Disney Developing ‘Fantasia’ Sequence Into Live-Action Movie

'Fantasia' Live-Action Movie
Courtesy of Disney

Disney is developing a movie based on the iconic “Night on Bald Mountain” closing sequence from the 1940 animated pic “Fantasia” for its latest live-action adaptation.

Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless will write the screenplay and executive produce the film, which is still in early development.

The classic animated pic “Fantasia” consisted of eight musical segments, including “Night on Bald Mountain,” which centered on a winged creature that raised the dead.

Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky created the music in 1867, which was arranged by Leopold Stokowski for the film. The original sequence was animated by Vadimir Tytla and had one of the longest shots ever produced in a multiplane camera.

This will be the studio’s latest live-action reimagining of an animated hit. Disney has already struck box office gold with “Alice in Wonderland,” whose sequel “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is slated for 2016, “Maleficent” and “Cinderella.”

Live-action versions of “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson; Jon Favreau-directed “The Jungle Book” (whose all-star voice cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Idris Elba); “Mulan”; Tim Burton-helmed “Dumbo”; “Winnie the Pooh”;  and “Tinker Bell,” with Reese Witherspoon, are all in the works.

The news was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

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  1. Disney has been making ‘remakes’ for a long time. They are cashing in on what they already own including brand loyalty and recognition. The problem is if you make anything ‘too creative’ the financial risk is very high. They are writing new material, but as the current enigma of movie financing goes, it takes a gazillion dollars to produce movies worthy of the Disney name and they know it. They create things that are ‘so great’ they cannot step-down from their own greatness. Consumers have high expectations if the Disney name is on a film. I think what they are doing is smart and pretty much ‘Marketing 101’. Live action is better than total animation and draws an older audience. I have a grade school child. I am much more likely to be able to ‘sit though’ a live action movie. I think animation hit a saturation point with parents.

  2. GaryCXJk says:

    Seriously, after all these years, wouldn’t you think they’d take away her spoon by now?

  3. PaulM says:

    I guess “originality” has become a dirty word at Disney’s. Their desperation in the way they’re raiding and raping their old properties has become embarrassingly palpable.

  4. Maggielun says:

    You know, people keep complaining that we need movies with original ideas, but Disney is also putting out a ton of original movies right now too. Tomorrowland is currently in theaters, Inside Out is later this month, The Good Dinosaur in November, not to mention the marvel movies, a new Star Wars, and an upcoming non-family film in October (Bridge of Spies). So it’s not like the live action versions of the classics are all they are doing. I don’t think, in the case of Disney, that is a legitimate complaint.

  5. Ken Gelsthorpe says:

    people keep talking like Disney only just started doing these live action remakes. anyone remember Glen Close in 101 Dalmatians about ten years back now.

  6. Burt Macklin says:

    WE DID NOT ASK FOR THIS! C’mon Disney, think of a NEW MOVIE! We don’t need you to recreate everything into live action, we need original ideas for movies!

  7. wiles11 says:

    So they dump Tron 3 for THIS? Sad . . .

  8. Maggielun says:

    Night on Bald Mountain was a scary piece, the movie better be just as dark and creepy, not cutesy and fun like the recent live action Disney films have been.

  9. frank deniro says:

    Wasn’t Disney’s flop “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” w/ Nic Cage another expansion of a “Fantasia” sequence?

  10. Green says:

    A lot of this sounds okay, but a Tim Burton version of Dumbo sounds like the punchline to a bad joke. :P

  11. Ken says:

    Dear Disney:

    Please stop regurgitating your inventory. Please stop raiding/raping all the classics in your so-called “vault”. Please re-learn to respect your considerable cultural heritage. Please protect Uncle Walt’s legacy. Please stop this stupidity.

    Yours truly,

    Someone Who Grew Up With Your Movies

  12. John Shutt says:

    Hey Disney,
    Remember the last time you tried to turn a segment from Fantasia into a full length movie?

  13. Max Bialystock says:

    And I’m officialy done with disney

  14. Arick Salmea says:

    I totally don’t get it! Disney canned Tron 3 because it’s slate was so large but now it’s going to produce a live-action big-budget movie based on an archaic sequence in a disney movie that no one under 30 has ever heard of or watched? With all due respect Disney… WHO CARES?! This seems like a major misstep. This is not a classic like Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella, this is some obscure character from a Disney movie that didn’t even speak!!! I’m totally at a loss. As a screenwriter and director myself, I am shocked and appalled that the originality of our artistic culture has been sucked out so severely that we are now raiding the vault for obscure characters to build movies on. Sad sad day. EPIC FAIL!

    • Zack says:

      I’m 25 and I not only own Fantasia, but grew up on it. It is one of the best animated movies they’ve done.

    • v says:

      I get your point and I’m with you, but… you’re a screenwriter and director and have “never heard of or watched” Fantasia?

    • Daniel says:

      Actually, this is the best idea that they have come up with. The fact that Chernabog is voiceless is topave a way for something more artful. Like Destino, and less abstract. More on the Russian folklore and staying away from the Maleficent style, just because they look similar.

  15. joan says:

    my childhood horror come to life

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