A definitive ranking of Disney’s live-action remakes

Kinderling News & Features

It’s hard not to love a Disney classic. But let’s face it. We live in an age where our kids are more likely to know “Maleficent” as the mega-cheekboned Angelina Jolie, not a cartoon.

With four new live-action Disney films slated for release this year – Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King and Lady and the Tramp – we thought it was time to round up the films that have already been given the CGI treatment, ranking them from least to most magical.

Let us know if you (and the kids) agree!

1. Beauty and the Beast - 2017

5 stars

True to the original, and bursting with magic – this movie had millions of little girls begging for a yellow ballgown. Touché, Disney. Touché.

2. The Jungle Book - 2016

4.5 stars

An all-star vocal cast brings the magic (and bravery) of Mowgli’s story to life, and we will always be enchanted. Sadly, it’s probably a tad too scary for little viewers.

3. Cinderella - 2015

4.5 stars

Is it just us, or did this release fly a little under the radar? Regardless, it does justice to the original and features stellar performances by Cate Blanchett (the nasty stepmother) and Helena Bonham Carter (the enchanted fairy godmother). What’s not to love?


4. 101 Dalmatians - 1996

4 stars

Glenn Close as Cruella, bumbling bad guys and all the puppies! This remake gives kids plenty to love… and Emma Stone sure has big boots to fill when she dons the black-and-white wig for the new Cruella movie, set to come out in 2020.


5. Maleficent - 2014

4 stars

The back story of Disney villian Maleficent is beautifully brought to life in this adaptation. Though, like most remakes, it doesn't feature as much music as we'd like, it did gift us Lana Del Rey's melancholy rendition of Once Upon A Dream. That definitely earned it some bonus points!

6. Alice in Wonderland - 2010

3 stars

Visually this movie is a masterpiece – a wonderland for the eyes, for sure. But everyone seemed to have high hopes for this film and it didn’t quite meet expectations, even with the help of Johnny Depp!


7. The Jungle Book - 1994

2.5 stars

With the release of a newer Jungle Book in 2016, we’d forgotten this version existed. In a bid for more ‘realism’ it loses a little of the magic – no talking animals, no suspended disbelief, and nowhere near enough singing! If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that kids will always appreciate some added magic.