“Strange Magic” didn’t quite sound like an apt title for a Frozen sequel, despite recent rumors that pegged the handle to a developing second film about the Scandinavian sisters with the penchant for incurring unwanted winters. Apparently, Disney had been registering Internet material under Strange Magic not for the inevitable Frozen 2 , but for an animated picture that it has been gearing up to release as soon as January 2015, through Touchstone Pictures. And the kicker: the movie is written by George Lucas.
As Lucas’ namesake production comedy lives comfortably under the Disney umbrella, news that the father of Star Wars is penning an animated family film is not terribly shocking. The odd part of the announcement is that the film is hitting theaters in just two months, and nobody had any idea it was happening. We thought only Richard Linklater had the ability to keep things that under wraps in this day and age.
The fantastical story will hearken back to Lucas’ Willow days, depicting a world of fairies, elves, goblins, and other inhabitants of your standard enchanted forest locale, each vying for ownership of a mysterious potion. While a project like this is effortlessly provocative of good cheer, I’d be remiss not to lament the dismissal of writer Brenda Chapman from the project. The original writer/director of Brave was once again ousted from production of a Disney company’s animated feature, leaving us to hope that this one doesn’t turn out as disjointed and bear-heavy as Pixar’s Scotland-set mess.
As Lucas has little else to do but sit pretty on heaps of buyout money, watching from afar as the likes of J.J. Abrams, Rian Johnson, Gareth Edwards, and Josh Trank handle the world he built back in 1977, it’s a pleasure to know that he’s getting back into the creative minefields to turn out stories yet again. Sure, he didn’t exactly hit the nail on the head with any of his prequel movies, but maybe a non-Star Wars world is just the sort he needs to be working in.
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.