Remember that time you went to Disney World and saw the sign for “It’s a Small World” after all? Well, I do. I was traumatized enough to remember the weird puppets, murky water and completely underwhelming climax (even for a six-year-old).
I did, however, have the time of my life when I rode it again at the age of 17. My generation in a nutshell.
So you can imagine my reaction to the news that Disney wants to make a movie based on the attraction. Not only that–they’re planning to turn this into a legitimate franchise. (The news is timely because yesterday was the 50th anniversary for the ride).
Don’t let yourself get too surprised, though. We knew this was coming when Disney struck gold with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which was also based on a theme park ride in the Magic Kingdom.
Maybe I’m jaded, but I’m having a hard time believing that they can strike gold twice without Johnny Depp, the proverbial pickaxe. His role as Jack Sparrow is what really fueled the success of those Pirate movies, and I’m not so sure he’ll be willing to come back for more with a movie that will apparently have to be about globalization and a one-power totalitarian government (am I interpreting “It’s a Small World” correctly?)
Speaking of talent, Disney is hiring Jon Turteltaub (the director of both National Treasure movies, including the third one that is still in development).
To be fair, Disney is undoubtedly aware that their theme park rides aren’t automatic cash cows, thanks in no small part to the failure of Haunted House, which followed the same formula as “Pirates” in the sense that it relied on star power (Eddie Murphy) to keep audiences coming.
As it stands, I have no clue what the story or basic premise of this “It’s a Small World” could be, and it seems pretty pointless to speculate since it will probably be totally unrelated to the ride.
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