The Best Live Action Remakes of Animated Films, According To Ranker

Efforts to remake beloved animated films into a new live-action experience have had mixed results in recent years as capturing the energy and characterizati0n that makes those movies great isn’t always an easy task. Luckily, there have been plenty of films that have managed it successfully.

With great movies like Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast, some live-action remakes can become classics in their own right. Movie fans on Ranker got together to vote on which of these live-action remakes did the best job.

102 Dalmations (2000)

The poster for 102 Dalmations

Although Emma Stone proved a memorable live-action Cruella de Vil in last year’s Cruella, for many people, Glenn Close is still the quintessential fashion-obsessed villainess. In this sequel to the 1996 live-action remake of 101 Dalmations, the actress portrays a Cruella recently released from prison and back to her evil ways.


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102 Dalmations wasn’t particularly well-received by critics, who complained that it was simply more of the same, but, for fans who love seeing an over-the-top villainess as her schemes inevitably fall apart, there is still plenty to love about the movie. An Academy Award nomination for costume design also highlights one of the best parts of the film.

Lady And The Tramp (2019)

lady and the tramp live-action remake

A remake of the beloved animated classic of the same name from 1955, Lady and the Tramp uses a mix of live-action and strikingly realistic CGI animation to attempt to recapture the magic of the original. An odd-couple love story starring a Cocker Spaniel and a Schnauzer-mix, Lady and the Tramp is still a must-see film for dog lovers.

Not all of the modernized elements work seamlessly but a fun and star-studded cast that includes the voices of Tessa Thompson and Janelle Monáe helps make up for a lot of its flaws. Since some aspects of the original Lady and the Tramp aged poorly, the live-action remake is a great alternative.

Snow White: The Fairest Of Them All (2001)

Snow White in Snow White The Fairest of them All

Not to be confused with the upcoming Disney live-action adaptation coming this year, Snow White: The Fairest of Them All is a made-for-television movie that tells the story of the exiled princess. Based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, the film stars Kristin Kreuk as Snow White and Miranda Richardson who gives a memorable performance as the evil queen.

The wicked queen may be one of the best animated Disney villains but Richardson’s chilling portrayal brings something to the role that even the original lacked. Whilst not all the performances match up to hers, there is quite a lot of charm to this Snow White adaptation that often goes forgotten.

101 Dalmations (1996)

Glenn Close in 101 Dalmations

The first live-action remake of the classic story of saving puppies from a fur coat-coveting fashionista, 101 Dalmations is a fun adventure comedy. Although it plays relatively safe and is faithful to the animated original, there are plenty of genuine laughs and thrills to be enjoyed in the movie.

With last year’s Cruella proving to be one of the best comedy movies of 2021, it’s never been more clear that Cruella de Vil is a character with some staying power, but it’s Close who should be credited with first showing the world how compelling a live-action Cruella could be to watch.

Dumbo (2019)

Dumbo 2019 Movie Post-Credits Scene

With Aladdin, The Lion King, The Lady, and the Tramp, and a Maleficent sequel all being released in 2019, it proved to be a huge year for Disney live-action fans. Dumbo was released in the same year and so may have slipped under the radar for some, but its fun twist on the original as well as a star-studded cast made for a fun movie.

Starring Michael Keaton, Colin Farrell, and Danny DeVito and directed by Tim Burton, the movie tells the story of a family working at a failing circus and their encounter with a baby elephant that can use its oversized ears to fly. Although the movie received mixed reviews, its genuine attempt to tell an ambitious story makes it one of the best of 2019’s live-action remakes.

Peter Pan (2003)

Jason Isaacs in Peter Pan

Remaking one of the most beloved children’s films full of characters who had embedded themselves in the hearts of audiences everywhere is always likely to be a difficult task. 2003’s Peter Pan, however, managed to perfectly capture the magical charm that had made the original so endearing.

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Jason Isaacs, most famous for his action roles and for being Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, plays the dual roles of both George Darling and a delightfully over-the-top Captain Hook. Peter Pan is still one of the most charming Neverland adventures to ever be made and it’s easy to see why the film was well-received in 2003.

Aladdin (2019)

Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine

Directed by Guy Richie and with a huge cast of talent that includes Will Smith in the role of the Genie, Aladdin is one of the most ambitious of Disney’s live-action remakes. With the components already there from the first film for a great story of love, heroism, and being true to yourself, Aladdin was a guaranteed hit.

When the original film is as popular as the original animated Aladdin, it can be difficult to please everyone in the audience and indeed the movie received some unfavorable comparisons when it was released. The film is infectious fun, however, and Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott have great chemistry as Aladdin and Jasmine, making it hard not to enjoy.

Beauty And The Beast (2017)

After the success of the live-action Cinderella remake, Disney decided to go all out when it came to remaking Beauty and the Beast and the choice paid off. With Emma Watson in the role of the princess and an ensemble cast of talented actors and singers including Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, and many more, the fairytale musical was in good hands.

The movie also went all-out when it came to the set design and the realistic 3D CGI used to bring the Beast and the residents of his house to life. Disney was rewarded for the money and effort spent on the project as the movie was immensely successful and paved the way for a whole host of new live-action remakes.

Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle (2018)

The Jungle Book presents such a lively world that it would have been a shame not to continue the legacy of the movie based on Rudyard Kipling’s work. Although there was already a live-action The Jungle Book from Disney which was a faithful remake of the 1967 animated version, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle managed to go even further in bringing that magic into the 21st century.

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When it comes to ambition, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle far outshines its Disney counterpart, using the kind of spectacular motion capture performances that its director Andy Serkis is synonymous with. The story and tone leave a little to be desired but the film looks amazing and is a great spectacle even compared to its high-budget Disney competition.

The Flintstones (1994)

Based on an animated television series rather than being a direct remake of a movie, The Flintstones took its prehistoric source material and created a great live-action family comedy. As The Flintstones series was already full of hilarious characters, they translated easily to live-action.

This was helped in no small part by a cast of comedy veterans that includes John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Elizabeth Perkins, and Rosie O’Donnell as the Flintstones and the Rubbles. The special effects and costumes are top-notch for the era and the movie is still hilarious today, making it the best live-action remake.

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