"Iron Man 2" director Jon Favreau's in-development Disney film "Magic Kingdom" raised several eyebrows when it was first announced. Would it be Disney's answer to "Night at the Museum" with popular characters like Jack Sparrow and Buzz Lightyear running around the world-famous theme park, or would it be something else?
"[The story for Magic Kingdom] is essentially a family caught in Disneyland, bringing all of the attractions to life," Favreau told Geek Time radio (via Screen Rant) during a recent appearance on the show. "I really want to plumb the depths of the history of the park because it's a place I love to go a few times a year.”
Favreau added that he doesn't believe "Magic Kingdom" would be a mash-up that relies too heavily on other Disney properties like the aforementioned "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Toy Story" characters.
"I don't think it's going to be mixing all the other movies," he explained. "I think it's going to be its own thing; I don't think it will be like 'Night of the Museum.' I want to make it a little bit spookier like the old Disney movies were and try to really capture that tone. This is something that I've always been drawn to and now to say, 'What characters do you want to use, and how do you not make it 'Space Jam' or like the Christmas parade with every character?' How do you show restraint and how do you make it tie into the emotional development of the characters?"
But even without that "Space Jam" quality, Favreau said he's paying a lot of attention to Disney's expansive catalog, especially the older material: "I've got to watch every Disney property. I started with 'Steamboat Willy' working my way all the way up. I really want to focus on the classic stuff like 'Dumbo,' 'Steamboat Willy,' all the early black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons -- all the Fantasyland stuff. I think there was something timeless about what Walt [Disney] did, and I want to explore, not just Disneyland, but Walt’s vision of Disneyland. If you look at his concept art it diverges a little bit from what the park turned into over time; but if you look at his original concept art and really explore what that world is, I think there is something really fun and magical to be done there."
Another goal of Favreau's is to recapture the magic that a person feels when first setting foot in Disneyland.
"When Walt first set out to do it, there was something very nostalgic and forward-looking at the same time about Disneyland," he said. "When you went down Main Street, it was the turn of the century, it was days gone by and Tomorrowland was the future. There is such a weird shared experience that any of us who's ever gone to Disneyland feels that I don't think has really been mined yet. It's this collective subconscious that we have, and there are these archetypes that are so strong that there's a fun way to present something that is family entertainment but still will take you through the experience that you had [growing up]."
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