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My Top 5 Disney Live-Action Movies

Walt Disney Studios has been all about live action movies and remakes as of late, and there are so many incredible films to come, so I thought I would take a look back at my top five favorites!

  1. The Jungle Book

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(Photo Courtesy of The Los Angeles Times)

Starting off at number 5 we have The Jungle Book, which came out in 2015. The Jungle Book was an incredible film that had stunning visual effects and an incredible cast of characters. (In fact, I did a whole review on it last year when it came out, so check that out if you haven’t already).

What I love about this film is that it took an older film that was beloved, and created it into a whole new adventure. One trait that is really special about this film is that it made memorable characters.

For me, I only remembered Baloo and Mowgli from the original film, but with this film, I had a newfound love for Bagheera, and I got to know many of the other supporting characters.

The main reason that this film is at the bottom of my list is because it is isn’t really live-action at all. In fact, the only live action portion of the film is Mowgli, because the rest of the characters and the sets are all CGI.

Even still, it looks real enough that I could hardly believe the entire film was shot in a Los Angeles studio.

  1. Saving Mr. Banks

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(Photo courtesy of

Making our way down the list, we have the 2013 film: Saving Mr. Banks. This film explores the journey to obtaining the rights to Mary Poppins, and it stars Tom Hanks (Walt Disney) and Emma Thompson (P.L. Travers).

P.L. Travers is the one who wrote the original Mary Poppins, and it took twenty years for Walt Disney to gain the rights to this incredible story.

This film explores the relationship between Travers and Disney, and it shows a side to Mary Poppins that many people did not know about before.

I love this film for many reasons. I believe that one of the reasons I love it so much is because it has a historical feel to it.

For example, at one point in the film, Disney takes Travers to his park (Disneyland) and I know every Disney fan was squealing with joy to see what the park might have been like all those years ago.

The film also gives a moving idea of what Mary Poppins was really about, which was Travers’ past. This film has so much nostalgia, and it is exciting for fans (especially the hard-core Disney fans like myself) to imagine what it might have been like for the iconic music to be made, who Walt was, and how a legendary film such as Mary Poppins came to be.

  1. Enchanted

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(Photo courtesy of Disney Wiki)

This is the oldest film on my list, which isn’t saying much since it came out in 2007. Even still, Enchanted is a hilarious film that imagines what it would be like if a princess from an animated world came into the real world as we know it today.

Amy Adams stars in this film, and she is phenomenal. The film is full of whimsy and a childlike innocence, and it brings alive both of these qualities in all of us.

Giselle (Adams), is an incredibly lovable character because of her innate oblivion to the troubles of the real world, and makes a perfect opposite to Robert (Patrick Dempsey) who is a divorce lawyer that does not believe in happy endings.

The film is also a musical, which incorporates a few fun and silly songs, as well as my favorite love song, So Close.

What I adore most about this film is that it reminds us that maybe the real world can be a little more magical if we allow it to be.

  1. Beauty and the Beast

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(Photo courtesy of the New Yorker)

What more is there to say about this live-action hit? Although it just came out a few months ago, Beauty and the Beast skyrocketed up my list of live-action films because it was just that good. Even though it was a remake of the 1991 classic, it gave a new love to the film, and it has been extremely successful.

The entire cast of Beauty and the Beast is incredible.  Each actor plays their part well, and gives new character traits and qualities to each of them.

An example of this is the Beast, who is played by Dan Stevens. In the original film, the audience has no context as to what the Beast’s backstory is (except for the stain glass introduction).

In this film, the audience gains a whole new understanding of the Beast and his selfish ways. The same can be said for Belle, because the audience learns a little more about her mother, as well as why they moved to the small town that Belle loathes.

In addition, the film adds a few songs, one of which is Evermore, sung by the Beast (which has been on repeat for me since the movie came out). The other songs include; Days in the Sun, and How Does a Moment Last Forever.

  1. Cinderella

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(Photo Courtesy of

Here we are, my number 1 film is….Cinderella! Although the 2015 film was not as successful as the more recent Beauty and the Beast, I truly adore it.

This film changed quite a bit from the original film, which is why it gets so disputed. Even still, it is a spectacular film.

Lily James, who plays Cinderella, gives a new take on the classic character. Instead of being known as the princess with the glass slippers, this films goes more into her character, giving her a back story and a new motto: Have courage and be kind.

Another thing that I appreciate about this film is that it also goes more in-depth with supporting characters, especially the Prince.

In the classic film, the audience does not even have a name for the prince, let alone a back story like we get in the new film.

Something unique about Disney’s live-actions remakes is that they have the opportunity to improve upon the issues and questions that the original film left us with, and this film is no exception.

One example of this is that in the original film, Cinderella and the Prince meet at the ball, and in the live action film, they meet while Cinderella is riding her horse in the fields. Overall, this film takes the classic film and molds it in a new important lesson that is applicable to everyone: Just be kind.

Well, there you have it, my Top 5 Disney Live-Action Films! There are so many films that were not included in this list, so be sure to let me know what your favorite live-action film is in the comments down below.

Until next time, have a magical day!


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Marisa Recker

Marisa Recker

Marisa is 17, from Washington state and is currently studying in New York City. Although she travels to Disneyland every couple of months, she is a huge fan of anything and everything Disney, and you can catch up with her on Instagram (marisa_recker), and Twitter (@reckerwithane).
Marisa Recker

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