Revamping the classics

Disney’s new live action movies


Over the past few months, there have been a multitude of announcements from Disney that have shaken up the internet. Disney films that were originally cartoons are now being made with actual actors. The public can travel back to the past as timeless movies are gaining a live-action remake. Here are some of the highly anticipated movies coming in the future:



Being announced late last year, Aladdin has generated buzz with a small trailer and a few pictures from the set of the movie. Based on its 1992 predecessor, Aladdin is about a street rat who falls in love with a princess and finds a magical lamp with a genie inside that grants him three wishes. However, there is a dark force that seeks not only the lamp, but also the princess’ hand in marriage. The most notable member of this new cast is Will Smith, who will play the charismatic and comedic genie. Entertainment Weekly reports that Will Smith felt pressured playing such an iconic role previously voiced by Robin Williams. Smith says Williams “infused the character with a timeless version of himself,” and that ““I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different.” Other important cast members include Mena Massoud, known for starring in the Jack Ryan series, who will play the lead role of Aladdin himself. Power Rangers actress Naomi Scott will be Princess Jasmine, Aladdin’s love interest. The film is predicted to  release on May 24, 2019.



Coming at the heels of a major breakthrough for Asians in the movie industry through movies like Crazy Rich Asians, Disney has also decided to bring Mulan back to the big screen. Centered around a Chinese girl who bravely takes the place of her old father in the military, Mulan breaks the traditional standard of a Disney Princess. The original movie follows Fa Mulan and her struggles to keep her identity a secret while also training to fight against the Huns that threaten China. However, the live action remake will replace the Huns with a female villain, who is a witch, and a warrior seeking revenge. These roles will be played by Gong Li and Jason Scott Lee respectively. Other changes have been made to the film, with Elle [magazine] reporting that “this version of the story will not include Li Shang, who is Mulan’s love interest in the original movie, and ultimate Disney hottie of our hearts. The film will instead include a character named Chen Honghui.” Important cast members include Liu Yifei, who also goes by Crystal Liu, and she will play the protagonist, Mulan. Another notable actor in the production is Jet Li, who will play the Emperor of China. The film is set to come out on March 22, 2020.


The response to these upcoming movies has been relatively positive, and there are high expectations for them. Battlefield junior Genevieve Fox says, “I think it’s a cool idea because it brings a sense of nostalgia while also keeping things kinda fresh.” When asked whether these films would do well, she said, “they will be received well as long as they stay true to the original movies and keep the popular parts of them.” With the public waiting eagerly for these releases, it is important that the original story is not altered too much, taking the magic of the old films away.


These are only a few films set for the silver screen, with another notable remake in the works being The Hunchback of Notre Dame. All these films could not have come into fruition without the success of previous live-action remakes like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Maleficent. As these new films are being released, many can experience the movies they loved in a new way.