Disney is all about the live-actions these days and while some of them miss, a lot more seem to be hits! While they’re on a live-action reboot spree lately, some of their older live actions are among the best films they’ve ever made (at least in my opinion) so let’s count down through the most nostalgic and best Disney live action movies through the years.
Top 10 Disney Live Action Movies:
Before Disney decided to spend the 2010 and now the rest of this decade giving everything a live-action reboot, one of the original takes was 101 Dalmatians. The 1996 remake is the version that gave us the one and only Glenn Close as Cruella DeVil. While I’m excited for Emma Stone’s take on the iconic villian, Close was like the cartoon from the original version come to life.
The story is basically the same as the cartoon but with a bonus of adding real Dalmatian puppies so que the cuteness overload.
102 Dalmatians took on a completely different spin that the sequel to the cartoon which was 102 Dalmations 2: Patch’s London Adventure. The second live-action of this Disney film is about Pongo and Perdie’s son Dipstick all-grown up. Dipstick is owned by Chloe who ends up being Cruella’s parole officer after she gets out of prison. Although Cruella seems to have changed she doesn’t trust Cruella around Dipstick & Dottie’s puppies; Little Dipper, Domino & Oddball.
The best Disney live actions have to be the ones with the dogs which is why Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is on this list. Shadow, Chance and Sassy believe they were accidentally left behind and make an almost impossible journey back home to their owners.
Yes, Chance is voiced by Michael J. Fox.
Homeward Bound was one of my favorite movies as a kid; I wanted to name our white Ameircan Bulldog Chance but the family settled on Sam (which did suit him better) and I admittedly haven’t seen this since before he died because I’ll just sob.
The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is technically a Halloween movie but because it’s not overtly Halloween-y like Hocus Pocus or Halloweentown. Like Pirates of the Caribbean, this movie was originally based on a Disneyland attraction! The movie is about Jim Evers who is too busy working as a realter to spend time with his family. He takes his family with him to visit a mansion he thinks will be the biggest deal of his career but nothing is what it seems.
They’re remaking it but I don’t think anyone could do a better job than Eddie Murphy did.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl
If you’ve been reading for awhile then you know that the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is my favourite thing in the world. Dead Men Tell No Tales wasn’t bad, but we do not speak of on Stranger Tides.
The first POTC film is about Captain Jack Sparrow trying to get the Black Pearl back after Barbosa staged a mutiny. Barbosa and the crew steal treasure from the isla de muerta and roam the see as cursed immortals. The pirates track the last piece of Cortez’ treasure back to Port Royal and kidnap Elizabeth, and Will recruits Jack to help save her.
It still has the best theme song ever.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Dead Man’s Chest is really where the Pirates franchise takes off with the introduction of Davy Jones (and Beckett who is a seriously underrated Disney film).
Will and Elizabeth’s wedding is ruined by the East India Trading company when they’re arrested for helping to free Jack in the previous film. Will is offered a deal by Beckett to bring back Jack’s compass in exchange for freedom while Jack is trying to get out of his debt to Jones.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End
After the kraken got Jack in the previous film, the pirates need to summon the Brethren Court but can’t do it without Jack’s part of the Nine Pieces of Eight, so sail to world’s end to rescue him. Jones is being controlled by the EAC and Will is willing to stab anyone in the back to save his father from a lifetime on the Flying Dutchman.
Beauty And The Beast
While I love Disney Princesses, I don’t love the reboots but I did enjoy Beauty and The Beast. I thought the casting for LeFou and Gaston could not have been better and the visuals were absolutely stunning. They played is safe with this one because the remake was almost the exact same as the original – I’d love to see them adapt one of the Disney villain books from the Beast (or Gaston’s) perspective sometime.
Alice In Wonderland
While I’m iffy about Disney remakes, I do like the live actions where they do something different which is why I like Alice in Wonderland and still feel it’s one of the best Disney live actions. The 2009 reboot is about an all-grown up Alice who is still wonderfully weird but not as “much” as when she was a kid and visited Wonderland. She accidentally returns and embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
I like Maleficent for the same reason I love Alice in Wonderland; I love Disney live actions that tell a different version of the original story. Maleficent doubles as a prequel to Sleeping Beauty and serves as her version of events – and paints her in a much more favourable light.
So there we have 10 of the best Disney live actions! Do you have a favourite Disney live action movie that wasn’t one this list?