In times like these when all of us are homebound due to Covid-19 lockdowns, worried where this will take us all, one needs a break from anxieties. Hence, we are back with a list of Disney’s live-action adaptations of its animated classics that will restore faith and hope in tumultuous times. The Lion King (2019) When it comes to Disney, one can’t do away without thinking of Mufasa explaining Simba ‘the circle of life’. The live-action remake of the 1994 animated classic grossed more than 1$ billion at the box office including India. Directed by Iron Man fame Jon Favreau, The Lion King, creates the land of Simba, the Pride Rock and the characters with mind blowing CGI and visual effects by MPC. With a notable voice cast with the likes of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, Keegan-Michael Key, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Earl Jones returning as Mufasa, The Lion King is a must watch. Where to watch : Amazon Prime Video premium, YouTube Premium ; Coming soon on Disney+Hotstar Aladdin (2019) When talking about live-action remakes, how can we miss out on the longest running film of 2019 in India – Disney’s Aladdin! The tale of camaraderie between a street urchin of Agrabah and a genie can never get out of fashion. The tale is a known one how Aladdin’s adventures begin after he comes across a magic lamp. But what makes it different is its treatment which deserves to be at par with its original. The film brings back the musical charm of the Disney tales, and makes a number of changes that are both refreshing and nostalgic. Will Smith (Genie) in his evergreen (ever-blue here) charm, manages to glue the audience to their seats. The scenes between Smith and Mena Massoud ( Aladdin) give a good touch of affection to their friendship. Massoud’s effortless layman role, trying to find a stroke of luck is earnest and deserves appreciation. Naomi Scott as Jasmine is decent but stiff at places. Where to watch : YouTube premium, Google Play ; Coming soon on Disney+Hotstar Dumbo (2019) Tim Burton’s American fantasy adventure film, Dumbo, revolves around the innocent-eyed cute baby elephant, who erroneously earned the name Dumbo from the audience at the circus. Inspired by Disney’s 1941 animated film of the same name, that’s based on the novel by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl, the story breaks in 1919 in a circus. Burton introduces the characters carefully and sets a helpless Dumbo amidst a heartless ringmaster, children, freaks, geeks, clowns, jugglers and magicians. Though Dumbo doesn’t speak in this live-action remake, Burton focuses on computer-generated sound you might feel that Dumbo is calling its mother as ‘mum’. Good use of CGI and VFX accelerates its visual quotient and storyline. Where to watch : Hotstar Maleficent (2014) and Maleficent: Mistress of The Evil (2019) A smart feministic take on Sleeping Beauty which gave birth to a franchise and original story in Maleficent: Mistress of The Evil in 2019, Maleficent is like a breath of fresh air in the whole lot of live-action adaptations. With Linda Woolverton’s powerful screenplay, Elle Fanning’s (Aurora) warm screen presence and Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of a strong yet vulnerable tawny eyed winged fey, Maleficent will surely remain a favourite. Maleficent : Mistress of Evil, on the other hand, diverts from the Sleeping Beauty mythos and its animated masterpiece for the better. It brings in more characters, similar winged creatures and has an independent storyline that was much needed in Disney’s slate of live-action remakes. Maleficent : Mistress of Evil looks like an epic fantasy film, preaching an anti-war parable with imagery that evokes that of Holocaust and features three contrasting archetypes of femininity. Where to watch : YouTube; Coming soon on Disney+Hotstar Beauty and the Beast (2017) Beauty and The Beast is a live-action take of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name, which itself is an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s 18th-century fairy tale. It features an ensemble cast including Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the eponymous characters – Belle and the Beast. Other cast members include, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson in supporting roles. Beauty and The Beast live-action adaptation did justice to its predecessor with stunning CGI and VFX and the actors perfectly fitting into the shoes of the characters. Watson was praised for her performance as Belle worldwide, and is her highest-grossing film till date in the domestic side following the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Beauty and the Beast grossed $504 million in the United States and Canada and $759.5 million in other countries for a worldwide gross of $1.263 billion. With a production budget of $254 million, it is the most expensive musical ever made. Where to watch : YouTube; Coming soon on Disney+Hotstar Well, these are a noted few, stay tuned to this space as we will bring a new list soon! Till then, stay safe and be a responsible citizen to fight Covid-19 pandemic!