Every Disney Broadway Production, Ranked

disney has usually expanded its repertoire to other media domains, such as television and theme parks. But one avenue that is often overlooked by many is Broadway musicals. They have created many theatrical experiences in regional theaters and even television specials. However, only ten have performed on Broadway, making them unique shows.



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They range from simple copies of the film in a live-action environment to complete artistic reimaginings that breathe new life into classic stories. But no matter how good they are, they are all the result of dozens of performers, creative leaders and technical assistants who work tirelessly to bring such works to the stage.

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‘Frozen’

It shouldn’t have been surprising that this popular film came to the scene. The songs are well orchestrated, Olaf and Sven are made into truly charming puppets, and the costumes perfectly replicate the iconic style of the film. But, unfortunately, that’s also this show’s biggest problem.

It suffers a lot from trying to copy the movie almost beat to beat while changing little things that spoil the bigger picture. For example, moving the movie’s signature song “Let It Go” to the end of the first act; it provides a powerful showcase for the performer but a less effective emotional outcome.


‘The little Mermaid’

The film that helped launch Disney’s renaissance in the late ’80s and early ’90s was specifically written to look like a Broadway musical, so it only makes sense that it will one day come to the big lane. white. Unfortunately, while the Broadway production had a unique aesthetic, it was also somewhat underwhelming.

The revelation that Ursula is King Triton’s sister is a unique departure from the film’s script, but the Sea Witch is defeated far too quickly. Still, the script has moments of genuinely clever touches, and the score is timeless, as always.

“Tarzan”

Translating the story of a man raised by apes is no easy task, but this short-lived production has found a way with a unique production design. It depicted gorillas as humans with excessive facial makeup and hair, and depicted the jungles of Africa with little more than a backdrop of trees and ropes.

Along with the music, the show uses Phil Collins‘ classic soundtrack, but unlike the film, the characters sing their songs, allowing for a more emotional connection to their scenes. Some character moments are cut from the show (including the death of the main villain), but the sheer ingenuity is worth it.

‘Mary Poppins’

The Flying Nanny Has Been Reimagined For The Stage As A Co-Production Between Disney And Powerful Producer Cameron Mackintosh. While keeping all the original songs, the storyline differs somewhat from the film.

Mr. Bank’s problems with his employers receive a little more attention, the children are more actively disobedient, and Mary temporarily leaves the family for a brief period before intermission. Don’t expect to see dancing cartoon penguins, but there are always tap dancing chimney sweeps, spoonfuls of sugar and Mary flying with her umbrella – even above the audience. Although different from the movie, it still delivers that delicious mix that only Mrs. Poppins could provide.


‘Aida’

Disney’s only theatrical production not based on a previous film but rather on a Giuseppe Verde opera. The original play told the story of a Romeo and Juliet-like romance set in ancient Egypt. This classic piece is reinterpreted, with a slightly lighter tone and hint of a happier ending, with music from the songwriting duo Elton John and Tim Rice.

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Granted, an unusual choice for Disney, but Elton John’s music, much like his other big Disney hit, is diverse and eclectic, giving almost every song a unique sound and energy. Combine that with a classic love story, and Aida creates a special Disney experience.

‘Aladdin’

Three wishes. Two dreamers. A genius and many sparks. Aladdin finds the perfect balance between following the film while carving out its own identity. The musical uses several songs from Howard AshmanThe original version of Aladdin, including Aladdin’s three (human) best friends and his hope that his dead mother will become proud of her boy.

The Genie himself is the perfect fourth-wall-breaking character for the stage, referencing other Broadway musicals and Disney songs. Pair it with a truly breathtaking magic carpet effect, and it’s a magical evening for the whole family.

“Peter and the Star Catcher”

Based on the book of the same name, it tells the story of a ship, a mysterious stardust who makes your dream come true, a vicious and well-moustached pirate crew, and an orphan boy who learns to fly.

It’s a minimalistic reimagining of the Neverland mythos with a small cast playing multiple characters and sets made up of boxes, ropes and wooden beams, relying as much on the viewer’s imagination as anything else. . More a play than a musical, the songs present set the tone and the scene for an epic adventure.


‘New’

This is one of the few times the stage version can be better than the original film. In 1899, Jack Kelly, a New York journalist, dreams of going west, but before he can get there, he must lead a group of newsboys on strike against Joseph Pulitzer.

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The show is the only Disney musical specifically based on a true story, and while lighthearted and fun, it doesn’t shy away from some of the darker realities of the era. Another aspect that sets this piece apart from other musicals is the utterly thrilling choreography that will rock any audience from their seat.

‘The beauty and the Beast’

It was Disney’s first film made into a musical, and it set the tone for all of the company’s future theatrical productions. The musical brought the film to life with dazzling visuals, prosthetic makeup and elaborate sets. Moreover, the songs that come from the movie are masterfully performed, while the newly written songs perfectly match the original tone.

Perhaps the production’s greatest strength is how it enhances the Beast’s character, showing his growth from ignorant monster to compassionate friend step by step. It shows the agony of what he is going through and his happiness at his chance for redemption.

‘The Lion King’

Whereas The beauty and the Beast started Disney’s reputation on Broadway, The Lion King cemented it. Not only is it the third-longest-running production in Broadway history, it’s also the highest-grossing venture in the company’s history.

Director Julie Taylor transforms the film into a masterpiece of artistic merit that develops the film’s characters, visualizes them with beautiful puppets and costumes, and deceptively simple sets that become the grandest of canvases. It’s no wonder it ranks among the most successful musicals in history.

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