Casting Live Versions of Animated Classics


This week, we found out a piece of very interesting news: that Robert Downey Jr. may be playing Geppetto in an upcoming Tim Burton-directed live action version of Pinocchio. Yep, you heard that right. While we think a live action version of Geppetto should be a little… shall we say friendlier than Robert Downey Jr., the news got us to thinking about actors who could step into the shoes of some of our favorite animated characters, from Aladdin and Jasmine to the characters from UP. Click through to see our dream casts for classic (and modern classic) animated films, and let us know who you’d love to see step into your favorite characters’ cartoon shoes in the comments.

Jasmine — Mindy Kaling

She may be a little older than your typical teenage princess, but Mindy Kaling would just make the most skeptical, hilarious Jasmine in the entire world. We think she would be particularly good at telling all the men in her life to shove off and leave her alone to hang out with her tiger. The genie would obviously still have to be Robin Williams.

Ursula — Tyra Banks / Ariel — Amanda Seyfried

We want to see a smizing, booty tooching, finger-snapping Ursula, and Tyra Banks is the larger-than-life woman to do it. We already know the lady loves to play crazy, so we think she could easily adapt to the cackling sea monstress. As for Ariel, well, no one does the wide-eyed innocent better than Miss Seyfried. All she’d need is a little red hair dye.

Mulan — Gianna Jun

As much as we wanted to cast Grace Park here, we’re going to go with the younger South Korean actress Gianna Jun, who totally kicked ass in Blood: The Last Vampire (we’ll ignore how bad the film was). We know she can fight, but she can also transform into ethereal ideal daughter just as easily — which is, of course, the Disney Mulan’s dearest wish.

Princess Mononoke — Lizzy Caplan

Just imagine it: Lizzy Caplan with that awesome face paint, riding a giant white wolf. Awesome, right? She’d be an older Princess Mononoke to be sure, but she has the ferocity and attitude to totally sell it. Plus, we love her unconditionally, just like we love Miyazaki.

Russell — Rico Rodriguez / Carl Fredricksen — Jim Broadbent

Who better for UP‘s adorable odd couple than the effervescent Rodriguez and older-gent extraordinaire Broadbent? Just watch Modern Family and the contemporary London sections of Cloud Atlas concurrently and you’ll see what we mean.

Belle — Alexis Bledel

Let’s be honest — Belle is totally the Rory of the Disney universe. All that book learning and golden-hearted decision making. And no matter how much Bledel tries to edge herself up, her face was just built for princess-hood. She might as well put on that golden ball gown now.

Jack Skellington — Tilda Swinton

We think Tilda Swinton can do just about anything, including take on the role of one of our favorite animated characters of all time — the spindly, mournful Jack Skellington, who wants desperately to be a jolly soul instead of his creepy, creepy self. And the androgyny could only enhance the role.

Doug — Louis C.K.

Okay, okay, so Doug is much better known as the star of his eponymous TV series than he is as the star of Doug’s 1st Movie, but bear with us, because we think Louis C.K. would make an absurdly good adult-version of the bumbling, banjo-playing 11-year-old. Maybe he could be divorced from Patti Mayonnaise. We may or may not have been influenced by this.

Pocahontas — Roseanne Supernault

With everything that’s been going on recently, we would expect a live-action remake of Pocahontas to be handled with care — and in order for us to love it, it would probably have to be very subversive. It’s hard (and maybe impossible) to imagine anyone better than Irene Bedard here, but we could be happy with Roseanne Supernault, the award-winning actress best known for her role in “Blackstone,” and who grew up in the Métis culture in Alberta.

Every Disney Prince Ever — Chris Pine

They’re basically interchangeable, super-handsome Ken dolls, after all. Kind of like Chris Pine.