The live action version of Beauty and the Beast made a ton of money on its opening weekend, and you know what that means: They’re not gonna stop making live action remakes of animated Disney films any time soon.
I’m not against the whole operation completely. Sure, some of them are head scratchers (A Tim Burton Dumbo and a Guy Ritchie Aladdin?) but many of them interest me as well (Mulan, The Lion King, Winnie the Pooh, Night on Bald Mountain). A few actually seem like movies that are worth remaking. Four Disney movies in particular seem necessary:
1. The Sword in the Stone
This one is actually on Disney’s radar and it would be the perfect choice for a remake because it would be the perfect opportunity to get the writing right this time. The animated movie suffered from major story and character problems. If they went back to the source material of T.H. White they could really have something special.
2. The Black Cauldron
This one makes the most sense. Disney’s 1985 film never really took off for me. The group of amateur animators working for Disney at the time never should have attempted it, but in the hands of an experienced director this could be the epic fantasy it was always meant to be.
Just research the life of the real Pocahontas and you’ll realize how much better this 1995 movie could have been. Get actual Native American approval this time and tell people the true story of this historical figure.
4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This seems unlikely, but a Hunchback remake that sticks closer to the Victor Hugo novel would be really appealing to me. The gargoyles ruined the animated film for me so downplay their antics and fix some of the other story problems in that movie and Disney could have the next Les Misérables on their hands.
All four of these movies would have been better if Disney didn’t venture so far from source material, but as The Jungle Book has proven, source material shouldn’t matter if you have a clear vision and strong direction. If Disney decides to remake any of these, find someone who understands the story and knows how to adapt it to film properly.