5 Classic Disney Movies That Should Never Be Remade

So, there are many things I like about my life as a mom. These include having conversations with C about the glories of cheese; feeling a sense of personal accomplishment when she reaches milestones like potty training; and the fact that if I ever want to get out of anything, I can just say that my kid is sick.

This post isn’t about those things. It’s about the fact that there’s now a new edition of The Lion King called The Lion Guard and it’s the worst movie ever and must be stopped.

Do you remember the awe you felt when you first saw The Lion King? I was in sixth or seventh grade when the movie came out, and from the moment Rafiki thrust baby Simba into the air, I was transfixed. The story has humor, profound sadness, AND FREAKIN ELTON JOHN WROTE THE MUSIC.

So naturally, when a movie attains such perfection as The Lion King has over the years, out prowl the hyenas – sequels. The Lion Guard is such a sequel, and it’s sucking my soul away because it has only a tenth of the greatness of the original movie AND because C is completely obsessed with it.

She’s not even interested in seeing the real Lion King.

Clearly, nothing is sacred anymore, and I for one find that sad. Sequels are going to be made – the odds are literally in favor of this fact – but for all that’s good and holy, I hope that Disney never elects to remake or create sequels to any of these movies that are favorites in our house.

5 classic disney movies

  1. Robin Hood (1973)

This is easily C’s favorite movie, proving that sometimes the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree – it was my favorite when I was a preschooler too. I’ve seen a fair number of memes floating around about Robin’s sex appeal, but I think we can all agree that this movie is made by the Sheriff of Nottingham, voiced by the same guy who was Mr. Haney on Green Acres.

PicMonkey Collage

If there were ever a sequel to Robin Hood, I couldn’t handle it. A sequel would have to delve into the messy world of the Crusades and the Disney Corporation doesn’t have a great track record of cinematizing the systematic slaughter of millions of people. Have you seen Pocahontas?

  1. Peter Pan (1953)

The first nail in the coffin of this classic story was hammered in 2002 with the release of Return to Never Land. Then, the travesty of Jake and the Neverland Pirates and the myriad crapfully crappy Tinkerbell adventures signaled the lowering of the body of Peter Pan straight into the grave. This is the thing we should fear most about growing up: that our childhood favorites are ruined by a young Disney producer whose college buddies like to dress up as pirates and make up awful songs.

I have an almost irrational hatred for this duo.

I have an almost irrational hatred for this duo.

  1. The Jungle Book (1967)

A live-action remake is in the works for this classic Disney flick, but somehow that seems OK since they’re (presumably) not following Mowgli’s post-jungle life. I really don’t want to know what happens to him in the Man Village or how his path crossed with Gandhi or whatever.

  1. Mary Poppins (1964)

It was traumatizing enough when they trotted out Carrie Underwood as Maria Von Trapp for the TV version of The Sound of Music. If Disney remade Mary Poppins and tried to slip her in Julie Andrew’s place again, I would have to recant on my promise to take C to Disneyworld when she is 10. There may or may not be a Disney bonfire in our front lawn too.

Don't cross her.

Don’t cross her.

  1. The Sword In the Stone (1963)

Last but not least is The Sword In the Stone, probably my favorite Disney animated film of all time. I liked it so much that in college, I ended up writing my thesis on the book it’s based on, The Once and Future King. The movie tells the story of the childhood of legendary King Arthur and leaves off right after he pulls the mystical sword from the stone and becomes the destined king of England. While the idea of a Disney sequel to the movie with a grown-up King Arthur is intriguing, I have the sneaking suspicion that they’d try to sneak Jason Segel or Seth Rogan in there and ruin the whole thing.


What’s one movie that you’d hate to see remade or sequalized? Is sequalized even a word? Does it matter? Tell me in the comments!


  1. Grandcarol · · Reply

    The pure beauty of Bambi and Fantasia cannot be duplicated nor improved. Ever.

    1. Agreed! There’s a new version of Fantasia that came out about 15 years ago. I can’t get into it.

  2. All sequels suck, except for the Toy Story sequels. Those are magic. Our favorite Disney film is Mulan, even before we adopted from China. The ultimate Girl Power movie; I cry every time Mulan makes it to the top of the pole. And, proof that Donnie Osmond is a vocal bad ass and deserves every dollar he has ever earned. Our son, three at the time, could sing along with every word of “Make a Man Out of You.” Mulan 2 sucks more than it is possible for a movie to suck. And what Disney has done in the merchandising of Mulan is disgusting. She wasn’t a Princess and trying to make her one disrespects the original film. C must see Mulan; she must not even know that Mulan 2 exists.

    1. I cry when Mulan makes it to the top of the pole, too!

      1. Well dang, now I’ve REALLY gotta see this movie!

    2. It’s decided: Mulan is now on our list of must-sees! I think it’s on Netflix now…

      1. Yes, C must see it! And never see Mulan 2.

  3. Dumbo! This was my son’s favourite film when he was about two. He loved the pink elephants and their song. Doubt if they would even feature in a remake. The classics should be left in peace.

  4. All I can say is hands off Emperor’s New Groove. I loved Lion King and Aladdin, but ENG is the best movie they ever made in my opinion.

    1. I saw that a reaaaally long time ago and remember liking it a lot. Must revisit!

    2. Emperor’s New Groove was a whole new magical destination for Disney comedy. So awesome. I think only Aladdin compares cause #datgenie

  5. So I’m guessing that until this moment you were blissfully unaware that they did “Return To Neverland” in the early 2000s?

    1. Oh, I know. It’s the literal worst.

      1. I don’t remember it, so I’ll take your word. It came out when The Artist was a toddler, and she and I went to pretty much every children’s movie when she was young. She loved the experience and I loved having a relatively inexpensive (movies actually were, back then) activity that got us out of a non-air conditioned house!

        Bonus: We saw “Beauty and the Beast” when they re-released it into IMAX. Now THAT was breathtaking!

  6. Beauty and the Beast…. Mrs. Teapot and Lumiere can never be replaced, literally.

  7. I loved this post. I am dating myself here, but my oldest child was a baby when the Disney animated renaissance began with The Little Mermaid. She and I would both sit in awe of some of our faves, including The Lion King, Aladdin, and my personal favorite Beauty and the Beast. When her brother came along, we added new classics to our repertoire, such as his all-time favorite, Hercules. I am in complete agreement about the Lion King sequels. The one you mentioned makes it 3 sequels, I believe. And I ran into the same problem as you have with C. My youngest much preferred the sequels to the classic original. Sequels in general are a lazy way to feed the greed of the movie studio. I agree with the commenter above that the Toy Story movies are an exception. But I’ve got news for the Emperor’s New Groove fan: There WAS a sequel to that movie. It actually wasn’t bad.

    If I were to choose an animated Disney picture not to sequelize (Is that a word?), I’d choose Beauty and the Beast. Unfortunately, there have been some sequels made that come nowhere near the glory of that wonderful movie.

    Still, here’s hoping Disney comes up with some new ideas instead of recycling their greatest hits. There are plenty of untouched fairy tales and folk tales to be Disney-fied.

    1. Mary, Robin could sing all of the words to the “So you want to be a hero, kid” song from Hercules as well as the Gaston song from “Beauty and the Beast.” He was performing even at 4 years old.

    2. Agreed! I would love to see a Disney version some of the really old classics like The Odyssey, The Canterbury Tales, or the Decameron.

  8. Hey I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the versatile blogger award!! here are the details: http://mckinleysmilestones.com/2016/01/26/versatile-blogger-award/

    1. Ahhh! Thank you so much!

  9. My kids are obsessed with The Lion Guard – the movie, the show, the game… They both did watched the original first and fell in love with it, so I guess it is okay. I’m not a fan, but if it gives me a moment of peace, I’m okay with it! In general, like others have stated, sequels to Disney movies usually aren’t the best! I do like when they do the short films, though. Frozen Fever and the one for Rapunzel, Tangled Ever After, were super cute.

    1. Ugh- the game is awful too! Although I have to admit that I mostly hate it because my 3yo id better at it than me 😭

  10. I would be pissed if there was a live action/CGI Little Mermaid…..

  11. I agree with you and with the comment about remaking Fantasia. I loved the observation about Disney falling short in the cinematizing of mass slaughters department. And as for The Jungle Book, I took Ben to watch The Good Dinosaur last week and watched the trailer for the real live version. It. Is. Terrifying. And I’m not even kidding.

  12. Love, love this post! The first Disney movie my parents took me to see as a kid was Lady and the Tramp. I fell in love with big screen cartoons, and 35 years later…still hooked. When LatT 2 came out, the hate was real! How could they? There’s a whole series about the puppies, but they don’t scratch the surface to the original. Thanks for the memories.
    Blessings, Crystal

  13. Your list is PERFECTION! You’ve hit my favorites…except one. Aristocats. It was always my mom’s favorite, and I didn’t understand why. But now, I am obsessed with the film and I think it’s because it is so whimsical. Thomas O’Malley and Cat Scat and the Gang are my favorite heroes. It should never be remade. Though I doubt it will be because it isn’t one of the most popular either.

  14. I agree with everything here, turning everything into a franchise is driving me crazy!! I really wish they weren’t turning Beauty and the Beast into a live-action film, because that’s my favorite of the Disney Renaissance. Maleficent was okay since it told the story from Maleficent’s point of view, but I really hope they never, EVER try and make a sequel to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it’s a classic, they (hopefully) wouldn’t dare, but you never know anymore….great list!!

  15. Robin Hood is the next movie we’re watching with my preschooler. Cinderella was the first, and I didn’t realize I STILL know every flippin’ word to every single Disney song ever written!

    1. It’s a marketable skill!

  16. This actually made me LOL.

    I cursed the day Walt Disney announced the sequel release for Frozen…….. But for opposite reasons he he. I DO NOT want to build a snow man.

    1. Noooooo! My daughter hasn’t seen Frozen yet – she’s literally the last kid on earth who hasn’t seen it – but I don’t know if I can iceblock much longer if there’s a sequel 😬

  17. The Jungle Book also because it is still relevant, my kids love it! I think Beauty and the Beast was so good when I was younger but it might be redone in a classy way. I just read this to my seven year old daughter and asked her which movies from Disney should never be remade and she said Snow White and 101 Dalmatians she said, “,,,Because they scare me and I don’t want to see them!”

  18. […] 5 Classic Disney Movies That Should Never Be Remade (notthehardestpart.com) […]

  19. I loved Pocahontas, could watch it over and over again for some reason. A remake of that could just make me die. No sequels please!

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: