Disney is giving its classics a live-action makeover and 'Dumbo,' 'The Lion King' and 'Aladdin' are just the start

Disney has lined up three live-action remakes including 'Aladdin,' 'Dumbo' and 'The Lion King' that will be releasing in 2019

                            Disney is giving its classics a live-action makeover and 'Dumbo,' 'The Lion King' and 'Aladdin' are just the start
(Source : Getty Images)

From 'Cinderella' to 'Maleficent', Disney has been turning their legendary animated films to live-action masterpieces. Now that 'Mulan' is all set to get a live-action remake, Disney fans are buzzing with joy. While we look forward to the remake of our beloved 1998 movie about a Chinese girl in a patriarchal regime who goes off to the military disguising herself as a man, which will release in 2020, there are other live-action remakes such as 'Aladdin,' 'Dumbo' and 'The Lion King,' that will be releasing in 2019.

The first glimpse of 'The Lion King' was seen in April when Disney aired a 90-minute presentation of three upcoming live-action movies during the CinemaCon at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The opening sequence of 2019 'The Lion King' mirrored that of the animated movie which premiered 25 years ago, with the opening number 'The Circle of Life' by Lebo M and Carmen Twillie.

Following that, the animation is further mirrored with the birth of King Mufasa’s son, Simba and he is also presented to the animal kingdom at the Pride Rock by Rafiki the baboon, the shaman and adviser to Mufasa. Striking and similar, Rafiki has the same colorful facial markings as in the animated film. He even rubs Simba's face with red dust before presenting him to the cheering animal kingdom.

The film already sounds like it is one of the studio's most ambitious projects with impressive casts and crew. Jon Favreau is directing the film and, given that he is also the man behind 2016's 'The Jungle Book,' he will pretty much render a compelling movie on talking animals.

Favreau started his directing career with 'Made' in 2001, and he followed that up with 2003's 'Elf' and 2005's 'Zathura'. He is also known to have shaped the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 'Iron Man' and 'Iron Man 2.'

The film's impressive cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. The release date has been set for July 19, 2019 and, unlike Disney's traditional release between March and May, July sounds refreshing. This move may have been made because 'Dumbo' will be releasing on March 29 next year.

Talking about 'Dumbo,' its recently-released tear-jerking trailer has stunned millions of audience globally.

Disney released its first teaser trailer on June 13, featuring the star-studded cast including Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton. 

The story of Dumbo comes to our screen 75 years after the original animation. This movie will be directed by Tim Burton and his reimagination of the floppy-eared elephant. 

Keeping true to its original animation opening, the trailer opens to the melancholy tune of 'Baby Mine,' the same song that introduced the world to Dumbo in the original 1941. 

The 1-minute-20-second trailer introduces us to the elephant found in a pile of hay by former showman and one-armed war veteran Holt Farrier — played by Farrell — and his two children, Milly (played Nico Parker) and Joe (played Finley Hobbins). 

"We're all family here no matter how small," says Milly to the round-eyed baby elephant, voiced by Frank Welker.

The circus setting, named Dreamland, dives into a dark and glimmering world of French trapeze artist effortlessly holding onto a chandelier. And as Dumbo takes flight the trailer ends with the stunned audience looking up in amazement.

Another Disney live-action we are looking forward to is 'Aladdin,' where Robin Williams rendered a stellar performance as the Genie in 1990. Disney has set aside three dates for the release between August 2018 and December 2019, it is rumored that 'Aladdin' may hit the theatres on May 24, 2019.

The upcoming 'Aladdin' is directed by Guy Ritchie, the director behind 'Sherlock Holmes' movies and 'Snatch'. Fans pointed out that the choice was a bit debatable and unusual, but Ritchie has suggested that, as a father to five children, he knows as much, or more, about kids movies than he does any other type of movies.

However, regarding the screenplay, Ritchie will be accompanied by the writer John August. This will be August's second Disney script following up his work on Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie'. 

When it comes to the cast, 'Aladdin' will be played by TV actor Mena Massoud while Princess Jasmine will be played by a slightly better-known actress, Naomi Scott, who played the Pink Ranger in the newest Power Rangers movie.

But the most important casting of all is that of the Genie, already immortalized by Robin Williams. For the 2019 'Aladdin,' Genie will be played by Will Smith and fans are already impressed.


While these are the Disney classics that are turning into live-action next year, 'Mulan' is set for its release in 2020 with Chinese actress Liu Yifei, starring as the movie's heroine. The film is being directed by Niki Caro, who recently directed 'The Zookeeper's Wife' starring Jessica Chastain. 

It looks like Disney is on a spree to make magic happen in a live-action world. However, the quality of Disney remakes has varied when it comes to matching that of the original animations.

For example, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast were almost the same as their animated counterparts, but 'Maleficent' and 'Alice in Wonderland' were completely different.

We do not know how exactly the above-mentioned movies will unfurl in theatres but we hope Disney's overwhelming essence of innocence and originality will thrive. Now, who is ready for 2019?