Let’s jump right into some exciting news! Magic & Misadventures, through an inside source, has managed to get some information about Disney’s next big animated movie project!
It’s based on Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher, a poem from 1845 German children’s book Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann, and it’s definitely a different sort of story for the studio.
The original plot of Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher (the title translates to “The Story Of Little Suck-A-Thumb”) revolves around a young boy named Conrad. His mother is going out, but before she does she warns him not to suck his thumb. She tells him that the “great tall tailor” will come and, with his “great sharp scissors”, will cut them off. Conrad starts sucking his thumb as soon as she leaves, then the door swings open and a “great, long, red-legged scissorman” rushes in. The tailor uses his sharp scissors to chop off Conrad’s thumbs, and when his mother returns home she only chides him for ignoring her warnings.
The project is still early, and in fact an official title has not been given to the movie and several plot details are still being worked out. However, Disney has already made substantial changes to the story for their animated version. The new tale revolves around young Conrad, who still has his thumbs cut off after sucking them but now must journey across the land to find the magic to reattach them. My source said that the tailor will not be the villain of the piece (as would be assumed) and is in fact a tragic figure who has been cursed and forced into cutting off children’s thumbs. In this Disney version he eventually teams up with Conrad in the hopes that the same magic that could restore Conrad’s thumbs could also lift the curse, and as they travel together they form an unlikely friendship that will be the core of the movie.
The scissors the tailor uses are actually a character that can talk and sing, and will be the main comic relief of the movie. Reports suggest Disney is hoping that the scissors will be the fun sidekick–think Olaf in Frozen—and will feature heavily in the marketing blitz. My source also indicated that Disney is gearing it as an action movie in the hopes of capturing the elusive young male demographic: the film won’t feature any sort of “princess” character and or love story.
Disney has tapped famed composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom Of The Opera) to write the music and actor Nathan Fillion (Firefly) is rumored to be voicing a major character. There is also some indication that the company plans to launch a theme park attraction to accompany the movie, a boat ride (similar to “it’s a small world”) with happy thumbless children singing songs from the film.
My source has generously supplied me with some early concept art from the film, shown (for the first time outside of the Disney studios) here:
No release date has been officially set for the film, though my source suggested that the studio is hoping for April 1, 2025.