This year’s movie line-up is full of Hollywood stars, famous directors and magnetic plots. Blockbusters such as “Oppenheimer” by director Christopher Nolan, “The Nightingale” based on the Kristin Hannah novel and “Roosevelt” starring Leonardo DiCaprio are just a few of the major movies that will soon be entering theaters. The trend of 2023, however, is to go back to some of the best movies and characters of the last couple decades and give them a breath of life. This roundup of nostalgic films set to stage this year are sure to bring back some of the best characters of our childhood.
Possibly the most highly anticipated film of 2023 is “Barbie.” This movie follows Barbie as she is expelled from Barbie Land and must find her own happiness. Little is known about the main plot of the movie; however, fans of the cast and director have seen that the costuming is very on brand for Barbie.
Directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie as Barbie, the film is set to release July 20. Being one of the most played with dolls for decades, there have been many animated movies that have followed Barbie in different roles. This film takes the childhood figure and makes her less one-dimensional, so people of all ages can enjoy watching a movie based on the doll from their childhood.
Set to be released May 24, the Disney favorite, “The Little Mermaid” is also a nostalgic nod at the original film from 1989. Starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, the story follows the mermaid as she makes a deal with a sea witch in order to start a life on land.
For 30 years people have grown up with this story and its Academy Award winning musical score. For this adaptation, the music is still composed by Alan Menken, but with the addition of Lin-Manuel Miranda as a composer and co-writer. There are expected to be new songs in the 2023 film, but many classics such as “Part of Your World” will still make an appearance.
The past decades have seen many live-adaptations of Disney classics, but none have been met with as much enthusiasm as “The Little Mermaid.” From the musically-talented cast to the under-the-sea visuals, this movie is expected to have the same fairytale magic as the original.
The novels turned movies that many of us grew up with are adding a new film to the roster; “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is being released Nov. 17. Based on the dystopian novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, this film is a prequel to the first four movies. The movie focuses on Coriolanus Snow before he becomes President Snow.
“The Hunger Games” series is one of the most influential and most popular series of the 21st century. Earning its spot with “Harry Potter” and “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” immersed a generation of people into the dystopian society found in the novels and the films, spiking an interest in reading for thousands of people.
The next film is the third installment of the pink-loving, Harvard-Law-School-attending and revenge-against-ex-boyfriend-getting classic from 2001. Without a set release date, “Legally Blonde 3” is still expected to be released at some point this year; however, it is still in the early stages of development.
Reese Witherspoon is set to reprise her iconic role of Elle Woods, along with Jenniger Coolidge resuming her character of Paulette Parcelle. For many, “Legally Blonde” makes up the perfect “girl-boss” comedy. It can only be assumed that for the third movie in this series, it will be “too perfect for words.”
Last but not least is the third film adaptation centered around the famous character Willy Wonka. Each generation gets a new version of this story. In the 70s, the film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” was an indulgent fantasy land that families could immerse themselves in. In the first film the eccentric Willy Wonka allows five children and their guardians to enter the mysterious chocolate factory that had been closed off from the world for years. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005) shared a different version of this imaginative escape. While it followed the same narrative as the first film, it gives a glimpse into Wonka’s childhood and explains his motivations behind creating a chocolate factory.
Set to be released December 15 of this year, is “Wonka.” “Wonka” takes the stories of the original two films and turns back the clock. The prequel follows the meeting of young Willy Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas. Played by Timothee Chalamet, Wonka embarks on one of his earliest adventures with his new friends by his side.
With all the new films and movies being released this year, you can never go wrong with an adaptation of a childhood favorite.
Written By: Madelyn Walthall