Basing a movie off a Disney theme park attraction is nothing new. Pirates of the Carribbean became a household name and the franchise raked in billions of dollars at the box office. However, that’s pretty much the only success story involving theme park movies. The Haunted Mansion, The Country Bears, and Tomorrowland all underperformed financially, and you’d think that Disney would give up these kind of adaptations by now. On the contrary, they’re still planning more movies based on their theme parks. These include a promising Haunted Mansion adaptation from Guillermo Del Toro and a film based on It’s a Small World. Now, if you were to ask someone how a movie based on a boat ride with costumed dolls could work, you’d probably be answered with the sound of crickets. However, Disney has recently tapped two writers to take on the project.
According to Variety, writers Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio have been hired by Disney to write It’s a Small World’s screenplay. The film has been in development for two years with National Treasure director Jon Turtlebaub set to direct. Rasmussen and Di Meglio’s writing credits include such films as Liscence to Wed, Marmaduke and Meet the Fockers. So yeah, one can easily argue that the film is doomed at this point. It doesn’t help that the original treatment for the script was written by Jared Stern, who also wrote critically panned comedies like The Internship and The Watch.
Fortunately for Disney, Lego Movie producer Dan Lin is co-producing with Turtlebaub. This way they can just put “from the producer of The Lego Movie” on the poster to hide the writers’ credits.
You probably remember It’s a Small World as that attraction that annoyed your parents to no end with its constantly looping Sherman Brothers song. Is the movie going to be a 90 minute loop of the song? Probably not, but there isn’t much material for a film adaptation. The original attraction was created as an attraction for the 1964 World’s Fair for the sole purpose of celebrating international unity. It didn’t exactly have the storytelling of rides like Pirates and Haunted Mansion that would be more suitable for film.
How the director of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the newly-hired writers can make a Small World film that works is anybody’s guess. MadTV made a sketch spoofing how ridiculous of a concept it is over a decade ago. Though if Sony can greenlight a movie based on Emojis, then pretty much any script can get made these days.