‘Trolls’ Director to Overstimulate Youth Audiences Once Again with ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ Reboot
The aesthetic of the Trolls movie that debuted earlier this year could be fairly described as “everything all of the time.” It’s a whirling hurricane of Day-Glo colors and candy farts and peppy pop tunes and endless Pixy Stix buffets. It plays like the EDM sugar rush of an eight-year-old off his meds, and audiences responded in kind with a massive box-office return. (The #1 FM radio single from Justin Timberlake didn’t hurt matters, either.) Still cruising from his child-geared hit’s success, Trolls director Mike Mitchell has now taken his next project, and it looks like he’s going to be trading the kid-approved MDMA for something a little more… herbal.
The 1963 song “Puff the Magic Dragon,” popularized by seminal folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, was widely interpreted as a veiled reference to recreational marijuana usage at the time of its release. This frustrated the original creators, who insisted that it was a guileless ditty about a friendly magical beast that plays with children. I like to believe Mitchell will include a little of both readings when he reboots Puff the Magic Dragon as a live-action/animation hybrid in the years to come. (Fun, apropos fact: also attached to the project is power producer Akiva Goldsman, currently an affiliate of a production house named Weed Road.)
The song has already received one screen adaptation, via a 1978 half-hour TV special featuring the great Burgess Meredith as the voice of the dragon. One can assume Mitchell will work from there as he forms his own vision for the material, though his treatment will blend animation (the item from Deadline doesn’t make it clear as to whether this will be the same 2-D animation as in the original film, or modernized CGI) as well as live-action photography. With any luck, parents will be begging their children to stop screeching whatever this film’s version of “Can’t Stop the Feeling” will be in no time!