Ranking Disney’s Live Action-Adaptations

The best way we could think of to rank these is similar to those alignment charts you see (where you have lawful good and chaotic evil and so on) where the two main categories (or axes) are Film Quality (mediocre, good, or bad) and Homage Paid To Source Material (too much, just right, not enough). The films for this list are primarily sourced from Wikipedia’s “List of Disney live-action remakes of animated films” article, but we have adjusted the listing for our own purposes. For example:

  • Christopher Robin (2018) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry) has been omitted as it is not a remake or a re-imagining, but a legacy sequel (or legasequel).
  • Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry) was originally listed, but upon critical analysis removed as a legacy prequel rather than a straight remake / re-imagining.
  • Mary Poppins Returns (2018) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry) was omitted as it is a sequel.
  • Pete’s Dragon (2016), while not originally just an animated film, is included in our list as we feel it meets enough other qualifications of films on the list.

The List (newest to oldest)

  • Dumbo (2019) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry)
    • Mediocre film
    • Pays homage to its source material without being constrained by the source material
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry)
    • Bad film
    • Pays too much homage to source material
  • Pete’s Dragon (2016) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry)
    • Mediocre film
    • Doesn’t pay enough homage to source material
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry)
    • Mediocre film
    • Doesn’t pay enough homage to source material
  • The Jungle Book (2016) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry)
    • Good film
    • Pays homage to its source material without being constrained by the source material
  • Cinderella (2015) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry)
    • Good film
    • Pays homage to its source material without being constrained by the source material
  • Maleficent (2014) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry)
    • Good film
    • Doesn’t pay enough homage to source material
    • Rewrites animated canon
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010) (IMDB entry) (Wikipedia entry)
    • Good film
    • Pays homage to its source material without being constrained by the source material