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The Best Musicals Based on Movies 

Buster McDermott
Updated April 6, 2020 8.5k votes 739 voters 25.2k views 71 items

List Rules Only stage musicals that cite films as their original source material - no adaptations directly from other mediums

List of musicals based on movies, ranked by fans and casual critics. Stage theatre has been a primary form of entertainment for thousands of years, in the forms of plays, operas, and musicals. Around the world, dozens of theatrical performances are brought to life on stages big and small. Most notably, the theatre districts of Broadway in Manhattan and the West End in London are home to the catchiest, most elaborate, most memorable musicals. Nothing is more inspirational than experiencing the art of actors who can also sing and dance with grace and style in front of a large audience of people. It’s no wonder that plays and musicals have remained so popular throughout the years! What are the best musicals based on films?

This list includes the greatest plays and musicals that were inspired by movies, ranked according to the opinions of voters. Which soundtracks have you played nonstop? Which lyrics have you memorized? Some of these plays on this list were smash hit successful Broadway productions that scored several awards and made the actors instant successes. Others are newer shows that are still in trial runs for smaller audiences in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.

In addition to direct adaptations from film to stage, this list includes musicals inspired by movies that weren't musicals to begin with. Wondering why you don't remember the songs from Billy Elliott or Sunset Boulevard? That's because there weren't any. 
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list ordered by
1
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Mark Mancina , Elton John , Jay Rifkin
The Lion King (1994)
2
Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Linda Woolverton , Howard Ashman
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
3
Newsies (2011) is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Newsies (2011)
Newsies (1992)
4
Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Scott Wittman , Marc Shaiman , Thomas Meehan
Hairspray (2007), which was based on the movie Hairspray (1988), dir. by John Waters
5
Heathers (2010) is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Heathers (2010)
Heathers (1988)
6
Little Shop of Horrors ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Howard Ashman
Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
7
Legally Blonde: The Musi... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Heather Hach , Laurence O'Keefe , Nell Benjamin
Legally Blonde (2001) and the novel by Amanda Brown
8
Chicago is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
unlimitedbroadway added Bob Fosse , Fred Ebb , John Kander
9
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Richard M. Sherman , Robert B. Sherman , George Stiles
Mary Poppins (1964) and the book series by P.L. Travers
10
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Howard Ashman , Doug Wright
The Little Mermaid (1989)
11
Disney's Aladdin: A Musi... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular (2003)
Aladdin (1992)
12
Singin' in the Rain (198... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Singin' in the Rain (1983)
Singin in the Rain (1952)
13
Shrek: The Musical (2008... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Shrek: The Musical (2008)
Shrek (2001), which was based on the book Shrek! (1991) by William Steig
14
The Producers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Mel Brooks , Thomas Meehan
The Producers (1968), dir. by Mel Brooks
15
Billy Elliot the Musical... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Elton John , Lee Hall
Billy Elliot (2000)
16
Spamalot is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Spamalot (2004) Neil Innes , John Du Prez , Eric Idle
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
17
Footloose is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Eric Carmen , Sammy Hagar , Tom Snow
Footloose (1984)
18
Kinky Boots (2012) is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Kinky Boots (2012)
Kinky Boots (2005)
19
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Richard M. Sherman , Robert B. Sherman , Jeremy Sams
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
20
Thoroughly Modern Millie... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Jeanine Tesori , Richard Morris , Dick Scanlan
Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
21
Sister Act the Musical ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Glenn Slater , Cherie Steinkellner
Sister Act (1992)
22
School of Rock is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
DeborahTragasz added
23
Once (2011) is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Once (2011)
Once (2006)
24
A Very Potter Musical is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
JulieBartlett added A Very Potter Musical StarKid Productions
25
Elf: The Musical (2010) ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Elf: The Musical (2010)
Elf (2003)