If you were lucky enough to have seen Mary Poppins or Disney’s The Lion King before lockdown, you’ll understand the magic of Disney onstage. Seeing your favourite characters in the flesh is an experience like no other, and sprinkles another layer of magic onto those movies close to your heart. Thankfully – the list of Disney films that could be performed for the theatre is endless. Here are our top five Disney films that we’d love to see on stage in the West End.
Any true ‘90s kid knows that a 101 Dalmatians Musical would hit that nostalgic sweet spot. With an evil villain, a colourful array of characters and a classic plot, the film ticks all the right boxes for the big stage. Thankfully, if you want to catch Cruella de Ville at a theatre near you, you won’t have to wait long! A 101 Dalmatians musical is already in the works, thanks to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and we wait (im)patiently for an update on the opening! With music and lyrics written by Douglas Hodge, we’re sure 101 Dalmatians will be a spotless Disney delight.
The Emperor’s New Groove
Set in the depths of the Inca Empire, an Emperor’s New Groove was released in 2000 to critical acclaim. While the film might be one of the less popular Disney classics, we think the hilarious script, exciting jungle setting and animal cast would fit the stage like a glove.
Also, the brilliantly devilish Yzma and her dim-witted henchman Krunk is musical theatre through and through. Bringing the Peruvian jungle alive on the big stage makes sense for a much-loved, cult Disney film.
The 1999 animated Tarzan film is an untouchable classic in the Disney Hall of Fame. If the Lion King theatre production was a box office hit, why can’t Tarzan get his time in the spotlight? Having played on Broadway and nominated for a Tony Award, we’d love to see Tarzan swinging his way to a theatre stage near us.
With the tropical jungle environment and heart-warming plot, we’re sure Tarzan and Jane starring in a musical extravaganza would satisfy the romantic tropes of a feel-good musical and suit the stage perfectly.
Young or old, you’ve probably had the melody to ‘Let It Snow’ stuck in your head at least a few times since 2013. If you’ve been lucky enough to see the musical in New York, you’ll understand why there’s such a buzz around the brand new production.
After a glistening few years on Broadway, Frozen is finally making its way to the West End this year. The much-awaited production will be opening at the new Theatre Royal Drury Lane (following an extensive 2-year refurbishment) and features a star-studded cast, including Samantha Barks (Elsa), Stephanie McKeon (Anna), Obioma Ugoala (Kristoff), Craig Gallivan (Olaf), Oliver Ormson (Hans) and more.
To give you a little taster of what’s to come, we’ve got some exclusive videos with the cast including interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and more!
While we can’t wait for the Frozen West End production to arrive on these shores, we think it could be just the tip of the iceberg. Frozen 2 arrived in 2019 and we’ve already got our fingers crossed that a sequel is in the works for a theatre production.
There’s no doubt that Moana was the best Disney film of the ‘10s – ‘You’re Welcome’ is already a classic Disney song! The story follows Moana, the daughter of a Polynesian chief, on a mission to reunite a mystical relic with the goddess Te Fiti. With the beauty of the sea-theme providing a huge source for stage production inspiration, this modern Disney film would make a truly thrilling theatre experience. We’re hoping the coast is clear for Moana to make her dramatic entrance onto the big stage in the near future.
Disney films have always taken huge inspiration from theatre productions, so we’re sure that all these films would be box-office-dynamite. We’ve got our fingers crossed that these classic Disney tales will be wowing London audiences sooner rather than later.