Breaking the Mold: 5 Best Live-Action Disney Movies
Disney is known for a lot of things. Besides their plethora of animated classics (seriously, narrowing down a Top 5 Disney Animated Films would be nearly impossible) and their one-of-a-kind theme parks, Disney has grown quite a bit as a brand.
Lately, we’ve seen a shift back to Disney’s roots when it comes to new movies. There have always been live-action Disney films (dating way back to the 1950 classic Treasure Island) but it seems like a new Disney movie is popping up every week (Okay, fine, there were three weeks between McFarland, USA and this weekend’s Cinderella) like they did back in the 1960s.
Below you can find what I consider the five best live-action films before this weekend’s release of Kenneth Branagh’s (Thor) Cinderella:
I’ll be honest, I did not know Cool Runnings was a Disney movie until doing some research. However, of all the movies I came across, this was the one I most wanted to pop in the DVD player…or, you know, the VHS player. The real-life tale of the most beloved bobsled team of all-time is not only an entertaining family movie, but it’s a downright instant-classic. I’d be ashamed to have not seen this movie if I was you.
After see The Muppets, I was absolutely floored. Growing up, I was never a huge fan of the franchise – not saying I hated them, more saying I never really got into them – but I legitimately felt bad they weren’t apart of my childhood when I saw the new iteration back in 2011. I still can’t quite put my finger on what made the movie so hilariously entertaining but I guess that’s true to what makes the original TV series so iconic. Sadly, the sequel didn’t quite live up to the hype of the original (a theme today, I guess) but that’s okay.
Believe it or not, there was a time when the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise didn’t royally suck. In 2003, the beloved Disney theme park attraction became a movie…and a good one at that. Johnny Depp was the main reason the franchise took off and I still consider it his best role yet. Yes, it’s been overdone and the ship has definitely sailed (sorry, had to) but I wanted to remind people there was a time when swashbuckling was cool and it was with 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Along with Cool Runnings, Remember the Titans slipped my mind as a Disney movie. If I’m going on pure story, I think Remember the Titans wins out even over our top spot. It’s really that great of a movie, and it could be considered a movie for the masses. It uses football as its premise but digs deeper into the cultural milieu that surrounded our nation’s darkest time. Like all great sports movies, you don’t have to be a fan of the sport to be a fan of the film.
Although Remember the Titans has my favorite story (and is probably the movie I would pick off my DVD shelf most often), it’s impossible to bump the quintessential Disney film off its pedestal. That film, of course, is the 1964 musical Mary Poppins. As Saving Mr. Banks (another movie that just missed the list) showed, Disney might not exist had this film failed. For that alone, we have to give Mary Poppins its dues! And, yes, it is considered a “hybrid” movie but I’m not bumping this off the list based on a measly technicality.
Besides Saving Mr. Banks, I also thought about Honey! I Shrunk the Kids, Freaky Friday, The Mighty Ducks franchise, The Parent Trap, Secretariat, and The Pacifier (okay, that last one is a joke). What did I miss?
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