With Aladdin slated to make its Broadway debut in little more than a month, as well as the confirmation that "Frozen" will be the next film to be adapted for the theater stage, I can't help but think of what other films from the beloved company would do well on stage. To be clear, to me there is a difference between a story simply being adapted for the theater and the Walt Disney production company taking one of its films and making it a Broadway hit. In the latter scenario, there is something magical that happens when the finished product is ready for the stage.
Here are four other films I'd like to see turned into productions that could rival The Lion King and Mary Poppins.
Alice in Wonderland
What the 1951 film lacks in songs, it more than makes up for in visual effects. The mad tea party, the shrinking and growing of Alice, the magical forest, and the Queen's court would all make incredible sets on stage. Then there are the characters, such as the White Rabbit, Cheshire cat, Caterpillar, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Mad Hatter and March Hare, and the Queen of Hearts, who would be fun to see live. The costumes would be bright, over-the-top, and probably a bit like a Dr. Seuss book.
Last time I wrote about Aladdin on Broadway, the announcement had just been made that it would officially open in 2014. But 2014 felt like a long, long time away. Now we're in September and 2014 will be here before we know it.
To bide our time until we can see the show on stage, here are some recently released details about the production:
- Aladdin will take over the former Mary Poppins home at New Amsterdam Theatre.
- Previews start February 26, with an opening night scheduled for March 20.
- The Broadway rendition will feature a book by Chad Beguelin, music by Oscar and Tony winner Alan Menken (!!), lyrics by Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman and direction and choreography by The Book of Mormon Tony winner Casey Nicholaw.
- Previews start February 26, with an opening night set for March 20.
- There will be a pre-Broadway premiere at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre from Nov. 13, 2013 through Jan. 12, 2014
Will you be seeing Aladdin? And what other Disney productions might you like to see on Broadway?
It's possible you've heard of Nick Bertke, also known online as Pogo, who is a music producers, remix artist, and film maker.
Bertke has produced a few viral videos for major studios around the world by now, including "Alice," a remix of the Disney film, which now has more than 11 million views on YouTube.
Each video takes snippets, music, and sound bytes from various films to make some kind of completely new song. Then he syncs up a video — comprised of shots from a film — to accompany the music. The result is innovative and completely addicting.
Last time I wrote about some of the greatest '90s cartoons, I knew my list wasn't comprehensive. But it was later brought to my attention that I missed a few big cartoons and/or the cartoons I chose were not entirely '90s cartoons because they started to go into the 2000s. Totally fair points. So here we go with 6 of the best '90s cartoons, part deux.
Main characters: Baloo, Don Karnage, Rebecca Cunningham, Wildcat, Kit Cloudkicker
Summary: After his air cargo freight business is bought out, Baloo the bear finds himself under new management. The business, now named "Higher for Hire," is owned by a woman named Rebecca Cunningham and they — along with an orphan child named Kit Cloudkicker — make up the company's staff. They use their airplanes to navigate the City of Cape Suzette but, more often than not, find themselves entangled in some type of adventure. A gang of air pirates, led by Don Karnage, turn out to be Baloo, Rebecca, and Kit's biggest problem.
Why it's awesome: Um... adventure? Air pilots? And Baloo? This show takes a character we already love (Baloo from Disney's "The Jungle Book") and not only gives him a hat and shirt, but also turns him from a scavenger in the jungle to a business-savvy pilot. Dreams do come true, people. The show, "Talespin," is actually based on a film called "Plunder & Lightning" that was so good, it won an Emmy. Also, Baloo and Rebecca are said to have been modeled after Sam and Diane of "Cheers," AKA two of the greatest characters of all time.
I'm not sure if everyone knows this, but Mary Poppins was real. Maybe she didn't have the talking umbrella, or the bottomless bag, but she was modeled after an actual person, and "Saving Mr. Banks" is her story.
The new Disney film features Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Lyndon Goff, the author who wrote the Mary Poppins book series (under the pseudonym P.L. Travers), which served as the basis for the 1964 Disney movie. If ever a "meta" movie existed, it would be this one, since it's a movie about the creation of a movie based on a book written by a woman's real-life experience.
As with most Disney things, it will likely be wonderful. Aside from Thompson and Hanks — who just finished his role on Broadway in Lucky Guy and now has time to do things like promote new movies — a few others will star, including: Jason Schwartzman; Paul Giamatti; Colin and B.J. Novak.
As someone who loves Tom Hanks, Disney, Emma Thompson, AND "Mary Poppins," I feel like this movie is an all-around win. Will you be seeing it?