Written by Tyrone Bruinsma
So Disney’s remake of Aladdin was successful at over 800 Million. With The Lion King, a Maleficent sequel, Mulan, 100 Dalmatians and The Little Mermaid gearing up-I thought I’d take a look at other Disney animations not fully slated to be remade and how I’d make them.
1. THE BLACK CAULDRON
A film that almost killed Disney back in the day due to an executive shift, over budget production and it not being Disney’s typical output-I doubt Disney will remake it. But I think it could make a good remake in live action and with modern visual effects.
Primary notes of change: (Please note I’ve no idea of how the books work)
-Explore more of the kingdom and world during the story (Even the way King Arthur: Legend of the Sword did this would be handy)
-Give the Horned King more motivation, character and origin
-Lose a few subplots like the fairies.
-Main change however would be for the lead character to be Princess Eilonwy.
Reason being is that Taran is a really boring protagonist, Eilonwy feels like she has more interesting things going on as a Princess of another kingdom and would give us a different perspective allowing for my agency on here part. I’d also make it a darker film consistently and have it tonally similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean films or even King Arthur Legend of the Sword.
Princess Eilonwy: Sofia Boutella
The Horned King: Andy Serkis
Taran: Louis Ashbourne Serkis
Gurgi: John Mulaney
Creeper: Kevin Hart
3 Witches: Helen Mirren, Viola Davis, Melissa McCarthy
Auteur/Aesthetic input: those dragons are getting a lot my mileage and importance, most monster stuff and some epic army battles.
2. ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE
This cult favorite from the directors of Beauty and the Beast and Hunchback of Notre Dame was also a box office failure, but one of my personal favourites of Disney as the adventure story it is. It also suits live action very well, easily fitting alongside franchises like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean
-More background into the Atlantean past, their wars and technology
-Change the time period for a Cold War backdrop
-Get to Atlantis a bit faster and have the final climax remain there
-Main change is having the themes of war, technology and history repeating itself in reflecting the Atlantean’s war and the Cold War.
Reason for the theme/time change is because it gives the Atlanteans hiding their technology more weight, the Cold War element would mean there can be a successful double cross (especially if you, like me thought Helga would make a great Russian double agent).
Milo: Tom Holland
Kida: Letita Wright
Rourke: Ron Perlman
Whitmore: Patrick Stewart
Mole: Patton Oswalt
Helga: Elizabeth Olsen
Vinny: Ethan Hawke
Audrey: Dafne Keen
Sweet: Idris Elba
King of Atlantis: James Earl Jones
Cookie: Rain Wilson
Packard: Judi Dench
Auteur/Aesthetic input: The Leviathan fight will be a “T-Rex Paddock Attack” level of set piece with suspense and action-plus changing the Leviathan to a giant robot shark for fun. The giants at the end of the film would be more than shields, but I’m still keeping every gorgeous and mood piece moment intact.
3. TREASURE PLANET
One of Disney’s biggest box office flops from the men behind The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Princess and the Frog and Moana they’ve been planning since before The Little Mermaid. Treasure Planet is a fan favourite with a strong post 9/11 and Iraq War theme about people growing up in a world where parents might’ve stopped being around, along with being a fun and inventive sci-fi re-imagining of the classic novel.
-More action scenes/intensity to the scenes.
-Jim’s father would’ve died going to fight Pirates to fit the war takes parents theme and Jim have more of a grudge of Pirates to overcome.
-BEN The robot is completely removed, more presence of Captain Flint
-While I’m not sure about this change, I’ve thought what if Jim was genderbent? Just because the theme is not gender based and universal
Jim: Wyatt Russel (If genderbent as Jane: Matilda Lutz)
Silver: Michael Sheen
Dr Doppler: David Tennant
Cpt. Amelia: Tilda Swinton
Sarah (Jim’s Mother): Sally Field
Mr Arrow: Dave Bautista
Scroop: Lance Henriksen
Cpt. Flint: Michael Shannon
Auteur/Aesthetic input: I wont’ make any changes to the established rules, environment. I will however 100% give into the idea of space/sea monsters and have the Treasure Planet in question be like The Mysterious island with dangerous beasts. Plus I want more ship on ship battles.
While not an absolute bomb, Hercules was mostly a favourite among people who grew up with it. Mostly I think Lindsay Ellis’s video on it explains the main problem with its structural “want vs give” dynamic.
-Hades is aware of Hercules from the start and doesn’t view him as a concern in the training montage, until Hercules easily beats his monsters-eventually using Megara as the successful tool in his belt.
-Hercules develops into a kind of jerk in the training montage thanks to Phil (because Phil’s idolisation of heroes and glory is toxic and he has to learn that) with Hercules softening around Megara. Fully completing the intended arc of learning what it means to be a true hero by the end.
-The final climax with the Titans is way more elaborate and longer.
-Hercules: Chris Pratt
-Megara: Selma Hayek
-Hades: Armie Hammer
-Phil: Peter Dinklage
-Zeus: Christoph Waltz
-Hera: CCH Pounder
-Pain: Nicolas Cage
-Panic: Tom Kenny
Auteur/Aesthetic input: By this point anyone who knows me or even from reading this can tell I love my monsters. So the Hydra scene and Titans will get more love and attention. I might even have The Gods turn into kaiju themselves for some Evangelion style action.
5. THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
One of the moodiest, most mature of Disney animated films-this is a classic to me. Remaking this would be very difficult.
-Only one real change on my mind in making the ending have the tragic weight of the original novel. Only Phoebus would be alive to honor the memory of his best friend Quasimodo and his love Esmerelda in the message of justice and to not judge a book by its cover.
Quasimodo: Ben Whishaw
Esmerelda: Mila Kunis
Frollo: Michael Keaton
Phoebus: Chris Evans
Clopin: Oscar Isaac
3 Gargoyles: John C Reily, Karl Urban, Queen Latifah
Auteur/Aesthetic input: The original’s style I want to keep mostly intact (Especially Hellfire) but primarily draw more hellish imagery, gothic architecture, add some more of the French anti-inclusive background like borders and borrow heavily from classic cinema movements like French New Wave and Giallo films.