As Disney celebrates two decades of asking Broadway audience members if they can “Feel the Love Tonight,” it might be time for this conglomerate to go on and quit.
From “Aladdin” to “Newsies,” not to mention “Frozen” lurching off in the distance like an iceberg of the stage, the company is showing no signs of stopping its theatrics.
In light of “The Lion King” now surpassing 20 years on Broadway, here’s a look at some Disney films that, Mufasa willing, will never come to the Great White Way.
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“Meet the Deedles”
If you can imagine “Yogi Bear” without the entertaining carnivore, you’re halfway to understanding the premise of 1998’s “Meet the Deedles.”
This buddy comedy that would be Paul Walker’s feature film debut told the story of two teenage surfers played by grown men who ended up becoming park rangers at Yellowstone through a case of mistaken identity.
As Shakespearean as that may sound, after overcoming the challenge of depicting an impromptu surfing scene on stage, you’d also have to find actors desperate enough to get on Broadway to say lines such as “This cave’s about to cave,” “That’s so diculous it’s re-diculous” and “Pull my finger.”
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So maybe it wouldn’t be that difficult.
“The Cat from Outer Space”
Keep this cat in the bag.
Birthed from an era when Disney was churning out countless live action movies every year, “The Cat From Outer Space” told the story of an alien-like cat with a glowing collar getting hunted down by the military with the help of two guys who are clearly knockoffs of “The Odd Couple.”
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There’s a slight chance this could work as a campy off-off-Broadway show, but judging by Disney’s past “go big budget or go home” approach to productions, that’s not going to happen.
“Mars Needs Moms”
Mars needs moms, but nobody needs this movie, let alone a stage adaptation.
While real-life actors would at least circumvent the film’s even then unnatural looking computer animation style that has aged about as well as bread, you’d still have to convince audiences to spend roughly $ 150 a seat on a show in which aliens abduct women to extract their “momness.”
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Admittedly, a sci-fi-themed musical could be interesting to see just north of 42nd Street, but with the plot more or less hinging on teaching Martians what love looks like, theatergoers deserve something a little less predictable.
Between “The Lion King” and “Cats,” if Broadway has taught us anything, it’s that people love singing felines.
However, there’s at least one major issue with “The Aristocats,” and its name is Shun Gon, a Siamese cat who hits on countless Chinese stereotypes, from obscenely large front teeth to the way he plays the drums with chopsticks.
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Disney could always just omit him, but do they really need to keep the fur flying as it is with Simba and pals already just down the block?
It’s only a matter of time before the Disney machine gets hungry enough and sets it sight on a Pixar film, those creations that have helped redefine the company for a whole new generation.
And what could be more tempting than “Cars,” one of its most merchandise-friendly creations featuring a slack-jawed pickup truck no focus group could turn down?
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In the same way that “Cars” hopes to suggest to audiences there’s more to life than speeding along the highway, here’s hoping Disney is happy enough with the quarter of a billion dollars the film made and leaves this one alone so that we never have to see a Juilliard grad strapped to four wheels as he tries to give weight and gravitas to a song about getting an oil change.
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