Animated Movies That Should Be Stage Shows

It seems that animated musicals converted into live stage musicals is a pretty solid business. Disney on Broadway is well know for taking some of their most beloved movies and giving them the stage treatment, but that doesn’t mean other movies (Disney or not) can’t share the spotlight either.

Recently, Anastasia became a stage musical and debuted at the Hartford Stage and is eyeing a Broadway performance. The Prince of Egypt is also expected to become a stage musical as well (which would be bloody brilliant) and Frozen is arriving on Broadway in the not-to-distant future whether we like it or not. The Hunchback of Notre Dame has been made into a stage musical but I’m not sure if it’s going to reach Broadway or not. There was a Broadway musical of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the 1970s and I think it would be amazing if they revived it but I’m not sure if that will happen.

Here are some other films that I believe deserve the stage treatment.

1: The Book of Life

This movie is a pure spectacle and doesn’t nearly get the recognition it deserves. A stage musical would not only help it gain more traction, but would also be a real treat. I can totally see the audience clapping and singing along and having a lot of fun with the performance. It would also be a great way to show Mexican/Latinx talent and culture.

2: The Nightmare Before Christmas

There have been a few live performances (such as HERE and HERE) to show that one of a bigger budget and grander scale could work. It’s widely popular and the movie is one of the best animated musicals out there so it makes sense that it should head to Broadway. It might be a little hard, but they should get around it.

3: Hercules

Simply put, the Gospel music and the Greek style would be amazing on Broadway.

4: Mulan

“LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS / TO DEFEAT THE HUNS!” “WE ARE MEN! / YOU MUST BE SWIFT AS THE COURSING RIVER!” That song along would be utterly awesome live. The movie doesn’t have a lot of songs so new ones will need to be added, and I wouldn’t mind that.

5: Pocahontas

Yeah this is a problematic fave but maybe a musical (which often changes the source material) will be a chance to redeem it. You can keep the beautiful music and visuals but alter it to make it more accurate/less offensive. More than anything, “Colors of the Wind” would look amazing and “If I Never Knew You” would be a powerful performance live.

There are a lot of others (such as The Jungle Book and pretty much every Disney musical) but those are the major top five I can think of, considering there are a LOT of animated musicals of varying quality that may or may not work live.

Out of curiosity (and self indulgence) I wouldn’t mind seeing stage shows of Zootopia and Big Hero 6 (musical or not). Maybe not on Broadway, but maybe at a Disney Park. That would be cute at least.

So those are some of my picks. If you have an ideas, let me know!

 

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A New Franchise For Disney?

So I was on Tumblr (as I always am) and I came across this picture:

disneymoviesanywhere:
“You too can save the day with these heroic Disney movies, now available at a special price.
”

For a split second, I thought it was fan made, but then I saw that it was part of an official post from the official Tumblr page of disneymovieseverywhere, with the following caption: “You too can save the day with these heroic Disney movies, now available at a special price.

If you click the link in the quote, you can see it lead to a webpage that is indeed dedicated to “Disney Heroes”. So far, the movies listed in this new category are Mulan (and it’s sequel for some reason), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (and it’s sequel, again, for some reason), The Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, Big Hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph, and Hercules. All of these movies have their followings (well, except for the sequels), and a lot of them are considered underrated (in other words, not universally hated).

When I saw this, I was pleasantly surprised (especially over the fact that Mulan is actually shown in her blue dress and as a hero, not a princess), but also very confused. For a company that’s mostly about Disney Princesses, Frozen, Star Wars, and Marvel right now, it’s really interesting to see them make a special page and offer dedicated to movies they barely acknowledge anymore. Why is that now, all of a sudden, we’re seeing a Disney Heroes collection? Is it going to feature a wider arrange of films (mainly Tarzan and Aladdin, movies which practically beg to be called “Disney Hero” films)? And, most of all, is this going to become a potential marketing franchise, like the Disney Princesses?

To be honest, I hope it does. Mainly because, I think children deserve a broader range of Disney-related products to play with and read. It would also give older fans a chance to buy products related to their new and old faves/not be swamped with the same merch from the same movies all the time.

I think they did have a previous Disney Heroes lineup a long time ago, focused on male hero leads, but died out due to the overwhelming popularity of the Disney Princess lineup. I could have sworn I saw a toy with a blue Disney Heroes label and mentions of it online but I can’t find any official info (if you have any, please let me know). So I wonder if this means they’re reviving it.I hope it becomes more successful at any rate.

I’m totally curious to see what they’re going to do with it. I think the best thing to do is to buy the movies offered to show Disney that people love them and would like to see more of them, and maybe Disney will do something from there. I really hope this leads to something, especially for Mulan (I don’t want her to be pigeonholed into just wearing glittery dresses and looking pretty and demure), Big Hero 6 (which is practically begging for a franchise; I just hope with its upcoming TV series we’ll see something more out of it) and Wreck-It Ralph (which has been almost completely forgotten, which is a shame given how good it is). I just hope it doesn’t mean that these are movies that Disney doesn’t care about and is lumping them together to sell them cheap for a limited time.

In Defense of Hades

Whether you love or hate Disney’s Hercules, I think you can agree that Hades is awesome. He’s hilarious, his voice acting (courtesy of James Wood) is fantastic, and he is an effective antagonist. But is he really pure evil?

 

Disney is well-known for making villains who relish being evil and don’t have any visible redeeming qualities or clear motives as to WHY they’re evil. This isn’t entirely the case for Hades.

When we first see Hades, the Olympians are shown to immediately dislike him, though it’s never entirely clear WHY they don’t like him. Did he try to take over Mount Olympus before? Did he do something horrible? It’s never revealed, and judging by how Zeus is at first eager that Hades has shown up, that’s probably not the case. Hades isn’t a nice person, but it’s odd how only Zeus seems to be fond of him (probably because they’re brothers).

Zeus: “How are things in the Underworld?”

Hades: “…a little dark, a little gloomy, and always…full of dead people”.

Doesn’t sound like an ideal place to call home. And then, when Zeus encourages Hades to join the celebration, Hades replies, “But unlike you gods, lounging about up here, I regrettably have a full time gig that you by the way so charitably bestowed on me, Zeus. So, I can’t.”

It’s a little hypocritical for Zeus to be pointed out that HE assigned Hades a bad job position and then makes it look like HADES is in the wrong for ‘working himself to death’.

Within the first ten minutes or so of the movie, it becomes well-established WHY Hades is the way he is. He’s not JUST an asshole; he’s bitter from so many years (likely hundreds or even thousands) of being assigned to a job he hates, away from all the glory and fun, and being disliked on principle. So his callousness towards his own kin and bad temper and general asshole-ry suddenly makes a lot of sense. It doesn’t EXCUSE his bad deeds, but they become a lot more understandable when you realize he’s doing it out of frustration than just pleasure.

But why was he given such a job anyway? I have a theory.

You see, throughout the movie, Hades is shown to be EXTREMELY powerful; he can conjure up anything he wants, controls and assembles monsters, frees the Titans, can teleport himself and others, has immense control of fire and smoke, and probably has a lot of other tricks up his sleeves. All Zeus is shown to do is rule others and control lightning bolts. So if he’s less powerful, how does he make sure HE gets all the power? By putting his rival in his place. By cosigning Hades to the Underworld, Zeus can secure his regime. And it’s not like Zeus sees Hades as a potential tyrant that he has to control; again, he was perfectly fine letting Hades come to his son’s first birthday.

I don’t think it’s much of a coincidence that Hades is so damn likable in the movie and that, in the original myths, Hades wasn’t all that bad and ZEUS was the cause of most strife.

So yeah. I think the movie is less about some angry asshole wanting all the power just because; it’s about an angry asshole wanting all the power because of being mistreated for so long. He’s made to contrast Hercules, who has also been shunned but grew up to be good and pure despite all odds.

Am I saying that Hades is totally innocent? No. He made the choice to try to have an infant killed and put lots of people in danger just to get to Hercules. (Though I find it interesting that never once does Hades try to kill Hercules himself; even when Hercules is weakened, there’s nothing stopping Hades from just strangling him on the spot, but he never does…make what you will of that.) But I AM saying that all this could have been avoided if Hades was given a companion (beyond his bumbling minions and a woman who was coerced into being his servant). Someone who could genuinely help him out with his work so he had more freedom to move about and do things. Maybe someone to help liven up his living space. Someone who would appreciate him for who he is, but not take his shit. Someone who can rule the Underworld beside him. Someone like…Persephone, his wife from the original myths? Anything is possible…