. Your memories of the 1998 animated movie will thankfully be left intact as Disney’s 2020 take is going to take more than a few cues from the original source material, the Ballad of Mulan, instead.

Judging by the trailer, that means a more authentic look, plus vibrant colours that shimmer on the screen. In animation, everything is colourful as a rule; here, the rich reds and gorgeous greens pop in a way rarely seen in live-action cinema. This could be the sleeper hit of 2020, which is hilarious to think when it’s pretty much nailed-on to make a billion dollars.

But there won’t be an appearance by everyone’s favourite fiesty dragon. That’s right, Mushu won’t appear in the live-action Mulan. Director Niki Caro explained the decision in an interview with Digital Spy, saying, “In this movie, there is a creature representative – a spiritual representation of the ancestors, and most particularly of Mulan’s relationship with her father. But an update of Mushu? No.”


Release date: June 19, 2020

With just under six months until Soul releases, it was about time for one of Pixar’s new movies to make its bow. So it proved as its first trailer arrived in November.

Soul will feature a struggling teacher, voiced by Jamie Foxx, who has grand aspirations to play at New York’s hottest jazz club. In a bizarre twist, however, his soul departs from his body (is he dead? It isn’t clear) and must attend a You Seminar to help train the soul.

Along the way, Foxx’s character meets 22, voiced by Tina Fey.

It all sounds delightfully dark and, if Pixar’s involvement is any indication, it’s sure to have a lot of heart and, yes, soul. One to watch for sure.

Jungle Cruise

Release date: July 24, 2020

Somehow not the first Disney movie based on a theme park ride (Pirates of the Caribbean got there well over 15 years ago), Jungle Cruise recruits Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s comedic action chops and throws them in with Emily Blunt, who plays the swashbuckling scientist Lily. The pair embark on an adventure to find the Tree of Life. UK fans will also be pleased to know that comedian Jack Whitehall is also along for the trip, playing Lily’s brother.

Raya and the Last Dragon

Just Announced: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, starring @cassandrasteele (Raya) and @Awkwafina (Sisu, the Last Dragon). Check out all-new concept art, and see the film in theaters November 2020. #D23Expo 24, 2019

Release date: November 25, 2020

The last of 2020’s new Disney movies, Raya and the Last Dragon was first announced at D23 2019.

Set to be an epic tale taking place in the fictional land of Lumandra, Raya and the Last Dragon will follow the titular Raya (voiced by Cassie Steele) as she sets out in search of the last dragon. No trailers or images yet, but we also know that Awkafina will be voicing the Last Dragon. There’s also a just-released concept art for you to feast your eyes on.

Just Announced: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, starring @cassandrasteele (Raya) and @Awkwafina (Sisu, the Last Dragon). Check out all-new concept art, and see the film in theaters November 2020. #D23Expo 24, 2019

New Disney movies (2021)

(Image credit: Disney)

Release date: May 28, 2021

It’s been over three years since rumours surfaced that Disney is working on a Cruella origins movie. Then, towards the end of 2018, it was officially confirmed that a) it’s happening, and b) Emma Stone is set to play the fur-crazed fashionista herself. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will be directed by Craig Gillespie (of I, Tonya fame) and will be set in the 1980s “with a punk vibe”.

At D23, we finally got a look at Emma Stone as Cruella. It was well worth the wait. Rocking a black-and-white hairdo that only Emma Stone and probably Helena Bonham Carter could make not look totally silly, Cruella is accompanied by three dalmatians (98 to go…) and a pair of menacing henchmen.

It’s got a release date now, too! It’s coming to cinemas on May 28, 2021.

Hunchback of Notre Dame

Another live-action remake is joining the ranks of the new Disney movies on the horizon, and it’s been confirmed that M. Butterfly playwright David Henry Hwang is on board to direct this adaptation of the 1996 animated film, Hunchback of Notre Dame. According to a report from Deadline, Josh Gad may be in line to play the lead, but no solid casting decisions have been made just yet. In terms of how it’ll play out, the film – apparently simply called Hunchback – will pull from both the animated film and the original Victor Hugo novel. Apart from that details are light, so we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out more about this particular Parisian adventure.

Mary Poppins Returns 2

Release date: TBC

Mary Poppins Returns only arrived at the end of 2018, but that hasn’t stopped it being a huge hit. It raked in over $260 million worldwide in its first month, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that there’s already a sequel in the works. According to director Rob Marshall, speaking to The Sun, the sequel is in the “early stages” of development. “It is early stages but I will say right now that there were eight books, so there’s a lot of great material still to mine. That’s what we worked from, those incredible eight books of P.L Travers. So, you know…” said Marshall. Looks like we’re going to see a lot more of Mary Poppins. Potentially seven movies more.

Peter Pan

Release date: TBC

It turns out that there’s more of the Peter Pan story to tell, because Disney is making a brand new live-action version of the 1953 animated film. Director David Lowery, though, is confident that he can do something a little different with the remake, although it’s not clear exactly how.

In an interview with, producer Jim Whitaker said that “it’ll be a big, rollocking adventure”, which is kind of what you would hope for with a Peter Pan movie. Apparently, it’s still very much in the script-writing stage though, so don’t expect an official release date anytime soon.


Release date: TBC

Another live-action movie in the works is Pinocchio. The story of the puppet-turned-real-boy is about to get a lot more real. This live-action remake has been in development for quite some time, with Paddington director Paul King taking over the film in 2018, which suggest that the timeline may be moving forwards at last. Filming is due to begin this year, but that’s basically all we know about the film so far. However, it’s not to be confused with another Pinocchio film that’s quite different.

According to Variety, Guillermo del Toro is current producing, writing, and directing a stop-motion, musical version of Pinocchio exclusively for Netflix. Knowing del Toro’s penchant for combining childlike wonder with the macabre, you can bet that his adaptation will follow the darker elements of the original 1883 novel much more closely. It’s set in 1930s Italy for a start, during the rise of Mussolini’s fascism, which certainly doesn’t sound very Disney to me. Neither del Toro’s take nor Disney’s adaptation have release dates as yet.

Prince Charming (Cinderella)

Release date: TBC

Rather than the villain-led spin-offs like Maleficent or brand new Disney movie Cruella, Prince Charming is – you guessed it – all about the man in our princess’ life. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this brand new live-action movie will actually follow Prince Charming’s brother, who “never quite lived up to the family name”. It’s not clear as yet which of the Prince Charming characters this is the brother of – after all we’ve had Prince Charmings in Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves already – but it could turn out to be quite the different spin on your classic Disney fairytale.

Pirates of the Caribbean 6

Release date: TBC

Although it’s not expected until at least 2020, it’s looking likely we’re going to get another Pirates of the Caribbean film. According to reports, a script is being worked on, but we’re a long, long way from it being released. There are questions over whether Johnny Depp will be involved, due to recent controversies. However, speaking with Digital Spy in 2017, producer Jerry Bruckheimer says there is no Pirates of the Caribbean without Depp. “I just don’t see it,” he said. “The secret to any successful franchise is picking talented people, and Johnny is absolutely key to the success of Pirates. He’s such a unique character, such an endearing character, and such an irreverent character all in one.”

However, just to throw a spanner in the works, when asked about the new writers for Pirates of the Caribbean 6 – Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick of Deadpool fame – Disney’s Film Prodution Chief, Sean Bailey, was also asked about Pirates of the Caribbean 6 existing without Depp, and this is what he said: “We want to bring in a new energy and vitality. I love the movies, but part of the reason Paul and Rhett are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants. And that’s what I’ve tasked them with.” Depp or no Depp, it seems that really is the question.

Rose Red (Snow White)

Release date: TBC

It turns out that there are technically two characters in the original Grimm’s Fairytales called Snow White, with each character taking the lead in their own story. There’s the classic Snow White story, but then there’s Snow White and Rose Red, where two young sisters live with their mother in a cabin in the mountains and they meet a mysterious dwarf and an enchanted bear. However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is now planning to combine both stories into an inventive new live-action film simply entitled Rose Red. The titular sister will be added into the story as Snow White’s sibling, who seeks out and teams up with the seven dwarves when Snow White is indisposed by the Sleeping Death of the poison apple. It’s Rose Red that ends up undertaking a dangerous quest that could revive Snow White, which might nudge ol’ Prince Charming out of the picture entirely. This could well be the sisterhood Frozen story of the Snow White universe.

(Image credit: Disney)

Release date: TBC

Still no release date for the live-action The Little Mermaid remake, although some casting info is beginning to surface. US singer Halle Bailey will be playing Ariel, while original Game of Thrones prequel creator Jane Goldman will be penning the script. Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay have also been cast.

No news yet on who will be playing Ursula, though the likes of Melissa McCarthy have recently been mooted. Expect more big news to bubble up over the coming months, especially as there are already so many more new Disney movies coming out in the next year.

The Sword in the Stone

Release date: TBC

Although not a lot is known about the upcoming live-action remake of The Sword in the Stone, it could well be something a lot, lot darker than the 1963 animated fantasy. Back in early 2018, it was confirmed that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo would be directing the movie, from a script written by Bryan Cogman, a writer-producer on Game of Thrones. Now, bare in mind that Fresnadillo is best known for directing one of the best zombie movies of all time, 28 Weeks Later, along with another horror movie, Intruders, and you’ve got the idea of what The Sword in the Stone could be, particularly with a writer well-versed in dragons and fantasy. Unfortunately, that’s all we currently know about the new Disney movie.


Release date: TBC

It’s been a while since we’ve had any news on this new Disney movie, but back in 2016 is was confirmed that a live-action Tinker Bell title was in production, with Reese Witherspoon taking on the eponymous role as well as producing the film. Victoria Strouse is on board as writer for the movie simply known as Tink, and seeing as she wrote the script for Finding Dory, Tinker Bell might well be a little bit wonderful. Any other details on Tink are being kept under wraps for now, but it will apparently offer a new perspective on the fairy and the goings on in Pixie Hollow.