1994-2014 | 2015-2019
During this five year period Walt Disney Pictures pursued remaking previously animated films in live action with a vengeance. Many of these contained various degrees of computer animation, including computer-animated main characters seen in The Jungle Book and Dumbo. However, an 'animated film' is a very specific term and relates to how a film is made, not how it appears.
The Lion King remake featured only computer-generated characters. Despite this, it is still technically classed as a 'live action' film and not 'animation'. Since the controversy over whether the motion-capture film Happy Feet (2006) should be classed as an animation, and to exclude films such as Avatar (2010) from qualifying, 'animation' is defined by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as 'a motion picture in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique, a significant number of the major characters are animated, and animation figures in no less than 75 percent of the running time'. Like the animal characters in The Jungle Book and Dumbo, The Lion King was made by filming characters against a bluescreen rather than by utilising a frame-by-frame technique and so, though the characters are computer-generated, the film is classed as live action and not animation.
During this era three of the films made over a billion US dollars at the box office.
The summaries of the films below are concentrating on the live action remakes rather than the animated originals. Recurring characters and actors who appear in more than one live action remake are shown in Bold. Also mentioned is whether the films pass the Bechdel Test. This can be summarised as whether the film involves two or more female characters who have a conversation together that does not focus on men in general or a specific male character or man1. Also mentioned are the cases where the remake passes the Kevin Smith Reboot test of adding diversity.
Cinderella (1950 / 2015)
|Film||1950 Animated Original||2015 Live Action Remake|
|Directors||Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske and Clyde Geronimi||Sir Kenneth Branagh|
|Plot||Cinderella's widowed father married a widow, Lady Tremaine, before his untimely death, leaving Cinderella in the care of a wicked stepmother and two ugly stepsisters. They force her to work as their slave. When a ball is held to determine who will marry the kingdom's prince, Cinderella is able to go to the ball through the help of her fairy godmother.|
|Length||72 minutes||101 minutes|
|Setting||An unnamed mediæval kingdom|
|Source||The French fairy tale popularised by Charles Perrault, 1697|
|Songs:||By Mack David, Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman.||By Mack David, Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman unless stated|
A fairly straight-forward fairy tale remake that received both critical and commercial success, paving the way for Disney to remake more of their popular films. Among the locations used for the film were Windsor Castle, one of the Queen's royal residences. Shockingly, the glass slipper didn't actually fit Lily James and was a Swarovski crystal prop – the scene in which she puts her shoe on used computer-generated footwear. At least magic is used to explain why the shoe doesn't fit anyone else nor why Cinderella isn't recognised by her stepfamily.
While not a musical in the same way as the original, it features the traditional song 'Lavender's Blue', which inexplicably won Best Original Song for Disney hybrid (part animation, part live-action) film So Dear to My Heart (1948). One scene, in which Cinderella was seen swinging on a swing, was inspired by a painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard; this painting had previously inspired a similar scene in British Cinderella musical The Slipper and the Rose (1976) which featured songs by the Sherman Brothers who had composed many Disney classics.
Cinderella had a $95 million production budget and made over $540 million at the box office.
The Jungle Book (1967 / 2016)
|Film||1967 Animated Original||2016 Live Action Remake|
|Director||Wolfgang Reitherman||Jon Favreau|
|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.|
|Length||76 minutes||102 minutes|
|Setting||A jungle in Late Victorian 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.||All by the Sherman Brothers, except 'The Bare Necessities' by Terry Gilkyson.|
|Reboot||While a greater proportion of the cast aren't white, only Neel Sethi and Sir Ben Kingsley are of Indian descent (though born in New York and Yorkshire respectively). Kaa has become female for this film.|
|Sequel||The Jungle Book 2 (2003)||Two live-action remakes:|
This, the third of Disney's live-action adaptations of The Jungle Book was an attempt to combine the magic of the animated original with more realistic animals, created using motion capture. Whether or not the film actually succeeds in this is debatable, containing as it does a Gigantopithecus, an otherwise extinct ape, as well as oversized animals that are at least a third bigger than in real life. Actor Neel Sethi learnt parkour free-running in order to run through the jungle.
King Louie was a character created for the 1967 animation, as orangutans are not native to India. However Richard M Sherman wrote new lyrics for 'I Wanna Be Like You' to reference Louie's being a Gigantopithecus. Louis Prima who originally played King Louie had died in 1978. His widow Gia who had a reputation for being overly litigious had sued Disney in 1999 and Disney settled out of court in 2001 and agreed never to impersonate Louis Prima's voice, which is why King Louie's voice and appearance is radically different for this film.
In the film it takes several days for Mowgli to journey from his home to the village, and then virtually no time for him to make the return journey. One of King Louie's treasures is Aladdin's lamp, while the Jungle Book book seen in the closing credits is the book seen in the original Jungle Book's opening credits. Shere Khan's portrayal was also inspired in part by Scar from The Lion King.
The film was a huge financial success, making $967 million dollars at the Box Office on a production budget of $175 million, and becoming the fifth most-successful film of the year, behind only Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Finding Dory and Zootropolis (also known as Zootopia). It was briefly the most-successful remake of all time before being overtaken by Beauty and the Beast.
Andy Serkis' Performance Capture studio The Imaginarium had begun an adaptation of The Jungle Book in 2012, only to be forced to postpone their release due to this live action remake, finally renaming it Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and releasing it two years later.
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
|Film||Alice in Wonderland (1951)||Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)|
|Directors||Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson||James Bobin|
|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.|
In 1875 Captain Alice learns that Hamish, the man whose hand she declined, has managed to manoeuvre himself into control of the shipping business and will take away her home unless she sells him her ship, the Wonder. After going through a Looking Glass into the Wonderland named Underland she learns that the Mad Hatter is wasting away, is convinced that his family had survived the attack of the Jabberwocky that took place during the Red Queen's rule. Only by stealing Time's Chronosphere time machine can Alice learn the truth about what happened to them. Will time be destroyed for all eternity? Who stole the tarts?
|Length||75 minutes||108 minutes|
|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)|
The film is virtually all an original story, with the character of Time briefly mentioned in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland but never seen. Some filming took place at Gloucester's historic dockyard, featuring many ships from the early 20th Century. Alice is briefly seen in an asylum, possibly a reference to the 2000 computer game Alice.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is dedicated to Alan Rickman, who died before it was released, with this his last acting role. The Jabberwocky doesn't speak in this film, with Sir Christopher Lee having died in 2015, and the Dodo doesn't appear as Michael Gough had died in 2011 shortly after making Alice In Wonderland.
This film's box office was considered disappointing, making almost $300 million on a budget of $170 million, which was considered a let-down following the $1 billion made by Alice in Wonderland.
Pete's Dragon (1977 / 2016)
|Film||1977 Animated Original||2016 Live Action Remake|
|Director||Live Action: Don Chaffey|
Animation: Don Bluth
|Plot||A young boy named Pete flees from his abusive adopted family in the company of an invisible dragon named Elliot2 to the fishing town of Passamaquoddy. Although most of the townsfolk dislike Pete, he is adopted by Nora and her father, Lampie, who keep the lighthouse. Also in town is the quack Doc Terminus, who would stop at nothing to own a profitable dragon, while the Gogans close in on Pete...||In 1977 a five-year-old boy named Pete survives a car crash that claim the lives of his parents, and shortly afterwards meets a dragon. Six years later Pete, who is used to a feral existence, meets humans for the first time; a woman named Grace and her partner's daughter Natalie. After escaping from hospital he is taken back to Grace's house. His survival is considered impossible and his tales of a dragon initially dismissed except by Grace's father, who is renowned for telling tall tales, and by Natalie's uncle Gavin, who seeks to exploit the dragon.|
|Length||124 minutes||99 minutes|
|Setting||Edwardian Passamaquoddy, Maine||Woodland in Pacific Northwest in the 1970s/80s|
|Source||Inspired by a short story by Seton I Miller and SS Field|
|Songs:||By Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn:||None|
This is the only live action remake to date to be shorter than the original film. Other than the title and the character names Pete and Eliot, the two films have nothing in common other than both being slow and ponderous. This is the only live action remake to be adapted from being a musical to a straight drama. In fact, the live action remake seems desperate to be a remake of The Jungle Book, particularly making the relationship between Pete and Eliot so identical to that of Mowgli and Baloo that you expect the two to start singing 'The Bare Necessities' at any moment.
This was Disney's least successful live action remake of the decade, making $140 million on a production budget of $65 million.
Beauty and the Beast (1991 / 2017)
|Film||1991 Animated Original||2017 Live Action Remake|
|Directors||Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise||Bill Condon|
|Plot||A generic prince is transformed into a handsome Beast when he is unkind to a passing gypsy woman. She also, rather unfairly, takes her vengeance out on his servants too, turning them into household items. Unless the Beast can learn to love before petals drop off a rose, the curse will never be broken. Meanwhile, a young woman called Belle struggles to find her way in the world.|
|Length||91 minutes||124 minutes|
|Setting||Once Upon a Time in Mediæval France|
|Source||La Belle et la Bête (1740) by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, popularised by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont (1756)|
|Songs:||By Alan Menken & Howard Ashman || By Alan Menken & Howard Ashman unless stated|
|Reboot||There are more female characters, including those played by multiracial actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Audra McDonald, with multiracial relationships shown. The camp character of LeFou was also reported to be Gay, but only in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it way.|
|Sequels||None to date|
A Beauty and the Beast remake had been proposed several times and it had been greenlit to be made as a non-musical film to be titled simply Beast. Before the film went into production the director argued that this story had the strongest Disney songs and it would be a waste to make a film that excluded them. Four new superfluous songs were written for the film to extend the runtime, however lyrics that had been written by Howard Ashman but cut out of the song 'Gaston' in the animated version were reinstated.
Many of the characters appear based on, but renamed from, characters from the Beauty and the Beast animated sequels. This includes Maestro Cadenza replacing Forte, Plumette is based on Fifi. Similarly the wardrobe is now named Madame Garderobe, meaning 'Mrs Toilet'.
Making over $1,265 million dollars at the box office, this was the second most-successful film of the year behind only Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With a production budget of $160 million and marketing budget of a further $140 million this film became the most-expensive musical film ever made. It was also, briefly, the most successful remake of all time.
Christopher Robin (2018)
|Film||The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)||Christopher Robin (2018)|
|Directors||Wolfgang Reitherman and John Lounsbery||Marc Forster|
|Plot||Deep in the 100 Aker Wood, where Christopher Robin plays, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends enjoy their enchanted neighbourhood and have a series of adventures, usually involving a small smackerel or two of hunny.||Thirty years after his childhood adventures, Christopher Robin has grown up, married and has a daughter of his own, but due to the pressure of work neglects his family and has stopped believing in Pooh. Can Pooh help him believe in magic and reconnect with his family?|
|Length||71 minutes||100 minutes|
|Setting||Ashdown Forest, Sussex in the 1920s||Ashdown Forest and London in the 1950s|
|Source||AA Milne's books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928)|
|Songs:||All by the Sherman Brothers (Richard and Robert)||Three by the Sherman Brothers and three new songs by Richard M Sherman|
|Reboot||There are some female characters with Christopher Robin portrayed as having a wife and daughter, and the voice cast includes a more multiracial mix.|
Unlike other live-action remakes this is a sequel to the original film, which in itself was a compilation of three short films6. The 100 Aker Wood scenes were largely filmed at Ashdown Forest, the real-life inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The look of the characters was also closely inspired by Ernest Shepard's original illustrations rather than the appearance popularised by earlier Disney films. A more realistic portrayal of the story of Christopher Robin Milne and how he was haunted by Winnie-the-Pooh all his life can be seen in Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017), a film released the year before.
Richard M Sherman wrote three new songs for this film, which was released six years after the death of his brother. He cameos as the pianist in the mid-credits sequence.
The film made $198 million on a production budget of $75 million. All films featuring Winnie-the-Pooh are banned in China, the country with the world's largest cinema audience, because Chinese president Xi Jinping has been nicknamed Winnie-the-Pooh.
|Film||1941 Animated Original||2019 Live Action Remake|
|Director||Ben Sharpsteen||Tim Burton|
|Plot||Many of the animals who live in a circus train, including Mrs Jumbo, an elephant, receive babies delivered to them by stork. She has a son whom she names Jumbo Junior, but the other elephants cruelly nickname him 'Dumbo' because of his extremely large ears. After defending Jumbo Junior from an extremely aggressive child, Mrs Jumbo is locked away. Jumbo Junior fails to provide a successful climax to a circus stunt and as punishment is relegated to being a clown. He has only one friend in the world, Timothy Mouse, before a group of crows persuade him he can use his giant ears to fly.|
Holt Farrier has returned invalided from the Great War, where he lost his arm, back to the circus where he previously worked. His wife has died of Spanish Flu and now has to raise his two children alone while working in the lowest job in the circus, the elephant handler. One of the elephants has a baby with big ears who is nicknamed Dumbo. When an abusive elephant handler mistreats Dumbo his mother naturally defends her son, killing him, which results in her being taken away. Soon after Holt's children discover Dumbo can fly and, after an act as a firefighting clown goes wrong, Dumbo flies around the circus.
This inspires Vandevere, owner of a New York amusement park named Dreamland, to buy Medici's circus, wanting Dumbo to fly with his trapeze artist Colette riding on his back. He secretly is keeping Dumbo's mother in the park but instead of trying to breed more flying elephants, decides to kill the goose that laid the golden egg or, in other words, kill Dumbo's mother. Can the circus performers save Dumbo from life in a freakshow and his mother from death?
|Length||61 minutes||108 minutes|
|Setting||Florida in the late 1930s/early 1940s||1919 United States of America|
|Source||Dumbo the Flying Elephant by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl (1939)|
|Songs:||Music by Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace, Lyrics by Ned Washington||Music by Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace, Lyrics by Ned Washington |
|Reboot||The Farriers are a biracial family and additional female characters include Milly, Collette and Miss Atlantis. The racist stereotyped crows and faceless roustabouts completely removed7.|
In the remake the animals cannot talk and Timothy Q Mouse only appears as a cameo. Locomotive Casey Jnr8 cannot talk either, but has the number 41 in reference to the year the original was made. The ringmaster Medici does hum the 'Casey Jnr' song, with other cameos including a stork sitting on the roof of the carriage when elephant Mrs Jumbo is in labour and the Dreamland colosseum has a show involving pink bubbles making elephant shapes like the 'Pink Elephants on Parade' song. This film is more about what happens to Dumbo after becoming famous, with the Dreamland theme park closely inspired by a darker Disneyland.
Dumbo was a box office disappointment, making $355 million on a $170 million production budget. Twice as long as the original, it lacked the original's heart but at least avoids its most dated sections.
Aladdin (1992 / 2019)
|Film||1992 Animated Original||2019 Live Action Remake|
|Directors||Ron Clements & John Musker||Guy Ritchie|
|Plot||In the land of Agrabah, a power-hungry Grand Vizier, Jafar, seeks a magic lamp which has the power to grant wishes. The only one capable of getting the lamp is a street urchin and diamond in the rough named Aladdin, who meets and falls in love with a beautiful princess.|
|Length||87 minutes||123 minutes|
|Setting||Fictional Arabian country of Agrabah|
|Source||Included in Les Mille et Une Nuits, aka Arabian Nights, translated into French by Antoine Galland in 1710|
|Songs:||Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman unless stated:|| Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman unless stated:|
|Reboot||The remake features a handmaiden character and the cast are far more diverse than the original voice cast.|
The filmmakers were well aware that without casting a diverse cast they would be accused of 'whitewashing', with Naomi Scott, an actress of English and Ugandan-Indian descent criticised for not being of Middle Eastern origin.
There are various cameos and nods to earlier films, as well as references to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. One of the best is that the magic carpet makes a sandcastle in the desert that is identical to the Disney Logo while later one of Princess Jasmine's maps shows the lands of Disneyland.
The first time the phrase 'diamond in the rough' is used in a Disney film is in Mary Poppins and used to describe Bert, as played by Dick van Dyke9. Frank Welker reprises his minor roles as the voice of Rajah the tiger, Abu the monkey and the Cave of Wonders, the first time in a live-action adaptation that an actor plays the same role in the original animation, though it would not be until the following film that a main role is reprised.
The film made over a billion dollars at the box office, briefly becoming Disney's second most-successful remake to date before the release of The Lion King. It was the ninth most-successful film of the year.
The Lion King (1994/2019)
|Film||1994 Animated Original||2019 Live Action Remake|
|Directors||Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff||Jon Favreau|
|Plot||The birth of lion cub Simba means that Scar is no longer first in line to the throne of the Pride Lands after his older brother, King Mufasa. Through an alliance with hyenas, Scar successfully gains the kingdom, however Simba survives. Simba, blaming himself for his father's death, lives a life of no worries, before one day returning to reclaim his inheritance.|
|Length||85 minutes||113 minutes|
|Setting||African Pride Lands|
|Inspiration||Hamlet (c. 1599) by William Shakespeare|
|Songs:||Written by Tim Rice and Elton John:|| Written by Tim Rice and Elton John unless stated:|
Following the success of The Jungle Book, both commercially and in recreating the characters, a remake of The Lion King was commissioned. Though every character would be computer-generated they do not count as being animated through the use of mo-cap rather than a frame-by-frame animated technique. The backgrounds were based on high-definition photographs taken in Africa while the actors were filmed in a Hollywood studio and their movements replicated on the computer-generated animals. Had this been allowed to be classed as an animation it would have been the most-successful animated film of all time. Instead Disney define it as 'photorealistic computer animation'. On release it was the seventh highest-grossing unadjusted for inflation film11 and second most successful film of the year.
Disney made a great deal of fuss about how realistic the animals in this film were, however that is only true for a limited value of 'realistic'. What is quickly apparent is that the animals do not have bottoms or genitalia, so how they excrete and urinate is unknown12. Similarly while Rafiki is now much more a definite mandrill rather than the mandrill/baboon combination of the original, he lacks the coloured bottom of a real male mandrill, which comes from West Africa and not the East African Serengeti where the film is actually set. The lions' roars are actually those of tigers and Zazu is a mixture of numerous different types of hornbill and an Indian rhino from The Jungle Book appears at the start. The disadvantage of this realism is that it limits the range of visible emotions the characters can express. It also affects some of the musical numbers. For instance in the original version of 'I Just Can't Wait to be King' the climax has a vast pyramid of animals with Simba at the top. In this one, as their aim was to be more realistic they don't have a pyramid of animals and just have some animals running about instead, which isn't the same.
Despite this, many of the scenes in the remake appear as almost shot-for-shot copies of the original film, particularly the opening sequence, because Favreau felt that it was too iconic to be changed.
The Lion King (1994) remains to date the most successful soundtrack album of all time, with three Oscar-nominated songs, winning with 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' and also winning the Best Score Oscar. The remake doesn't live up to the same high standard, with the remixed 'Be Prepared (2019)' particularly shredded. As well as tweaking the classics a couple of new songs were added too. The majestic 'He Lives in You' had been written for the Broadway show and had previously appeared in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride. Elton John and Tim Rice co-wrote a new song for the end credits, 'Never Too Late', while Beyoncé's song 'Spirit' is superfluously shoe-horned in and, reaching the dizzying depths of 98 on the US 'Billboard Hot 100' and 59 on the UK Top 40 charts, it is by far her least successful single13. The song 'Hakuna Mutata' makes a big fuss of how in this version they actually sing the word 'farted', while 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight?' is sung during the afternoon.
For the first time ever with Disney's live action remakes a main actor from the original film reprises the same role they played in the original, in this case James Earl Jones as Mufasa. To reflect 21st Century values the remakes' cast was predominated played by Black American actors, though John Kani is South African. Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Scar, is British, making it the second time that Jon Favreau has cast a Black British actor as the baddy in a live-action Disney remake following The Jungle Book.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
|Film||Sleeping Beauty (1959)||Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)|
|Directors||Clyde Geronimi, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman and Les Clark||Joachim Rønning|
|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 curse14. On her 16th birthday, just as she encounters her true love, Aurora is discovered by Maleficent.|
Five years after King Stefan's death, Prince Philip proposes to Queen Aurora, the ruler of the Moors. Both Aurora and Maleficent are invited to meet Philip's parents, King John and Queen Ingrith, but the meeting ends in disaster as Maleficent loses her temper and King John is apparently cursed.
Yet Queen Ingrith plans to kill her husband, frame Maleficent and tries to have her killed, but Maleficent is rescued by another of her kind, one of the few surviving Dark Fey who live in an underground home. Ingrith hopes to use the wedding as a way to ambush and wipe out the faerie Moor Folk and provoke a war that will result in humans ruling supreme. Can Aurora prevent her people from being wiped out and be reunited with Maleficent, her adopted mother? Who will Philip believe, his mother or fiancée?
|Length||72 minutes||114 minutes|
|Setting||Unnamed mediæval kingdom||Mediæval kingdom of Ulstead adjacent to enchanted realm the Moors, also an underground world|
|Source||The Beauty sleeping in the Wood by Charles Perrault (1697), The Sleeping Beauty ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Ivan Vsevolozhsky (1890).|
|Sequel To||None||Maleficent (2014)|
A box office disappointment that didn't really feel connected to the previous Maleficent film. It turns out that there was another kingdom adjacent to the Moors all along, ruled by an expansionist, ambitious queen. After the previous film's emphasis on uniting the Moors with the kingdom that Aurora had been born to be princess of, it seems the human kingdom was simply left to the inhabitants to self-govern without any useful attempt at unification. After all, if peace and harmony had occurred then this film, based on prejudice and suspicion, would be without a plot.
The subtitle 'Mistress of Evil' is deceptive as Maleficent isn't particularly evil. Grumpy, annoyed and disappointed – vengeful even – but never actually evil. Queen Ingrith is the only truly evil character in the film. Brenton Thwaites was unable to reprise his role as Prince Phillip due to playing Dick Grayson aka Nightwing15 in television series Titans (2018+).
Lady and the Tramp (1955/2019)
|Film||Animated Original||2019 Live Action Remake|
|Directors||Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi and Wilfred Jackson||Charlie Bean|
|Plot||A young dog named Lady is owned by fairly well-off humans she knows only by the names their spouses affectionately call them: Jim Dear and Darling. Lady's life turns upside down shortly after meeting Tramp, a stray dog, when Darling has a baby. Tramp tells Lady that when a baby moves in, the dog is moved out and her fears seem to be coming true when her owners go away on holiday, leaving her to be looked after by cat-loving and dog-hating Aunt Sarah. Will Lady end up on the streets or will the Tramp finally find a family?|
|Length||75 minutes||100 minutes|
|Setting||A mid-sized rat-infested American town between Christmas 1909 and Christmas 1910|
|Inspiration||Happy Dan, the Whistling Dog by Ward Greene, a short story published in Cosmopolitan in 1924|
|Songs:||Written by Sonny Burke and Peggy Lee:|| Written by Sonny Burke and Peggy Lee unless stated:|
|Sequels||Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001)||None|
|Reboot||The male dog character Jock has now become Jacqueline (although they used a male dog to film). Darling and Aunt Sarah are now African American characters, with black actresses voicing Lady and Peg. The cats are no longer Siamese to avoid the racist stereotyping present in the previous film and the Tramp is no longer portrayed as a womanising dog but more of a loner, with the lyrics to 'He's a Tramp' altered.|
This film was made with real dogs with effects used to give the impression of talking, with filming taking place in Savannah in Georgia. It was the first Disney live action remake to be released directly to the Disney+ streaming service. The Siamese cats are now Devon Rex cats instead and other differences to improve the diversity stakes have been made, but with those exceptions the film is very similar to the original. The main differences are that the dogcatcher has a much larger role, as does the rat. While the spaghetti-eating scene is an almost exact recreation, the rat that plans to carry off the baby is hilariously unbelievable. Tramp is also a much more sympathetic character who gains a backstory and loses his womanising past. The film doesn’t end with Lady having puppies, but instead has Tramp adopted into the family on Christmas Day, exactly a year after Lady had been.
Disney films have often led to animals being bought as toys and presents to people who are unable to properly look after them. This film begins with Lady given as a Christmas present despite the widespread Dogs Trust slogan that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas. The film's end credits does contain the message,
Every dog deserves a loving home. If you're ready for the commitment of pet ownership, please consider visiting your local animal rescue to find the right pet for you.
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974).7In early 2021 Disney decided to ban Dumbo among other films from being viewed by children under 7 on their Disney Plus online platform and on adult accounts issued the statement, 'This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.'8The Disney character of Casey is a baseball player who appears in Make Mine Music and is based on the poem 'Casey at the Bat' (1888) by Ernest Thayer. A sequel short, Casey Bats Again (1954) features Casey's nine daughters. Yet in Dumbo, Casey Jr is a train. That's one complicated family tree.9In Dykensian Ozzy-Cockney 'English' this phrase is pronounced 'dire mound in da wuff'.10Also known as The Lion King 1½.11Behind Avengers: Endgame (2019), Avatar (2009), Titanic (1997), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Jurassic World (2015).12Prudish Disney Pictures are going through a particularly bottom-obsessed phase at the moment, inexplicably badly censoring Darryl Hannah's bottom in the version of Splash (1984) uploaded on Disney+.13In comparison Elton John's 1994 release of 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' reached 4 and 14 respectively in the same charts, and 'Circle of Life' 18 and 11.14In the 16 years they spend with her, it never seems to occur to any of them to show her a picture of a spinning wheel and warn her that, as she's been cursed, if she ever sees or touches one she will suffer a hideous, unspeakable fate.15In the Batman stories the first Robin, tired of always being called 'boy wonder', changes his name to Nightwing when he becomes an adult.