See How Disney Has Transformed Their Animated Classics Into Live-Action Blockbusters Skip to main content

See How Disney Has Transformed Their Animated Classics Into Live-Action Blockbusters

It's a tale (almost) as old as time. When it comes to Disney, reinventing its animated classics with a live-action twist is its go-to way of attracting modern audiences.
Take Beauty and the Beast for example. Thanks to Emma Watson's picture-perfect portrayal of Princess Belle (plus Dan Stevens and every other A-list actor's voice lent to the enchanted objects inside Beast's castle), the 2017 update earned a whopping $1.2 billion worldwide at the box office. 
Money talks, right? All those dollar bills, paired with the nostalgia factor that comes with seeing childhood heroes in a brand new light makes reaching back into the Disney vault a no-brainer. The Lion KingAladdin and 101 Dalmatians are all in various stages of a live-action production with A-listers like Seth RogenWill Smith and Emma Stone rumored to play a part, respectively. 
But in addition to Beauty and the Beast, plenty of other animated Disney favorites have been reimagined with major star quality.
So with the D23 Expo well underway in Anaheim, Calif., what better way to take a trip down memory lane than to see how iconic characters like Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Prince Charming transformed in the real world?! Enjoy!
Beauty and the Beast
Walt Disney Pictures
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens' onscreen chemistry as Princess Belle and Beast made the 2017 revival of the Disney classic an instant hit.
Gaston, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Luke Evans played the perfect villain is the arrogant Gaston in the updated remake. 
LeFou, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Oh, LeFou! Josh Gad's comedic chops stole the show this time around.
Maurice, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Kevin Kline took on the role of Belle's over-protective father who stumbles upon Beast's castle, which leads to his daughter and Beast's fateful meeting. 
Cogsworth, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
The Beast's faithful butler turns into an enchanted clock voiced by Ian McKellen after a curse is placed on Beast's castle.
Chip, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Child actor Nathan Mack brought Chip Potts to life with his charming and curious nature.
Lumiere, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Considered the "Casanova of all candelabras," Lumière was voiced by Ewan McGregor
Mrs. Potts, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Emma Thompson played the ever-so-lovely Mrs. Potts in the live-action blockbuster.
Madame de Garderobe, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Madame Garderobe, otherwise known as "Wardrobe," came back to life thanks to Audra McDonald
Cinderella, Into The Woods, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
The 2014 musical fantasy based on the Broadway musical of the same name starred Anna Kendrick as Cinderella. 
Cinderella, Into The Woods, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Chris Pine played Cinderella's much more ruggedly handsome prince. 
Cinderella, Into The Woods, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
What would a Cinderella remake be without Christine Baranski's wickedly awesome portrayal of the Evil Stepmother?
Rapunzel, Into The Woods, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your long hair! Mackenzie Mauzy took on the quintessential Disney role.
The Jungle Book, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
More than 20 years after Mowgli stole Disney lovers' hearts, young actor Neel Sethi landed the breakout role of a lifetime in the 2016 version. 
The Jungle Book, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Hollywood legend Billy Murray voiced dancing and singing bear named Baloo.
The Jungle Book, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Mowgli found a friend in a serpent named Kaa, voiced by Scarlett Johansson
The Jungle Book, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Idris Elba brought the film's antagonist Bengal tiger, Shere Khan, to life.
Peter Pan, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Studios
Jeremy Sumpter starred as the boy who wouldn't grow up in 2003's live-action version of the fantasy.
Cinderella, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
Lily James had some big glass slippers to fill as the titular character in the 2015 live-action remake of the iconic Disney film.
Evil Step Mother, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
Who can be beautifully wicked better than Cate Blanchett? The Oscar-winning actress brought the Evil Stepmother to life in the 2015 version.
Fairy Godmother, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
For her second role in a live-action Disney remake, Helena Bonham Carter turned the original Fairy Godmother into a more glamorous version.
Prince Charming, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden cleaned up quite nicely to play Prince Charming, the man who would chase after Cinderella.
Elsa, Frozen, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Georgina Haig took on the frosty role of Queen Elsa for Once Upon a Time's Frozen storyline.
Anna, Frozen, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Kristen Bell may have voiced Princess Anna, but it was Elizabeth Lail who brought her to life on Once Upon a Time.
Kristoff, Frozen, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Greek alum Scott Michael Foster played Anna's love interest Kristoff from the 2013 mega-hit.
Mulan, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Mulan, one of the most badass princesses around, got a modern twist on Once Upon a Time in the form of Jamie Chung.
Alice in Wonderland, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
For 2010's Tim Burton-directed adaptation of the 1951 Disney classic, Mia Wasikowska took on the iconic role of Alice during her visit to Wonderland.
Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
For the Mad Hatter character, the live-action version needed someone who could look really crazy. Johnny Deppwas the perfect fit.
Red Queen, Alice in Wonderland, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
Helena Bonham Carter was the one to yell "off with her head!" as the Red Queen in the updated version of Alice's adventure.
Snow White, Evil Queen, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Lana Parrilla brings the Evil Queen from the 1937 Disney classic to life on the small screen for Once Upon a Time.
Snow White, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Ginnifer Goodwin is perfect as the original Disney Princess Snow White. And she found her real life Prince Charming on the show!
Prince Charming, Snow White, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Josh Dallas found a wife in his onscreen princess Ginnifer Goodwin while playing the Prince Charming to her Snow White.
Hook, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Colin O'Donaghue may play the iconic villain Captain Hook, but his Once Upon a Time character has a heart of gold.
Aurora, Sleeping Beauty, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
The 2014 version of Sleeping Beauty was all about Maleficent, but it still needed an Aurora, who was played by Elle Fanning.
Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
In MaleficentAngelina Jolie brought the evil but misunderstood character from the 1959 animated film to the big screen.
Merida, Brave, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Amy Manson starred as the adventurous, bow-slinging Merida from the 2012 film Brave on OUAT.
The Little Mermaid, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
Joanna Garcia Swisher always said she'd be perfect to play Ariel from the 1989 film, and she got her wish!
Ursula, The Little Mermaid, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
One of the sassiest Disney villains of all time, Ursula, came to the small screen thanks to Merrin Dungey.
Prince Eric, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
The dreamy Prince Eric was brought to life on Once Upon a Time by Gil McKinney.
Belle, Beauty and the Beast, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Disney; ABC
On the ABC series, one of the most beloved Disney princesses, Belle, is brought into the real world by Emilie de Ravin.
Cruella De Vil, 101 Dalmatians, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
Glenn Close was zany perfection as the legendary Cruella De Vil in the live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians.
Anita, 101 Dalmatians, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
Nip/Tuck actress Joely Richardson was the actress who gave life to Anita in the 1996 version of the Disney film.
Roger, 101 Dalmatians, Animated Disney vs. Live Action Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
Roger got the live treatment by Jeff Daniels, who starred as the dog lover from the original 1961 movie.
Which Disney animated film do you want to see reinvented with live actors for the big screen?

Let us know in the comments!