Recently, Disney announced plans for a movie based off the ride, It’s a Small World. Recently, the ride has been making headlines for the 50th anniversary of its debut at the 1964 World’s Fair. The company has been releasing an animated web series based on the show through Disney interactive on the main disney.com.
Don’t get me wrong, It’s a Small World is a great ride. I’ve loved it since I was young, and I will continue to love it, I anticipate, for years to come. However, doesn’t it feel like this is almost a late “April Fools” joke? If you asked me back in 2002 whether or not Pirates of the Caribbean would succeed as a movie franchise, I would’ve made the wrong prediction, as would many others I expect. Even that franchise has run its course and died down now. Honestly, I do not see the public clamoring for more fare based off of Disney amusement parks. The long-rumored Jungle Cruise movie has thankfully stayed dormant, and in spite of the addition of the Barnabas T. Bullion company to Big Thunder Mountain in Walt Disney World, we have yet to see that attraction hit the small-screen on ABC.
I get it: creating a franchise out of an existing ride attracts those movie audiences into the parks without spending any more money to develop an E-ticket ride. But it’s almost like a slap in the face at this point. Though I am a traditionalist when it comes to Disney parks, I am not opposed to tasteful upgrades and updates. Sadly, we know that whatever characters Jon Turteltaub directs will then be directed straight into the ride by corporate. That is not under my definition of a tasteful update.
As a massive entertainment company with more properties under its wingspan now than ever in its history, one would hope Disney has the decency to look a little harder elsewhere before resorting to turning another one of its own classic, core theme park rides into an ugly, disposable franchise.