Who Should Play Disney Characters in a Live Action Movie?
You know how Disney has remade a lot of its animated movies recently? The company took cartoon characters and turned them into live-action versions of themselves. Okay, a lot of it is CGI, but celebrities play critical roles like Cinderella and Belle. So, MickeyBlog was thinking…
What if Disney did the same thing with its television cartoon characters? Who would play members of the Sensational Six and other beloved Disney folks? I have a few suggestions.
Mickey Mouse — ???
Mickey Mouse is both the most important character to cast and the most difficult. Let’s come back to him.
Minnie Mouse – Emma Watson
Disney loves Emma Watson. After all, the company previously cast her as Belle in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. The actress has lived in the spotlight since she was a small child due to her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise.
And she has matured gracefully as an inspiration to women everywhere. I can think of no one else who would better represent the most famous female character in the Disney library, Minnie Mouse.
Donald Duck – Kevin Hart
Walt Disney invented Donald Duck to protect Mickey Mouse. The cartoonist needed a character to behave mischievously and get into trouble, thereby allowing Mickey Mouse to swoop in and save the date. Doesn’t that description sound like most Kevin Hart movies?
Daisy Duck – Tiffany Haddish
Daisy’s a tougher role than Donald. She needs to show just the right amount of exasperation with her fella. Then, she must act like forgiveness is in her soul each time he screws up…which is a lot.
I actually came up with Haddish as Daisy first, which is how I worked my way back to Hart as Donald. The two actors have so much chemistry together, and I like that kind of comfort level for this (imaginary) project.
Goofy – Stephen Merchant
You may not know the name, but you’ll recognize the face. Merchant is a gangly-looking British comedian who co-wrote the original British version of The Office. He’s popped up in many films, most recently in Good Boys, Jojo Rabbit, and Fighting with My Family, which he also wrote and directed.
This actor is unnatural looking due to his gawkiness, which means he already has Goofy’s look. Along with Merchant’s refined sense of humor, I think he’d crush this role.
Pluto – Andy Serkis
Most of these roles would require human celebrities to wear costumes and makeup. With Pluto, I think he’d need full CGI a la the characters in 2019’s version of The Lion King.
So, we’re talking about an actor in a CGI suit pretending to be a dog. And who is better at faking animal behavior than Andy Serkis? It’s the precise reason why he’s famous!
Pete – Vincent D’Onofrio
I won’t lie. This one’s primarily based on appearance. D’Onofrio is one of the largest, most fearsome-looking actors in Hollywood. He’s legit 6’4″ and 225 pounds, and he always looks mad. It’s why the actor worked perfectly as Kingpin in Netflix’s Daredevil.
He also proved his comic chops going all the way back to Men in Black. So, I believe he’d make the perfect Pete.
Winnie the Pooh – Josh Gad
When you think about it, Olaf shares quite a few similarities with Winnie the Pooh. They’re both…puffy. And they’re also impossibly sweet and kind, continually searching for truths.
Gad’s already aced the role of Olaf, and I think he’s the ideal Winnie the Pooh. He’d make Hundred Acre Wood feel like home.
Chip and Dale – Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk
I actually struggled to cast Chip and Dale for a weird reason. There was too much competition. I considered Key & Peele, a 21/22 Jump Street reunion of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, and a Walter White/Jesse Breaking Bad reteaming.
Ultimately, I chose to bring Fillion and Tudyk back together because they clearly love one another and work together whenever they can. Since both have comedic chops, they’d pair marvelously as the scheming chipmunks. Plus, they already learned how to pull off heists together on Firefly.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie – Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Jon Stewart
I can’t take credit for this suggestion, as a friend recommended it. I have to say that the concept is brilliant, though. Who would do better as bungling comic relief than these three men who have entertained America for many years now?
Clarabelle and Horace – Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki
The Wikipedia entry for this horse/cow couple includes the following hilarious comment: “(They) had an uncanny ability to change from somewhat normal farmyard animals into anthropomorphized beings as necessary.”
I now have an idea for my next horror script. Anyway, I think fans of The Big Bang Theory would agree that nobody does a lover’s quarrel like Penny and Leonard. We could reunite them for this movie!
Geppetto – Ron Perlman
That gruff voice of his would work perfectly as the puppet maker. Also, Perlman’s prior work as Hellboy somewhat fits here, only he’s moved along from wanting to be a real boy.
Now, Perlman would play the maker who educates the naïve kid.
Peter Pan – Tom Holland
And who would make for a better naïve kid than Tom Holland? I mean, that’s how we know him, right?
He’s the voice of innocence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he recently portrayed a similar role as Ian Lightfoot.
Anna Kendrick – Tinkerbell
The whimsical dispenser of Pixie Dust represents one of the most important characters in the Disney catalog. To play the role, the person must show the right level of humor but also ferocious grit and jealousy.
And Anna Kendrick has always done a terrific job of careening between impish innocence and unexpected explosions. Like Tinkerbell, she looks sweet, but she’s super-scary.
Scrooge McDuck – Patrick Stewart
Are you watching Picard? That dude just played a superhero for years, yet not he’s back to the realm of Star Trek, bringing order to the chaos of intergalactic travel once again.
Patrick Stewart can do it all, but it’s his Shakespearean roots that would serve him best as the richest man duck in the world.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit – Tom Hanks
I resisted the temptation to make Hanks the face of Mickey Mouse. After all, he previously played Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks. He probably shouldn’t play Walt’s mouse, too. But we’d want Hanks in this production, right?
So, let’s allow the most famous person in the cast to elevate Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the first mainstream character that Walt Disney created. Hanks could play this role similar to his work as a child trapped in a man’s body in Big. And this brings us back to…
Mickey Mouse – Daniel Radcliffe
I agonized over this choice, as it’s the most important one here. Since the idea of Emma Watson came easily as Minnie Mouse, I toyed with reuniting her with her Harry Potter co-star. However, that felt forced at first.
Then, as I contemplated the decision, I thought about Radcliffe’s work on the TBS series, Miracle Workers, where he plays an adorable, well-meaning rube. I also remembered the time when Radcliffe acted like Harry Potter was stoned in one of the movies. At this point, I accepted that I’m not doing any stunt casting here.
Mickey Mouse always finds himself getting into trouble, usually through no fault of his own. He’s the calming presence in the Sensational Six, the foundation for everyone else’s shenanigans.
Doesn’t that sound a lot like what Radcliffe accomplished with the Harry Potter franchise? He’s the face of the place, the impish-looking man-child who provides a security blanket for everyone else.
Plus, Potter fans could finally realize their fondest dream. Harry Potter and Hermione could be a couple! Best of all, it would happen in a Disney movie.
So, those are my ideas for casting. Who would you pick for the various roles? Let us know in the comments section!