Disney has been rolling out live-action remakes lately with Mulan set to be the next one to come out this year. Disney isn’t the only one with the remake fever. Warner just released Scoob! an animated revamp of the Scooby-Doo franchise. With all of these remakes happening, we decided we’d take a look at some beloved kids’ movies that are ripe for a redo.
The movie industry absolutely loves doing remakes because they think they can bank on name recognition and nostalgia. While most of the time they get it wrong, we still would like studios to take a stab at some of our favorite children’s movies. We think they’ve overlooked a few that are more than ready for a fresh coat of paint and fresh cast. Now, a couple of movies on this list have been remade and the results were so bad that we’re not even counting it. Here are 25 movies you loved as a kid that are ready for a remake right now.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
There have been a number of developments in CGI since Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was released in the late 1980s. The premise is the perfect vehicle for an adventure film: a scientist shrinks his kids and they must survive the big scary world while being very, very small. The movie has all the elements you need for an exciting, family-friendly movie.
If Disney ever decides to remake this franchise, we hope they do lean on practical effects and build elaborate sets. One of the best parts of the movie for many of us as kids was seeing the “shrunken kids” interact with the oversized setpieces.
**As of writing, we have just learned that this is getting a remake called Shrunk and Rick Moranis is set to return!
The Iron Giant (1999)
In this animated adaptation of Ted Hughes‘ Cold War fable, a giant alien robot (Vin Diesel) crash-lands near the small town in Maine in 1957. Examining the area, a 9-year-old boy named Hogarth discovers the robot, and soon forms an unlikely friendship with him.
This is truly a touching and sincere animated feature that all kids should see. It’s also perfectly ready for a remake. The film was re-released in 2015, but we think it could go further. The film’s main theme is identity and Hogarth even says “You are what you choose to be,” to the giant. Additionally, the Cold War themes would be rather timely now.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Remakes of timeless classics like The Wizard of Oz are always going to be controversial. In 2013, Oz the Great and Powerful was billed as a movie but it was a poor excuse for one. We’d like to see the old version of the film with the original music in an updated format. Please skip all the CGI mess and stick to the basics by focusing on performances. It would be a delight to see an unknown actor take on the role of Dorothy.
Pippi Longstocking (1988) [We Know There are Older Pippi Movies]
Pippi Longstocking is a property that’s been remade in many different ways, many different times. There have been live-action movies (starting in 1948), animated movies, TV shows, etc. We’d love to see another live-action version of Pippi’s story helmed by a female director and scribe. The original series of books was written by Astrid Lindgren back in 1945. We’d love to see a fresh take on Pippi Longstocking.
The Rescuers (1977)
The Rescuers was followed by an update The Rescuers Down Under in 1990, it’s been a couple of decades and we think the world is ready for more Bernard and Bianca. Those cute little mice are so brave and we absolutely loved them as children. Of course, this would be much better in the animated format. The Rescue Aid Society would surely be up to the task!
The Black Cauldron (1985)
At the time of its release in 1985, The Black Cauldron was a giant flop for Disney. Chances are that you could have missed this one. It’s an animated fantasy film based on The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a series of five novels that are, in turn, based on Welsh mythology. The adventure and characters are very good and we think this story deserves a fresh take for young audiences today.
A Little Princess (1995)
A Little Princess is a masterpiece directed by Alfonso Cuarón. And, you know what? We want him to direct the movie again. If you’re not familiar with Cuarón’s name you’ve certainly seen his other films. Roma, Gravity, Children of Men, and Y Tu Mamá También are all critically acclaimed movies he’s helmed. We would love to see what direction he would take this film today.
The Sound of Music (1965)
Like The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music might be a film too perfect to touch. We absolutely love the original and we can feel you rolling your eyes as you read this, but this movie musical could use an update that’s closer to the stage version. We’ll never find a Maria as good as Julie Andrews but we’d love to see movie execs try.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Angela Lansbury is absolutely perfect as Miss Price in the original Bedknobs and Broomsticks. No one could ever replace her. But, we’d like to see how this film would fare today. For whatever reason, this very fun children’s movie has never received the same love as other films in the Disney canon. We’d love to see B&B lovingly redone. The special effects won this film an Oscar in 1972 and we would love to see some great movie magic in a remake as well.
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Give the remake responsibilities to cinematographer Roger Deakins (1917, Blade Runner 2049, Fargo, Secret Garden) and step back. This dark children’s fantasy movie is very strange and somehow managed to terrify every small child that saw it in the 1980s. The characters are wonderful and the adventure plot of a boy saving a fictional world from demise feels timely. How fun would it be to have the story written for a female protagonist? Which voice actor could best play Falcore?
The Black Stallion (1979)
The Black Stallion combines the ever-popular lost-kid and beloved-pet movie sub-genres for one of the most winning and visually stunning movies on this list. We know there have been subsequent reboots of this movie, but we’d like to see the originally story revisited once more. Considering the fact that many children have been isolated for months, the character of Alec would probably be beloved by post-pandemic kids.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Dick Van Dyke was such a joy to watch in this delightful movie musical from the late sixties. We’d love to see what an equally charismatic performer would do with the role. While we love this movie, it could definitely use some updates and about 30 minutes shaved off of the runtime.
The Adventure of Milo and Otis Trailer (1986)
It’s time our two best, furry friends got an update! Looking back on this movie, it’s hard to believe that these two animal actors were able to achieve so much. We’re pretty sure they deserved the animal equivalent of an Academy Award. Dudley Moore‘s original narration would probably still work today!
Short Circuit (1986)
We’ve been paranoid about AI and its role in society for decades now! Yay! We’d love to see Number 5 stressing out men in labs once more. Ally Sheedy was such a treasure in this she would be hard to replace. However, it seems like we’re due for a modern installment of this film.
The Secret of Nimh (1982)
We don’t know about you, but this movie terrified us when we were kids. It’s time to scar an entirely new generation for life with a dark remake of this animated classic about mice and rats that escape a lab. It’s a touching one that we think kids today would love.
Free To Be…You And Me (1974)
In a compilation of vignettes that were edgy at the time of this film’s release in the seventies, Free To Be… You And Me explores things like gender roles, working mothers, and racial stereotyping with the help of celebrities. This would undoubtedly be a very hard sale these days, but we could all use a lesson on acceptance.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
The world is on fire. Brazil’s rainforests are being completely wiped out. This animated movie from the 1990s was a warning about the threat of deforestation and climate change. Not much has changed. Kids could do with an updated tale about magical inhabitants of the rainforest fighting off the evil Hexxus.
The Absent Minded Professor (1961)
Okay, so Disney tried this with the VERY unfortunate Flubber. It’s so bad we’d like to pretend it did not happen. We’d like to see some other creatives take a stab at updating this family-friendly classic about an absent-minded academic who invents an anti-gravity substance.
The Last Starfighter (1984)
In this movie, a video game expert who is transported to another planet after beating The Last Starfighter video game. It turns out it was just a test and that he had been recruited to defend a world from attack. Video games are more popular than ever and we could see this premise, done the right way, being a winning remake.
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (1977)
The songs are catchy and the early puppetry is charming in this wonderful film produced and directed by Jim Henson. If you’ve missed this one, it’s about a family of poor otters who risk it all at a talent contest for Christmas. We would love to see this lost classic find a new audience.
The Sandlot (1993)
The Sandlot was a favorite for many kids in the nineties. However, we would like to see this remake feature an all-girls team to give it a fresh feel. We can hear the pitch now, “The Sandlot meets A League of Their Own.” We’d love to see that!
Bright Eyes (1934)
The original child superstar, Shirley Temple was never better than in this prototypical Temple-esque tale of a curly-haired orphan trying to live with her kindly pilot godfather. It’s the sweetest movie on the planet and we’re sad that kids these days haven’t seen this story. We’d love a remake set in the same time period.
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We know there is a cartoon dog version out there, but we’re interested in this award-winning movie musical telling the story of an orphaned human. We know we’re heavy on orphan films at the moment, but this one is a great one and a true classic. We’d love to see another actor take on the role of Fagin. We’d love to hear someone new, with a real set of pipes, singing “As Long as He Needs Me.”
The Great Outdoors (1988)
A planned a picture-perfect vacation in the Midwest woods…what can possibly go wrong for the Ripley family? In this goofy romp, John Hughes (The Breakfast Club) somehow lost the thread. We’d love to see this classic comedy remade with a bit more follow-through in the latter half of the film. The original has its moments, but the premise is perfect and deserves a re-do.
The Goonies (1985)
The Goonies is a blast of an adventure film that all about coming of age and finding yourself. While there are some issues with this movie, we think a good writer could sensitively address and correct some of the original’s mistakes. This movie has it all and it’s rumored that it might get turned into a TV show by Fox. An episodic format would be interesting for this adventure story.
There you go! 25 children’s movies we’d love see remade. We know kids would love to watch these stories. Show them the originals! But, think of the possibilities of what could be as you rewatch.
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