After a series of “original” films became box office duds, Disney’s revamped strategy for live action films by diving into their vault. The remakes of Disney classics have the films received box office acclaim, but critical attention as well. The most recent film “The Jungle Book” took home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Others, including “Alice in Wonderland,” “Maleficent,” and “Cinderella” have received nominations for their achievements. Following up these remakes is the first foray into the Disney Renaissance, “Beauty and the Beast.” Remaking the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture is a gamble, especially given the film’s devoted fanbase. However, as Disney continues to remake some of the classics, which films should they remake as musicals? We’ve listed a few smaller properties under the Disney umbrella that would make excellent candidates for remakes. Let us know your candidates for a remake on the message boards!
1. “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit”
Paying homage to the first true star created by Walt Disney would make a lot of sense for Disney. Right now, the company’s financial plan seems to be based on the public nostalgia. Furthermore, the character already has a built-in fanbase as a niche character. He appeared in the very popular “Epic Mickey” video game franchise. He also maintains a cult-like status in the theme parks as well. Oswald is essentially a rabbit version of Mickey Mouse, yet his lack of exposure gives the company some freedom. An animated musical would be a fun way to reintroduce the character and provide a unique way to bring the character attention.
2. “Swiss Family Robinson”
A classic film in the Disney vault, “Swiss Family Robinson” remains a popular story today. The story of a family washed ashore after a shipwreck is still present in the theme parks, so it wouldn’t feel completely out of left field. Furthermore, the property hasn’t seen a wide release on the big screen since 1960. Even on TV, the last attempt was 1998, almost twenty years ago. While Disney tried to relaunch “The Lone Ranger” and “John Carter of Mars,” both felt too cookie cutter to work. Rather than simply remaking “Swiss Family Robinson” into a clone of itself, this would be another candidate for a dramatic overhaul. By converting the film into a musical, likely an animated version, the franchise could find new life for the House of Mouse.
3. “The Haunted Mansion”
There are properties that Disney’s handled worse than “The Haunted Mansion.” However, there aren’t many. The 2003 film is an absolute disaster that hoped to play on Eddie Murphy‘s star power more than actual comedy. While the film is certainly not a classic, the property remains one of Disney’s most unique original concepts. In an ideal world, Guerillmo Del Toro would be the director who took over the franchise, but at this point, that seems like a pipedream. With that in mind, why not remake the film with its musical background? “Grim Grinning Ghosts” remains one of the best songs in the Disney theme park repertoire and is a strong foundation for the musical. Reimagined as a musical, the film could easily become a “Sweeney Todd” or “Nightmare Before Christmas” style musical.