Jul 19, 2013  •  In Entertainment, Movies

Casting Disney’s Animated Characters

A few days ago, GeekTyrant shared a list of actors and actresses that should play the live-action versions of Disney’s classic animated characters. 

The fantasy casting, originally created by Super Super Kawaii, includes many big names like Brad Pitt and Scarlett Johansson, and the vast majority of the thousands who have seen the list seem to be in agreement with the choices. (This, however, is purely based on the massive amount of reposts and small number of negative comments. And from my experience, the internet usually isn’t too kind to those who post opposing opinions. ;-) )

Personally, I only agree with about half the choices. And even then, the assessment may be flawed due to two reasons:

  1. The original creator of the list failed to label the pictures with the respective actors and actresses’ names. And I have no idea who some of them are, so I’m purely going by looks.
  2. I’m not super-familiar with some of the movies on the list. For example, I only saw Hercules once and I don’t remember much from it. So once again, the only deciding factor is physical.

Shall we begin?

Here’s The Little Mermaid:


The casting of Ariel is a big NONONONONO for me. I have nothing against Amy Adams, but I could immediately think of another amber-tressed actress who not only possesses Ariel’s innocent, wide-eyed look, but can also bring the sass: Kate Mara.


As for Eric? The actor in the picture looks familiar, but I’m not sure who he is. However, he certainly seems to have the dark hair and ice-blue eyes combo down, so I’m happy with the choice. :-)

Next up, Mulan.


I know Zhang Ziyi has been in a bunch of action flicks, but I still consider her a tad too delicate and graceful to play Mulan. But what do I know? My pick for Mulan is heavily influenced by the fact that I’m a fan of the TV show Once Upon a Time. (For those who are not aware, Jamie Chung plays Mulan on that show.)


With Shang, I’m going to play the same hand I did with Eric and say that I don’t know the actor, but he certainly looks the part.



This time I have great (well, at least in my mind) alternatives both Jasmine and Aladdin. Don’t you think that Rebecca Hazlewood and Danny Pudi, both known for their roles in American sitcoms, would be better?


Sleeping Beauty.


I’m not sure that Dianna Agron is the best actress for this role, but I can’t think of a good replacement because there are so many blonde actresses to choose from. I do, however, think that Scarlett Johansson (who is listed below for Cinderella) is a better choice for Aurora and Dianna Agron better as Cinderella. What do you think?

Once again, I have no idea who the pictured actor is. (And, like the unidentified actors above, he’s probably crazy popular with the younger crowd.) But the prince in Sleeping Beauty doesn’t get much screentime, so it’s difficult for me to choose a good actor to portray him.

Let’s move on to Hercules.


That’s Jake Gyllenhaal and the chick from Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, right? No complaints from me here.

Next up we have Beauty and the Beast


This one’s problematic for me because Belle’s my all-time favorite Disney character. And as such, I’m not sure if I can see any actress portray her. I know that Anne Hathaway can bring it (hello, Oscar!), but still… :-(

I do, however, like the choice of Tom Hardy as Beast. I was first going to suggest Gerard Butler, but I think Tom Hardy can do just as well of a job playing the part, while looking more like the human version of Beast too.

Then we have Cinderella.


I’m not sure if the author of the list put Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds together as a joke. (They divorced last year.) Nonetheless, like I said above, I think Dianna Agron would make a better Cinderella than Ms. Johansson.

Ryan Reynolds certainly has prince-ly good looks, but the prince in Cinderella looks to be stockier and a bit more goofy looking. I can’t think of a good replacement though, because, as with Sleeping Beauty above, I don’t have much information on the prince’s character.

Next, Pocahontas.


I actually believe Brad Pitt to be a great pick for John Smith. But the actress for the title role seems to be another case of Mulan: a bit too pretty and delicate. (I don’t even know who she is — can anyone enlighten me?)

The better candidate is Tonantzin Carmelo, an actress of Native American descent. Don’t you agree?


Finally, we have The Hunchback of Notre Dame.


Once again, I am unfamiliar with the actress — can someone tell me? I’m just surprised it wasn’t Salma Hayek, who probably would be most people’s first choice for Esmeralda. That being said, Aaron Eckhart is a fantastic choice for Phoebus!

What do you guys think of the original list? How about my changes? Do you have any actors and actresses that immediately pop into your mind when you think about casting animated Disney characters?

23 Responses to “Casting Disney’s Animated Characters”

  1. Emily:

    Okay, so I don’t know all their names, but I know what they’re “known” for!
    Eric is one of the guys from the Vampire Diaries and Boone from Lost
    Aurora’s Prince is also from the Vampire Diaries
    Pocahontas is Emily from Pretty Little Liars

    Hope that helps a little!

  2. Yup- Eric is Ian Somerhalder from Vampire Diaries, and Prince Phillip is Paul Wesley also from Vampire Diaries.
    Pocahontas is Shay Mitchell from PLL, and I don’t think she would be a great choice either :P The last one- Pocahontas is Jessica Szohr from Gossip Girl, and I think she would be awesome if they ever did a live action version :)

  3. I actually agree with your choices, with one exception: I can’t see Danny Pudi as Aladdin, and think the original choice might be better. Maybe it’s just because I’ve seen too much Community, and therefore have a hard time picturing him as a “street rat.” I think the other guy looks more of the part.
    And I love the choices for Hunchback of Notre Dame and Beauty and the Beast. Anne Hathaway is kind of hit or miss for me, but dang she looks the part.

  4. Shang is Daniel Henney. He was in the drama “My Name is Kim Sam Soon” (highly recommend if you havent checked it out yet) and also “Spring Waltz”. I believe he was in a medical drama in the states a few years ago, but I can’t remember the name.

    • Yes, I did watch “Kim Sam Soon” and am familiar with Henney (I tend to associate him more with “Hawaii Five-0” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”)….but holy cow I did NOT recognize him in that picture! Thanks for pointing him out!

  5. Wow, I could have sworn Pocahontas was Nina Dobrev from Vampire Diaries! But still, not my first choice. I actually really like who they cast for the live action Pocahontas movie The New World, Q’orianka Kilcher. And you really should give Hercules another watch. Megura is probably my favorite “princess” of all of them! So much sass.

    • I’ll def have to watch it again! Thinking back on it, I think a part of the reason I didn’t enjoy the movie much is because at the time, I was studying Greek mythology in school so the entire subject was overkill for me. Gonna go download it right now…thanks!

  6. I agree with all your choices, with the exception of Aladdin. Maybe it’s because I have a soft spot for the character because I had a huge crush when I was younger, but Danny Pudi isn’t doing it for me. Also, to use your Pocahontas argument, an actor of Middle Eastern descent would be better. That’s just me picking nits, though! The rest of your substitutions are spot on.

  7. renee:

    i almost agree with everyone of your choices, and the last actress is jessica szohr, i think she’s a bit young to play Esmeralda. but i really think scarlett shouldn’t be any princess at all cause of her acting reputation….it’ll ruin the whole story!

  8. jessica szohr from gossip girl is the one cast for esmerelda and paul wesley from vampire diaries is the guy from sleeping beauty. i think generally disney princes should look a little pretty like brad pitt and iam somerhalder and i’m more for the delicate looking actresses to play the princesses as well. it’s a fairy tale afterall…

  9. renee:

    well she isn’t exactly princess material , not the goody goody princess anymore(lot of scandal! ) , i think her movie roles are solid proof.and lets not forget her nude photo leak.
    then again that’s just my opinion

  10. sarah:

    Taylor Kitsch (aka Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights) as Hercules!!!

  11. Alice:


  12. Martha:

    In my own opinion I think the actress who will give a reassemblence of Ariel is Ariana Grade .. She could play a better role at the little mermaid.

  13. Aeolian:

    I apologize but I think you’re not one to judge if you only know so much about minor actors in the tv/movie industry. I disagree with most of these.

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