Six 70s Disney films that are ripe for a remake

The Pete’s Dragon remake looks every part the summer blockbuster you’d expect from Disney, with a strong cast, a young hero and state-of-the-art CGI – so what other 70s Disney films could do with a modern makeover?

By Mike Atherton


Pete’s Dragon (1977)

Pete’s Dragon flies onto our screens this week looking decidedly different from the live-action/animated original, which first graced our screens almost 40 years ago. You might be surprised to see how different the original Elliot looks here. Less Game of Thrones and a lot more Dumbo, this plump, mop-haired critter is thought to be young Pete’s imaginary friend. No snarling, dragon-hunting Karl Urban, but you do get songs – a lot of them – and something you’ve never seen before: an invisible dragon.

Best yet, the whole family can see Pete’s Dragon this summer and only pay child’s prices with the Vue Family Ticket. Simply ask for the Family Ticket when purchasing your tickets in venue or book the Family x1 ticket online.

Bedknobs & Broomsticks (1971)

When PL Travers blocked further adaptations of Mary Poppins films (she wasn’t as taken with the film as Saving Mr Banks (2013) would have you believe), Disney decided to adapt Mary Norton’s Bedknobs & Broomsticks instead, dusting off songs originally written for Mary Poppins. They even asked Julie Andrews to star as the witch who takes evacuated children under her wing during World War II, a role that eventually went to Angela Lansbury. We’d cut the singing and dancing in favour of a gritty reboot with a supernaturally-endowed, Nazi-smashing Charlize Theron.

The Island at the Top of the World (1974)

A British aristocrat sets off for the arctic to find his lost son but stumbles across Astragard, a lost community of Vikings. Killer whales and a great airship make this a fun movie – but imagine a spectacular retelling featuring a post-Bond Daniel Craig fighting Vikings in a melting arctic. Sort of The Revenant (2015) with a lot more explosions.

One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975)

Not quite Jurassic Park; this one has spies chasing a top-secret microfilm hidden inside a dinosaur skeleton (where else?). Plucky kids come to the rescue with a memorable finale as the entire Brontosaurus is chased through foggy London town. We’d fold this into the next vehicle for Matt Damon and rebrand it The Bourne Extinction.

Candleshoe (1977)

A very young Jodie Foster plays an orphan forced to pose as a long-lost girl to help steal even longer-lost pirate treasure. Eventually swapping sides, our young hero teams up with more orphans as the Candleshoe estate comes under siege. We’d bring back Jodie and cast her as the matriarch being conned by young Maisie Williams – and then get Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) director George Miller to max out the action/feminism combo.

Unidentified Flying Oddball (1979)

A NASA-fuelled retelling of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court sees American astronaut Tom Trimble accidentally launched into space, only to land in Camelot. We’d gender swap this one and have Alicia Vikander as a no-nonsense scientist suddenly confronted with time travel as a reality, stuck in a world of idiot-men wielding large swords.