What can I say? As predicted, Disney is converting its theme parks to film piece by piece, ride by ride. THR reports that Disney is developing a new action-adventure movie inspired by its Matterhorn ride. The working title is The Hill, and Jason Dean Hall is set to pen the script.
The Matterhorn ride, also known as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, is part of the Fantasyland section at Disneyland. The ride has been around for more than 70 years, though recent years have seen the addition of some animatronic Abominable Snowmen. And in case you’re wondering if they’ll make an appearance in the film, they will. The story is a thrilling adventure surrounding five young adventurers who are called to the top of the mountain under mysterious circumstances. On their way back down they encounter the Abominable Snowmen. Yikes.
This news comes amidst a general frenzy to manufacture Disney ride/attraction franchises. From the announcement of a Magic Kingdom adventure film that will meld live action and animation, to the Haunted Mansion remake, rumors even have Disney developing a Jungle Cruise pic and a Tomorrowland.
Games, toys, dolls, rides…is Hollywood really that hard up for ideas? Or is this a genius marketing ploy that allows filmmakers to tap into instant markets and general nostalgia? Either way, if Disney keeps making bad ride-inspired movies (think Haunted Mansion, or the newest Pirates of the Caribbean) they will finally alienate their audience. The box office doesn’t reflect that yet, but churn out a dismal Matterhorn adventure film or a botched Magic Kingdom pic, and that may begin to change.