“Family-friendly entertainment” means different things to different people, despite nearly a century of the Walt Disney Company attempting to associate the concept exclusively with its own brand. And on the business level, Disney has become increasingly identified with entertainment itself. “With Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and their princess content tucked safely in their portfolio,” writes Boing Boing’s Devin Nealy, “Disney is only a few studios away from having a monopoly on nostalgia. At this point, it’d be easier to count the IPs that Disney doesn’t own.”
When it comes to extracting all possible value from IP — that is, intellectual property — no company shows quite as much determination as Disney. This goes for the creations it has lately acquired as well as those it already owned.
Witness, for instance, its recent spate of live-action remakes: The Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau, Aladdin by Guy Ritchie, Dumbo by Tim Burton. That these are hardly the least plausible products to be put out by Disney Studios in the twenty-first century sends the imagination toward ever more incongruous possibilities for IP-reusage. What if Disney remade, say, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange?
Such is the premise of the uncanny trailer above, created by Youtuber JabaToons. Using audio taken straight from Kubrick’s eclectically nightmarish vision of Anthony Burgess‘ dystopian novel, it also renders a host of its scenes not in the style of the CGI extravaganzas Disney puts out today, but the more traditional, two-dimensional animated pictures it still did in the nineteen-nineties. The trailer announces the film as “Disney’s 35th animated classic,” a position occupied in reality by Hercules: also a hero’s journey, albeit with a much different tone, to say nothing of outcome, than A Clockwork Orange. Alex Delarge may look strangely plausible as a Disney character, but a protagonist with a less family-friendly set of interests would be hard to imagine.
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.