Have You Seen The Live-Action Versions Of Your Favorite Disney Characters?

If you were born during the 90s, you probably remember some of Disney’s greatest classics like Lion King, The Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, among many others. During the last few years, we have all witnessed a revival of our favorite childhood films since Disney has begun to release the live-action versions of the animated classics. Here’s a list of the real-life actors and actresses that have played our favorite animated Disney characters these past few years. I bet you would never have imagined #18, #9 and #1

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#20. Emma Watson As Belle

Beauty And The Beast is probably the most romantic and unusual love tale ever written. How can we forget the majestic scene in which these two lovebirds dance in that lavish ballroom? If you were a fan of this movie, then you’ve probably watched the live-action version starring Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, and Emma Watson.

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We can’t imagine a better person for the role of Belle than the young Harry Potter actress. It was almost like seeing the original animated 90s character all over again! She made a great performance and fans were not let down. If Watson was already popular after playing Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise, now she’s the queen of the world!

#19. Dan Stevens As The Beast

Let’s keep on talking about the wonderful cast of the live version of The Beauty And Beast. The role of the Beast was played by English actor Dan Stevens, and there is no doubt that he and Watson made a great couple on screen. Their acting was so pure that it should come as no surprise that the movie earned more than $1.2 billion around the world.

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Stevens didn’t stop working that year and he appeared in two films: Marshall with Josh Gad and Kate Hudson and The Man Who Invented Christmas with Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce. But his role as Beast was unforgettable!

#18. Mia Wasikowska As Alice

I bet you were a major fan of Lewis Carroll’s book Alice In Wonderland when you were a teenager, right? And I bet you grew up watching the 1950s Disney movie, too. It was always considered as one of Disney’s fan-favorites, and that’s why people went crazy when the live-action version was released in 2010.

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Some people were surprised that Australian actress Mia Wasikowska was chosen for the role of Alice but she did great! Today, we can’t imagine a better actress for the role of the young lady that returns to the magical world of books and has the most fantastic and bizarre adventures together with her friends.

#17. Ewan McGregor As Lumière

The Scottish actor and director Ewan McGregor gave the voice to Lumière, the magic candlestick of Beauty And BeastWe were already familiar with McGregor and his versatility as an actor, that’s why it was not hard to imagine him in playing one of the most eccentric characters of the film.

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Of course, many fans expect  the real-life characters to be just like the animated version and complain as soon as they find a difference. In the case of the candlestick, the animated version has a regular candle as a face, while in the live-action film its face is made out of brass. I know, it’s not a huge difference, but some people actually complained about this!

#16. Mena Massoud As Aladdin

The young Egyptian actor Mena Massoud made his big step into his acting and singing career when he portrayed Aladdin in the live-action movie Aladdin in 2019. He had already worked in a few episodes of the television series Nikita and Combat Hospital, but without a doubt, this was his big break.

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Massoud was able to show his talent to the world and he declared he was very happy to finally have had the chance to play a role he was comfortable with, as his previous TV characters had all been somewhat aggressive and unlikeable.

#15. Ian McKellen As Cogsworth

It should be clear by now that in the live version of The Beauty And Beast, we had the chance some very talented actors, and Ian McKellen was no exception. Did you know he’s the one who voiced Cogsworth the clock, Lumiére’s best friend?

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Did you find any differences between the original cartoon and the live version? We all remember the original Cogsworth as someone who always abode by the rules and was always on time. While Cogsworth’s character shares the same personality traits, the main differences lie in their physical features: it’s safe to say that the live-action character is way more ornate than the animated version.

#14. Naomi Scott As Princess Jasmine

Out of all the Disney classic films from our childhood, Princess Jasmine was one of the most beautiful princesses of all and that’s why it was hard to find the perfect actress for this role. However, can anyone think a better choice than Naomi Scott?

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Not only did this young actress brilliantly play the live-action version of the Arabain princess, but she also added a new side to the character. For example, in the live version, Princess Jasmine is more feminist and way more involved with Agrabah’s political situation. Also, unlike the original Disney version, here she has her own song!

#13. Lily James As Cinderella

One of Disney’s all-time favorites is Cinderella. The movie was so popular back then in the 50s that Disney’s second most famous castle was built in her honor. Finding the perfect actress that would meet the fans’ expectations was no piece of cake, but Lily James sure did a great job.

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The English actress had already appeared in television series like Just Williams and Downton Abbey, but this was her big break in the film industry. Cinderella came out in 2015, and the makeup artists and costume designers did such a great job that even the enormous blue ballgown was almost the same! Bravo!

#12. Cate Blanchet As Stepmother

Some actresses are so talented that we know they could do any role they’re asked for. Such is the case of Cate Blanchet, who didn’t think it twice the day she was offered to play Cinderella’s Stepmother. We can’t imagine a better person for that role, even if they don’t look exactly the same.

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Some differences that we can find between both Stepmothers are that the animated version has grey hair and she wears different clothes as well. Still, we can’t deny that Blanchet managed to capture Stemother’s evil essence through her brilliant acting.

#11. Helena Bonham Carter As The Fairy Godmother

The original Fairy Godmother in Cinderella was a sweet and careful old lady. That’s why when actress Helena Bonham Carter was chosen for the same role, all the world’s Disney fans were baffled. Besides, fans were used to seeing her play the villain, as in Alice In Wonderland.

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Nowadays, we can’t imagine a Fairy Godmother with so much energy and coolness as Carter. Although this modern version of the Fairy Godmother is very different from the original – both regarding her looks as well as her character -, we still love it!

#10. The Evil Stepsisters

How can we forget about Cinderella’s cruel Stepsisters? They were probably one of the most hateful villains in Disney’s history. The live-action of the movie chose actresses Holliday Grainger for the role of Anastasia and Sophie McShera as Drisella.

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Even though the live versions of the Stepsisters aren’t nearly as ugly as the animated version, we still can’t deny that they did a great job playing the role of villains. They dressed in the same patterned dress and had big ugly curls, and they really managed to get in our nerves!

#9. Will Smith As Genie

How can we forget the Genie from Aladdin? Voiced by Robin Williams, Genie became one of the most beloved animated characters in history. Since Williams had set the rod high, it was hard to imagine who would play the Genie’s live version.

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Actor Will Smith excelled in his performance playing the role of Genie, and now we understand why Disney went for him! Although the animated and live versions don’t look very similar, Smith definitely managed to capture the character’s goofy and kind-hearted spirit.

#8. Johnny Depp As The Mad Hatter

Making a new version of a classic character is not always easy, especially considering how hard it is to meet the fans’ expectations. However, as we’ve already said, Alice In Wonderland’s live version was a great success, especially due to the actors’ and actresses’ brilliant performances. But out of all the cast, Johnny Depp was the one who was praised the most.

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Depp played the role of the Mad Hatter. Even though he didn’t look exactly like the animated version, he surely managed to add a bit of his personality to the character. For example, his weird hat and big and scary green eyes redefined the character, and in a very good way!

#7. Elle Fanning As Aurora

We all remember the Disney classic film Sleeping Beauty and its two main characters, Princess Aurora and Maleficient. The new live-action version of the classic film was spookier than the original and narrated the story from a different point of view.

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The actress Elle Fanning brought Princess Aurora into life and she proved to be perfect for the role. Besides, she added a bit of lightness to her arch-nemesis Maleficent. The movie was a complete success and it nailed it at the box office. But what about Fanning’s co-star?

#6. Angelina Jolie As Maleficent

Playing the role of a villain can be really challenging, and Angelina Jolie was up for a major challenge when she decided to impersonate the live version of the classic villain Maleficent in the film with the same name. The live version of Sleeping Beauty was told from Maleficent’s point of view, which allowed us to gain insight into the character.

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We can say that Jolie was perfect for this role and she made us almost love the character! In many interviews, she declared that she decided to play this role because she wanted to do something that her children could see. And here’s a fun fact! Did you know that the young version of Aurora is actually Jolie’s beautiful daughter?

#5. Donald Glover As Simba

If you were born in the 90s, we are completely sure that your parents must have taken you to the movies to see The Lion King. We probably all cried with the murder of Simba’s father, Mufasa, but at the same time, we all laughed with the adventures he shared with Timon and Pumba. When Disney announced the release of its live version, fans went crazy.

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The live version of Simba is, of course, way more realistic than the animated version, but at the same time, it added more seriousness to the character. The actor Donald Glover, known as Childish Gambino, was the one who voiced Simba. Let’s see which other actors played key roles in the new Lion King!

#4. Billy Eichner And Seth Rogen As Timon And Pumba

There is no doubt that without characters like Timon and Pumba, The Lion King wouldn’t have been the same (or at least, not as hilariously funny!). We all remember the friendly pals that helped Simba survive out there in the jungle, and with whom he shared the greatest of adventures. The real-life versions of these characters are, of course, way more realistic, but equally sweet and charismatic.

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Billy Eichner as Simon and Seth Rogen as Tumba really nailed it, and we couldn’t imagine better voice actors for the couple. Although we missed the original big and red Pumba, we really enjoyed seeing the new one! I’m pretty sure many kids were surprised to see how a warthog really looks like in real life!

#3. James Earl Jones As Mufasa

Mufasa’s murder was one of the saddest moments of Disney and from many children’s childhoods too. We can only imagine how hard it must have been to choose the right actor for the part, but the fans were more than satisfied with the result!

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We can’t imagine any actor other than James Earl Jones for the voice of Mufasa. Besides, the new version of Mufasa was just like the original animated version: a true lion king!

#2. Beyoncé As Nala

In every story, you need at least one strong female character. In the case of The Lion King, Nala is the one who takes up that role. We all remember Simba’s best friend and her unique personality: nothing but a strong, natural-born leader.

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Who else could’ve portrayed Nala other than the famous singer Beyoncé? This new version of Nala was so successful that now, nobody can even imagine Nala’s animated version without the voice of the singer. Let’s see the last Lion King character together with its live-version!

#1. Chiwetel Ejiofor As Scar

We can imagine that making Scar’s live version was quite difficult for the producers, especially considering he’s one of the most dreadful villains ever. Some fans declared that in real life, lions with darker fur and black manes exist and that’s why they were not happy with the final results of Scar.

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The Lion King is perhaps the most loved Disney film of all time and that’s why people were so expectant with the new version in 2019. The British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor was in charge of giving Scar his voice and the actor declared that it was a very hard work to do, especially given the lion’s strong evil personality.

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