Dumbo: Disney are adapting film into a musical

The New York Times confirms Michael Riedel's report earlier this week in the New York Post that Walt Disney Theatrical productions are in the early stages of adapting the 1941 animated classic Dumbo into a Broadway musical.

In his report Riedel said that Disney had approached Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) about helming the production, but that Daldry had turned the offer down. However, we now know, through an anonymous Disney executive speaking to the New York Times that, "This is Stephen's idea, and he's very passionate about it."

It is not known when the project will come to Broadway, but it will not be during the 2010-11 project as the musical is stll at a very early stage.

Further confirmation that Disney are working on adapting Dumbo for the stage came with the news reported by stitchkingdom.com that on 4 Mar 2010 Disney studios registered the following domain names dumbomusical.com, dumboontour.com, dumbothemusical.com and dumbotickets.com.

The one thing missing from these domain names is any mention of Broadway. Disney has had success with touring musical productions that have not come to Broadway, such as 'High School Musical.' Could it be that Dumbo, if it finally goes from drawing board to the stage, will be a touring production only?

There has been no official announcement about 'Dumbo' the stage musical.

Dumbo is Walt Disney Studio's fourth film in their animated classic series. The film was released in 1941 and was a financial success for the Disney Studio's, grossing $1.6 million during its original release.

The 64 minute movie tells the story of a circus elephant who is ridiculed for his big ears and whose only friend is a mouse named Timothy. Dumbo hates being a circus elephant, until he accidentally discovers he can use his large ears to fly. As a result of this new found talent Dumbo finally gains the respect of his peers as he is now the top bill in the circus act.

The movie won the 1941 Academy Award for Original Music Score and the song and the Academy Award for Best Song for "Baby Mine." The score, by Oliver Wallace and Frank Churchill, also contains the songs "Pink Elephants on Parade" and the popular "When I See an Elephant Fly."

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