There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and while it’s important to stay abreast of updates, sometimes you need a break. And what better way to take a little mental reset than by exploring animated Disney shows from the past that are just begging to be rebooted as live-action series. The Lion King (2019), Lady and the Tramp (2019) and Beauty and the Beast (2017) are just a few of the films that Disney has recently remade with the live-action treatment. We’ve got the upcoming release of Mulan (2020) on the horizon to look forward to as well. But what about bringing animated series to life? Keep reading for three throwback animated Disney shows that we’d like to see rebooted, as well as our top casting choices for them.
We understand that Doug started on Nickelodeon and that when Disney took over the series, not everyone was on board for the changes it made. But the heart of the show remained the same — viewers still got to watch the young Doug Funnie utilize his journal and imagination to help navigate the various challenges of growing up in Bluffington. The series deserves a live-action reboot for the number of Quailman Halloween costumes it would inspire in the next generation alone. More importantly, bringing Disney’s Doug to life would provide a wonderful opportunity for representation. The show’s animators displayed some beautiful creativity and color in depicting different members of Doug’s family and friends, which opens up the casting for a live-action reboot. Our top pick to play the titular character in a live-action reboot of Disney’s Doug is Ethan William Childress. The young star of Mixed-ish has proven his comedy chops on the ABC sitcom and is the perfect age to play Doug Funnie.
No matter how old you are, the animated series can bring on a big case of nostalgia for the simplicity of fourth-grade life. But in many ways, the children’s show works as a microcosm for greater human society and its hierarchies. In Recess, the students at Third Street Elementary School formed their own class system and government, one that was ruled by a stern sixth-grader known as King Bob. Within this premise, the show was able to sneak in some valuable life lessons while viewers laughed at the various antics of T.J., Vince, Mikey, Spinelli, Gretchen, and Gus. Who doesn’t want to see that brought to life? Our top casting pick is for Spinelli, a character who derived great pleasure from breaking gender norms of the time. We’d love to see the role taken on by Soni Bringas. Her work on Fuller House as Ramona displays Bringas’ ability with strong young characters, and she’d already be familiar with the family-friendly genre should Recess come back as a live-action series.
Stick with us on this one. Just as The Lion King (2019) live-action remake relied on ample voice acting, so would the reboot of a series that centers on mythological creatures. But just think of what today’s special effects could do with a show about gargoyle statues that come to life at night. You could watch Goliath and company fight to protect humankind against the beautiful backdrop of New York in all its living color. We’d absolutely need Keith David to get on board and reprise his voice-acting role for a digitally-created “live-action” Goliath. Our top choice for Elisa Maza, one of the few human characters in the show, might be a longshot, though. You see, we understand that Meghan Markle technically retired from acting when she gained a royal title, but her real-life strength under scrutiny and courage in her convictions make it hard to imagine another actor playing the resilient and principled NYPD detective.
Both animated and live-action series can provide a temporary respite when the world’s realities feel a bit overwhelming. Viewers are able to forget their problems for a while when they use their imaginations to buy into the suspension of disbelief that the shows provide. So why not take a break from the news cycle with a little creative exercise? Let us know which actors you would cast in live-action reboots of the animated Disney series that made our list. Comment your choices below, as well as any other animated shows you think should be brought to life.