Our Nightmares Are Coming True: ‘It’s a Small World’ and ‘Peeps’ Movies in the Works
When you follow movie news as closely as we do, you learn to roll your eyes at terrible ideas and move on. There's not point in getting worked up when a truly awful project is announced because getting worked up over every bad idea that comes out of Hollywood would mean getting worked up every single day of the year and we just don't have the energy to deal with getting worked up so often (whew).
But, today is a special day. Today, they've gone and announced movies based on Disneyland's 'It's a Small World' ride and popular Easter candy, Peeps Marshmallow Treats. Today, they have gone too far.
If you're sitting there and asking yourself how exactly anyone plans to turn these things into movies in the first place, welcome to the club. We're used to crass commercialism, but we're not used to major movie studios literally pointing at things (seemingly at random) and saying "That! That right there! That happens to be something that people know the name of! Let's pump tens of millions of dollars into it!"
Right now, the 'It's a Small World' movie feels like the more inexplicable of the two. Unlike other movies based on Disney theme park rides, there isn't a single shred of story or conflict in this thing. Initially a World's Fair attraction, it's a slow-moving boat ride through scenes representing countries from around the globe, with hundreds of creepy puppets singing the unnerving and exhausting title theme song.
The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' ride has creepy caves and pirate battles and plundering. The 'Haunted Mansion' ride has a spooky atmosphere and a clever, wry sense of humor. 'It's a Small World' has puppets that sing a pedantic and obvious message in your face for 15 minutes, repeating it over and over and over again because your boat will undoubtedly get stuck at some point. It's outdated and awful. There is no movie here, not even with 'National Treasure' director Jon Turteltaub at the helm. Deadline reports that Disney sees this as being the start of a franchise, so prepare yourself: you're going to start hearing that awful song over and over again.
The Peeps movie sounds slightly less miserable because director Adam Rifkin's basic pitch is only nightmarish and not apocalyptic. According to Deadline, the film will follow a lost marshmallow Peep who gets separated from his diorama and has to journey across multiple fantasy worlds (AKA, other dioramas) to get back in time for the diorama contest.
Yes, this an animated family movie about a sugary, candy bird who needs to help win a contest.
Anyway, Rifkin says that he was inspired by the Peep-centric art projects he watched his kids make, but the article also name-drops 'The LEGO Movie' as a key influence. Will this be the legacy of Phil Lord and Chris Miller's surprising and wonderful animated film? Has it simply opened the floodgate for countless feature length commercials that don't understand what 'The LEGO Movie' was doing?
If there is a Movie God, we hope this is the rare moment where He chooses to interfere. His work has been corrupted and defiled. Bring on the flood, Movie God. Wash all of this away.