Movies & TV / Columns

Thoughts on Disney’s Live-Action Future: Lion King, Mulan, More

May 27, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Lion King Mulan

If you’re not a fan of Disney’s focus on live-action remakes of all their classics, I have some bad news for you. They are not going anywhere.

Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake is on its way to an impressive Memorial Day weekend debut with an estimated $109 million over the four-day period. The musical fantasy starring Will Smith and Mena Massoud should finish with about $87 million in its first three days, giving the movie the sixth-highest Memorial Day weekend debut of all time.

Not bad for a movie that has taken serious flack from people online.

Guy Ritchie directed the movie with Smith taking on the role of Robin Williams’ incredibly popular Genie and Massoud portraying the hero. Naomi Scott stars as Jasmine, along with Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, and Billy Magnussen.

Aladdin is expected to pass $100 million by Monday and the film has already earned earned $207.1 million worldwide.

Leading up to its release, the movie has taken a number of hits on social media, with plenty of analysts hedging their bets on how the movie will perform at the box office. Disney’s plan for these “live-action remakes” has been simple Use modern CGI to enhance the movie experience for stories that audiences are familiar from their animated catalog.

So far it has been a sound strategy in terms of money and fan reaction and it looks like there is no end in sight for them to keep mining this plan. With The Lion King, Mulan, and a host of other features lined up, the live-action parade shows no signs of fatigue and even with some backlash, Disney is confident that families will come out to see their favorite stories on the big screen.

I’ve mentioned in the past that its just a matter of time before Disney announces that they will be making animated versions of these live-action remakes, bringing things to a full circle. While that idea seems laughable, it’s entirely possible as new demographics grow up in a world where the live-action movies are all they know.

How soon will it be before we hear about a live version of Frozen? I’d venture to guess not too long. While the long awaited sequel is being completed, you can be assured that the accountants are running the numbers on how that movie will do.

What are your thoughts on Aladdin and Disney’s live-action corner? Any animated features that you want to see?