Didja see it? The new (and first full-length) trailer for Disney’s remake of The Lion King? I didn’t watch it until this morning, which made me only about the 16 millionth person to do so in the last two days. And even though 1994’s animated classic The Lion King isn’t actually one of my favorite Disney films (go ahead, tell me I’m wrong), I have to confess that this trailer gave me goosebumps. (Or maybe, lion-cub bumps? Hyena bumps?)
The “live-action” (it’s not really live action, obviously, just really, really realistic-looking CGI) remake of this beloved story is just one of the many movies that Disney has locked, loaded and aimed at the box office in 2019. As if Avengers: Endgame and (just announced!) Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker weren’t enough to establish total domination, the Mouse House has a whole bunch more remakes, reboots and sequels cued up and ready to fire.
It’s a long list, one that’s already underway with the releases of Captain Marvel (which handily primed the 2019 pump by taking in more than $1 billion already) and Dumbo (one of Disney’s exceedingly rare critical and commercial misfires).
But, really, shed no tears for the flying baby elephant’s uncharacteristic underperformance. Along with the aforementioned Lion King (July 19), Disney looks set to dominate with this lineup: Penguins (April 19), Avengers: Endgame (April 26), Aladdin (May 24), Toy Story 4 (June 21), Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 5), Artemis Fowl (Aug. 9), Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Oct. 18), Frozen 2 (Nov. 22) and Star Wars: Episode IX (December 20). (Disney’s tired marketing team must have collectively decided to go on vacation in September—probably a Disney cruise.)
As for 2020, well, we’ll be getting Mulan and Jungle Cruise (another Disneyland ride-turned-movie), with Indiana Jones 5 following in 2021. Other sequels and remakes from the Disney canon yet to be scheduled include Cruella, Hunchback, Jungle Book 2, Lady and the Tramp, Lilo & Stitch, The Sword in the Stone, oh, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3. (Plus, undoubtedly, the next iteration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and 20 more films to flesh it out of the next decade or so until they’re all probably vaporized by Galactus or something.)
If I’m working for Sony or Universal, I’m crying. And if I work for 20th Century Fox, well, now I work for Disney, too, so let’s throw a couple of upcoming Avatar sequels in the mix in the next few years as well. (Plus new films featuring Marvel characters Deadpool, X-Men and the Fantastic Four, too.)
Basically, it’s Disney’s world. Other studios? They just live in it.
Yup, director James Cameron once famously claimed he was the king of the world. But I have to think Disney head honcho Bob Iger is the one wearing the crown this year, and probably the 2020 one, too.
So what do you think: Is remaking all of Disney’s classics a good thing? Or is there Disney fatigue setting in (which, perhaps, Dumbo’s underperformance hints at)? Which of these upcoming sequels, reboots and remakes are you most looking forward to in coming months and years?
One thing is certain: Plugged In will be right there to let you know everything you need to know about all of them. Even if the Mouse House remakes The Aristocats.