Disney Is Adapting ‘Fantasia’ Sequence ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ Into a Live Action Movie
75 years after its release, Fantasia remains one of the most unique animated movies ever made and an anomaly in the Disney canon. There is little-to-no story to be found, just a series of gorgeous and evocative (and unconnected) sequences that dramatize various pieces of classical music. It’s the absolute definition of “movie that would never, ever get greenlit in the year 2015.” Still, that won’t stop Disney from taking one of the film’s most iconic sequences and adapting it into a live action movie. Because why think up a new idea, right?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dracula Untold writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless will pen and produce a feature length take on Fantasia’s “Night on Bald Mountain” segment. As you probably remember from your childhood nightmares, that’s the second-to-last sequence in the film. You know, the one where the gigantic demon named Chernabog conducts his hellish army of the undead from atop a mountain while Leopold Stokowski’s menacing arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky’s original composition blares on the soundtrack. In a film that is filled with memorable moments, “Night on Bald Mountain” is what has been forever burnt into our brains.
And we get the desire to make this into a full-fledged movie. Really. We do. This is the closest Disney animation has every gotten to making a true, honest-to-Walt horror movie. No wonder people, ourselves included, are a little obsessed with it. We can only assume that Sazama and Sharpless share that obsession. There are enough creepy images and ideas packed into this sequence to fuel a dozen horror movies. There may not be a story to adapt, but “Night on Bald Mountain” is so evocative that it demands closer inspection.
Still, it’s hard to get too excited about any live action film based on an animated Disney movie at this point. Sure, Cinderella was good and Bill Condon directing Beauty and the Beast sounds downright inspired, but we aren’t going to forget the sins of Maleficent (which gets name-dropped as a direct point of comparison by THR) and we will never forgive Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Heck, if Maleficent is the direct point of comparison, does that mean we’ll get a look at the softer, gentler side of Chernabog? Because ugh.
The film is still early in the development process, so we can’t leave you with an expected release date or anything like that. However, we can leave you with the reminder that the last time Disney mined Fantasia for a live action movie, we got The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. You know, the one with Nicolas Cage. Let that sink in for a moment.