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Disney expands Night on Bald Mountain into a live action feature

06.04.2015by: Cody Hamman

The 1940 animated Disney film FANTASIA features an eleven and a half minute sequence titled NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN, which has the following description:

At midnight the devil Chernabog summons evil spirits and restless souls from their graves to Bald Mountain. The spirits dance and fly through the air until driven back by the sound of an Angelus bell as night fades into dawn. A chorus is heard singing Ave Maria as a line of robed monks is depicted walking with lighted torches through a forest and into the ruins of a cathedral.

The imagery is accompanied by Leopold Stokowski's arrangement of "Night on Bald Mountain", a composition created by Modest Mussorgsky in 1867. According to Mussorgsky, the music was meant to score the scene of a group of witches gathering around Satan on Bald Mountain to praise him and win his fancy.

Disney is now planning to expand BALD MOUNTAIN's demonic revelry into a live action feature film, and DRACULA UNTOLD/THE LAST WITCH HUNTER screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless have been hired to write the script.

NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN certainly has the potential to be quite a creature feature, but it will be interesting to see what sort of story Sazama and Sharpless build around the monster party, and to see how the devil elements are handled without drawing protests from family groups. A Disney movie that's all about pleasing Satan/Chernabog isn't likely to fly with some moviegoers. I wouldn't expect the harpies to be bare-breasted in live action, either.

This is a surprising move for Disney, but an intriguing one.

Extra Tidbit: How would you turn NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN into a feature?
Source: THR

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