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!).
If Disney gets the clothing for Aladdin right (probably using Abbasid-era art as inspirations for the film if pushed to do so), then it shouldn't be a problem for Disney to do a faithful adaptation of Shakespeare where they're wearing historical clothes as animation doesn't need to account for physical fashion and wardrobe.

[in best Shakespearean voice] Speak not the name of madness here, villain! This be a happy place!
Lol.

Honestly it'd be hilarious if Claw evolved from an ordinary run of the mill villain to a real suave antagonist like Scar OTL thanks to the infusion of Hamlet and Shakespeare into the story along with the Disney magic.
 
It's odd to think of Mort with musical numbers...but the description of the film makes this die-hard Pratchett fan really wish he could see through the veil between worlds to catch a glimpse of it.
 
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.
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.
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.
This chapter was a legit tearjerker.

fasquardon
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.
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.
It's odd to think of Mort with musical numbers...but the description of the film makes this die-hard Pratchett fan really wish he could see through the veil between worlds to catch a glimpse of it.
First off, thanks all for the kind words. I'm glad that I made Mort work. Pratchett is hard to adapt because Sir Terry's novels are made so well as novels and hard to move out of the medium. Mort is one of the few relatively straightforward three-act stories, which makes me wonder if he'd deliberately made it for film adaption, perhaps at the recommendation of his agent.

Tony Jay was an inspired idea and is my third choice. I came really close to Thurl Ravenscroft (as long as he stays in the "Mr. Grinch" register it'd be scary-good, though I image some outtakes where Deat sounds just a bit too much like Tony Tiger!). Ultimately, my thoughts were that Sir Terry would have insisted on Lee.

Sir Terry's thoughts on the film will appear soon enough.

While Vetinari isn't in Mort (or certainly not in the movie) whenever I read the books I inevitably picture Alan Rickman, FWIW.

What's next, if anything, for Discworld?

Give me an S..., give me a T..., give me an A...!

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
Freddy will out himself if and when he feels like it, probably after teasing the press for years. I can see him showing up at the Oscars with a male date in the early 1990s and playing coy with the press, telling ET he's his "friend", The Hollywood Reporter he's his "assistant", and People he's his "hairdresser". or announcing that he's dating some famous starlet and then never once being seen with her. More videos in drag.

I'll look into getting Price and Lee together. At the minimum a World of Magic Halloween Special.

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.
Interesting thing to think about. Note that there will be a Shakespeare adaption in the future, and from a source I doubt anyone here is expecting.
 
Interesting thing to think about. Note that there will be a Shakespeare adaption in the future, and from a source I doubt anyone here is expecting.
Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse does Titus Andronicus. "Exit Goofy, pursued by Bear."

That or Muppet's King Lear.
 
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Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse does Titus Andronicus. "Exit Goofy, pursued by Bear."

That or Muppet's King Lear.
If it's a Muppets production I imagine something along the lines of the poster to the right of Bloom:
g1MxXQDcoLnjXqNvCGiXGBmG5PF-yWRsOPY1t0CAQNA.png
 
My supplementary material for the TL keeps expanding. I've subscribed to, but haven't yet listened to The Muppet History Podcast, picked up Tale of Sand from the library, and I've always been meaning to read more Pratchett. I've read Good Omens and the first four Discworld books so I've read, and loved, Mort. Going to have to pick that series back up so I can keep up with the references.
 
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I've read Good Omens and the first four Discworld books so I've read, and loved, Mort. Going to have to pick that series back up so I can keep up with the references.
Well, if you stopped at Mort you stopped just when Pratchett was about to truly take things to the next level and enter the world of the Sublime. As good as the first four are, they have nothing on the stuff he did in the 1990s and 2000s. Wait until you see where he takes Death, the Witches, and The Watch.
 
Antony and Cleopatra might be worth a visit as a feature film.

On another note (sorry to derail, but need to write this down before I forget), Tupac Amaru Shakur was almost cast for Bubba in Forrest Gump, as well as Mace Windu; assuming he doesn't get shot this time, maybe he goes full-time into acting like Will Smith did and eventually ends up in the House of Mouse? Henson would definitely be up for a Signature Series movie about trying to leave the hood life.
 
What's next, if anything, for Discworld?

I could certainly see Guards! Guards! working as a film. In fact, I could see it as a Henson/Muppets joint: live actors playing the human characters with muppet swamp dragons based off that dragon walk-around puppet that already exists.
 
baf44b49922837.58c1f6cff1d7e.png

Fences (Paramount; 1989) - Directed by Lloyd Richards; Starring James Earl Jones as Troy Maxson, Mary Alice as Rose Maxson, Courtney P. Vance as Cory Maxson, Charles Brown as Lyons Maxson, Jim Arahna as Jim Bono, Frankie Faison as Gabriel Maxson, Karima Miller as Raynell Maxson; Screenplay by August Wilson, Music by Quincy Jones, Produced by August Wilson, Executive Producer Stanley R. Jaffe
 
Image may contain: book, poster and fashion accessory

The Prestige (Warner Bros.; 1996) - Directed by Stanley Kubrick; Starring Daniel Day Lewis as Robert Angier, Gary Goldman as Alfred Borden, Alan Wheatley as John Cutter, Elizabeth Garvie as Sarah Borden, Lisa Langlois as Olivia Wenscombe, Louis Jourdan as Nikola Tesla; Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Cinematography by John Alcott, Executive Producer Jan Harlan
 
Personally, I'm loathe to totally butterfly The Lion King, principally because it's such a good film. It was also a project that Disney had had in mind since before The Little Mermaid was made (it was originally called King of the Jungle), so it's not like it was just an Eisner/Katzenberg idea.

Having said that, there is one change I'd like to see to The Lion King ITTL - Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson as either Timon and Pumbaa or Banzai and Ed (Ed would of course talk here). These are roles they were actually considered for OTL.

No disrespect to Nathan Lane/Ernie Sabella/Cheech Marin, but Rik and Ade would have been AWESOME in either of those two roles.

Allegedly, Tim Rice really wanted Rik and Ade for Timon and Pumbaa (even writing Hakuna Matata based on the show Bottom), but Disney couldn't get them for whatever reason.
 
The Little Lies
1623322261721.png

Death and his “Granddaughter” Susan from the ITV Hogfather miniseries in our timeline (Image source “fashionthatpays.files.wordpress.com”)

“All right,” said Susan. “I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable.”

REALLY? [said Death] AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

“So we can believe the big ones?”

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

“They're not the same at all!”

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

MY POINT EXACTLY.

― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
 
Image may contain: book, poster and fashion accessory

The Prestige (Warner Bros.; 1996) - Directed by Stanley Kubrick; Starring Daniel Day Lewis as Robert Angier, Gary Goldman as Alfred Borden, Alan Wheatley as John Cutter, Elizabeth Garvie as Sarah Borden, Lisa Langlois as Olivia Wenscombe, Louis Jourdan as Nikola Tesla; Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Cinematography by John Alcott, Executive Producer Jan Harlan
Is this a fan-made poster, or did that book somehow get adapted earlier without me knowing? Guessing the former, in which case it’s quite pretty; that said, who can say what butterflies affect actor availability, or even if the novel is written in its familiar form. If it were to get a different adaptation, I hope whoever tackles it makes it more faithful to the book; I do enjoy the film we got IOTL, but after reflecting on the plot differences I recognise the novel is more cerebral and thematically nuanced… also, Christopher Nolan’s admitted urge to kill off female love interests as a source of dramatangst has started to sour me on seeing him do it anymore post-Inception (and don’t get me started on how underwhelming Interstellar ended up).
Personally, I'm loathe to totally butterfly The Lion King, principally because it's such a good film. It was also a project that Disney had had in mind since before The Little Mermaid was made (it was originally called King of the Jungle), so it's not like it was just an Eisner/Katzenberg idea.

Having said that, there is one change I'd like to see to The Lion King ITTL - Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson as either Timon and Pumbaa or Banzai and Ed (Ed would of course talk here). These are roles they were actually considered for OTL.

No disrespect to Nathan Lane/Ernie Sabella/Cheech Marin, but Rik and Ade would have been AWESOME in either of those two roles.

Allegedly, Tim Rice really wanted Rik and Ade for Timon and Pumbaa (even writing Hakuna Matata based on the show Bottom), but Disney couldn't get them for whatever reason.
Is that so? I assumed that: a) the big HCA stories had been desired for adaptation since Walt’s time (pretty sure he at least had The Snow Queen as a plan in the 1950s), as well as B&TB, predating what became The Lion King; b) the point of divergence was early enough the idea might not have come up; and c) similar to Mistress Masham’s Repose and other cancelled OTL projects, the idea might just have not gotten off the ground, especially with how much innovation is already put into projects that are more successful here… Mind you, I may be wrong and we’ll get some version of TLK later, but until it’s mentioned I’m not going to assume it’s locked-in… and again, especially with Jim’s Japan fixation, they may decide it’s just too similar to Kimba the White Lion (I am aware it’s not wholly derivative, but creativity may have Jim want to do it elsewhere).

Or hell, maybe some “defectors” who really want to do the idea go to Bluth/Eisner with it. I dunno…

Thinking about it, I’m not totally surprised that the idea of an African animal movie (even if said original title completely misplaces the habitat of lions just like Edgar Rice Burroughs did, among other errors he made…) was considered as far back as the 80s. We tend to mythologise Africa as this wild and beautiful land (not without reason), exotic, savage, undiscovered… Sir Michael Bond originally meant Paddington to be from “darkest Africa” before discovering that it has no bears, which led to “darkest Peru” when he researched the Spectacled Bear (or Andean bear). For a lot of westerners, there’s a raw beauty that makes the wild appealing (same for other cultures).

EDIT: Corrected the South American bear species…
 
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Personally, I'm loathe to totally butterfly The Lion King, principally because it's such a good film. It was also a project that Disney had had in mind since before The Little Mermaid was made (it was originally called King of the Jungle), so it's not like it was just an Eisner/Katzenberg idea.
I would also hate to butterfly The Lion King, but looking at how The Lion King was developed OTL and the way things are going on now for Disney, I generally see it as impossible for The Lion King, the movie, to exist ITTL.

Disney did make an early draft for The Lion King (before The Little Mermaid), according to Disney Wiki/The Lion King Wiki called King of the Kalahari, but that was after the idea was brought up in 1988 after Oliver and Company, so the movie seems to be inextricably linked to Katzenberg and not something they had in mind before Eisner and Katzenberg went to Disney a few years earlier, which would justify having a similar film in the works during Henson's time.

Of course, they could have a similar moment somewhere along the timeline around the late 1980s or early 1990s, but then....
Nerdicus
So, then, speaking of Disney and Miyazaki, Disney also brought the amazing animation of Studio Ghibli to America, and for that alone the Mouse gets my love…

Dorkimax
Lots of love! Show this channel “Love” below!! (points down)

Nerdicus
Right, and Disney also made a VHS and later VCD distro deal with “Japan’s Disney”, Osamu Tezuka and his Tezuka Productions to distribute Astro Boy, Princess Knight, and of course Kimba the White Lion[1]!
With Jim Henson and Disney already knowing about Osamu Tezuka's Kimba the White Lion possibly even before the VHS/VCD deal (seems to be around the same timeframe), it's like, why would they not make a Kimba adaptation over The Lion King?

I could be wrong and there would be a path where TLK was brought to life for the Disney canon (no matter how convoluted that would be), but I am also interested in a scenario where the controversy between TLK and Kimba simply did not exist while fans could potentially enjoy a killer Kimba film that would no doubt honor Osamu Tezuka and his legacy.

Hopefully Disney does more Discworld adaptations, although they might end up being completely sporadic this time around. It's certainly better than what Discworld has OTL in terms of movie/TV media.

And yes, I did read all of Death's lines in Christopher Lee's voice, albeit that's a bit of a guilty pleasure as Death was played by a different actor in this adaptation OTL.
 
Disney did make an early draft for The Lion King (before The Little Mermaid), according to Disney Wiki/The Lion King Wiki called King of the Kalahari, but that was after the idea was brought up in 1988 after Oliver and Company, so the movie seems to be inextricably linked to Katzenberg and not something they had in mind before Eisner and Katzenberg went to Disney a few years earlier, which would justify having a similar film in the works during Henson's time.

Technically, Katzenberg didn't come up with the idea - he was on a plane with Roy E. Disney and Peter Schneider, when someone (I think it was Roy) brought up about the idea of an Africa-set film. Katzenberg liked it, but he didn't come up with it. There's nothing stopping a similar conversation from happening ITTL, with Henson, Miller and somebody else.

With Jim Henson and Disney already knowing about Osamu Tezuka's Kimba the White Lion possibly even before the VHS/VCD deal (seems to be around the same timeframe), it's like, why would they not make a Kimba adaptation over The Lion King?

One big reason I can think of is that Kimba's a little... strange for American audiences - you've got animals talking to humans and carnivores going vegetarian. Obviously, once you've changed those things to make the story less confusing, why not just make an original film in the first place?

There's also the argument that, in that case, why don't Tezuka Productions just make a Kimba movie in Japan and have Disney distribute the dub in America, rather than Disney make their own version? There, Tezuka Productions would have full creative control.

I can also see Henson being interested in naturalistic, animal-centric films as a concept, like Bambi (for a historical example) and The Land Before Time (for a recent example ITTL), and an African animal movie is one of the first possible suggestions for a setting - aside from another dinosaur movie.
 
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