I finished off 2018 by watching two of Disney’s newest remakes and I absolutely loved both films. In fact, they are at the top of my list below. In a day and age when moviegoers are getting more difficult to please because there are so many other appealing options available for movie watching, Disney has stumbled upon a pot of gold. They’re remaking all of their classic animated tales from the past sixty years into live-action films that include all of the computer-generated wiz-bang effects available today. So far, their new formula has worked wondrously. I believe their success is mostly due to the fact that they have held onto the magical family-oriented storytelling element that has always been their bread and butter, as they’ve translated each movie into its modern day form.
As 2019 unveils we’ll be treated to three more classics receiving the live-action treatment; Dumbo in March, Alladin in May, and finally The Lion King in July. Judging from their track record so far, I fully expect all three to be excellent movies fit for all ages.
Here is my list of the Disney remakes so far, listed in the order of the ones I like the most down to the least. I must point out that they are all great movies and just because one is on the bottom doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. Disney is batting a thousand so far on these and I’m hopeful that they’ll keep up their winning streak.
1. Christopher Robin
I absolutely adored this retelling of the Winnie The Pooh classic books and movies. Seeing the characters as stuffed animals was amazing. I also liked the story which was about Christopher as an adult who had lost his imagination. His life is on the verge of falling apart when Winnie and friends re-enter his life to help him remember what’s important in life. The story, a sequel told through the eyes of adults, is entertaining for kids and adults alike. The whole movie worked beautifully and I found myself smiling and laughing more than I have during any movie in a long time.
2. Mary Poppins Returns
This one was also a kind of sequel to the original, much like Christopher Robin was. The story worked brilliantly and still felt just as magical and touching as the beloved classic. Emily Blunt gave us a slightly more serious Mary Poppins, but she turned out to be just as loveable in her own way. Disney did a great job of making the new film look and feel like it belongs with the old one.
A beautifully magical film that had the same old fashion charm as the animated classic. Lily James was perfectly charming as Cinderella and Cate Blanchett did a great job as the wicked stepmother.
4. The Jungle Book
The live action version was a bit more frightening and suspenseful than the old animated one so I would hesitate to recommend it to the little ones. However, for tweens and up, its a fun and exciting movie. The story is just as endearing as ever and the musical numbers were also very good.
5. Beauty and the Beast
For this one, I felt like Disney tried a bit too hard to compete with the animated version. That made for some sequences that were too complex and silly. Overall though, the movie still works really well, especially when it updates the story elements rather than trying to duplicate them. It’s still a great movie for the whole family.
6. Pete’s Dragon
This movie was extremely well done. The only reason its at the bottom of my list is because the plot was too simplistic and the movie felt too short. I wish they had added more complexity to the plot. However, they did an excellent job with what they gave us. The dragon is simply incredible.