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.
The Princess and the Frog
It's a newer film, but nevertheless one worthy of its own theater production on stage. The songs for the Broadway musical version could be plucked straight from the film without even an alteration, including the uplifting "Almost There" and the spooky "Friends on the Other Side." This, too, would provide plenty of opportunities for beautiful sets on stage, like the city of New Orleans during Mardi Gras or Dr. Facilier's Voodoo Emporium.
It may seem a big challenging to do a show that's set under water, but it's previously been done with The Little Mermaid, which was beautiful on stage (and looked pretty seamless, thanks to the clever use of roller skates!). "Finding Nemo" would provide a great excuse for big, bright costumes coupled with vivid scenery in the form of coral reefs and other underwater plants. Plus, there is a stage version at one of the adventure parks in Florida, so the framework for making it into a theater adaptation already exists.
There are two ways a "Sleeping Beauty" show could go. The first would be based on the 1959 film of the same name, featuring the tale of Princess Aurora and her adorable three fairy godmothers. But perhaps this could be an opportunity for the kid-friendly company to go a bit darker, instead creating a stage adaptation based off of their newest film, "Maleficent." Either way, it's got all the makings of a successful story: a prince and a princess, true love, an evil villain, and a spell that must be broken.
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