Movies-turned-Broadway-musicals-turned-movies are old hat in Hollywood – see Hairspray or The Producers, for example. (Actually, on second thought, don’t see 2005’s Producers.) Now Disney’s taking a new spin on that cyclical formula: Deadline writes that the studio is prepping a film based on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, an attraction that’s been thrilling Disneyland visitors since 1955. The twisty ride is based on Disney’s 1949 feature The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, half of which is an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, which is itself based on The Sorrows of Young Werther.*
Will the new Mr. Toad follow in Pirates of the Caribbean’s cheeky footsteps and launch a giant, beloved global franchise? Or will it be critically panned and generally ignored, along the lines of most Disney attractions-turned-films (The Country Bears, The Haunted Mansion, and Mission to Mars come to mind)? Only time will tell. Honestly, though, I’m more concerned with another question altogether: Which other Disney attractions deserve the cinematic treatment?
A few years ago, my answer would have been simple: The Haunted Mansion. The spooky ride itself is one of Disneyland/The Magic Kingdom’s most elaborately themed and iconic attractions – and it deserves a better film than that 2003 Eddie Murphy flop. Fortunately, Guillermo del Toro agrees; he’s already working on a new Haunted Mansion flick. While this news is exciting, it also means we’ll have to look outside of New Orleans Square for inspiration.
So tell me, PopWatchers: Do you want to see a high-flying Space Mountain feature about cocky rocket pilots and their robot pals? A family-friendly Western about mustachioed gold prospectors taking the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? A Pleasantville-style satire set on Main Street, U.S.A.?
The possibilities are nearly endless – though I’d caution you against suggesting something based on Splash Mountain. The log flume ride is inspired by stories and characters that appear in Disney’s Song of the South… and it’s pretty unlikely that Disney would be interested in revisiting that particular corner of its history.
*That last clause may or may not be true.