On April 29, The Hollywood Reporter states, “Disney Rules Hollywood’s Fairy Tale War…” as Disney’s “Jungle Book” significantly out-performs Universal’s live-action fairy tale, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.” Disney’s live-action studio has announced five more release dates for its remakes of fairy tales and other classic stories like “Jungle Book.” This has brought the total number of such movies it will release between now and the end of 2019 to ten. Four of these are scheduled for 2018.
Disney’s has demonstrated the top box office draw of family and redemptive movies, especially when they are based on classics that have already stood the test of time. In contrast to Universal Studio, Disney Studios production president Sean Bailey says, “…Some studios are really comfortable making R-rated comedies; that’s not what we do…” However, even with Disney family movies, animated movies, and other studios’ family movies, they may not all be equally of worth or suitable, especially for various ages. Good family-friendly reviews from such sources as Movieguide.org, Sonoma Christina Home.com, and/or Dove.org are invaluable to assess ahead of viewing what is appropriate.
Disney has especially been at the top of the box office recently with its live-action re-makes. According to Project Casting, Walt Disney Studios’ future slate has included: “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (5/27/16), “Pete’s Dragon” (8/12/16), and “Beauty and the Beast” (3/17/17). Now Disney is announcing the following projects in development: “Cruella” with Emma Stone set for the title role and Kelly Marcel writing. “A Wrinkle in Time” with Ava DuVernay attached to direct and Jennifer Lee writing, “Jungle Cruise” with Dwayne Johnson set to star and John Requa and Glenn Ficarra writing, and “Dumbo” with director Tim Burton and writer Ehren Kruger.
Futher live-action version of classic stories are “Mary Poppins” with director Rob Marshall, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda; “Maleficent 2” with Angelia Jolie set to return in the title role and Linda Wolverton writing;and “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” with director Lasse Hallstrom and writer Ashleigh Powell. “The Jungle Book 2” with both director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Marks is returning and “Tinker Bell” with Reese Witherspoon set to star and Victoria Strouse writing is development. Three more “UNTITLED DISNEY FAIRY TALE” (Live Action movie) have been dated for 7/28/17, 4/6/18, and 12/20/19. Two more “UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION” movies are now dated for 12/25/18 and for 12/25/18.
Although it is reassuring to know that Disney has a slate of promising family movies in the works, all Disney movies are not equal in value or appropriate for the same ages. Movieguide.org has been especially helpful for parents and supervisors of children in its reviews and articles in identifying appropriate movies, including Disney’s, according to cognitive stages of development. See their review of “Maleficent” or “Tomorrowland,” for example.
Buyer beware. All that glitters is not gold. Look before you leap.