Disney has been minting money lately with live-action adaptions of its animated movies. Maleficent, Oz The Great And Powerful, the Day-Glo nightmare that is Alice In Wonderland—all stories the Mouse House has covered before, only better. Now they’ve moved on from picking the bones of old movies and into shorts: Variety reports that “Night On Bald Mountain,” a sequence from the 1940 animated film Fantasia, is being adapted into a live-action feature film.
The wordless animation sequence (the last of eight in the original film) centers around a giant winged beast that raises the dead, set to the strains of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. It was arranged by Leopold Stokowski for the film, which features one of the longest shots ever produced on a multiplane camera, a technique in which a number of pictures are moved past the lens at various speeds and distances to create a three-dimensional effect. It’s not unlike the technique used in Alice In Wonderland, where Johnny Depp was shoved past the camera at various speeds to create the illusion that his character was three dimensional.
This new feature-length version will be written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who co-wrote last year’s Dracula Untold and the upcoming Vin Diesel vehicle The Last Witch Hunter. It joins other live-action productions currently in development, including: Beauty And The Beast (with Emma Watson); a Jon Favreau-directed The Jungle Book; Mulan; Tim Burton’s Dumbo; Winnie-The-Pooh; and a version of Tinker Bell starring beloved sass talker Reese Witherspoon. Soon, all that will be left is Song Of The South and Pinocchio. (Speaking of Pinocchio, the fact that Disney hasn’t already begun production on a version that moves from animation to live action when he becomes a real boy seems insane.)