Disney announces Hanks, Allen in Jungle Cruise movie

March 2, 2011, 4:01 PM · Oh, boy, this should be good for a discussion. The Walt Disney Studios released this statement today:

The Walt Disney Studios is excited to be in development with Mandeville Films and writer Roger S.H. Schulman on a feature film based on the Jungle Cruise, one of the most iconic attractions in Disney theme park history. The film will pair up Tim Allen and Tom Hanks in their first live-action project, after their previous collaborations in the Toy Story trilogy.

Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom

So who gets this line? Remember, Trader Sam's running a special on shrunken heads today. Two of his heads... for one of yours.

Is this flick the greatest idea ever, or another sign of the impending apocalypse? The comments await.

Replies (37)

March 2, 2011 at 4:14 PM · Darn. I was hoping for Bruce Campbell. That man was BORN to play a Jungle Cruise skipper.


March 2, 2011 at 4:24 PM · I *was* excited. Now Joseph's comment made me sad.

Also, Robert, is there a way you can please start posting a link to the source article in future posts? I've wanted to go to the source on a few other posts in the past as well, maybe you have your reasons for not doing so.

March 2, 2011 at 4:29 PM · Impending apocalypse. Sounds like Tom owes Disney a favour. With the exception of Toy Story, Tim Allen hasn't done anything worthwhile in film. Roger S.H. Schulman's writing isn't exactly worth getting excited over, either. Shrek was great, but what else has Roger done?

On the other hand... If Disney decides to make the film as surrealistically humorous as the ride, it could be good. They may have a Rocky Horror thing going on.

March 2, 2011 at 4:36 PM · Totally agree with you Joshua.

Tom's an awesome actor, but who knows how he'll end up in this one. Tim Allen is good too, but I agree with your reasoning. Wild Hogs? *barf*

Shrek... to me was too "edgy", kinda reminds me of what Toy Story originally was with the douchie Woody.

March 2, 2011 at 4:45 PM · Almost always, when I don't post a link to source material, it was because it was an e-mail, or from a release that's hidden in a password-protected press website. Sometimes, though, companies post their e-mailed press releases publicly online somewhere, so I'll try to link those when I can find them.
March 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM · Big question: Is Weird Al attached to this? :^)
March 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM · This movie has potential. Tim Allen is underrated; it's not his fault that he is given bad scripts. Shrek was edgy, so what? That was what made it so great. Disney should also bring Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio from Pirates of the Caribbean; that would make it a promising project.
March 2, 2011 at 5:25 PM · "Skipper Dan" is my, and many of my friends', mini biography. So true!! The script for this has got to be solid, or no amount of star power will save it.
March 2, 2011 at 5:25 PM · I think this could make a great movie. What concerns me is that it further propels the idea that every attraction in the parks needs to link back to a successful disney movie. Why do u think they're exploring a second haunted mansion?

I think I actually like attractions made into movies more than attractions made from movies. First, I feel like original attractions fit better into lands than attractions that were movies first. Pirates and Jungle cruise define adventure land whereas buzz lighter, for example, feels forced into tomorrowland. Second I like learning more about the story, hearing it fleshed out, rather than having it forced into a quick attraction.

That being said, this idea (that theme park rides need to be linked to movies) is disheartening to me because I feel like it will stiffle the desire to create new, unique, original attractions. Obviously, that hasn't completely happened yet - the cheetah coaster at busch gardens in proof of that. But I fear for the future

March 2, 2011 at 6:37 PM · Bruce Campbell...excellent idea. Equip him with a chainsaw, we're all set.

Hanks hasn't been doing much in recent years. I like him, but I won't go see something specifically because he's in it.

Allen? I find him annoying. And Daniel, receiving bad scripts and choosing to sign up and make the movie are two different things. He doesn't have to be one of those actors who makes everything he's offered.

This movie, if it indeed gets made, stands more than a fair chance of being successful due to three factors:

Brand Recognition
Disney's Marketing Genius
Hanks' Track Record

March 2, 2011 at 7:28 PM · I forget how old it was, but Wild Hogs was actually a decent Tim Allen movie. As for a Jungle Cruise movie, well.. let's just say I'll save me $10 for another movie. ;P
March 2, 2011 at 7:32 PM · But now for the real question - does this mean the Jungle Cruise will be getting audio-animatronic Tom Hanks & Tim Allen in a few years? Yikes!
March 2, 2011 at 7:39 PM · As long as they avoid using any writers, directors, actors or producers involved in The Haunted Mansion, I'd say we should be OK.

On the other hand, Hanks and Allen are risky choices because of their distinctive voices. Let's hope it doesn't turn into Buzz and Woody on the Jungle Cruise.

I am looking forward to it -- I enjoy both actors' work, and JC is one of my all-time favorite attractions. I'm also hopeful we'll get to see "Night in the Magic Kingdom" sometime soon...

March 2, 2011 at 9:19 PM · Maybe this is to attract more people to the Jungle Cruise? Last time i was at disney world, the jungle cruise was empty...
March 3, 2011 at 2:06 AM · My immediate reaction was....its another Haunted Mansion!! (although I do have a lot of hope for the G Del Toro version).

But...done properly, as mentioned, if this retains the offbeat humour and character of the ride, I guess it could work.
But then I am a Wild Hogs fan so Tim Allen in a comedic, light hearted role does kind of appeal to me. Although I wouldnt predict this to ever be a box office smash.

March 3, 2011 at 4:51 AM · I was hoping there would be more of a push to go back to the adventurous, mysterious, mostly joke-free, African Queen theme of the original Disneyland attraction (some would argue the ride's current narrative is mostly joke-free already!). But, with this duo there is no doubt the bad puns (are there good puns?) and corn-filled jokes (?) will continue. *Sigh*

Let's just hope the movie is a big enough hit that at least the WDW attraction will get the complete makeover it has so desperately needed since Kilimanjaro Safaris came along and made it completely irrelevant in 1998.

March 3, 2011 at 5:22 AM · JC does have movie attachments ..Walt Disneys Nature Series, they were shown on The Wonderful World of Color, and sometimes in theaters. The Captians are based on the narator. But most theme park readers are to young to remember them or the show.
March 3, 2011 at 9:39 AM · It sounds good to me. I want to see it along with the Magic Kingdom movie. As far as the Haunted Mansion movie is concerned, I don't understand the negativity toward it. I enjoyed it a lot and own it on DVD.
March 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM · I notice TH hasn't commented. Was he tapped as an executive producer?
March 3, 2011 at 3:39 PM · TH! You're dreams are finally coming true!
March 3, 2011 at 5:43 PM · Roger Schulman was hired to write the most recent draft of the script. Any hope I had for this movie is lost now that the guy that wrote jungle book 2, mulan 2, and fox and the hound 2 is writing it.
March 4, 2011 at 2:44 AM · Surely TH has to get a cameo in this hippo-fest movie.

He's been quiet..........is he in denial ?

March 4, 2011 at 11:40 AM · I apologize for bringing a negative aspect to this... but "Edgy" and Disney don't mix. Disney = family fun... as in where everyone can enjoy the movie, from 2 to 92 year olds... just like the parks.

Edgy's fine for Shrek, but "edgy" doesn't belong with Disney movies. Edgy doesn't mean innovative or cutting edge. I think there's a negative connotation with the buzz word "edgy". Like how everything was "EXTREME" in the 90's.

A Fraggle Rock movie is delayed because the Weinsteins want an Edgy version.

The word may have come from the phrase "cutting edge", but "edgy" to me, means trying too hard, like the Shrek sequels. Edgy does not mean better. Edgy means let's include pop culture, make characters have cleavage where it doesn't belong, "rock out", and give guys douchie facial expressions.

That's what almost made me not see Tangled. The trailer was "edgy". "She's grounded... like forever!" That's the best they could come up with? Luckily, the movie was nothing like the trailer and was awesome.

March 4, 2011 at 11:43 AM · And if the movie does great, we can guarantee Hanks and Allen will be added to the attraction.

Personally, I hope the movie does well as I've met Tom Hanks in person a long time ago... seemed very genuine. And from what I've been told, he's one of the coolest people in Hollywood. If he meets you once in the studio or on set, he remembers your name immediately and loves to chit chat.

March 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM · (1) Quite clearly this will be the GREATEST MOVIE IN THE HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION.

(2) James Rao is in fact the coolest person in Hollywood.

(3) I am not in "denial." I am in fact in The Nile.

March 4, 2011 at 4:30 PM · Indeed I am! Thanks, TH, and welcome back!
March 4, 2011 at 5:50 PM · Consistent with the topic: An old friend from my 1982 Magic Kingdom College Program days came for a visit and he brought me the best photo ever taken of yours truly.

Thus, I have changed my TPI profile pic.

March 4, 2011 at 5:54 PM · Brandon -

You're right and possibly wrong. Yes, edgy doesn't necessarily mean better. A comedian that overuses certain swear words for the purpose of compensating for mediocre or predictable material is a hack. However, a comedian that discusses that swear words or race or religion or politics or human suffering and offends some people for the purpose of making a point can be brilliant, e.g., Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor. Saying that Disney and edgy don't mix is not entirely true. Edgy can be satirical. It can be humor or expression with a purpose. Edgy can point out the flaws in something seemingly good, or expose the brighter side of something terrible. Most of Disney's animated films are formulaic. A character suffers some fairly menial problem and deals with it in a happy-ending manner with a couple of quirky (sometimes nonhuman) sidekicks. Some people can watch that over and over and not get bored with it, usually with help from catchy music and beautiful animation. An example of this is Aladdin. When was the last time an Arabic street urchin sung like an American teen pop star? They catered to the audience while sacrificing realism. However, the best films include something edgy, something new. My favourite Disney animated film, Pinocchio, is among their edgiest. It doesn't sugarcoat an important message. If you skip school and/or over-imbibe, you'll be chopped into pieces, forced into performance slavery, or turned into a donkey and sold to the salt mines. It may not be edgy by a modern filmmaker's standards, but it certainly scares kids straight.

If the Jungle Cruise offers nothing more than the crotch injury and fart jokes seen in movies like Wild Hogs, then it's doomed. If they play their cards right and employ some good wordplay, like paraprosdokians or garden path sentences, along with some good visual gags, then the movie may work. It may also work on an ironic level. However, I highly doubt they're going to put much work into the jokes.

March 5, 2011 at 9:23 AM · Joshua -

I actually hated Wild Hogs, but in no way do I think it's even in the same realm as Aladdin, Lion King, etc. I'd consider Pinocchio to be cutting edge for its time, but also timeless. You can still watch it to this day and be impressed and take something away from it.

What I'm talking about is how Shrek, Madagascar, or Ice Age always have to use pop music, pop culture references, and always have that jerk character. In other words "trying too hard to be cool." That's what seems to be associated with "Edgy".

"Edgy" is also an overused term that even execs don't even know what they mean. Again, the Weinsteins and especially Michael Bay/ Bruckheimer all strive for "edgy". I'm sure Transformers 2 had some sort of notes of someone wanting it to be "edgier".

But to me, there's nothing wrong with Disney films being like Aladdin as the music is more of a mix... it's not 100% pop sounding music. At least it's not rock music that completely doesn't fit with the locale. We could argue that Beauty & the Beast should be all French music, or Mulan should be traditional Chinese music for realism... but to fair, Aladdin's music has elements of music from the Middle East and Lion King has an African music feel.

Unfortunately, with the Shrek guy at the helm of the script, I think we'll get Wild Hogs more than anything clever. I hope I'm wrong.

March 5, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Wow..and here I thought "Edgy" was a nickname for U2's guitarist...shows how much I know.
March 5, 2011 at 4:24 PM · Brandon -

You're absolutely right. It's become a buzz word. It's meaning is not singular. The pop culture references in animated movies drive me batty. They're rarely funny, and in the rare event they do make me laugh, I feel awkward hearing them again a few years down the road. The Smash Mouth ending of Shrek is beyond annoying. The Matrix fight scene makes me groan.

Also, for the record, I love a good crotch and/or fart joke.

March 5, 2011 at 4:24 PM · Also, Robert -

You called it. This was good for a discussion.

March 5, 2011 at 10:12 PM · Joshua-

Agreed about the crotch or fart joke! I just saw Dumb and Dumber a few days ago... love that movie. And I saw Hall Pass today... not their greatest, but it still had a few LOL moments!

The fights in Shrek were poorly animated as well. It's like they didn't really know how to animate fights, so they skipped all of the inbetween frames, and just went for the end of each movement/ attack. Reminds me of how the first Transformers had horrible fight scenes too. They didn't understand that you have to slow down fight scenes in movies so people can see what's going on. I'm not talking about slow mo like in the 2nd TF Movie, but slight reduction in speed. Think of how a real boxing match looks totally different than The Fighter.

I agree... this movie has sparked good discussion.

Industry Buzz words are annoying... "edgy", "challenge", "More Megapixels"... it doesn't matter what industry. Bleh.

March 6, 2011 at 12:29 AM · Let's not forget other industry buzz terms: proactive, team player, self-starter.

Dumb and Dumber is a revelation in crotch/fart jokes. The Farrelly brothers were at an apex in their career at that point - There's Something About Mary, Kingpin, Dumb and Dumber...

I agree about the fights, too. Transformers left me with a migraine. It's not necessarily the speed that bothers me - it's the style. Transformers just looked terrible to me.

Pretty bird... Pretty bird...

March 7, 2011 at 8:46 AM · Now I'm a little worried about the next Transformers movie too... every Transformer has to do a spin move to shoot or fight... they're spinning just to spin. Didn't they learn something from Jackie Chan or Jet Li? Every move has to have a reason other than aesthetics.

But anyway, I just hope Jungle Cruise doesn't turn into Land of the Lost either. That movie is the typical bad Universal Studios movie like the 3rd Mummy Movie. No flow, flashy, and bad script/ action.

March 7, 2011 at 10:21 AM · I'm worried that the next Transformers movie will not have enough hippos that turn into giant robots.
March 8, 2011 at 4:18 AM · This venture isn't ( or I hope it isn't ) going to try to be anywhere near as worthy as the truly great jungle cruise films "The African Queen" or " Sanders of the River".
Expect something more like Hope and Crosby's "Road to Zanzibar" but with a script that's nowhere near as witty, funny or snappy.

For Crosby and Hope read TH and Rao ??

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