This Is How Disney's Live-Action Remakes Stack Up Against The Classics

Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Disney's live-action adaptation of its 1991 animated classic, Beauty and the Beast, is sitting comfortably at the tippity-top of the box office after its stupendous opening weekend. It smashed multiple records with its £135 million domestic take and £280 million worldwide total. Clearly, the film — starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the (CGI) Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Josh Gad as LeFou — is a slam dunk for Disney when it comes to selling tickets. But what about the movie's critical reception?
Beauty is currently scored at a perfectly average 70% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. (That's the critics' average; the audience gives it 86%.) While that's a perfectly fine score, it looks somewhat paltry when compared to the movie it was based on. The 1991 original stands at an impressive 93% on RT today.
Considering Disney has at least 20 live-action movies based on titles from their library of classics — yes, 20 — you have to wonder how those movies might fare with critics in the future. The big questions is this: will any of them actually live up to the originals? If the past is any indication, then perhaps. From the critical darlings to the bombs — and from certified fresh to certified rotten on Rotten Tomatoes — here's how Disney remakes compare to the movies they're based on, in reverse chronological order.
Maleficent/Sleeping Beauty
Live-Action (2014): 50% vs. Original (1959): 92%
Did you notice? The critical reception has steadily improved with each successive film — rising from 101 Dalmatians' pitiful 38% in 1996 to The Jungle Book's impressive 95% last year. So we're feeling pretty optimistic about the quality of Disney's forthcoming adaptations. At this rate, it looks like we'll be getting some near-perfect remakes by 2025 or so.

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