Unless Disney has a publishing house who can get to Rowling before Bloomsbury (a budding, small group who gave her the benefit of the doubt when no other publisher would), their chances of having an effect on her creative process are less than slim-to-nil. And for the love of all that’s decent do NOT suggest a fortuitous random encounter with Jim Henson, OK? Geekhis has been phenomenal at making a lot of these ideas organic (including Art freaking Spiegelman being convinced that his work will be respectfully adapted), we don’t need a Henson ex Machina on that level...
Though arguably the dearly departed Alan Rickman did too good of a job portraying Snape as an asshole. He wasn't quite so petty and violent in the books. At least so I remember Dominic Noble teaching me.

I have watched a lot of Dominic’s content, but I did not know he thinks the movie made Snape more of a dickwad; or is that your opinion? Because if anything I thought it was the other way around, what with a lot of his most petty moments being cut (and adding stuff like shielding the GT from werewolf!Lupin with his own damned body!) At worst some of his actions lack context due to the adaptation neutering the exposition (cutting the Marauder backstory for instance), or his not using the Pensieve to better protect his memories, making Harry’s intrusion into them a more deliberate violation (and in that case, his response was still MORE restrained in the film, not less, although for some reason NOBODY raises their voices to shouting in the films and thus the impact of some lines is lost).
Wasn't Freddie Mercury confirmed to be alive ITTL, if I recall?

Maybe Anthony Perkins could be alive but I doubt it.
Fun fact: Perkins’ widow was on one of the hijacked 9/11 planes IOTL... small world, no?
The thing is, it's much harder for Disney to lose Harry Potter ITTL than it was for OTL. Harry Potter just checks so many boxes for Jim Henson and Disney in general, that I would be very surprised if Disney Publishing does not accept the American publishing rights outright or Jim personally ignores HP (which would be weird because he is much more connected to the British audience than Eisner was so he would know of HP's popularity in Britain and its latent potential), so it's not completely out of the blue that people are assuming that HP will be a Disney IP.

I'm fairly neutral of story changes aside from the lycanthropy-HIV/AIDS comparison, because that's probably one thing that Disney would absolutely change with JK Rowling in the aftermath of The Song of Susan, but it's inevitable that at least some changes would occur as a result of Disney's partnership with JK Rowling.


It'd be hilarious if Disney does not change the title for The Philosopher's Stone and there's literally no negative change in readership as a result of that.
All true; if they had the option to be involved in ANY way, you know Jim would do it. This is the man who innovated the idea of felt puppetry; the idea of novels aimed at children being 50,000+ words would be paltry in comparison, and that’s without the content being right up his alley.

Oh fie, we could even have someone pull the And You Thought It Would Fail:

“Convince her to change the title, no child would understand what a Philosopher’s Stone is!”

“And what child would know what a Sorcerer’s Stone is?”

“You... that’s... that is completely not the point...”

“Oh look, it’s selling like hotcakes with the title Rowling - who BTW we let use her first name - chose!”

“But... that’s impossible! Noooooo...”
 
Re: all the Harry Potter stuff, this feels like a bit of wish fulfilment.

The thing is, it's much harder for Disney to lose Harry Potter ITTL than it was for OTL. Harry Potter just checks so many boxes for Jim Henson and Disney in general, that I would be very surprised if Disney Publishing does not accept the American publishing rights outright or Jim personally ignores HP (which would be weird because he is much more connected to the British audience than Eisner was so he would know of HP's popularity in Britain and its latent potential), so it's not completely out of the blue that people are assuming that HP will be a Disney IP.
Just because something seems right up Henson's alley or Disney in general's, doesn't necessarily mean he will make it. For example, Potter seems right up Tim Burton's alley - however, he was never offered to direct or expressed any interest in directing a Harry Potter film.

Personally, I'd prefer that Disney adapt Dinotopia alongside Lucasfilm and Potter stay at WB - principally because WB need a big franchise too and they've been getting the short end of the stick ITTL thus far.

The other reason is that personally, I'd like to see a proper Dinotopia adaptation ITTL - rather than what we got OTL, which was one meh miniseries and one fucking abysmal animated film. If you want a great piece of literature that's got the short end of the stick, look no further.

Dinotopia also feels like an appropriate successor for The Land Before Time and the films that spun out from that. It's not impossible that Henson will read Dinotopia (possibly because of George Lucas, whose kids loved the book - Naboo in The Phantom Menace was designed to resemble Waterfall City)

In my head, Dinotopia ticks more boxes than Harry Potter does, re: Henson and Disney in general. Whenever I read Dinotopia as a little kid, I always thought a lot of it was very Hensonian in nature (especially the scenes in Romano's hatchery) - given that James Gurney was apparently a huge Jim Henson fan, who knows, it may have been deliberate.

Personally, I'd rather see a George Lucas/Jim Henson Dinotopia rather than whatever he might have done with Harry Potter.
 
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Animator's Perspective VIII: Non Timetis Messor
Chapter 12: Flirting with Death’s Daughter
Post from the Riding with the Mouse Net-log by animator Terrell Little


We were well into production on Mort when Frank and Jim flew us out to Howard’s place in Fishkill, a small town in New York near Poughkeepsie[1]. We’d been seeing less and less of Howard of late and he’d been working shorter and shorter hours, which was frustrating us, and now we were expected to rip up our lives, leave our families behind, and live in a Residence Inn in Bumfolk, NY, and get driven out to Bill and Howard’s mountain top fortress of solitude every morning. When you work in Hollywood you get used to dealing with needy famous people with fragile egos, but this was ridiculous.

Jim, Tim, Andreas, Ron Clements, John Musker, Steve Hulett, and I flew up in the Disney jet (my first flight in a private jet). We met David Lazer there. Jim stayed a couple days to set things up and look over the concept art and then left with David to go to New York City, where they were restoring a theater and setting up a new Muppets play. The rest of us stayed and worked with Howard, Alan, and Danny Elfman, who’d been flown up separately. The writers were soon writing and us artists soon drawing concept art to help inspire Howard, Danny, and Alan. We freely shared our thoughts and opinions and the project evolved. Howard, despite being clearly exhausted, wrote like he was running out of time, which, unbeknownst to us, he was.

“Death hangs over this house,” Tim said to us out of the blue one day. We figured it was Tim being Tim, but somehow, he knew.

The irony that we were making an ultimately hopeful Disney cartoon about Death was not lost on any of us, though only Howard, Bill, and Jim knew just how ironic this was at the time. And yet even not knowing about Howard’s illness at the time, the whole production took on a strange resonance from our experiences working with the dying Howard, which can be felt in the finished product. Suddenly death, and indeed Death, seemed closer and more intimate than ever before. And Mr. Pratchett’s views on Death were, strangely, somewhat comforting, actually. Death wasn’t some malign force, but a fact of nature, a dispassionate professional doing an important and largely thankless job. But, busier than ever, he takes on an apprentice, the eponymous Mort. Mort, of course, has all of the passions and emotions of a human, unlike the arch-professional Death, and in a fit of passion Mort disrupts the natural order by intervening and saving the life of the beautiful Princess Keli from an assassin, with lasting supernatural consequences. Meanwhile, Mort is developing a complicated and often acrimonious relationship with Death’s adopted daughter Ysabel, giving a new meaning to “flirting with Death” (or at least his daughter). And Daddy Death isn’t too happy about either development.

You’d think that working in such a quiet, natural, bucolic setting would be a calm and joyous experience. You’d be wrong. Howard’s hidden illness was causing him extreme pain and discomfort which manifested in a short temper. Howard had always been a bit opinionated and didn’t like it when his ideas were questioned (something that he shared with pretty much the entire Disney Animation department, yours truly included), but up in Fishkill he was increasingly short tempered. In the morning he’d bring everyone doughnuts and show such sweetness, but then turn on a dime and rip your head off. In hindsight, it’s easy to understand why, but at the time it was straining our relationship.

We had a brief visit from Mort author Terry Pratchett, who’d tagged along with Jim one week. He (in his words) helped “muck about” with the evolving script and storyboards. He was a fun and jolly guy, but you could tell there was a powerful and complex mind working there with some deep and wry reflections on life and humanity. He and Howard occasionally argued and at one point there was a “snap” and Terry was threatening to walk out. Jim and Bill, Howard’s partner, dragged them both into a back room. We expected yelling, but it was dead quiet. When they emerged, Terry and Howard were actually holding hands. A melancholy seemed to hang over the room from that point forward. In hindsight they must have pulled Terry into the secret. Afterwards, Terry and Howard and Jim worked closely together for the rest of the visit, Terry gave Howard a hug on the way out the door the last time.

And then, suddenly, it was time to record. We all flew back to Burbank and met the stars, always one of the most exciting parts of any production. We had River Phoenix doing the voice and singing for Mort, Helena Bonham Carter as Ysabel, Winona Ryder as Princess Keli, Michael Palin as Death’s manservant Albert, and Christopher Lee as Death. I only vaguely knew Lee at the time as a Bond villain (Tim knew him through some old low-budget British horror films), but he was totally fascinating. Tim had originally wanted Vincent Price for the voice and Jim had imagined Thurl Ravenscroft, but Terry convinced us to consider Lee, and even Tim quickly admitted that Lee was exactly the right choice.

Even with such completely gorgeous people in the room as Helena, Winona, and River, Lee commanded all the attention. He’d been a commando in World War II. He had been in hundreds of plays and movies, making me embarrassed that I only knew him as a villain in one of the less amazing Bond flicks. He even freaked us all out by explaining to the voice actor playing the assassinated king the correct sound that a man stabbed in the back should make[2]. It wasn’t that he knew the sound that freaked us out, it was how casually and nonchalantly he explained it, like he was teaching us the proper sound a kitten should make when it mews. Even when he did the voicework and singing (he’d almost gone into opera!) you had to suppress a shiver at times. Certain lines stuck with you, like “THAT’S MORTALS FOR YOU. THEY’VE ONLY GOT A FEW YEARS IN THIS WORLD AND THEY SPEND THEM ALL IN MAKING THINGS COMPLICATED FOR THEMSELVES.” (I of course need to write that in all-caps, as anyone who’s read the book knows).

And Howard seemed to come alive throughout the recording, back to his old energetic self, though I’d occasionally catch him leaning, exhausted, against a wall when he though no one was watching. He and Christopher Lee in particular had a bond. Lee seemed to “get” what Howard wanted, and Howard said wonderful things about him afterwards. He said to Lee at one point “I hope it’s you I see waiting for me afterwards.” I didn’t know at the time what he meant.

It was while all of this was going on that A Small World debuted. We watched the numbers and reviews with baited breath. There was a fear that the film would be dead-on-arrival. “Common wisdom” at the time was that a “girl film” couldn’t compete, and we had lots of direct competition. Don Bluth was back for revenge with All Dogs Go to Heaven and Hollywood Pictures was putting out Return of the Littles just a week earlier to try and make us look like the copycats. We all celebrated when A Small World was a hit. People around the world were humming “A World of my Own” on the street, which made Howard and Alan very happy and all of us happy for them. They’d eventually get an Oscar for it.

There was a small break from Mort while Howard and Alan composed “The Song of Susan” with Freddy Mercury for a new MGM film (another Oscar for him in ‘90) and then another break later still when Jim brought us all back to LA with no notice. It turned out that Howard had caught an infection and was in the hospital. Secretly, Jim, Molly Ringwald, and Richard had, with Howard’s permission, made a special deal with St. Vincent’s to record a cameo with Howard for The Song of Susan. When we ultimately saw it for the first time when The Song of Susan debuted, suddenly we animators all knew and it hit us like a knife to the gut. Afterwards, Howard refused to speak to any of us about it, so we respected his privacy. But it hung there like a scythe, even if that scythe was softened when we knew that the kindly being who held it held no ill will.

And the second that the music was done for Mort, we all went back to Fishkill and started working on the music for Aladdin. Back during the making of A Small World Howard had put together a treatment and some songs, but it was largely felt by management that such a project would be seen as a copy of The Thief and the Cobbler. But after The Song of Susan cameo the animation department overwhelmingly chose it to be our next film, and we chose it for him, and by the time Aladdin screened in 1991 it was felt that the underperforming Thief and Cobbler would be largely forgotten outside of animation circles. The songs for Aladdin were delightful and a lot of fun to work with as an artist, and they were Howard and Alan at their best.

“The Song of Susan” or “Humiliate the Boy” will bring a tear to my eye every time. But for me, it’s the soundtrack for Mort that always resonates with me and reminds me of what was so great about Howard, the man I’d once laughed at who’d become something so inspirational, so amazing, so dignified, and such a tragic personal and collective loss. Death’s song “To Be Alive” (or Death’s Lament), sung as he explores the living world, trying to understand humanity, is so layered with the nuance and subtext of a man facing is own mortality with both curiosity and acceptance that I can’t even begin to fully fathom it all, and I may not until I’m staring down that road myself. Perhaps not even then.

Howard never finished the recording for Aladdin. He worked right up to the very end, but eventually his illness got to the point where he had to be hospitalized with the score about two-thirds recorded. Alan and Danny completed the recordings based on Howard’s annotations, but we’ll never know what his final versions of many of the songs would sound like.

Death came for Howard not long after Mort debuted in late 1990. They screened it for him in his hospital room and later told him the news about his third Oscar for “To Be Alive” while he was on his death bed. Alan would be the one to accept the Oscar for him as he lay dying.

While Terry Pratchett was visiting back in better days, Howard confessed to him that he hoped that Terry’s take on Death was the right one. “He seems like a fellow I’d like to meet.”

03247b431bc5e3c2d4dba9103bbec9be--grim-reaper-bones.jpg

(Image source pinterest.com)


[1] Eisner and Wells did the same thing when Ashman was working on Beauty and the Beast.

[2] He explained the same thing to Peter Jackson during Lord of the Rings.
 
Well, looks like Mort will be a success, if seeing the process here is any indication.

Good to see Mr. Terrell Little again, I’ve always enjoyed his segments and was missing him for a bit; of course, being an animator it makes sense to have him record those particular parts of the animated films.

It was quite nice getting a little more A Small World, seeing how RotL did make them nervous, and how their success invigorated everyone a little. Also good to see the cast of Mort, and fantastic reasoning for Tim Burton to concede on Christopher Lee over Vincent Price; it makes sense that Terry Pratchett himself would recommend him, and Burton’s agreement seems fitting considering both his aesthetic style and the fact IOTL, he would work with him years later. Not sure if this will bresk out his career like LotR did for Hollywood mainstream, but it could be the start of a long working relationship with both Discworld AND with Disney... maybe.

[NB: Frankly, while I advocated for Tony Jay, I do admit there’s a lot Lee gives that probably makes him the better choice. I worried it would be too coincidental, but you’ve convinced me here.]

Very poetic that The Song of Susan, which may be the last film released theatrically that Howard Ashman works on (depending on the Mort release date, as well as when he dies) is also brought up. I also appreciate the courage that that cameo must have been, realising that outside a small circle at Disney nobody was let in on his illness until they saw proof of it... oof. The hindsight of finding his temper aggravating, not knowing why he’s suddenly so difficult, and discovering his fear of judgement later... not to mention that Pterry almost walks, until he learns why Howard’s so difficult and in turn finding the understanding and patience.

And of course, the ever-awareness that Death might be looming, but that doesn’t mean it’s cruel. Nice that Howard hopefully has that to look towards, just like Terry himself would OTL/will TTL.

EDIT: Forgot that Mort is mentioned to get released, as well as Alan Menken accepting a not-quite-posthumous award for his friend... Also, Sir Christopher being a badass and a boss, making sure people are authentic when they act out a stabbing death; just all-around great in general.
 
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Who should voice Havelock Vetinari? There's casting Charles Dance like OTL, but I have other ideas. Namely Tim Curry, Hugo Weaving*, Ralph Fiennes, and Doug Bradley. I think that Curry would do well as Vetinari's alter-ego "Stoker Blake"**, and as Vetinari's unwilling impersonator Charlie. And I think that Doug Bradley's natural voice suits Vetinari perfectly. And anything that rescues Bradley from the terrible Hellraiser sequels is good to me.

*Might be a better fit for Vimes.
**That's so far in the future that the books would likely not resemble their OTL counterparts. Especially Raising Steam, which was the unfortunately rushed final book of the mainline series before Pratchett's death.
 

wietze

Kicked
[NB: Frankly, while I advocated for Tony Jay, I do admit there’s a lot Lee gives that probably makes him the better choice. I worried it would be too coincidental, but you’ve convinced me here.]
it is very well possible that Terry Pratchett wrote death's voice with Christopher Lee in mind
 
Well let's start on the lighter stuff first. Much as I love that you kept Lee as Death (The Cosgrove Hall productions in the 90's are flawed, but they are made considerably better by his presence), I think Thurl Ravenscroft was a marvellous second choice. I've grown to like him quite a bit over the years (If anyone who reads my own timeline can tell) and were the good Count himself not avaliable, I'd say he'd have made a good second choice.

But Lee himself is fascinating,, you gave him a song too! And you've captured him perfectly here (Not going to lie, the reference to knowing how a man sounds after being stabbed cracked me up) and this is a Burton film in all the best ways, honestly.

So two things got me legit choked up. The Terry and Howard scene which feels like such a chilling moment (And I mean chills in the best possible way) and Howard telling Lee he hopes that it's him he meets. Gah, that's good stuff. The Death books are my favourite of the Discworld novels (Reaper Man is my personal favourite and in fact might be in my personal top ten) and what you've captured here is the relief that Pratchett wrote the character of Death as he did. There's that famous story about people sending in letters hoping that when they meet Death, he'll be Discworld-esque, and then the author had to go stare at the wall for a little bit of time. This, in the best possible way, kinda made me feel like that. Wonderful stuff.
 
The cast for Mort is amazing: River Phoenix doing the voice and singing for Mort, Helena Bonham Carter as Ysabel, Winona Ryder as Princess Keli, Michael Palin as Death’s manservant Albert, and Christopher Lee as Death.

The songs even without the dying Howard sound like they would be world class- the Oscar was likely well deserved.

For Howard to reveal his illness like that in Song For Susan took some mighty big brass.

Wonder if Freddie Mercury performing on Song For Susan is also him officially 'outing' himself? OTL Mercury refused to answer questions about this for years. Being on this soundtrack might go someway towards removing the stigma of Queen playing South Africa.

Hope there is a Disney project that Vincent Price and Christopher Lee can both get invovled in.

Nice couple of chapter @Geekhis Khan
 
There is a grave misunderstanding here about how publishing and books work. The Philosophers Stone came out in the US a year after the UK, by the time international distribution rights were sold the book had been edited and finalised.
Unless Disney has a publishing house who can get to Rowling before Bloomsbury (a budding, small group who gave her the benefit of the doubt when no other publisher would), their chances of having an effect on her creative process are less than slim-to-nil.
She also supposedly had two different agents spending a year shopping the book around to different publishers before it got picked up by Bloomsbury.
Wikipedia said:
She sent the book to an agent and a publisher, and then the second agent she approached spent a year trying to sell the book to publishers, most of whom thought it was too long at about 90,000 words.
Is there a list of which companies rejected the book?
And for the love of all that’s decent do NOT suggest a fortuitous random encounter with Jim Henson, OK?
Or maybe Jim Henson could have feelers in the UK publishing world through the UK branch of Creatureworks or any number of other UK sources.
a man facing is own mortality
His mortality.
[NB: Frankly, while I advocated for Tony Jay, I do admit there’s a lot Lee gives that probably makes him the better choice. I worried it would be too coincidental, but you’ve convinced me here.]
If it helps any Tony Jay will probably do the voice for any TV appearances of Discworld's Death.
Who should voice Havelock Vetinari?
Why do we need a voice actor for him? My very basic research tells me he was only mentioned in Mort.
 
There is a grave misunderstanding here about how publishing and books work. The Philosophers Stone came out in the US a year after the UK, by the time international distribution rights were sold the book had been edited and finalised. Disney Publishing would be looking to get the rights to sell an existing book in the US, not to go back and re-edit it. There is some allowance for translation, so the US version could be translated into American (remove 50% of the 'u's, that sort of thing) but this is small copyedits at most, not fundamental re-writes.

Of course Disney Publishing could buy the rights and propose the changes, but the author retains veto so Rowling can just say No. And why wouldn't she, at this point her original is selling well and there is even a lively trade importing the UK version into the US. These sort of deals also have a 'use it or lose it' clause, if Disney stamp their little feet and refuse to publish because Rowling refuses to bow down then they lose the rights and they can be sold on again to someone who will publish what is obviously a very hot property. If anything that would be a fun scene, Disney publishing person trying to explain why they refused to publish the book while the board look on in angered bafflement because they, like 99% of all HP readers, just cannot see the problem. (This idea of closely reading a book desperately looking for problems is a very niche activity and a recent one too).

And once past the first book, who is going to dare risk challenging Rowling and risk disrupting the money train?
I am well aware that The Philosopher's Stone came out in the UK far before Disney or Scholastic was able to acquire the U.S. publishing rights for it, so it's very likely that it will remain 100% intact, but is it really a given that Disney will not have at least some influence on HP's future books? Then again, it probably doesn't matter if HP remains as-is, as long as Disney actually gets the rights to HP, one way or another.

As for making those changes, I agree that Rowling would have a final say on every proposed change that Disney might have if they ever bought the rights to the franchise outright, especially after the first book where Disney isn't in a commanding position to make sweeping edits to her own story. It's why I am mostly ambivalent on actual changes in the first place aside from the comparison (compared to other posters which did propose more radical changes to her story and myself who didn't take the idea of different HIV/AIDS disease that seriously), which could easily be remedied as she made those comments about Remus Lupin's condition outside of the books. She might be persuaded to not make that connection to her readers at Disney's insistence, or she could explain to Jim and the Publishing team about why Lupin's condition and the comparison to HIV/AIDS is important to her, at which case they would probably understand and back off, even at the detriment of some of her fanbase.

Unless Disney has a publishing house who can get to Rowling before Bloomsbury (a budding, small group who gave her the benefit of the doubt when no other publisher would), their chances of having an effect on her creative process are less than slim-to-nil. And for the love of all that’s decent do NOT suggest a fortuitous random encounter with Jim Henson, OK? Geekhis has been phenomenal at making a lot of these ideas organic (including Art freaking Spiegelman being convinced that his work will be respectfully adapted), we don’t need a Henson ex Machina on that level...
Very unlikely Disney Publishing or Jim Henson would have even heard about the book in the UK before Bloomsbury, so that wasn't on the table there. They lost the US publishing rights OTL after HP proved to be a success in Britain at 1998, which is the point where it could be changed in Disney's favor. Not to blame the person who rejected it, but I just find it unlikely that Jim would not be gunning for HP thanks to his potential contacts in Britain (people's kids in the Creatureworks in London LOVES HP and it inevitably trickles back to Disney and Jim Henson thanks to word of mouth, which would've noticed HP's potential earlier and swiped the US publishing rights).

Personally, I'd prefer that Disney adapt Dinotopia alongside Lucasfilm and Potter stay at WB - principally because WB need a big franchise too and they've been getting the short end of the stick ITTL thus far.
Assuming Disney does fail to get the US publishing rights, then it's possible that WB could have Harry Potter as a film adaptation, but then they'd have to contend with a very hungry Disney-MGM who would want to adapt the franchise to cash in on its success. It'll be interesting to see how Disney would flounder a second chance at HP, but there's only so many times before I'd have to be confounded at Henson and Disney for their failure in acquiring at least one thing about the franchise compared to OTL where it made some sense.

Personally, I'd rather see a George Lucas/Jim Henson Dinotopia rather than whatever he might have done with Harry Potter.
Interestingly, Disney could have both, as Dinotopia (1992) and HP (1997) are far enough apart that they could reasonably acquire the rights to Dinotopia and Harry Potter, using them in whatever adaptation they wish. Still, we shall see on whether Disney has the chance to get the rights of both properties or not.

Man, this is all so sad, seeing Howard Ashman wither away like that, but I'm glad that he found Death, specifically Terry Pratchett's Death, because he's undoubtedly the most human and comforting notion of Death that I've seen. Plus seeing Terry and Howard meet and shake hands by the end of it all? Absolutely amazing.

I probably said this before in the last Mort part, but I still wonder if Terry and Jim will have encounters throughout the production of Mort after this, because just as Terry and his stories influenced Howard in a profound manner, I have confidence that he will do the same to Jim Henson too.

Plus, Mort is actually a Howard Ashman musical? God that sounds so amazing, plus with Christopher Lee as Death himself? No doubt that this will be 1000x better than any OTL Discworld adaptation with the combination of Disney's mastercraft animation, Ashman's music, and the excellent voice acting talent. I'll be surprised if this isn't a cultural touchstone for the U.S. and for Disney, especially since Mort is regarded as a success ITTL. As much as I love Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid, Mort might end up being a far more important film to Disney's evolution into the 1990s. Maybe we'll see more mature stories that resonate with kids and adults this time around along with the musical format as a result of Mort and Aladdin's success.

As for Aladdin, will Ashman's 1988 rendition be preserved despite him not completing the songs? That's the best that Disney can do to preserve Ashman's legacy in Walt Disney Entertainment.

Hope there is a Disney project that Vincent Price and Christopher Lee can both get invovled in.
I had a quick idea where one of the Signature Series could have an animated film about Charlemagne. It's wishful thinking, but Disney doing an epic on the historical figure does sound awesome.
 
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It's wishful thinking, but Disney doing an epic on the historical figure does sound awesome.
Disney animated adaptations of Shakespeare's historical plays, perhaps? You could make a series of them then, with a near-guaranteed market if you make recordings available at a discount for educational groups/school boards.
 
Disney animated adaptations of Shakespeare's historical plays, perhaps? You could make a series of them then, with a near-guaranteed market if you make recordings available at a discount for educational groups/school boards.
Would this butterfly The Lion King franchise? Chances are that's a given if this takes shape.
 
Disney animated adaptations of Shakespeare's historical plays, perhaps? You could make a series of them then, with a near-guaranteed market if you make recordings available at a discount for educational groups/school boards.
That's also what I had in mind too! Animated Shakespeare does sound like a fun challenge for Disney to do for the Signature Series. I don't want them to do just popular tales like Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, As You Like It, or Macbeth, but also lesser known works like Othello, Coriolanus, The Tempest, or the historical plays about England.

Would this butterfly The Lion King franchise? Chances are that's a given if this takes shape.
I generally think The Lion King has already been butterflied or is under threat of being butterflied thanks to Kimba, which Disney could totally do a modern Western adaptation instead of TLK.
 
That was quite the emotional rollercoaster, some excellent writing and enough light amongst the dark to give a bit of hope at the end.

As others have said one hell of a cast for Mort and it is always wonderful to see Christopher Lee scaring the hell out of people with his anecdote about his low-key cold-eyed killer past. I do hope this helps him get a few better roles a bit earlier. (I remember a joke from the time about his bad luck in trilogies; cut out of Return of the King but left in Revenge of the Sith. Which is harsh but did make me laugh).

I would think Freddie is still not going to out himself just because he didn't think it was anyone elses business (which it obviously isn't). I cannot imagine anything around his Oscar collection being quiet or subdued, so it is going to be even more of an open secret, but being true to yourself cuts both ways - if you like a private life then you shouldn't be forced to start talking about things you don't want to.
 
Disney going Shakespeare, my personal votes are for Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night.
Much Ado of course focused more on Benedict and Beatrice with their verbal sparing.
 
or the historical plays about England
My thoughts exactly. I can only wonder at the subtle changes to fantasy art heading into the 2000s if Disney has both a corpus of Shakespeare's work under their belt and they put the effort into making the costuming period appropriate (there's a hundred years difference between Richard II and Henry VIII, for example!).
See the remarkable work of Faith Schaffer online (example below) for fantasy art that 'gets' historical fabrics and silhouettes.
E3ACT5CUYAMiuYH_byFaithSchaffer.jpg
[in best Shakespearean voice] Speak not the name of madness here, villain! This be a happy place!
 
The obsessive Discworld fan and repeated nitpicker on this thread has ... absolutely no notes beyond that this sounds amazing. Very much one of the "Why can't I live in this universe?" moments of the TL. I hope there are sequels.

Noli Timere Messorem.
 
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