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From Dumbo to Cruella de Vil, what’s more fun than reliving your childhood films?

Disney animated movies have been the foundation of many people’s childhood. Whether it be singing about defeating the Huns or crying as young Simba tries to wake up a dead Mufasa, Disney movies hold a special place in so many people’s hearts.

If you’re looking for a dose of Disney nostalgia, you’re in luck; many of their beloved movies are being reimagined into live action films. Relax and grab a friend, because below is a list of six upcoming Disney live-action remakes that you definitely don’t want to miss.

First look at the live-action Dumbo came from Disney’s D23 Expo (Image via Disney/Image Group LA)


Announced on July 8, 2014, Dumbo was one of the first Disney live-action remakes to be confirmed. The project has attached “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Alice in Wonderland” director, Tim Burton, and the screenwriter of several Transformers movies, Ehren Kruger.

Previously, it was rumored that Will Smith would be playing the role of Holt, the father of the children who develop a friendship with Dumbo, but he passed on the role because of scheduling conflicts. The movie’s cast includes Eva Green, Danny DeVito, Michael Keston and Colin Farrell as Holt.

The illustrious cast of the upcoming live-action Lion King (Image via ABS-CBN News)

The Lion King

The Disney live-action remake of “The Lion King” was officially confirmed on Sept. 26, 2016. As one of the biggest animated films, “The Lion King” has a lifetime global box office of $968.8 million including $422.8 million domestically.

The film will be directed by Jon Favreau who previously directed “Elf,” “Iron Man” and the live-action movie of “The Jungle Book.” Although the film will use CGI, Favreau plans on using the technology and aesthetic he established with “The Jungle Book” to create stunning visual effects featuring lifelike animals. The cast list was released on Nov. 1, 2017.

The cast features many notable names including Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, John Oliver as ZaZu, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, as well as James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa.

Hans Zimmer, the composer of many of the remarkable songs from the original movie, is creating the score for the upcoming movie. Additionally, Elton John is going to be working on the soundtrack. Coming to theaters on July 19, 2019, this movie will definitely draw a crowd.

Mena Massoud is set to play the title character of Aladdin, while Naomi Scott will be playing Jasmine (Image via the Hollywood Reporter)


Originally, Disney was rumored to be making a spin-off movie about the genie, but the plan for the movie shifted to a remake, adding “Aladdin” to the list of upcoming Disney live-action remakes.

“Sherlock Holmes” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” director Guy Ritchie is directing the live action movie. The movie will have a script written by John August, the screenwriter for “How to Eat Fried Worms,” “Big Fish” and “Frankenweenie.”

With an official release date of May 24, 2019, the film is going to keep many of the original’s musical elements. The cast, which includes Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Smith as Princess Jasmine, Will Smith as the Genie and Marwan Kenzarl as Jafar, was officially confirmed in the 2017 D23 Expo.

During the event, it was also announced that Alan Menken will be co-writing songs for the movie alongside “La La Land” songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Martial-arts actress Liu Yifei (Image via Disney/Getty/Pascal Le Segretain)


Another addition to the Disney live-action remakes is Mulan. With its massive success in theaters, the original animated movie brought in $304 million at the box office. The remake was confirmed by The Walt Disney Company in 2016, and the studio enlisted Niki Caro to direct the film.

Caro’s resume includes directing “McFarland, USA,” “Whale Rider” and “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” Unfortunately, Caro broke many hearts revealing the movie will not be a musical.

The studio announced that the role of Mulan will be played by Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu. Appearing in “The Forbidden Kingdom” as the Golden Sparrow alongside Jet Li and Jackie Chan, Yifei has plenty of martial arts acting experience.

The character of Mulan is the only role that has an attached actor, but a picture of the casting call circulated on Twitter on Mar. 29, 2017. The casting call shows that Mulan will not fall in love with Captain Li Shang, but for a fellow soldier named Chen Honghui.

Described to have a bully streak in him, Honghui is determined to be the best soldier in history. The character sees Mulan as his main competition, but his feelings for her change when he learns she is a woman.

Snow White

In its original release, “Snow White” grossed about $3.5 million in the United States and at the end of its original run, the movie earned more than $7.8 million in international sells.

In May 2016, the studio confirmed that “Rose Red,” a live-action spin-off movie told from the perspective of Snow White’s sister Rose Red, is in development. When Snow White takes a bite of the infamous poison apple and slips into Sleeping Death, Rose Red has to embark on a dangerous adventure with the dwarves to find a cure for the curse.

The film was pitched by Evan Daughtery, the writer of the “Snow White and the Huntsman” script. Daughtery reworks Justin Merz’s original script which focused on Rose as a stand-alone feature and added a twist to give it the feel of a companion piece.

Later that year, in Oct. 2016, the Disney live-action remake of Snow White was announced. The upcoming project will expand on the story and music from the original movie and has attached “The Girl on the Train” screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson and songwriters Pasek & Paul.

Cruella de Vil

The character of Cruella de Vil first appeared in Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel “The Hundred and One Dalmatians,” but became an iconic Disney villain in the 1961 animated movie.

Set to be an origin story similar to “Maleficent,” the script is being written by Alice Brosh McKenna, who has written the script for “Annie,” “The Devil Wears Prada” and the live-action adaptation of “Cinderella.”

Co-creator of the Amazon series “Mozart on the Jungle,” Alex Timbers is directing the movie. Following the lead of Glenn Close who first brought Cruella to life in the 1996 live action “101 Dalmatians” and the sequel “102 Dalmatians,” Emma Stone, the only confirmed cast member, is playing the villain in the film.

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Plamedie Ifasso

Texas Woman's University
Creative Writing

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