HomeEntertainment News10 Disney Animated Princess Movies Without Live-Action Adaptations

10 Disney Animated Princess Movies Without Live-Action Adaptations

Disney has found a new favorite story angle in turning beloved cartoons into live-action films from Pinocchio to The Lion King. Disney is now turning their sights on their ever-popular princess classics often based on fairytales, with the release of The Little Mermaid in May 2023 following on from adaptions of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.

The live-action The Little Mermaid sees the central character of Ariel, played in the 2023 version by Halle Bailey, fall for a human and gives away her voice to gain legs. This adaption of the story has certainly brought attention to the story and there are plenty more animated princess movies Disney could tackle if they choose to.

Updated on May 25, 2023, by Hannah Saab:

As fans eagerly line up to see The Little Mermaid (May 26), it’s the perfect time to revisit some Disney princesses who could get the same live-action treatment in the near future, but just haven’t yet.



10 ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ (2012)

Ralph and Venelope in Wreck-It Ralph

Whilst Wreck-It Ralph is generally a film based around a male central character, the second movie especially showed the power and importance of the female character, and princesses in general, in one Princess Vanellope Von Schweetz.

If they can take arcade characters to the internet then why not to a live-action setting? Both of the Wreck-it-Ralph films certainly pack in the humor, something which is appealing to audiences. What’s more, the world the films depict is full of pop culture references, wacky characters, and stunning visuals, all of which could translate into a live-action version if done right.

Watch on Disney+

9 ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937)

The wicked witch giving Snow White the poisoned apple in Disney's Snow White
Image via Disney

A classic Grimm Brothers fairytale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs follows a beautiful princess who runs away from a wicked stepmother to a house in the woods. Unfortunately, her stepmother finds her, and Snow White finds herself in need of true love’s kiss.

The story of Snow White has been adapted many times and with many twists – from Mirror Mirror to The Huntsman Series – and Disney is finally turning their first animation into a live-action film. It will be interesting to see what route is taken with Disney’s 2024 live-action Snow White movie.

Watch on Disney+

8 ‘Tangled’ (2010)

Image via Disney

Tangled tells the classic princess story of Rapunzel, trapped in a tower growing her hair super long, and dreaming of escape. In the Disney version, her hair is the reason for her entrapment by Mother Gothel as it is the source of her youth.

Tangled is such a classic tale this could be a straightforward adaption opportunity for Disney. The character also seems to be popular with audiences, but it will admittedly be tricky to top the 2010 version, which came with numerous iconic musical numbers like “I See the Light” and “Mother Knows Best.”

Watch on Disney+

7 ‘Anastasia’ (1997)

Princess Anastasia leaning against a painting
Image via 20th Century Fox

Inspired by, but not accurate to, real-life events in Russia, Anastasia tells the story of the daughter of the last Tsar to rule in St. Petersburg, and it is no fairytale, but is a princess story nonetheless.

This is a controversial film in more ways than one, as not only is it based on true people (if not true events), but it is not made by Disney but is now owned by it. With merchandise appearing in the parks, a live-action remake could make it officially theirs. A live-action adaptation of Anastasia could also help right some wrongs about the often-criticized historical inaccuracies in the 1997 movie.

Watch on Hulu

6 ‘The Princess and the Frog’ (2009)

Image via Disney

Now, this is a fairytale with a twist, The Princess and the Frog moves The Frog Prince from Germany to New Orleans, complete with hit musical numbers, and shows what could have happened if the princess wasn’t a princess at all.

Despite the passing of time, Tiana remains very popular with audiences and Disney has lots of plans to include her in the parks even more from replacing Splash Mountains theming in Orlando to a new restaurant in Anaheim. Now would be a great time for Disney to announce a live-action remake.

Watch on Disney+

5 ‘Frozen’ (2013)

Ana and Elsa embracing in Frozen
Image via Disney

Frozen is a story about two sisters with, most importantly, great songs. The tale of these two princesses is a re-imagination of the Ice Queen story, where a brother and sister are separated by the dangerous powers of ice.

Frozen has already proved popular with sequels, and constant merchandise releases, in the Disney parks and on the Broadway Stage. So why not as a live-action film? Of course, Disney will have to nail the special effects while also keeping in mind that the heartwarming story of Anna and Elsa is at the center of the massively popular franchise.

Watch on Disney+

4 ‘Atlantis: The Lost Empire’ (2001)

Milo and Kida from 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire' (2001)
Image via Walt Disney Pictures

The often-overlooked 2001 animated Disney movie tells a different sort of story, but still features a princess (and a badass one, too). The central character in Atlantis: The Lost Empire is Milo the explorer who travels to Atlantis, finds a hidden civilization and falls in love with Atlantis’ princess, Kida.

Whilst not a fairytale, this princess movie exploring Atlantis could lead to a great action movie, something Disney is hopefully moving towards. A revisiting of the tale on an epic scale with today’s technology could draw more attention to Kida’s remarkable story.

Watch on Disney+

3 ‘Moana’ (2016)

Moana Dwayne Johnson
Image via Disney

Moana tells the story of a princess in a different way as the titular daughter of the village chief sets out alone to meet a demi-god and saves the world in the process. This film shows a great alternative to European cultures, which is where most princess movies are based. This film features great songs and is very popular, with Moana-based attractions being added to Epcot, in Disney World.

Moana is a perfect character to bring to life, as she’s strong, bold, and goes on one of the most jaw-dropping journeys ever seen in a Disney princess movie. And the good news is that it’s happening! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moana is getting a live-action remake produced by Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia, although it isn’t clear when the release date will be.

Watch on Disney+

2 ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ (2021)

Raya and the Last Dragon
Image via Disney

Raya and the Last Dragon is a princess film set in a fantastical land of dragons inspired by South East Asian Cultures, a first for Disney. The storyline follows the titular princess who goes out to reform connections to save her world and bring back the dragons

This film would really suit being a more serious live-action adaptation. When it premiered, it showed how Disney is exploring more cultures and many fans would love to see this pushed further with tangible representations interweaved with Raya’s incredible story.

Watch on Disney+

1 ‘Brave’ (2012)

Image via Disney

This princess film is actually a Pixar production rather than a Disney classic, but it’s still worth mentioning for Merida’s incomparable characterization. This story features a Scottish princess who takes her fate into her own hands.

In Brave, it is great to see some more complex characters brought to life, as well as perhaps more accurate views of a country’s own legends, not to mention how the unique heroine has proved popular with audiences. This Scottish story could work well as a sweeping live-action movie led by a talented and complex female protagonist.

Watch on Disney+

NEXT: The Best Movies on Disney+ Right Now



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments