Flying elephants, talking lions, genies granting wishes and toys coming to life. It’s no wonder the Walt Disney production line continues to soar high – literally.
This week it’s all about a live action version of beloved 1941 classic DUMBO. The flying elephant swoops into cinemas with intentions from the ‘Mouse House’, igniting a whole new generation of admirers just as we saw with recent incarnations of The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Maleficent.
Don’t worry, just because it’s live action doesn’t mean there’s no animation. There is – state of the art visuals, in fact – bringing to life fantasy elements that will even make adults believe.
DUMBO is tender, tearful, positive and full of family values. Directed by Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands), it follows the great storyline of an elephant born with extremely oversized ears who is discarded and treated as an outsider at first but becomes the main attraction in a travelling circus.
It is equal measures dark and delightful, in true Burton-style. The original version is never forgotten but, purists be warned, there are components that are different.
The movie features a spectacular ensemble including Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Colin Farrell, and the ever-hilarious Danny DeVito.
Meanwhile, only a few months to go until the already controversial, live action Aladdin hits our screens. Controversial, because the trailers hadn’t even been released when social media decided Will Smith couldn’t possibly replace the late, great Robin Williams in the iconic role of “Genie”. Things seems to have simmered now, but there’s no denying, those are some big shoes to fill.
The reality is, if director Guy Ritchie can crack the perfect combination of lovely songs, true romance and sweeping cinematography and Will Smith can stand tall and exhume the desperately needed comic relief (and we all know, he’s capable) then this movie will work.
The Lion King roars onto screens in July bringing with it a mass of expectation more than any other Disney re-imagining yet. Global hits to the online trailer caused passionate discussion beyond belief. So, I’m calling it – in a year when we will see a trilogy final Star Wars episode and the biggest of all Avengers released (both distributed by Disney), The Lion King will be THE biggest blockbuster.
Restoring that award-winning soundtrack alone is sure to help recreate the magic, heartbreak and triumph of the almost perfect animated-gem.
Following on from the 2014 cult success of Maleficent, Angelina Jolie returns in the icy lead in Maleficent II this October, alongside the delightful Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora. Lots of solid reviews so far and a perfect role for Oscar-winning Ms Jolie, audiences will be equally excited and creeped out exploring the obscure mistress of the dark.
And we can’t forget the pure animations on the horizon either: When Toy Story 3 seemingly sealed the trilogy in 2010, no one considered a fourth instalment on the cards. So rejoice friends, because yes, there is a Toy Story 4!
It brings back all the popular, timeless characters including Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz and my favourite, Wallace Shawn as Rex. New character Forky voiced by Tony Hale is the cause of the gang embarking on a new adventure.
Meanwhile, the long awaited Frozen 2 will no doubt cause a box office blizzard in November just like the original did. Do you remember back in 2013 when Let It Go was on loop in family cars all over the world? The original lasted in theatres almost six months – that’s almost unheard of in an era when most movies stick around for an average of 3 weeks!
As you can see, there’s lots to look forward to for children who may be new to Disney and those of us who simply never stopped loving. Which movie are you looking forward to the most? Tell us below.