Our Definitive Ranking of Every Live-Action Disney Remake (So Far)

Disney is going full steam ahead with their live-action remakes.

In the past few years, we've seen plenty of our favorite animated stories come to life, and we can expect even more releases in the months and years to come.

But did every remake really deserve a place on the big screen? Maybe not. Keep scrolling for our definitive ranking of every live-action Disney remake, from worst to best.

12. 102 Dalmatians (2000)

Does anyone even remember this live-action remake/sequel of 101 Dalmatians? We nearly forgot it. While Glenn Close shines as Cruella de Vil, the film itself is less than memorable. For a movie that's all about dogs, there isn't nearly enough adorable puppy content. Beyond that, the storyline itself just isn't good. The movie drags on and on, with none of the normal Disney magic that usually makes these films so enjoyable.

102 dalmatians - cruella de vil and henchman

(102 Dalmatians via Walt Disney Pictures)


11. Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Alice Through the Looking Glass just wasn't good–it's simple as that. While the first live-action remake of this classic story infused the plot with fresh magic, the sequel felt like an odd, out of place addition. There isn't anything going on in the film that we actually wanted to know. The odd arrangement makes the characters feel dull and lifeless, totally disrupting the magic you want to see in a Disney film. It was a movie we could have and should have lived without.

alice through the looking glass

(Alice Through the Looking Glass via Walt Disney Pictures)


10. The Jungle Book (1994)

There's a fine balance that has to be found when re-creating a classic Disney movie. Unfortunately, this '90s live-action remake of The Jungle Book just misses the mark. This film focuses on Mowgli and the impact that his wild past has on his interactions when he finally meets humans again. The animals don't talk, and there are more mature themes to be found amidst the eye-catching action sequences. Unfortunately, the film veers a little too old. There isn't enough of the original magic in the film. Instead, it feels like an entirely new story that rids itself of the animal characters that made the film so lovable in the first place.

the jungle book 1994 - mowgli, baloo, and girl

(The Jungle Book via Walt Disney Pictures)


9. Christopher Robin (2018)

We had high hopes for this Disney remake, which is likely why we were slightly disappointed in the final product. The movie captures a sense of Winnie the Pooh nostalgia that definitely tugs at our heartstrings. There's a pervading feeling of warmth and joy, resulting in a feel-good movie that you're happy to sit and watch. Unfortunately, the overall message seems to lack any depth. While that's perfectly acceptable for a cartoon, in a live-action film it feels trite and overdone.

christopher robin and winnie the pooh sitting on a bench

(Christopher Robin via Walt Disney Pictures)


8. Maleficent (2014)

While some movies try to follow the exact formula of the original film, Maleficent takes a different approach. In this live-action remake of Sleeping Beauty, viewers are given a new perspective on this iconic story by following the path of the villain, Maleficent. It's a beautifully made film with a fresh perspective that captures viewers' attention…but only for a moment. After a while, the story becomes slow and tedious. The beginning and end are wonderful, but the middle part drags on a bit too long.


(Maleficent via Walt Disney Studios)


7. Pete's Dragon (2016)

While Pete's Dragon wasn't necessarily a popular film to begin with, the remake is surprisingly good. Once again, the visual effects truly stand out, breathing life into a classic story. It's a gentle movie with lots of heart that will remind you of your best childhood days, even if you've never heard of the story. It's a rare talent to bring so much warmth and joy into a film no one really knew about in the first place, making Pete's Dragon a real success.

pete and his dragon

(Pete's Dragon via Walt Disney Pictures)


6. Cinderella (2015)

The live-action remake of Cinderella wasn't bad. And that's about all there is to say about it. The movie captures the magic of the original film, even though it tends to move slowly towards the ultimate resolution. It has a nice dose of funny content, and it's updated for the modern world. Cinderella is infused with an agency and voice that's she's missing in the animated film, giving this classic story a fresh new outlook. It's perfectly enjoyable, which is more than we can say for some Disney remakes.


(Cinderella via Walt Disney Pictures)


5. Dumbo (2019)

The new live-action remake of Dumbo definitely had us in our feelings. While it embraces Burton's interesting style, the true magic of the film is the life it manages to infuse into the character. The original Dumbo is only an hour long and often veers into confusing and problematic territory. By using the original story as a jumping off point, Burton creates a film with a life of its own, which definitely had viewers captivated for the entirety the movie. It's not true to the original, but it's not supposed to be—that's exactly why we like it.


(Dumbo via Walt Disney Pictures)


4. 101 Dalmatians (1996)

As we've made quite clear above, the live-action version of 101 Dalmatians did not need a sequel. However, the original film wasn't all that bad. This movie was made before Disney pushed for live-action remakes of all their original films, giving it a special place in our hearts. It balances comedy and cuteness very well, including more images of the puppies we obviously wanted to see and truly highlighting Glenn Close's talents. However, it does tend to veer young, where some of the newer remakes speak to both young and old audiences. But given the time it was created, we can'really fault it for that.

101 dalmatians - cruella de vil and puppies

(101 Dalmatians via Walt Disney Pictures)


3. Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Alice in Wonderland is definitely a little bit weird—there's no denying that. It's absolutely brimming with Tim Burton's strange style. However, in a story like Alice's, the wacky approach seems to work. The world of Alice in Wonderland is meant to be a little convoluted, and Burton's style actually pulls that off. The visual effects are stunning, and the film itself nods to the original story while still creating a fresh plot. It's an odd duck in the world of Disney remakes, but we're kind of on board with it.

alice in wonderland - red queen on throne
(Alice in Wonderland via Walt Disney Pictures)


2. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast adheres pretty closely to the original storyline. While that made it boring and uninteresting for some viewers, we liked seeing some of our favorite characters come to life in human form. In addition, the small changes that were made in the movie actually added interest. We got a closer look into Belle's feelings and pursuits, adding a new layer to this character that was missing in the original film. Throughout the movie, many of the characters had tiny moments that created more well-rounded personas and contributed to our overall understanding of their motives. All in all, it was an enjoyable remake that still maintained the magic of the original.

beauty and the beast - belle and beast dance scene in yellow ball gown

(Beauty and the Beast via Walt Disney Pictures)


1. The Jungle Book (2016)

We originally didn't expect much out of The Jungle Book. However, this heavily CGI-infused movie surpassed all our expectations. The only truly "live" element is Mowgli, but each of the impressive animals bring a rich sense of magical reality to the film. They feel real, but they maintain the fascination that makes Disney movies so impressive. It's visually stunning, but it also brings what you need of the original film and leaves out what you don't. All in all, it's absolutely the best Disney remake thus far.

the jungle book - mowgli and baloo

(The Jungle Book via Walt Disney Pictures)


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