Lions, Elephants, Genies, Witches and Jedi, oh My!

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Lion king trailer

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.

Who wrote this?

Adam R. Holz is a senior associate editor for Plugged In. He also writes for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and has been a Boundless contributor. In his free time (which there is sometimes precious little of) Adam enjoys playing guitar and constructing LEGO kits with his son. Adam and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents, in fact, of three children, one boy and two girls.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 5 months ago
Personally I never thought Braveheart or The Patriot were that good of films, so I guess I agree with B Evans, lol. And for me while I loved all the LOTR movies when they first came out (except for the boring middle part of Two Towers that is), I've found they tend to get worse and worse every time I try and rewatch them. On the other hand I've seen the last two Hobbit films at least 6 or 7 times now and I'm constantly finding new things to love about them, so for me at least The Hobbit's are far more rewatchable than any LOTR film.
Karl The Klown 5 months ago
*cringe*......
Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I hate the Hobbit films, honestly. I enjoyed the first one, but the second one made me MAD! And the third one just went on forever; it just got boring seeing people kill each other on and on and on.

The Hobbit trilogy in my opinion ruined what is one of the best novels ever written. Five years after the Desolation of Smaug came out and I STILL want a refund!
Anonymous 5 months ago
I went and saw them in theatres, and came out thinking they were the best in the world (they were my first films I saw in theaters that I can remember, so that probably factored in). I had not yet watched the Lord of the Rings. I had read the first novel though. I saw all the Hobbit films but 2 in theaters (and coincidently, Plugged In is the reason I didn't get to see the second one. My dad read the review and said "nope!" A year later, a week before The Battle of the Five Armies released, we watched it). But as I've gotten older, every time I watch them, they cannot compare to the LOTR films and books. This isn't to say they're bad (the third one could have been a lot shorter) but once you compare them to LOTR, they are trash.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 5 months ago
For me the Hobbit films are just way more interesting story-wise, have cooler special effects, and call me crazy but I actually think Bilbo's a much more interesting character than Frodo ever was. If anything it's the LOTR films that seem to drag on forever, but I guess as usual I share an opinion that no one else on here seems to agree with.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Frodo really wasn't that interesting Bilbo definately was a more interesting character, but if you're saying the LOTR is drawn out, go rewatch The Battle of the Five Armies. The series could have easily been done in two films not 3. Plus, The Hobbit films added stuff that weren't in the book (some of it was alluded to in other Tolkien works, but I wish they wouldn't have added it still). LOTR: The Return of the King has one scene that I feel is drawn out, but that's it. Plus, The LOTR trilogy doesn't add anything, they just take away some parts that you definately can't put in film.

Also, no one knows who you are because you don't have a tag yet. You got to make a tag. So we don't know what you agree with us about and don't.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 5 months ago
I've seen the original trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, and part of The Force Awakens, and in my opinion Revenge of the Sith is the most interesting of them all.
Karl The Klown 5 months ago
Well then, that's just a bad opinion. Try again next time
Anonymous 5 months ago
I just loved the way Anakin turned into Darth Vader in the end, and just the fact that he didn't even get to see his queen giving birth to his children and probably never will was just heartbreaking to me. But then again even in the original trilogy Darth Vader was my favorite character, so maybe it's just me.
Anonymous 5 months ago
It is not a bad opinion. I don't really understand why the prequels get so much hate either. Jar Jar Binks is the only cringe worthy thing in The Phantom Menace. Terrible acting by Natalie Portman and Hayden Christianson is the only thing in Attack of the Clones. And Padmae's lame (SPOILER) death in Revenge of the Sith. I agree with @Anonymous. The way Anakin turned to Darth Vader in the end was awesome. And the Anakin/Obi-Wan duel was pretty awesome.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Karl The Klown 5 months ago
All the prequels were bad, therefor logic dictates that any positive opinion about the aforementioned film(s) is a bad opinion
Anonymous 5 months ago
Thank you. At least someone on here doesn't automatically think my opinion sucks.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

For all that the prequels get wrong, they do think they get quite a lot right as well.

Episodes I and II both are a mixed bag (the podrace and the Duel of the Fates save I and II as a number of great moments mixed in with the bad ones), but episode III I think is a legitimately good film. I'd like to say it's a great one, but I'd like to see it again before I say that (haven't seen it in years). Plus, if it weren't for the prequels, we would have never gotten the Clone Wars animated series.

And at least the prequels and Lucas didn't break SW lore (unlike someone else who directed a Star Wars film).
Anonymous 5 months ago
Thank you @First Comment Guy! I agree completely. III was really a good film. I and II had cringe worthy moments, but there were also some pretty awesome moments as well (Duel of the Fates, Podrace, Duel with Count Duko [Can't remember how to spell his name XD], The arena battle). So the prequels shouldn't get so much hate! 

As for Rian Johnson's film. It gets worse for me everytime (Sorry Rose and Holdo, but you are hated). Hopefully J.J. Abrams will save the franchise. 

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
B Evans 5 months ago
If and when they make a "Hunchback" remake, I hope they do the cathedral justice. I pray she is largely restored by then so the film can be a symbol of resurrection. 
Julienne Dy 5 months ago
As much as I want to see that cathedral back in its full glory, I'm not looking forward to the "Hunchback" remake.  That movie scared me so much back when I was in high school, and yes, I said high school.  Back when I was a kid all I remember about it was that it was kinda dark, but I didn't actually know what the story was about.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Hunchback is the most violent and sexual film Disney ever put out so if they were to do a live action remake of it it would probably be rated R.
Karl The Klown 5 months ago
.....Have you ever watched a R rated movie?
Anonymous 5 months ago
 @Karl The Klown 

LOL!

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Karl The Klown 5 months ago
Hahahaha! I bet the answer is no. Or they've only seen the Passion of the Christ and maybe The Kings Speech
Anonymous 5 months ago
I bet you are right @Karl The Klown. I wish I could watch more of the good R rated films. I understand why I can't though. The one I have seen is Mel Gibson's The Patriot which is an amazing film.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse.
Karl The Klown 5 months ago
Oh yes. The Patriot is an amazing film. I haven't seen it in years though.
Gladiator is another really good one 
B Evans 5 months ago
The Patriot is a terrible movie. It's worse than Braveheart, and that's saying something.
Karl The Klown 5 months ago
@B_Evans How dare you sir! Braveheart is one of the greatest films in existence. Surpassed only by The LOTR trilogy, Gladiator, and Logan 
Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I love The Patriot! Haven't seen it in a few years, but I'd like to again sometime.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I've seen tons of R-Rated movies, most of my favorite films of all time are R-Rated: Kill Bill, Sin City, Pan's Labyrinth, There Will Be Blood, Gran Torino, Letter's from Iwo Jima, Sideways, Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Sling Blade, Saving Private Ryan, The Shawshank Redemption, and on and on. So yes I definitely know what an R-Rated movie is like. I'm just saying that the original Hunchback had so much violence and sexual content in it, that it was already pushing it for a Disney movie, so if they were to amp that stuff up it would probably be enough to make it be Rated R.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I agree with @Karl The Klown! How dare you B Evens! The Patriot is amazing! And I agree with @Karl The Klown about the LOTR films surpassing it. Haven't seen Logan yet, but I bet it would too.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 6 months ago
I really want to see Penguins (have seen all the DisneyNatures starting with Oceans on the big screen with Born in China, Bears and African Cats being my absolute favorites) and The Lion King (absolutely love the original and this remake seems even better somehow), but I'm not too sure about the Toy Story and Maleficent sequels. Toy Story 3 ended on such a wonderful note, and was easily the best Toy Story of them all, so I'm wondering what can they really add to it. And Maleficent was a pitch-perfect loving remake of Sleeping Beauty which also ended on the perfect note, so again what can they possibly add to it? A Jumanji sequel would be cool since Welcome to the Jungle was so awesome, but only if they bring back Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black. On the other hand this new Aladdin seems terrible (Will Smith replacing Robin Williams seems like the worst idea ever), and even though I wasn't planning on seeing Frozen 2 anyway since I never liked the original as much as everybody else seemed to, if they're truly gonna make Elsa a lesbian with a girlfriend then I'm definitely out for sure. And maybe it's just me but because Indy 4 turned out to be my favorite Indy film so far I'm really looking forward to seeing Indy 5.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Of all the movies I've seen in my life, Indiana Jones 4 is only one of two that I stopped watching partway through. I mean, I could give the nuke the fridge part a pass, since it is just a movie, but sliding on a motorcycle in a library just made the whole thing feel like a Saturday morning cartoon, and 30 minutes in, I popped the dvd out of the player. Cautiously optimistic for the 5th film, but the third one is still my personal favorite.

Not going to watch Toy Story 4 at all, not even on dvd. It's like Christopher Nolan making a 4th Batman film: unnecessary and greedy. I was a little optimistic about the film at first when John Lasseter said that he really had a great idea for the film and he wanted to direct it himself, I thought that there must be a reason Pixar is making this film. Plus, I thought Lasseter deserved a shot a redemption after Cars 2 (which, if you do some digging into, isn't really his fault). But then, Lasseter left the film, and that has just put me down as a no thanks for the 4th Toy Story. Why would the director who really wanted to direct his great idea drop out halfway through?

Personally, I hope to see Pixar return to making original films instead of sequels. Even though most of their sequels have ranged from good to great, I think Pixar is at their best making original films. So ultimately, as a Toy Story fan and as a bigger Pixar fan, I'm boycotting Toy Story 4.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I just loved the fact that Indy 4 had pretty much non-stop action throughout. All previous Indy films had way too many boring scenes in them mixed in with the excitement, so they felt sort of ho-hum to me. Indy 4 had easily the most action ever and was definitely the coolest one yet what with all the skulls mind-controlling people and that cool alien spaceship at the end. I thought the whole thing was cool from start to finish with the least amount of boring stuff possible.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

How can you say Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade are boring?

And just because a movie has nonstop action doesn't necessarily mean that it's good. If a movie has a lot of cool action in it but doesn't give me a reason to root for the characters, why should I even care? (kinda like the newer star wars films, to be honest)

Also, adding aliens to Indiana Jones is easily one of the dumbest things George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg have ever come up with.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Both Raiders and The Last Crusade have cool opening sequences and killer endings, but the rest of it just drags on and on with too much boring stuff in the middle. I'd argue that The Temple of Doom is much better front to back than either Raiders or Last Crusade, because again Temple of Doom seems to have practically non-stop action with little or no downtime between scenes. They give you pure adrenaline rushes from start to finish, and for me that's what a cool action movie does. Face-Off, Ransom, Speed, National Treasure, they're all some of the best action movies ever made simply because they rarely stop to catch a breath.
Karl The Klown 5 months ago
John Wick is the best action movie of all time. Case closed 
Anonymous 5 months ago
Haha. Haven't seen John Whick yet, but I'd probably watch those over the Indy films. I just don't really care enough to watch them, even though Harrison Ford is one of my favorite actors.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
charitysplace 6 months ago
I am not usually an old-school kind of girl (I loved Maleficent and Dumbo, because they were new twists on old classics) but frankly, everything about the "new" Lion King seems like a bland imitation of the first film, with some of the changes not being for the better. (Disney: lions with black manes exist. They are more territorial and violent than golden-maned lions, you could have kept Scar's mane black.) I have been puzzling over what has bugged me about the live action versions of late, and I think it's down to a problem in hiring classically trained vocal actors vs. regular actors. The original Disney films feature "over the top" vocal talent. You HAVE to display emotion through the VOICE in order to bring animation to life, and that's one thing that I love about it. Scar in the original is so deliciously vocally acted, you can HEAR the sneer in his tone. In comparison to the flat monotone of the new Scar in the trailer, Jeremy Irons' vocal talent is far superior. (I felt the same about Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, and Cogsworth in B&TB). So. I'll be skipping it, and skipping Aladdin. Both of them, to me personally, look and sound dreadful.

JEDI. Cool trailer. I'll be there opening day, unless it snows. I hope they can redeem Ben. It would be sad to leave the Skywalker legacy on such a depressing note. (But another part of me would love it, since I enjoy emo. :P)

I guess I am the only person on the planet who could care less about the AVENGERS. The next movie I'm going to see is Tolkien.
Anonymous 6 months ago
 @charitysplace Hey! I'm gonna see Tolkien too! Big fan of the books and I've read all the not so famous ones too. 

Though, I do care about the Avengers.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
charitysplace 6 months ago
The movie looks good. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it is. Have you read that book about Lewis / Tolkien and the Great War? How it inspired both of them / their writing? I might have to dip into it, before the movie arrives.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I haven't! I know a little bit about Tolkien's story, but haven't heard of that one before. What's the name of the book?

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
B Evans 6 months ago
I think it's time we resurrected trust busting. #Taft&Teddy2020
Julienne Dy 6 months ago
I can't afford opening weekend, so I'm going to try to hold out for the Endgame DVD release.  Spoilers never bothered me anyway. (reference intended)

Regarding The Lion King specifically, the hyper realistic CGI does a great job making Scar and the hyenas look scary as well as making Simba look positively adorable.  However, all other emotions end up SEVERELY blunted.  I mean, all the dangers look scarier, so why doesn't Simba look more scared?  In fact, most of the time, he looks LESS scared than he should be.
B Evans 6 months ago
Animated animals was part of the charm of The Lion King. Without it, I can't say I'll be impressed - and how can anyone other than Jeremy Irons be Scar???
charitysplace 6 months ago
THIS.

They keep Mufasa and replace Irons???
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Never seen the original Lion King, and this new one isn’t holding my interest. It looks like a National Giagraphic film with a great voice cast. The only reason I would check out this new Lion King would be because Hans Zimmer is doing the music (then again, he did the music for the original as well; maybe I should just check that out instead).
Anonymous 4 months ago
The only reason for me is the visuals, Jon Favereu, and the score.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 6 months ago
I saw the trailer for episode IX drop live. I watched the live stream like the total nerd I am.

Pretty stoked Palpatine is back. He's still the best villain in the whole series.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Wait, that was Palpatine? I thought that was Luke Skywalker reincarnated as The Joker!
Karl The Klown 6 months ago
Nope. Didn't see the trailer. Sue me 
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

If I worked for Fox, I’d personally be crying if I were one of the +300 employees who lost their jobs over the takeover. 

If I worked for Sony or Universial, I wouldn’t be worried that much. After all, non Disney studios can not only survive under Disney’s rule at the box office, but also thrive. Venom almost made a billion dollars last year (outgrossing most MCU films by the way), and Jurassic World 2 made 1.3 billion last year as well.

That’s the problem I have with Disney: they don’t really make smaller films that aren’t supposed to make a fortune anymore. Nearly everything they make is franchise, franchise, franchise. Now to be fair, this strategy isn’t bad so long as it is working (which for the most part it is) but what happens to Disney when everyone gets tired of Marvel? What happens when audiences have completely had it with Star Wars? What happens when Disney runs out of animated films to adapt into live action ones?

If I were Disney, I would be concerned about Jumanji 3 overshadowing Star Wars 9. I’d personally move episode 9 to May 2020 since Guardians 3 isn’t coming out then like what was originally planned.

Also, Indiana Jones 5 is coming out in 2021, not 2020.

charitysplace 6 months ago
You make a good point. Disney is either reincarnating all their old stuff (which shows a severe lack of originality / creativity at Disney, IMO) or banking on billion-dollar franchises and praying people don't get sick of super heroes with another 8 films coming up the pike.

Can't see Jumanji crushing Star Wars at the box office. Even people who hate the new franchise will go just to complain later about it. LOL
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy 

I don’t think Jumanji 3 is going to crush episode 9 per se, but I do think it’s going to take away a large chunk of its audience (families and kids). 

I also know of many Star Wars fans who are planning to see something else the weekend episode 9 hits and not see episode 9 at all. And as of right now, I’m probably going to be one of them.