The age of remakes is upon us! Now, in all fairness, Hollywood has been recycling ideas since the day one brave executive discerned that audiences react positively to familiarity.
John Carpenter's The Thing is a remake of 1951's The Thing from Another World, a film based on John W. Campbell Jr.'s Who Goes There? Even though nothing could possibly surpass the greatest horror movie ever produced, Hollywood revisited this story for the third time in 2011. Al Pacino's Scarface is a remake of a 1932 film with the same name; in 1956, Alfred Hitchcock remade one of his earliest projects, The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Recently, Disney has latched onto the trend of producing live-action remakes of its own classic cartoons. Putting aside the question of quality, these projects have proven to be quite lucrative. Along with allowing fans to revisit some of their favorite stories, the younger generations get to experience the splendor of Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast on the big screen. Technically, the originals can be watched at someone's leisure, but a home experience cannot compare to attending the theatrical premiere of a blockbuster. Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King are all slated for a 2019 release date; meanwhile, Disney plans to tie a couple of remakes to its upcoming subscription streaming service.
The cinema is not the only place affected by the remake bug; in fact, most of the brand's stranger remakes are set to drop on the Disney Channel or Disney Plus. Here are 25 Disney Channel remakes that nobody asked for!
25 Kim Possible
Disney's huge-budget blockbusters boast enough visual flair to separate themselves from the original cartoons; on the other hand, Disney Channel's upcoming Kim Possible remake comes across as an expensive cosplay session. Spawning four seasons and two movies, Kim Possible centers around the eponymous character's adventures as a high school student AND super spy. Bolstered by witty dialogue and a genuinely likable cast, Kim Possible comfortably sits among Disney Channel's best series.
Premiering on February 15, 2019, Kim Possible live-action needs to be absolutely perfect to justify its existence. Realistically, the film will be closer in quality to something like Spy Kids 3 than the original Kim Possible.
24 Adventures In Babysitting
In celebration of the channel's 100th movie, Disney opted to remake the 1987 classic, Adventures in Babysitting. Replacing the titular sitter with two caretakers, 2016's made-for-TV version eliminates anything remotely risky found in the original. Disney spent the majority of the '80s exploring darker themes, before ultimately reverting back to fairy tales. Adventures in Babysitting is hardly Something Wicked This Way Comes, but the comedy benefits from a slightly adult edge that is entirely absent in the remake.
That said, Adventures in Babysitting is actually one of Disney's better remakes. Sharing the babysitting duties, Sabrina Carpenter and Sofia Carson's natural chemistry elevates Adventures in Babysitting above the channel's standard projects.
23 Freaky Friday
Disney loves remaking Freaky Friday. Based on a 1972 novel, the studio has produced four remakes, including two made-for-TV variants that range from great to utterly terrible. While most are likely familiar with Jodie Foster's 1976 original or Lindsay Lohan's 2003 remake, 1995's TV adaptation is arguably the best of the bunch. Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman are a sight to behold as the body swappers, while Melanie Mayron's direction makes up for the remake's limited budget.
2018's musical remake showcases Disney's striking inability to understand teenagers. You can almost hear the executives demanding the script be rewritten to include hip phrases like "smartphones" and "social media." With so many options available, 2018's Freaky Friday need not exist.
22 Father Of The Bride
Disney Plus is the company's attempt to challenge Netflix at its own game. Initially, streaming services served as a cost-effective alternative to cable; unfortunately, distributors gradually discerned they could potentially earn more cash by launching their own streaming services.
While cable can dependent on weekly broadcasts and sports events to tie audiences down to a contract, streaming services must continuously update their catalogs to justify a renewal. Netflix introduces new movies and TV shows on a monthly basis, but Disney's options are slightly more limited. Along with a number of other planned remakes, a new Father of the Bride will serve as an incentive to purchase a Disney Plus subscription.
21 The Parent Trap (New NEW Remake)
The Parent Trap's premise is timeless: Parents divorce and split up twin sisters. By a stroke of dumb luck, the siblings attend the same summer holiday camp and choose to work together so they can meet their other parent. Released in 1961, The Parent Trap spawned three made-for-TV sequels, although most people are presumably more accustomed to 1998's remake starring Lindsay Lohan.
Why is Disney obsessed with remaking Lindsay Lohan's remakes? Is Herbie next on the list? Announced alongside Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap is anticipated to correspond with the launch of Disney Plus. TV quality movies are not going to convince anyone to subscribe to a streaming service, therefore, this project must be a step above Freaky Friday.
20 Marvel's Spider-Man
Sadly, this entry has nothing to do with Insomniac Games' awesome Marvel's Spider-Man which released on the PS4 last year. Instead of discussing one of the web crawler's stand-out contemporary moments, let us take a minute to address Disney XD's cartoon with the same name.
Technically, every Spider-Man cartoon is just a reboot of 1967's low budget animated series; which, coincidentally, the original is the worst adaptation of the lot. 2017's Spider-Man replaced the divisive Ultimate Spider-Man, which lasted four seasons. Striving to please everyone but impressing nobody, the reboot is devoid of personality and does not excel in any distinct area.
19 High Fidelity
With Zoe Kravitz set to star in a TV show adaptation of John Cusack and Jack Black's romantic comedy, High Fidelity will serve as a deciding factor on whether someone subscribes for Disney Plus or not. Based on Nick Hornby's 1995 novel, the original follows a miserable music-obsessed sad sack on a quest to uncover the reasons behind a string of failed relationships.
Swapping the protagonist's gender, the remake must take into account the fact that record stores have basically gone extinct. When asked about the reboot's potential, Cusack was less than enthusiastic about the odds of the project capturing the book's charm.
18 Girl Meets World
Taking into account some of the absolute garbage-tier remakes and sequels produced over the years, approaching a new project with a touch of skepticism is more than justified. Endearingly cheesy and frequently hilarious, Boy Meets World introduced audiences to the Matthews family and Topanga. Despite a noticeable decline in quality during the final two seasons, the sitcom was a staple of the '90s comedy scene and has aged surprisingly well.
Even if the sequel is derivative and, somehow, plays it even safer than its predecessor; Girl Meets World is a respectable modern sitcom and a step above most of the channel's live-action comedies. Not a huge surprise, but a pleasant one nonetheless!
17 Peter Pan
Disney and Warner Bros. Pictures are taking turns to determine which studio can produce the most absurd retelling of J.M. Barrie's stage play. As is typical of Disney's adaptations, 1953's Peter Pan cartoon bears only superficial similarities to the source material. Universal's 2003 live-action adaptation comes the closest to embodying Barrie's themes of growing up and adult responsibility. The film was also a commercial flop.
2015's Pan was an unmitigated disaster, one that failed to impress critics or audiences. Following Warner Bros' train-wreck, Disney's upcoming remake merely needs to convey competence to be regarded as an improvement. Surprisingly, rumors suggest Peter Pan's future lays with Disney Plus rather than theatre. Perhaps, the remake does not fill Disney with confidence.
16 Lady And The Tramp
Once again, Disney plans to convert one of its beloved classic cartons to live-action. The Lion King's teaser trailer contains a remarkable amount of CGI; in fact, describing the project as live-action feels almost disingenuous. In reality, the remake is a cartoon with a more realistic aesthetic than 1994's massive blockbuster.
It remains to be seen whether Lady and the Tramp follows in The Lion King's footsteps, but it'll likely share The Lion King's general aesthetic. Considering the story largely takes place in an urban environment, though, a properly live-action Lady and the Tramp seems quite feasible. Generally, CGI animals tend to be more convincing than their real counterparts.
Seriously, is there really any need for another Muppets reboot? 2011's film was a welcome return to form for Kermit and company, but the franchise's subsequent productions have mainly adhered to the law of diminishing returns. Re-framed as a mockumentary, ABC's The Muppets series was quite a mixed bag, ultimately lasting just 16 episodes.
If all these rumors are to be believed, Disney Plus' catalog will primarily consist of recognizable classics and remakes of the aforementioned classics. Will the streaming service spark renewed interest in The Muppets? Are Kermit and Missy Piggy relevant enough to convince customers on the fence to try Disney's subscription service?
14 The Sword In The Stone
Disney's live-action remakes can be split into two categories: Cinematic and home theater. Rebooting two of the studio's most influential films of the '90s, The Lion King and Aladdin are clearly deserving of a run in theaters. At the other end of the spectrum, The Sword in the Stone and Lady and the Tramp seem more appropriate for Disney's upcoming subscription service.
That's not to say The Sword in the Stone cannot be superior to The Jungle Book or Beauty and the Beast, but the latter projects simply carry more clout in the public's eye. The Sword in the Stone might struggle to convince enough people to pay full price for a theatrical screening, but a monthly subscription sounds more sensible.
13 Bug Juice
Bug Juice is Disney's answer to reality television. Defined by totally unscripted story-lines and personalities willing to push the limits of common decency, this genre seldom attempts to target a younger audience. Chronicling the adventures of 20 children attending a summer camp, Bug Juice is a refreshingly wholesome addition to the genre, and we are pleased to report that 2018's revival upholds the original's affable nature.
Bug Juice: My Adventures at Camp serves as an example of a recent Disney Channel reboot that avoids coming across as a blatant cash grab. Obviously, Disney hopes the series manages to turn a profit, but reviving a reality show is nowhere as cynical as a live-action Kim Possible remake.
12 Lizzie McGuire
Before anyone publishes a passionate tweet tearing Disney apart for rebooting Hilary Duff's teen sitcom, please note that nothing has been formally announced regarding the series. During a 2018 interview, the Younger star confirmed talks of a potential reboot had been held, but these discussions mainly served to establish whether such a project might interest the actress.
Intercut with animated sequences, Lizzie McGuire centers around the titular teenager's repeated effort to join her school's popular crowd. Aided by a star-making performance by Duff, Disney's sitcom interweaved comedy, drama, and romance to create a project that spoke to countless teenagers going through similar experiences.
11 High School Musical
Along with temporarily establishing Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron as baby-faced stars worth noticing, High School Musical stuffed Disney's pockets with enough cash to finance a hundred (cheap) sequels. High School Musical 4 was always a matter of when rather than if, but details concerning the film have been scarce.
Disney has announced plans to adapt the franchise into a TV series, aptly entitled High School Musical: The Musical. Whether the show is intended as a replacement or spin-off to the proposed fourth entry remains unclear, but both projects should feature entirely new casts. Efron and Hudgens are yesterday's (Disney) news!
10 Three Men And A Baby
Which factors determine whether a film merits a remake? Going by some of the names announced for the subscription service, Disney's main criteria seems to rely on whether the powers that be manage to remember the original movie existed. Three Men and a Baby? Is that the one with the ghost kid?
With a premise right out of a canned NBC sitcom, Three Men and a Baby owes everything to the casting director's inspired decision to cast Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson as the eponymous adults. Selleck's mustache and Danson's chest hair are more charismatic than the majority of seasoned professionals, and even they could not elevate the sequel above bargain bin territory! Who could the reboot possibly cast as replacements for these three? Has Hollywood finally discovered a way to clone George Clooney?
Initial skepticism aside, DuckTales succeeds as an homage to the original franchise and a modern reinterpretation of Disney's cherished cartoon. Even if the reboot is aimed towards a more contemporary demographic than its predecessor, fans of 1987's DuckTales should be able to find something to enjoy in this recent incarnation. At the very least, we recommend checking out the 44-minute pilot episode.
DuckTales holds a special place in the heart of '80s kids everywhere, who are now adults raising possibly their own rugrats. As the original was meant to entertain children, 2017's DuckTales does not cater to older fans who wish to relive their childhood through Disney's cartoons.
8 Mickey Mouse
Does 2013's Mickey Mouse count as a reboot? The cartoon mainly forges its own path, but we are still dealing with a modern reimagining of an iconic Disney property. Mickey Mouse is insane, and that is meant to be taken as a sincere compliment! The hand-drawn art style lends itself perfectly to the surrealistic tone prevalent throughout the majority of the cartoon's episodes, with some segments skating the line between black comedy and horror.
Mickey Mouse is not quite as dark as some of Disney's earliest shorts, but the mascot's adventures have seldom been this deranged! Good for kids, great for everyone else!
7 Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is an international treasure. The premise, revolving around Rick Moranis accidentally shrinking his kids, would not feel out of place in an episode of Dexter's Laboratory or Johnny Test; however, a talented cast and a witty script help paper over some of the story's weaker moments. Dexter's Laboratory is better though.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' success birthed two underwhelming sequels and an equally terrible TV show that lasted for three seasons. With the latter airing its final episode in the year 2000, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is ripe for a remake. If Disney's cartoons are receiving the live-action treatment, does the reverse also hold true?
6 Muppet Babies
Disney cannot seem to resist Jim Henson's legendary puppets. In 2004, Mickey Mouse's crew acquired The Muppets rights, and the studio has been putting Kermit and friends to work ever since. Foreshadowed in The Muppets Take Manhattan prior to making its debut, Muppet Babies offered exactly what was advertised on the box.
Like 1984's series, 2018's Muppet Babies sees the adorable cast partake in a number of imaginary adventures from the safety of their nursery. Just in case the name failed to clarify the cartoon's target audience, Muppet Babies caters solely to toddlers and youngsters. Older viewers should look elsewhere, but there are worse kids shows in rotation.
5 Mighty Ducks
Despite bombing with critics, The Mighty Ducks touched the hearts of countless teenagers who wished to live vicariously through the film's unconventional athletes. 1992's sports comedy was a big enough box office draw to warrant two sequels and an animated series that literally featured a team full of ducks. The '90s was a predictable time.
In 2018, The Hollywood Reporter announced ABC was planning to reboot The Mighty Ducks as a live-action show, although the grapevine has been mostly silent since the beginning of last year. With modern sports dramas on short supply, The Mighty Ducks might be able to scratch that itch for victory!
Okay, this entry is cheating; Bunk'd is not a remake, reboot, revival, or any of the Rs. Even though Disney resisted the urge to double dip, Bunk'd was hardly an untested property, as the comedy started out as a Jessie spin-off. Lasting four seasons and 98 episodes, Jessie follows the trials of a Texas-born girl to adapt to life in New York City. Luckily for the titular character, she happens to land a job as a nanny for a wealthy family living in the Upper West Side.
With the nanny out of the picture and their parents craving some alone time, Bunk'd drops three of Jessie's cares in Camp Kikiwaka and asks them to make their own fun. Sadly, Camp Kikiwaka is not home to any hockey fans.
3 Dumbo's Circus
Dumbo's Circus is the stuff of nightmares if you couldn't tell by that picture. The content itself is harmless enough, but the human-sized puppets are downright scary! Closer to a sequel than a reboot, Disney's live-action series centers around an adult Dumbo's attempts to establish his own circus. Partnering up with a handful of recurring characters, none of which appeared in the movie, Dumbo takes the show on the road, stopping in each town to perform a dance or say a couple of jokes.
Despite airing for slightly more than a year, Dumbo's Circus produced 115 episodes, although Disney stopped scheduling reruns by the turn of the century.
2 Adventures In Wonderland
Putting aside the brilliant animated film, Disney does not always treat Lewis Carroll's creation with the utmost respect. Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland betrays the novel's irreverent tone in favor of a derivative tale that presents Alice as some sort of "chosen" hero, while the sequel's greatest achievement is that it found a way to be even worse than its predecessor.
In comparison, Adventures in Wonderland seems more in-line with Carroll's novels, although that might have more to do with the unsettling puppets rather than anything proposed by the story. Alice: Madness Returns is delightful next to human-sized rabbit puppets.
Descendants exists as a reminder that live-action reboots can always be worse. Starring the offspring of four of Disney's greatest villains, Descendants wants so badly to be cool and hip, but the movies are only good for a quick laugh and an occasional groan.
Along with the movies, including a third entry set to drop later this year, Disney has produced a prequel series, an animated spin-off, and various Descendants novels. Evidently, Mickey genuinely believes this franchise has the potential to be a huge moneymaker. Descendants might be cornier than an '80s power ballad, but occasionally, nothing hits the spot like a slab of cheese!