Disney movies that would be disaster in live-action

June 06, 2024

Disney is seemingly in the habit of making its entire animated catalog into live-action films, but several need to stay in the vault as animated classics. 

‘The Aristocats’

'The Aristocats'

Walt Disney

If you saw the movie adaptation of the musical Cats, you completely understand why a live-action version of The Aristocats would be terrifying. Sure, the CGI could be improved, but is there a way to make CGI cats not look terrifying?

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‘A Bug’s Life’

'A Bug’s Life'


We do not need to see live-action bugs on any bigger scale than we see in real life. A Bug’s Life was cute because it was animated. Nothing could be done to make A Bug’s Life cute in live-action. It’s a classic Pixar film, and there’s no reason to mess with its legacy.

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‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'

Walt Disney

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is scary in its animated version. The protagonist is supposed to be creepy. The villain is terrifying. And the theme of eugenics would be far too intense for a children’s movie in a live-action version.

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‘The Brave Little Toaster’

'The Brave Little Toaster'

Walt Disney

Live-action remakes do well when the characters are already human. When they’re animals, it’s a lot harder to make the live-action version as appealing as its animated counterpart. And it would be nearly impossible to make small appliances look cute in live-action. The Brave Little Toaster is a strange enough movie as is. It doesn’t need a live-action revival.

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‘Chicken Little’

'Chicken Little'

Walt Disney

Once again, live-action films work best when the characters are human. When they are literal fish out of water, ducks, and small chickens, it’s not quite so cute. And the concept of the sky falling wouldn’t be so palatable in live-action form.

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‘Gnomeo & Juliet’

'Gnomeo & Juliet'

Walt Disney

Live-action films work decidedly less well when the characters are almost human. There would be something deeply unsettling about watching humans made to look like gnomes launching across lawns and getting stuck in fences. Gnomeo & Juliet wasn’t much of a hit anyway, so hopefully, this film is never considered for a live-action remake.

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‘Wreck-It Ralph’

'Wreck-It Ralph'


Not every part of Wreck-It Ralph would be terrifying as a live-action film, but enough of it, particularly the scenes when Ralph is smashing things, would be offputting enough to ruin the rest of the film. It’s darling in its animated version, and that’s how it should stay.

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Wall-E as a live-action film would read less like a cute little robot and more like a dystopian sci-fi film. And with very little dialogue, it would feel like a documentary of life on Mars, not a film set on Earth far in the future. 

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‘The Return of Jafar’

'The Return of Jafar'

Walt Disney

The live-action version of Aladdin was beautiful, but The Return of Jafar would be very scary as it features a lot more Jafar, and he is decidedly the scariest part of Aladdin. As far as we’re concerned, he can stay inside the lamp and never return to the live-action space.

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Walt Disney

Some things can only be cute in animation. Take dinosaurs, for instance. They’re sweet, kind, and adorable when they’re in an animated movie like Dinosaur. When they’re in a live-action movie like Jurassic Park, they are terrifying. The backdrop of Dinosaur would be stunning in live-action, but that’s about it. 

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‘Monsters, Inc.’

'Monsters, Inc.'


Monsters, Inc. falls in line with the same concept as Dinosaur. Any live-action monster movie is very scary because monsters are very scary. When animated, they’re cute, cuddly, and personified so that we like them. This movie would not translate well into live-action.

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‘The Black Cauldron’

'The Black Cauldron'

Walt Disney

The Black Cauldron is one of those films that reminds audiences just how dark Disney can get. Witches, an army of undead warriors, dark magic — this film has all the makings of an intense horror film. It’s amazing more adults haven’t shared the trauma they suffered from watching this as children. A live-action remake would be terrifying and not in a good way. 

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‘Robin Hood’

'Robin Hood'

Walt Disney

If someone did want to make Robin Hood into a live-action film based on the animated version, it would be wise not to make the characters into animals. The story is classic for a reason, but it works well for kids because of the animated animals. Watching a live-action animal steal food and perform archery would not work quite so well.

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Soul is a fantastic movie, but the only parts that would be good in live-action would be the beginning and the end. Any time the characters are just souls, which is most of the time, it would, at the very best, be strange and, at the very worst, be nightmare-inducing.

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‘Inside Out’

'Inside Out'


It’s fun to look inside your mind when animated, but it would be far less fun in live-action. And watching a giant elephant sacrifice himself by falling into a deep abyss? No, thank you. We’ll keep the sweet animated version of Inside Out and hope it never gets remade. 

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There are far too many rats in Ratatouille for it to ever be a live-action film. If the movie were about a mouse who can cook, sure. But the film is called Ratatouille, not Mouseatouille. For that reason and that reason alone, this film cannot ever be made into live-action. 

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‘Strange Magic’

'Strange Magic'

Walt Disney

The characters in Strange Magic aren’t called monsters, but many of them look enough like monsters to fall into the category of animated films that should not be made into live-action because the characters would be too scary in real life. Some movies are animated for a reason. 

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Walt Disney

Frankenweenie is the perfect way to introduce kids to the classic monster tale of Frankenstein. It’s creepy without being too scary, and its stop-motion animation is perfect. But in live-action, it would cross into too scary territory. If kids want to see a live-action Frankenstein, they should just watch Frankenstein (with parental supervision, of course). 

Review : 4.8/6
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