The Walt Disney Company has been releasing live action versions of their animated classics for the last several years to mixed results. While taste is certainly subjective, some have been well received while others have been harshly criticized by fans over the years. But the box office numbers for “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” ensure the company will continue to make the live action films, because they are almost always money makers.

As I write this article, “The Little Mermaid” just hit theaters and live action versions of “Snow White,” “Hercules,” “Moana,” and “Lilo and Stitch” have all been announced. But there are some more overlooked Disney films that I think are more deserving of the live action treatment. It’s easy to understand why Disney keeps going to its films regarded as classics, but I think these animated films that weren’t as big at the box office deserve live action renditions to see if they can improve upon the original films.


This 1963 animated film was the last one released while Walt Disney was still alive. It follows a young King Arthur as he learns under Merlin and also wants to become a squire when he pulls the famed sword from the stone. The legend of King Arthur has been told literally hundreds of times, but I would be interested to see how Disney took this version and made it live action. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a live action battle between Merlin and Mim.


This film nearly tanked the Walt Disney Animation Studios in the 1980s, still, I think there’s potential for a successful live action film. The book series that inspired this film is considered too dark for a children’s film, but a live action film can target a wider audience. Plus, if they are more faithful to the books, this could be an excellent film.


This film has a cult following and is widely hyped by its fans. The film is definitely hysterical, and I would love to see how they incorporate some of the crazier scenes into a live action film. Plus, I would love to see a villager acting against a talking llama.


The film that featured “fewer songs” and “more explosions” is almost perfect for live action. This film has treasure hunters, ancient civilizations, mercenaries growing a conscience and an easy to follow plot. “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” may not have gotten the love I think it deserved when it was released, but a live action version could be a massive hit.


Another film that failed at the box office in the early 2000s but has found a cult following over the past two decades is “Treasure Planet.” While there are several versions of “Treasure Island,” including “Muppets Treasure Island,” the obvious best version, it could be interesting to see how the planet hopping version would work. Obviously this one would feature a lot of CGI, but the company that owns Marvel and Star Wars knows where to find excellent CGI. I’d like to see it.

Those are five Disney animated films I’d like to see made into live action versions if Disney insists on continuing the live action trend. Personally, I’d like to see stories Disney hasn’t already made before, but, I wouldn’t be made if lower rated animated films got live action updates. Which Disney animated films would you like to see turned into a live action film?

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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