Five naughty live-action remakes of classic Disney films2017/05/15
Classic Disney films have touched the lives of millions of people. It’s hard to find someone without a favourite Disney film. With titles like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King to its name, the animated film company is one of the most iconic cultural institutions of our time. Producing a remake of a classic film is always a difficult and risky task, but in recent years we’ve enjoyed new versions of animated Disney films that took the classics into a naughtier dimension. Here is a list of live-action remakes of classic Disney films that WTW considers just as good as (or even better than) the originals.
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALADDIN BY ARTHUR BENZAQUEN (2015, FRANCE, BELGIUM)
In this new approach to the classic Arabian tale, the story of Aladdin is told by a couple of thieves caught red-handed by a group of kids as they try to steal from Galeries Lafayette dressed as Father Christmas. You can imagine what follows: a crazy adventure with hip-hop, dancing, a sports car-like flying carpet and, of course, a tender love story. When it was released in France in 2015, the film became a box-office hit, raking in upwards of €30 million.
SNOW WHITE BY PABLO BERGER (2012, SPAIN, FRANCE)
What if the sweet and fragile Snow White from the Disney movie were to become a brave bullfighter trying to cope with her terrible stepmother in pre-war Spain? That’s exactly what happens in Pablo Berger’s version of the classic. Snow White mixes the atmosphere of a fairy tale with the darkness of a gothic novel, with an odd sense of humour and some flamenco thrown in for good measure. This silent film was the Spanish entry for the Academy Awards in 2013, won 10 Goya Awards (including for Best Film), and saw its leading actress, Macarena García, win the award for Best Actress at the 2012 San Sebastian Film Festival.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BY CHRISTOPHE GANS (2014, FRANCE, GERMANY)
Beauty and the Beast is probably the most iconic film from the Disney factory. Doing a remake of it is a risky venture, something which French director Christophe Gans knows all about. He is the man behind the most spectacular and cinematically complex adaptation of the classic tale. Léa Seydoux plays Belle and Vincent Cassel the beast, two top French actors who gave stunning performances to make this dark but beautifully romantic version of the story a hit. Winner of the Cesar award for Best Production Design, this film is the perfect example of how visionary filmmakers can take classics to new and unchartered places.
PINOCCHIO BY ROBERTO BENIGNI (2002, ITALY)
Life is Beautiful is one of the most successful European films of all time. Its director, Roberto Benigni, decided to make his own version of the classic tale of Pinocchio shortly after receiving three Oscars for the former. Going from the Holocaust to a classic children’s tale may seem crazy, but Benigni proved that he likes taking risks, and in 2002, revealed his particular take on the universal fairy tale of the wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy. Filled with the warm sense of humour of the Italian actor and director, the film is a visually breathtaking adventure that will awaken the inner child lying dormant in each and every one of us.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND BY TIM BURTON (2010, UNITED STATES)
Although it is not perfect, Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland is a highly enjoyable adventure full of colour, magic and mystery. The man behind masterpieces like Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood builds a one-of-a-kind universe in which creatures of all kinds have a place. Burton cast his long-time collaborators Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter and worked with his indie muse Mia Wasikowska for the first time, resulting in a film as funny as it is strange. After bringing one of the most eccentric Disney classics to life, Burton is now working on a live-action version of Dumbo; we can’t wait to see the result.