Last Friday, Walt Disney Pictures gave a limited release to Queen of Katwe, a new film inspired by the true story of a girl from the slums of Uganda who became a chess grandmaster. Though it may seem like an off-kilter choice for Disney and co-producer ESPN Films to make a bio-drama about chess, Disney has a long history of making true-story films. In the last few years, Disney has been on a kick of true-story films, interspersing them in each year’s production slate between the latest Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm entries. But which is best? Here, you’ll find our list of the 10 best Disney movies based on true stories. Get your tissues ready!
The events of September 11, 2001 changed a lot of things. Airline security got tighter, the War on Terror became a regular national news item, and, overall, the outside seemed a little less safe than it had the day before. The repercussions of 9/11 were also felt as far as Hollywood, with the industry’s output of films based on or around themes of violence, terrorism, and war taking on a more serious, sinister bent. “Post-9/11 horror” and “post-9/11 action” became units students study in film class. A lot of films already in production went through slight alterations: the World Trade Center towers were digitally erased from New York City skyline scenes in movies released after the attacks, and entire scenes featuring the towers were cut. Hawaii is about the furthest you can get from New York and still be in the U.S., but even so, there’s a whole scene in Disney’s Lilo & Stitch that was altered so that audiences watching the film so soon after 9/11 wouldn’t be disturbed.
Disney shows no signs of slowing down plans for their ever-expanding live-action empire, which not only includes remakes of their classic animated titles, but new adaptations of various beloved properties, like James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl’s darkly whimsical children’s story is the latest project on the studio’s to-do list, with recent Bond director Sam Mendes in talks to take the helm.
It was honestly surprising that it took Disney so long to add The Little Mermaid to their growing list of live-action remakes, and although it was announced a bit later than the rest of the studio’s projects, it may be a bit closer to happening than we thought. Today brings word that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda will work on the music for the live-action retelling of Disney’s animated classic, collaborating with original composer Alan Menken.
In the tradition of ScreenCrush series like You Think You Know Movies and You Think You Know TV comes a new YouTube series: Top Five! Every two weeks (or so; we’ve got a lot of other stuff going on), ScreenCrush editor and critic Matt Singer will count down a particular topic from the world of movies (and probably write these introductory posts in the third person).
Earlier this week, we learned that Disney had officially cast Interstellar actress Mackenzie Foy as Clara in their upcoming live-action adaptation of The Nutcracker. You can now add another name to that cast: according to The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan Freeman is in talks to join the movie as the mysterious and whimsical Drosselmeyer. Fingers crossed that this means we will get a Morgan Freeman dance number in the new movie.
Another day, another reboot.
Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker’ has finally found its young leading star.
We only just (officially) met the new Han Solo, but we might be seeing him onscreen longer than expected.
Just as this morning announced the grand return of Admiral Thrawn to the Star Wars universe via Rebels Season 3, new images from the fall premiere bring an even closer look at our returning big bads. Check out the full Star Wars Rebels Season 3 poster, along with some new photos and a Maul-worthy clip from today’s big premiere!