From “The Little Mermaid” to “Moana,” Here Are All the Disney Live-Action Remakes
From “Pinocchio” to “Peter Pan & Wendy,” the Disney live-action remake trend isn’t losing steam anytime soon. Now, with Disney+‘s popularity, the media giant is releasing its live-action remakes both in theaters and exclusively on the streaming platform. Though fans and critics alike refer to these movies as live-action, some, like “The Jungle Book” (2006) and “The Lion King” (2019), use so much CGI that it might be more accurate to still call them animated.
The latest films in Disney’s live-action-remake lineup include “The Little Mermaid,” which hit theaters on May 26 with Halle Bailey as Ariel, as well as a forthcoming “Moana” adaptation. Then, there are “Snow White” and “Hercules,” both of which are pretty far along in the production process. But Disney also has a bevy of other live-action projects in development and preproduction, including “The Aristocats” and “Lilo & Stitch,” the latter of which has slowly been rolling out cast announcements.
With so many exciting flicks on the way, read on for every Disney live-action movie we know about, from the ones released years ago to ones fans can hope to see in the near future.
Disney Live-Action Movies
“The Jungle Book” (1994)
“101 Dalmatians” (1996)
“102 Dalmatians” (2000)
“Alice in Wonderland” (2010)
“The Jungle Book” (2016)
“Alice Through the Looking Glass” (2016)
“Beauty and the Beast” (2017)
“Christopher Robin” (2018)
“The Lion King” (2019)
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” (2019)
“Lady and the Tramp” (2019)
“The Little Mermaid” (2023)
“Peter Pan & Wendy” (2023)
“Snow White” (TBA)
“The Sword in the Stone” (TBA)
“Robin Hood” (TBA)
“The Aristocats” (TBA)
“Lilo & Stitch” (TBA)
"The Jungle Book" (1994)
“The Jungle Book” was the first real Disney remake, in which the media giant brought the 1967 classic under a camera lens. The film didn’t make a huge profit, earning $43.2 million at the box office on a $30 million budget, but critics still appreciated it. What sets it apart from many of the other Disney remakes is that we see actual animals in the film, which makes limited use of special effects.
"101 Dalmatians" (1996)
The live-action remake of “101 Dalmatians” made a respectable $320.7 million at the box office, landing it a sequel. And Glenn Close’s turn as Cruella de Vil instantly became iconic.
"102 Dalmatians" (2000)
Yup, “101 Dalmatians” had a remake . . . which, too, had a sequel. Glenn Close reprises her role as Cruella de Vil, who’s now out of prison and trying to be good again – “trying” being the operative word. The film made $183.6 million on an $85 million budget.
"Alice in Wonderland" (2010)
Tim Burton directed the live-action “Alice in Wonderland,” which made over $1 billion at the box office.
Lily James stepped into Cinderella’s glass slippers for this Kenneth Branagh-directed film, which marked the real beginning of the Disney live-action remake era. Disney’s “Cinderella” earned $542 million at the box office and proved fans’ princess appetite will never be sated.
"The Jungle Book" (2016)
"Alice Through the Looking Glass" (2016)
Tim Burton’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” shows that though the Disney brand is strong and lucrative, its live-action film sequels often feel bloated. It still made $299.5 million at the box office.
"Christopher Robin" (2018)
An overworked adult who has lost his sense of wonder talking with a cuddly bear might ring a little too similar to Paddington Bear for some, but we have to admit that Ewan McGregor does a solid job as a cynical Christopher Robin. Plus, the animals are so gosh-darn cute on top of the heartwarming story. By Disney’s standards, the movie wasn’t a box-office smash, with $197.7 million earned.
“Dumbo”‘s main character is an elephant that doesn’t talk, so it might be tricky to recapture the charm of the original 1941 film with a CGI elephant. “Dumbo” made $353.3 million at the box office.
"The Lion King" (2019)
“The Lion King” has an all-star voice cast, anchored by Beyoncé and Donald Glover, but many found the CGI animals a little too lifelike and not emotive enough. Still, Jon Favreau‘s film made over $1 billion at the box office.
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" (2019)
The discrepancy between the critical and audience receptions (41 percent and 95 percent) showed that at least viewers were on board with this sequel. In “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” Angelina Jolie returns to her role as the sexy antiheroine, who’s just made peace with Aurora. Whether you loved it or hated it, the movie did extremely well at the box office, bringing in, so far, $472.3 million on a $185 million budget.
"Lady and the Tramp" (2019)
The live remake of “Lady and the Tramp” leans into Disney’s cute, wholesome brand. The film, which had a voice cast including Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux, premiered on Disney+.
The release of “Mulan” was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was eventually released on Disney+. The film, directed by Niki Caro, made major changes to the animated movie in order to better reflect Chinese culture. It also got rid of the popular songs, though Christina Aguilera rerecorded “Reflection” for the soundtrack.
Emma Stone stars as a young Cruella de Vil in this prequel film. The movie brought in $233.5 million at the box office – pretty strong for the pandemic – and has a sequel in the works.
Tom Hanks stars as Geppetto in this new “Pinocchio” film directed by Robert Zemeckis, which is available to stream now on Disney+.
"The Little Mermaid" (2023)
Halle Bailey stars as Ariel in the live-action “The Little Mermaid,” which hit theaters on May 26. The cast also includes Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Daveed Diggs as Sebastian.
In an interview with POPSUGAR, Bailey noted how significant it is to be a young Black woman playing Ariel, who has historically been portrayed as white. “It’s about time that a role like this is played by a Black woman, by somebody who is just a part of this beautiful community,” she said. “We deserve to have images that look like us and to see ourselves in the media on big screens and everything. So I’m just grateful that we’re getting to see ourselves finally on such big projects.”
"Lilo & Stitch"
In July 2022, Deadline reported that “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” director Dean Fleischer Camp is set to direct the live-action “Lilo & Stitch.” Since then, multiple cast members have been announced, like newcomer Maia Kealoha, who will lead the upcoming film as Lilo. Others include Sydney Agudong as Lilo’s sister, Nani; Kahiau Machado as Nani’s love interest, David Kawena; and Courtney B. Vance as Cobra Bubbles. The movie does not yet have a release date.
Dwayne Johnson, who famously voiced the character Maui in 2016’s “Moana,” has confirmed that a live-action adaptation of the Disney film is in the works. Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced the titular character, confirmed on May 19 that she won’t reprise her role but serves as an executive producer for the upcoming movie. “I cannot wait to help find the next actress to portray Moana’s courageous spirit, undeniable wit, and emotional strength,” she said in an Instagram video. “I am truly honored to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent, to honor our incredible Pacific peoples, cultures, and communities that helped inspire her story.”
No other details about the “Moana” adaptation have been announced yet, but the movie is currently in production.
Guy Ritchie, who directed “Aladdin,” is also attached to direct the live-action “Hercules.”
Deadline reported back in 2019 that “Hunchback,” a live-action version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” is in the works, with new music from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. The new movie would draw more on Victor Hugo’s original novel. There haven’t been any updates since then.
"The Sword in the Stone"
Disney hired director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to helm “The Sword in the Stone”‘s live-action remake in 2018. It’s not clear if the film is still happening.
A “Bambi” remake is also in the works. In May, Deadline reported that writer Lindsey Beer had recently turned in a draft for the film.
Variety reported in January that a live-action “The Aristocats” is in the works at Disney.