How many Disney theme park-inspired movies do we really need?

September 30, 2010, 2:28 PM · Hat tip to reader duncan henny for this heads-up: Disney reportedly is in early development for a movie based on its Magic Kingdom theme park.

Magic Kingdom train station

This, in addition to the upcoming fourth Pirates of the Caribbean flick, as well as Guillermo del Toro's reboot of The Haunted Mansion and movies based on Jungle Cruise and Tomorrowland. (Disney Studios favorite Dwayne Johnson is attached to the Tomorrowland flick.)

When I first heard of the Magic Kingdom film project, I thought that Disney would be developing a movie series based on Ridley Pearson's Kingdom Keepers book series. But apparently not. According to Variety, the Magic Kingdom film project is based on a script by Ronald D. Moore, who developed the new version of Battlestar Galactica.

Like millions of others, I love what Disney did with Pirates. It didn't base the film on the attraction so much as use the characters, setting and theme of the ride to inspire a story that took the franchise in a different - and engaging - direction. Movies (or books) about the Magic Kingdom - or any other theme park for that matter - strike me as story-telling about story-telling. That's too meta for me to enjoy as entertainment, though I can't enough news coverage about theme parks (obviously!).

What would you like to see Disney do with these film concepts?

Replies (13)

September 30, 2010 at 3:07 PM · If it's a really good movie and not just following the same story as the attractions, it really doesn't matter how many ride-based movies they make.
September 30, 2010 at 3:41 PM · This might not be a good idea. Maybe they should put in a joke about an "underground city".

P.S.: I was also thinking about Kingdom Keepers when I read the title! :)

September 30, 2010 at 4:11 PM · Epic Mickey takes place at the Magic Kingdom (from what I have seen).

Kingdom Keepers would not be bad!

On a totally unrelated thought, I believe Disney owns Percy Jackson (at least the publishing rights). Suprised they didn't make that movie or a ride/attraction involving that.

September 30, 2010 at 4:39 PM · Wait, wait: aren't the "Saw" movies based on WDI? Now THAT'S meta, baby!
September 30, 2010 at 7:17 PM · What would you like to see Disney do with these film concepts?

How about scrap 'em? I was excited about Haunted Mansion only because del Toro was involved. I haven't even heard of these other adaptations.

It's pretty ludicrous. Movies are adapted from books because there are sufficient details in the book to warrant creating a movie. Basing a movie on a five-minute theme park attraction is over-the-top. Disney really needs new ideas.

October 1, 2010 at 7:01 AM · All this and still no Everest movie? Garbage...
October 1, 2010 at 10:15 AM · NO

What a rubbish idea !

October 1, 2010 at 11:10 AM · i personally think that if Disney is going 2 do anything new, they should remake some of the old Disney movies that starred a young Kurt Russell....I grew up on COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES, etcetra.....i know Kirk Cameron did a TV remake years ago, but it didnt hold a candle.....2 bad Caesar Romero is gone, he made a great villain!
October 1, 2010 at 11:28 AM · maybe we need a TPI based movie?
October 1, 2010 at 11:42 AM · Lots of Disney attractions are inspired by moves, why not movies by inspired by disney attractions. after all, aren't the parks and attractions just ways of promoting movies anyway?
October 1, 2010 at 12:16 PM · Stroller Rental
October 1, 2010 at 12:35 PM · Attack of the killer turkey leg?
October 1, 2010 at 7:24 PM · To much meta? Or maybe just meta you know? The Magic Kingdom is already a copy of a copy of a copy.... Dont care about another layer (or about how many copy layers there are i got no idear about). All sucesfull massapeal stories are copies these days. AS long as the copies are mixed enough thats fine. Heck, if they just copy a story i like 1:1 and do a film with modern technology, im fine with that aswell. However my expectation is they will rather build some cross marketing franchise which isnt really the same as a good copy and typically rather anoying.

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