As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Broadway audiences may be able to expect adaptations of both Dumbo and Newsies in the near future. Disney continues to fuel this speculation, as stitchkingdom.com is now revealing that Disney Theatricals has registered website domains for both productions.
Reports stitchkingdom.com, which monitors domain registration: "Registered yesterday, we have: NEWSIESBROADWAY.COM, NEWSIESMUSICAL.COM, NEWSIESONTOUR.COM, NEWSIESTHEMUSICAL.COM and NEWSIESTICKETS.COM. On the Dumbo front, Disney has now registered the following domain names: DUMBOMUSICAL.COM, DUMBOONTOUR.COM DUMBOTHEMUSICAL.COM and DUMBOTICKETS.COM."
As New York Post columnist Michael Riedel reported earlier this week, Disney Theatricals has starting planning a production of Dumbo, the classic children's story about a baby elephant born with oversized ears that allow him to fly, making him the target of ridicule amongst his peers.
Wrote Riedel: "Disney is quietly laying the groundwork for a Broadway musical based on the animated classic 'Dumbo.' Word around Shubert Alley last week was that Disney was in talks with Stephen Daldry to direct." The New York Times later confirmed that Daldry is, in fact, attached to the project.
The fourth film out of the Disney Animated Classics series, "Dumbo" was released in 1941 by RKO Radio Pictures, and is based upon the storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a novelty toy ("Roll-a-Book"). Running 64 minutes, it is the shortest of the Disney animated features and was the most financially successful film for Disney in the 1940s.
Dumbo won the 1941 Academy Award for Original Music Score, awarded to musical directors Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace. Churchill and lyricist Ned Washington were also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song for "Baby Mine" (the song that plays during Dumbo's visit to his mother's cell), but did not win for this category. The film also won Best Animation Design at the 1947 Cannes Film Festival.
No details regarding a creative team, casting, or a timeline have been released.
On the Newsies front, Wayman Wong of the NY Daily News has revealed that Oscar-winningcomposer Alan Menken has told him that he and lyricist Jack Feldman (who together provided the music for the 1992 film) are working on bringing the show to the stage, with a reading scheduled for the Spring of 2010 and a new book being written by Harvey Fierstein.
Newsies was a 1992 Disney live-action musical film starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, and Bill Pullman. Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret also appeared in supporting roles. The movie gained a cult following after its initial failure at the box office.
The film marked the directorial debut of choreographer Kenny Ortega (Dirty Dancing, High School Musical, This is It and upcoming In The Heights).
The film is based on the true story of the 1899 newsboys strike, in which the pint-sized newsboys delivering the New York papers went on strike against the unfair practices of news magnates Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The film features 12 songs and multiple dance sequences including Carrying the Banner, Santa Fe, My Lovey-Dovey Baby, The World Will Know, Seize the Day, King of New York, Hard Times, Hard Times, Once and For All and more.
Disney Theatricals is currently represented on Broadway by Mary Poppins and The Lion King.