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Top 10 Video Games That Would Make Great Disney Movies

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
For this list, we’re taking a look at video games that seem tailor-made for the Mouse House to tackle. For this list, we’re looking at the very best videos produced by YouTube sensation Shane Dawson, including his video documentary series. We’ve included video games like “Kid Icarus” Series, “Horizon Zero Dawn”, “Ori and the Blind Forest” and the “Professor Layton” Series!

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Top 10 Video Games That Would Make Great Disney Animated Films

If “Wreck-It Ralph” proved anything, it’s that more video game movies should be Disney animated features. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Video Games That Would Make Great Disney Animated Films.

For this list, we’re taking a look at video games that seem tailor-made for the Mouse House to tackle.

#10: “Kid Icarus” Series (1986-)

Despite only appearing in two games between the late 80s and early 90s, Kid Icarus grew in popularity over the years, eventually making a comeback in “Super Smash Bros. Brawl.” Director Masahiro Sakurai would then shine the spotlight on the winged hero once again in “Kid Icarus: Uprising,” which put a colorful and humorous spin on Greek mythology. Since Disney did something similar in “Hercules,” the studio would likely hit another a bull’s-eye with a “Kid Icarus” movie. Disney could even bring back the same voice cast from “Uprising,” although we wouldn’t mind if James Woods took over as Hades. As for Kid Icarus himself, let’s just hope Disney steers clear of the version in “Captain N.”

#9: “Horizon Zero Dawn” (2017)

With a wild head of red hair and unmatched skills with a bow, the protagonist of “Horizon Zero Dawn” has more than a few things in common with Merida from “Brave.” Actually, Aloy aspires to become a “Nora Brave” and the similarities don’t end there. Like many heroines in Disney movies, Aloy is an outcast who must prove her worth by being fearless, strongminded, and compassionate in the face of danger. In addition to its compelling female lead, this action role-playing game creates a spectacular open world that we’d love to see Disney interpret. Mixing elements of the past and future, the game’s setting is reminiscent of overlooked Disney films like “Atlantis” and “Treasure Planet.”

#8: “Beyond Good & Evil” (2003)

With “Big Hero 6,” Disney took an obscure Marvel comic and turned it into a mainstream franchise. We believe Disney – or perhaps even Pixar – could pull off a similar endeavor with “Beyond Good & Evil,” one of the most underappreciated games of its generation. The story follows Jade, a resilient young woman who fights with a staff and gets caught up in a resistance against a corrupt empire. Huh, kind of sounds like Rey from the “Star Wars” universe. The game largely drew inspiration from Hayao Miyazaki, who has collaborated with Disney on multiple occasions. With all of this in mind, Disney seems well-suited to bring Jade and her hoggish uncle to the silver screen.

#7: “Final Fantasy IX” (2000)

There are plenty of “Final Fantasy” games that would make great film adaptations, but the ninth installment in the main series seems like the best fit for Disney. Compared to some other entries in the franchise, “Final Fantasy IX” has a more wholesome design and fantasy-driven setting that matches Disney’s brand. The story and characters are very Disney-esque as well. Like Aladdin, Zidane Tribal is a likable thief who falls for a strong-willed princess, leading to a charming love story. The world of Gaia is also overrun with anthropomorphic animals, calling “Zootopia” and “Robin Hood” to mind. Given the game’s JRPG roots, it’d even give Disney the opportunity to experiment with an anime art style.

#6: “Ori and the Blind Forest” (2015)

From “Bambi,” to “Tarzan,” to “Fantasia 2000,” few animation studios can depict nature quite like Disney. In addition to nature, “Ori and the Blind Forest” puts a strong emphasis on the mystical. The game is thus very much in the spirit of Studio Ghibli classics like “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” and “Princess Mononoke,” both of which received English dubs from Disney. In regards to the game’s inspiration, developer Moon Studios has singled out “The Lion King” and “The Iron Giant,” the latter of which was directed by future Pixar animator Brad Bird. With coming-of-age themes, a touching story, and a gorgeous setting to boot, this is a natural choice for Disney.

#5: “Ōkami” (2006)

Even over a decade after its initial release, “Ōkami” is still regarded as one of the most visually stunning games ever made. This striking adventure centers on Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun who takes on the appearance of a white wolf. Although wolves are typically depicted as antagonistic characters in Disney movies, “Ōkami” would give the studio a chance to portray the animal in a more positive light. It’d also give them the opportunity to tell a story grounded in Japanese myths and folklore. Disney previously took on a Chinese legend in “Mulan” and we’ve love to see them further explore Asian culture. So pick up a Celestial Brush and get to work!

#4: “Celeste” (2018)

Over the years, Disney has brought us Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. So why not Celeste Mountain next? This critically acclaimed platformer follows a young woman named Madeline as she climbs a cold, unforgiving mountain that acts as a metaphor for her own depression and insecurities. While earlier Disney movies typically centered on stories of good vs. evil, modern films like “Frozen” and “Inside Out” have focused more on inner struggles. On the road to finding her true self, Madeline must not only learn to overcome her inner demons, but also accept them as apart of herself. It’s a unique life lesson that would be right up Disney or Pixar’s alley.

#3: “Professor Layton” Series (2007-)

The animated cutscenes in the “Professor Layton” games are so detailed, atmospheric, and visually appealing that they could easily be mistaken for a movie. Given its cinematic nature, this puzzle adventure series is a prime candidate for the big screen. As a matter of fact, it already inspired a 2009 anime feature entitled “Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva.” Developer Level-5 has expressed interest in a sequel, although they’ve yet to commit to any more “Layton” movies. If they were to team up with Disney, however, we could expect a clever, engaging mystery along the lines of “The Great Mouse Detective.” Now that sounds almost as satisfying as solving a good puzzle.

#2: “The Legend of Zelda” Series (1986-)

With its imaginative setting, rich mythology, hair-raising adventure, lovable characters, and unforgettable music, “The Legend of Zelda” series has virtually everything Disney looks for in great source material. So why hasn’t this movie happened already? Heck, Shigeru Miyamoto even mentioned in an interview that Link’s design was influenced by Disney’s “Peter Pan.” While one would expect Link to take center stage in a theatrical film, Disney may want to make Zelda the focus given their Princess Line. The film could even take place during “Ocarina of Time,” following Zelda after she’s exiled from Hyrule during Ganondorf’s takeover. We pray that Disney doesn’t derive inspiration from those CD-i games, though.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“A Hat in Time” (2017)

“Shantae” (2002)

“EarthBound” (1994)

#1: “Kingdom Hearts” Series (2002-)

Bringing together an assortment of Disney icons, as well as “Final Fantasy” characters, “Kingdom Hearts” was an obvious choice to top this list. Outside of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” this game was perhaps the most ambitious crossover event Disney had ever been affiliated with at the time. Of course since then, Disney has been all about crossovers, what with their accusation of Marvel Entertainment. Considering the success of the MCU, just imagine the possibilities for a “Kingdom Hearts” cinematic universe. Given this franchise’s large scale and complex narrative, a film adaptation would be no easy feat. If Disney and Square Enix can maintain the game’s key elements, though, greatness may be waiting behind the door.

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