Tuesday, July 08, 2014

More Raiding of the Pantry

101 Dalmations, then Maleficent, and now this. Where will it end?

Disney is developing a live-action take on its 1941 animated classic Dumbo and has Transformers franchise writer Ehren Kruger penning the script.

Justin Springer, who worked on Tron: Legacy as well as Oblivion, is producing, as will Kruger.

At 64 minutes, Dumbo is one of Disney’s shortest features but remains one of its most emotionally satisfying ones as it tells the story of a baby circus elephant who is made fun for his large ears. When his mother steps in to protect him and is locked up for it, he ends up on the road with a mouse as his companion. The mouse instills into Dumbo the idea that with the help of a magic feather, he can fly. ...

The new take involves the adaptation of the original movie while adding a unique family story that parallels Dumbo's story. Also, the studio believes that because of the current state of CG technology, live-action movies featuring a soaring pachyderm (or any animal for that matter) are viable ...

Recycling, it's the name of the game.

But this isn't the first time a newer version of Dumbo has been put into development. Some years ago, when David Stainton was briefly heading up Disney Toon Studios before his promotion to chief of Disney features, a sequel to the '41 classic was in extended development. Joe Grant, one of the original writers of the first film, was peripherally involved in the project, pushing to make the newer rendition a CG production. (Dumbo II has started life as a hand-drawn sequel.)

But after quite a bit of work had been done, the project was shelved, the crew laid off and/or moved on to other projects. That was the last I heard of a new Dumbo movie.

Until now.


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