Disney Films That Could Make Good West End Shows
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media company in the world, having produced hundreds of films, countless merchandise, one of the most prolific characters in the world in the form of Mickey Mouse and several major theme parks throughout the world. Animated feature films are a major part to the Disney company, with its 50th one having recently been produced in 2010, Tangled. Some of the most successful animated feature films have been turned into West End and Broadway musicals in recent years, the most successful of these being The Lion King. With a whole host of other movies in its catalogue, Disney could produce many more if it wanted to. So which ones would make good West End shows?
Disney’s first full-length animated film was Snow White all the way back in 1937, and it was instantly made a classic, but would it make a good stage production at the West End? Producers might choose to cast children as the dwarves, much like Andrew Lloyd Webber did with the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz, and it is always quite hard to have a large number of children in a show, although Matilda seems to be coping! The story is a classic tale however, and it could probably be a success if it eventually did pan out.
Another classic Disney film is Pinocchio, the beloved Italian tale of a wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy. The story could pull in the viewers and also pull at the heartstrings of the public, and is slightly similar to Billy Elliot in that the underlying theme is about a young boy wanting to become something he is not. Billy Elliot is a massive success on the West End, and Pinocchio could prove to have similar success. The scene with the big blue whale might be difficult, but anything is possible on the stage!
With the recent Tim Burton film of Alice In Wonderland being a box office hit, could a Disney stage version of the weird and wonderful story ever see the light of day in the West End? Costume and make-up departments in Theatreland would be in heaven at the thought of recreating characters such as the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts, and the story is still loved today by millions. Could it be a West End success?
More recent Disney movies such as Pocahontas and Hercules could make good musical transformations, especially as both of the original Disney films include an excellent score. With extra songs added to the strong storylines, either of them would probably make good West End musicals. The only problem is that the film of The Lion King was such a success, with the stories of the Native American princess and the Greek God Hercules not being as popular, so if they didn’t prove to be much of a hit as films, what will make them work even better as musical stage productions?
There are countless Disney films which could and might turn into West End musicals in the future, and these are just some suggestions. Do you think that any of these films would work as musicals? Are there any other films that you would like to see turned into musicals? Have your say in the comments box below!