The Best Disney Movies Turned Broadway Shows

Its been about 25 years since the first Broadway adaptation of a Disney film hit the stage. Since then, musicals like Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, and even Tarzan appeared on Broadway, some earning Tony Award nominations and wins. Here’s our list of the best Disney movies-turned Broadway musicals.

Ariel looks at Prince Eric with stuffed crab on his plate in The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid | Walt Disney Pictures

The Little Mermaid

Although this production is not on Broadway anymore, The Little Mermaid made musical history, with iconic costumes and a live-action version of this Disney animated classic.

The cast included some familiar faces, like Tituss Burgess, who portrayed Titus on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Sierra Boggess, who played Ariel for a portion of this stage production, also played Christine in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera.

Aladdin On Broadway
Aladdin On Broadway | Getty Images

Aladdin

Our wish has been granted. If you want a step up from the animated original film and newly released live-action movie, Aladdin is currently running a stage production on Broadway.

This show had a few smaller performances before opening in New York City on March 20, 2014. It’s currently playing at the New Amsterdam Theatre and their alumni includes actors, like James Monroe Iglehart, who appeared in Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Broadway’s Hamilton.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast | Matthew Murphy/NETworks via Getty Images

Beauty and the Beast

It’s a tale as old as time. In 1994, Beauty and the Beast became the first Disney movie to appear on the Broadway stage. The characters from the original animated movie appeared on the stage, along with a few new songs, like “Home.” The original cast included Broadway royalty, Susan Egan and Terrence Mann, playing the title characters.

This production won the 1997 Tony Award for “Best Costume Design.” According to Broadway.com, as of 2007, this show ranked in the top 10 longest-running Broadway shows of all time. It had over 5,000 regular, live stage performances.

The Lion King musical
The Lion King | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Lion King

A beloved Disney movie turned Broadway staple, The Lion King has been a Broadway stage production for over 20 years. Originally at the New Amsterdam Theatre, this show now lives in the Minskoff Theatre, where its played since 2006.

In 1998, this production won six Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” “Best Choreography,” “Best Scenic Design,” and “Best Costume Design.” Original songs from the musical, “He Lives in You (Reprise)” and “Shadowland,” both have over 4 million plays on Spotify, of the original cast recording.

Disney’s live-action The Lion King premieres July 19, 2019.

Elsa, Anna, and Olaf in Frozen
Elsa, Anna, and Olaf in Frozen | Walt Disney Pictures

Frozen

Disney’s latest film to film the Broadway stage, Frozen, debuted at the St. James Theatre in 2018. This musical tells the story of sisters, Anna and Elsa, as they grow to be the rulers of Arendelle.

This production features original songs not included in the Disney animated film, like “Monster,” but, of course, has hit songs like “Let It Go” and “For the First Time In Forever.” It was also nominated for the 2018 Tony Award for “Best Musical” and nominated for the 2018 Tony Award for “Best Original Score.” Tickets for Frozen are available now through November 2019.

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