The comparatively threatening Martian creatures and provocative elements in author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original John Carter novels have been made somewhat “friendlier” in Walt Disney Picture’s upcoming film adaptation – be they the 12-foot tall native inhabitants of Mars, Carter’s “Martian dog” Woola, or even the thunderous White Apes which the hero battles in a death match.

Previously-released John Carter promos has been primarily focused on footage featuring lots of CGI spectacle and grand-scale sci-fi action. Today, we have a new featurette that offers an early taste of the film’s approach to humor (among other things).

Disney’s John Carter movie tells the story of its namesake (Taylor Kitsch), an ex-military captain who’s still in mourning over the loss of his family during the Civil War. After seeking refuge in a cave, Carter inadvertently finds himself transported to Mars, a civilized alien world whose inhabitants are currently engaged in their own internalized conflict. Carter joins forces with individuals such as the green-skinned Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the humanoid Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), coming to the realization that he alone can help save this troubled world from destroying itself.

Check out the new John Carter featurette below:

It’s fair to say: John Carter looks a whole lot more like a traditional Disney live-action adventure, based on this new material. Not only is the humor presented here very all-ages friendly, but characters like Woola also seem all the more cartoonish and cutesy in motion (rather than in still images). There’s also something to be said about the visual of Carter bouncing around the Martian landscape, almost like a Looney Tunes character – put kindly, that element is harder to take seriously, when you see it in action.

Obviously, the logic behind “Disney-fying” the John Carter universe is to make it more accessible to moviegoers who have never heard of (much less read) Burrough’s source material. While that approach should make the $250 million production more of a marketable product, it’s also resulted in John Carter bearing all the stronger a resemblance to last year’s Disney-backed Mars Needs Moms – and that association is definitely one the Mouse House does NOT want the average moviegoer to make.

We will see how Disney’s John Carter gamble pays off when the film is released in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters in the U.S. on March 9th, 2012.

Source: Disney