Post-'Cinderella,' Animated Movies We'd Like To See as Live-Action Films

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday September 13, 2021
Originally published on September 13, 2021

Post-'Cinderella,' Animated Movies We'd Like To See as Live-Action Films

The release of Amazon's musical retelling of "Cinderella" with Camila Cabello and Billy Porter got us thinking: What other classic animated stories are ripe for a reboot? While it is true that this "Cinderella" has nothing in common with Disney's animated version from the 1950s (no "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo", but plenty of pop hits), there's a treasure trove of beloved animated films that would be ideally suited to modern live-action remakes (spoiler alert: "Frozen" isn't one of them. It's time to let this one go).

And it's hard to imagine that all of these won't happen at some point. From "Maleficent" — which pretty much kick-started this entire trend — to the $1 billion+ grossing "Beauty and the Beast", the animated-to-live-action pipeline will likely be clogged with projects for years to come.

"The Little Mermaid" is already set for filming, and Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis are attached to Pinocchio, so what else should be given the live-action treatment? Read on for our picks!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

It's honestly kind of surprising that this hasn't happened yet. And, no, "Snow White and the Huntsman doesn't count. This classic animated film — the first animated full-length feature of all time — is still a delight, with some of the best music written for the genre. The prospect of an A-list actress sinking her teeth into the Evil Queen role is too good to pass up.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

There's no way we would turn down the casting of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, but this tale deserves a proper retelling apart from the evil villain's own origin story. The Tchaikovsky-inspired score is unbeatable, and the three fairies are a golden opportunity for actresses of a certain age.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

We are big believers in the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but if the right minds got behind this retelling, it would become another instant classic. Darker would be better here. With some more character development, a sub-plot or two, and some bonafide scares, a live-action "Nightmare Before Christmas" could be the thing we didn't know we needed.

Oliver & Company

Oliver & Company

The story of Oliver Twist is one of those stories that seems to get remade every decade or so, causing new audiences of different generations to fall under the spell of Oliver, Dodger, Fagin, and the rest of the gang. It's true that "Oliver & Company" isn't exactly a carbon copy of the Dickens novel — or even the Lionel Bart musical — but the bones are the same. This one would surely need to be updated a little. The Billy Joel songs just wouldn't hit the same way they did a few decades ago, but this is an enduring tale for a reason, and a fresh remake would put a unique stamp on a tried-and-true story.

The Sword in the Stone

The Sword in the Stone

With the popularity of "Game of Thrones", it's shocking that this hasn't materialized yet. "The Sword in the Stone" is one of those Disney films that doesn't seem to get the same credit that its other films from around the same time get. But it holds up today, and even with repeat viewings, it's a funny, still-entertaining-for-adults tale that combines great music with pure fantasy.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

When it comes to stories being remade, retold, and recycled ad nauseum, "Peter Pan" certainly qualifies. But it is enduring for a reason, and it is with complete confidence when we say that this one still hits the spot. For all the remakes, the classic Disney animated version has never been given a proper remake, and it's time for that to change.

Tarzan

Tarzan

We think it's a stretch to call a film live-action that employs a cast of CGI animals, but there are enough humans in this one to earn the title. "Tarzan" seemed to take the world by storm in the late 90s, and the Phil Collins score helped propel it to fame (are his songs among the last written for an animated film to get radio play? It seems that way). Naturally, Collins would have to move over for an A-list artist of today, but the characters and story endure. Lightning would surely strike twice with a "Tarzan" reboot.