Fair point. Also, I do agree that an African film about animals is on the table (the concept is too general and interesting enough to not be discussed ITTL), as I have said previously: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.
but since Kimba is already within Disney's consciousness ITTL, they might not bother doing a story like The Lion King.Of course, they could have a similar moment somewhere along the timeline around the late 1980s or early 1990s, but then....
If Disney decided to do an original film, then it's likely it would not follow the same beats as The Lion King because they're more aware of the parallels between the characters of the Lion King and Kimba (In fact, if they did The Lion King as is, then Tezuka Productions could potentially hear of it and protest against the development of the film for using characters that are too similar to Kimba), even if they are superficial. Might as well do a film about African mythology like Anansi or Mwindo as an alternative.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.
That's also a good point about a dub about a Japanese Kimba film (In fact, Disney could produce the dub themselves and release it), but then that would probably satisfy Disney's desires for a film about animals (or even an African film, but that's very unlikely for ITTL Disney) if they did not produce one already. It's actually more realistic that Disney would do this than the Kimba adaptation, but I was thinking of a way to introduce some of the plot of TLK into Kimba.
Yeah, I don't doubt for a second that Henson will not do a movie centered around animals for the near future, so it's not out of the table just yet. I'm still hopeful that Tezuka collabs with Disney for a Kimba adaptation in that case.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.
Speaking of Dinotopia, I generally think that it could be a better fit in live-action w/ Creatureworks effects and CGI than animated because of how amazing it would be to see practical effects for all of the dinosaurs involved, especially in movement. It'd be a more positive/optimistic counterpart to Universal's Jurassic Park in that case.