By Matthew McKibben | April 23, 2014
Deadline.com is reporting that the folks at the House of Mouse have hired National Treasure and Last Vegas auteur Jon Turteltaub to work on adapting the “let’s beat the 94 degree heat and 94% humidity in Orlando by riding the air conditioned ride with the shortest line” It’s a Small World into a feature length movie. If I seem overly cynical, it’s because this has the air of a total cash grab on Disney’s part. It’s not altogether surprising, though, considering they’ve turned everything from the (upcoming) Tomorrowland to The Haunted Mansion to the seemingly never ending Pirates of the Caribbean franchise into feature length movies. Making bucks and promoting their parks is standard operating procedure for Di$ney.
But whereas those rides listed above seem to be ripe for feature length movie, it’s hard to imagine how they will find material from a ride that is basically 10 minutes of various nationalities and (often problematic) racial identities singing the same catchy song over and over. All cynicism aside, I love the message of that song. The ride and its song promote a great message of racial and international peace as sung over and over and over and over again by animatronic robots. If the movie can somehow capture that vibe, it might be worth checking out and exploring. Who knows, maybe the movie will take an angle where the animatronic robots themselves come to life and try to bring their 1960s utopian sensibilities to a more cynical, seemingly destructive time. I don’t know whether what I just wrote would be more creepy or more endearing… I’ll report back tomorrow on if the thought of those animatronic kids coming to life is the stuff of nightmares or not.