Another fairy tale is getting that signature Disney makeover, and this time it's all about the beans. Walt Disney Animation Studios is currently in the midst of D23, a three day event during which Disney presents exclusive new announcements and previews. Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter was on hand to announce the coming slate of films that will extend across the next few years, and it looks like Disney continuing the fairy tale adaptation trend.
Building on the success of Frozen, the studio is moving forward with another twist on a beloved children's story. This time it's an animated movie called Gigantic, based on the classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.
According to Variety the movie will be set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, following Jack as he discovers a secret world in the clouds populated by giants. The other main character in the movie is a giant called Inma, whom Greno describes as "11 years old, 60 feet tall, fiery, feisty and a lot to control." Jack manages to befriend Inma, who treats her human companion like "a living doll." The movie's villains are the the 120 foot tall Storm Giants, who will most likely want to grind Jack's bones to make their bread.
Nathan Greno (Tangled) will direct, Dorothy McKim (Get a Horse!) will produce and Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez have signed on to pen the music. This will mark the first time collaboration between Lopez, Anderson-Lopez and Greno, who had previously worked with Alan Merkin on the music for Tangled. It's a lineup that clearly knows how to make a Disney movie; McKim was a production supervisor on classic hits Beauty and the Beast and Oliver and Company. Based on the concept artwork released, it looks like it Gigantic will most closely resemble Frozen stylistically.
Prestigious team aside, it's exciting to see Disney embrace movies that are not reboots, spin-offs or sequels. Between this, Zootopia and Moana the studio is continuing its streak of interesting adaptations and original takes. If it has half of the emotional currency of Big Hero 6 and a fraction of Toy Story's charm, we could be looking at the next big blockbuster.
Of course, not every hit can be a home run and promising Disney movies have occasionally gone south. We'll have to wait and see if Gigantic's script lives up to the Disney legacy, but with such a talented lineup involved, there's good reason to be optimistic that the quality will again be outstanding.
Gigantic will arrive in theaters in 2018.