The Jungle Book (1967 / 1994)
|Film||1967 Animated Original||1994 Live Action Remake|
|Director||Wolfgang Reitherman||Stephen Sommers|
|Plot||Mowgli, an abandoned baby boy, is found in a basket in the jungle by Bagheera, a panther. He is raised by wolves in the jungle, but when he is older his life is threatened by Shere Khan the tiger, who hates all humans. Although Mowgli wishes to stay in the jungle, developing a close attachment with Baloo the carefree bear, Bagheera feels only by living in a village surrounded by people will he be safe from Shere Khan.|
|Setting||A jungle in India.|
|Source||The Jungle Book (1894) and The Second Jungle Book (1895) by Rudyard Kipling|
|Songs:||All by the Sherman Brothers, except 'The Bare Necessities' by Terry Gilkyson.|
101 Dalmatians (1961 / 1996) 102 Dalmations (2000)
|Film||1961 Animated Original||1996 Live Action Remake||102 Dalmatians (2002)|
|Director||Wolfgang Reitherman, Hamilton Luske and Clyde Geronimi||Stephen Herek||Kevin Lima|
|Plot||Dalmations Pongo and Perdita, who live with Roger and Anita, have 15 puppies. Yet Anita's evil school friend Cruella De Vil plots to kidnap the puppies. Owning 84 other Dalmation puppies, she wishes to turn the dogs' skins into a Dalmatian fur coat.|
|Length||76 minutes||99 minutes||96 minutes|
|Setting||Late 1950s London|
|Source||The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (1956)|
|Songs:||'Cruella De Vil' by Mel Leven|
The 101 Dalmatians live action remake is quite a fun film written and produced by John Hughes, best known for films such as Home Alone and Weird Science. As you might expect the goons, played by the excellent Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams, get put through painful situation after painful situation and steal the show from everyone else, including Glenn Close who plays Cruella De Vil.
Yet John Hughes seems to have set the film in an England inexplicably populated with raccoons and skunks, and where people strongly stereotypical English accents but the words they say are Americanisms…? Why? Okay, there's no real British substitute for a skunk but the gags featuring raccoons (who, for example, sabotage the baddies by putting nuts in the 'truck tailpipe' rather than in the van's exhaust) would have equally worked with squirrels, badgers, foxes, deer – any animal actually found in the UK. It really doesn't matter if the story is set in either England or in America, pick one and be consistent. Don't set it in an Americanised England, that's just wrong.
Sadly whenever Disney make a film about animals, they end up being on people who can't cope's Christmas lists. So this film led to abandoned Dalmatians, just as 'Finding Nemo' led to a huge demand for clownfish, many of which ended up dead as their new owners couldn't look after them. This is why 102 Dalmatians' first end credit is a giant notice saying something like 'If you are thinking of getting a dog, research it first carefully', presumably to address the issue of abandoned Dalmatians following the first film.
In 102 Dalmatians they cast Gerard Depardieu, a very talented, multi-award winning French actor who is often considered to be among France's best, as a furrier. The casting discussion at Disney seems to have gone along the following lines:
Exec 1: Great news! We've got Gerard Depardieu to appear in '102 Dalmatians'.
Exec 2: That is great news, he's one of the best European actors alive today. What role is he playing?
Exec 1: He's foreign, so he pronounces the word 'puppy' as 'poo-pee'.
Exec 2: Just that?
Exec 1: Oh no – he then pronounces 'puppy' as 'poo-pee' again. And again. And again. And again, again, again, again and again.
Exec 2: That does not get old!
Alice in Wonderland (1951 / 2010)
|Category||1951 Animated Original||2010 Live Action Remake|
|Directors||Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson||Tim Burton|
|Plot||Bored with life in Victorian England, Alice wishes she could live in a world of nonsense. Soon after, she follows a waistcoat-wearing white rabbit down a rabbit hole to Wonderland, a world where nothing makes sense.|
|Setting||Wonderland, a fantasy land found down a rabbit hole.|
|Source||Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871)|
|Songs:||The songs are strongly based on the work of Lewis Carroll, using many of his verses. Lyrics adapted by Bob Hilliard, Music by Sammy Fain except where stated:|
|Film||Sleeping Beauty (1959)||Maleficent (2014)|
|Directors||Clyde Geronimi, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman and Les Clark||Robert Stromberg|
|Plot||When Princess Aurora is born, evil Maleficent curses her. Aurora is initially doomed to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die before dusk on her 16th birthday, although the curse is changed so that instead of dying, she will sleep until awakened by her true love's kiss. Aurora is brought up by her three fairy godmothers as a peasant and renamed 'Briar Rose' to keep her hidden from the curse1 yet on her 16th birthday, Maleficent discovers her whereabouts just as she encounters her true love.|
|Setting||An unnamed mediæval kingdom in the 14th Century|
|Source||The Beauty sleeping in the Wood by Charles Perrault (1697), The Sleeping Beauty ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Ivan Vsevolozhsky (1890).|
|Songs:||Music by George Bruns, Lyrics by Tom Adair unless stated:|