There was some confusion in the Theme Park Brothers’ household when it came to answering the call out for the latest episode of The Dub Dee Dub Revue Podcast. We were asked to list our three all-time favorite Disney Live Action films. We all took that to mean Live Action films that came out of Disney Animated Films. No clue why we thought that because there was no mention that it had to be animated and I believe they even said that it just had to be under the Disney umbrella. Well when we went to answer we had this criteria in mind.
Narrowing it down to live action remakes of Disney animated films made it a lot easier on us to decide for sure. After thinking about it though I’m not sure if my answers would have changed much. I probably would have added The Santa Clause onto the list to replace Maleficent but my other two Alice in Wonderland and Beauty and the Beast would still stand, as would my honorable mention The Jungle Book.
During the show there was one viewer who only mentioned that they couldn’t stand Maleficent and offered no Top 3 of their own. I guess that is the easy way out to critique a movie but not put yourself out there to need to defend your own choices. For me Maleficent was an amazing movie which took a story that I really am not a fan of, nor was I a fan of the original movie, Sleeping Beauty, and made it into a movie that I really enjoyed. It actually helped me to appreciate Sleeping Beauty a little more the next time I watched it, knowing the back story of Maleficent. I enjoy when a live action movie based on an animated classic tells a different side of the story as opposed to a complete copy of the original.
On the opposite side of this argument sits the live action version of Beauty and the Beast which was almost an identical retelling of the original animated version, with a few additions to separate itself slightly. I wasn’t sure how Disney was going to pull off a live action Beauty and the Beast but they were able to do it fantastically. Emma Watson was an amazing Belle and Beast’s look was done perfectly to show a beast but yet somehow in his eyes you could see his compassion and humanity. I think with such a popular movie like Beauty and the Beast staying true to the original was paramount.
Somewhere in the middle was Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. The original book was pretty dark and could lend itself to a very interesting and a little out-there movie. The animated version was a little too tame, in my opinion, to accomplish this task. Tim Burton, not surprisingly was up to the task and made Alice in Wonderland the way that I saw it in my mind when reading the book. In some ways he made it look much better than I could ever have imagined it. Johnny Depp’s performance as The Mad Hatter was spot on and I couldn’t have been happier with the movie. I tend to watch it every once in a while with the same enjoyment as the first time. (We will not talk about the disappointment I felt towards Through the Looking Glass, but maybe I need to revisit that one and give it another chance)
Now for my honorable mention The Jungle Book. I really could not stand the original animated version of The Jungle Book. It had a few catchy songs for sure and the story was good but I just can never get through it. The live action version was so well done that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It think this is another example of how the topic is a little dark with some moments that can get intense and this does not come through in the animated version. The live action remake did a much better job of setting the mood and conveying these intense situations. It kept the original songs and gave them a modern twist that I really enjoyed. I was definitely surprised by my enjoyment of the movie and went in reluctantly. I am so glad that I gave it a chance.
As for the classic Disney live action films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Pollyanna and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I have to admit that I have seen very few of them. They have never really appealed to me and since I did not watch them as a child I have no emotional attachment to them either. I have tried to watch a few of the older movies and just can’t get into them. Maybe it is time for me to give them a try. I will start with those that were part of the lists mentioned on the show and see what happens! Who know I may find an entire new playlist of movies to enjoy.
Well there you have it. My take on the Top 3 Disney Live Action Movies. Like I said, I may have misunderstood the question but I’m not sure my answers would have changed in the end. What would you have picked?
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