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Mort… C’est Mort?

Not much to report yet but word has come to me that Mort, the animated feature which Ron Clements and John Musker had planned to adapt from Terry Pratchett’s 1987 fantasy/comedy novel, has been abandoned. I’ve been given no explanation yet for why this happened, but it’s yet another promising project down the drain at the Walt Disney Animation Studios. The known animation slate at Disney remains remarkably bare; no wonder some animators might be looking to other studios, where they actually make movies.

UPDATE: I’ve just now come across this post and comment thread at the Animation Guild blog, which echoes these rumors, while also pointing out how bare Disney’s development slate is these days. According to the anonymous nabobs on the Guild site, the issue with Mort came down to rights. Apparently Disney couldn’t secure them, which is naturally a problem when you’re trying to make a film based on a book. I haven’t heard this personally from my sources, but I guess it’s as good a reason as any to abandon another interesting premise for an animated film. Hey, maybe they’ll greenlight and cancel Snow Queen again just to keep things interesting…

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10 comments to Mort… C’est Mort?

  • Ally


    I’m so disappointed! Mort could be very interesting.

    Dear Michael, thanks for the news.

    I read on your link that also Keane want to left Disney, it’s very frustrating.
    Today, Disney has lost his magic: no traditional animated movies, no Snow Queen, probably no Glen Keane, it’s very very frustrating and my disappointed grow up.

    Dear friend, the “another promising project” is with human characters or with animals? Could you tell me something? I hope it will be another great story, or fairy tale, but I know that today Disney doesn’t want to do others fairy tale movies.

    I hope Musker and Clements don’t left Disney, they are great, so I hope they will create another movie or they will retooled Mort or modify this and make another story with Mort atmosphere…

    I hope Disney will make other traditional animated movies or at least hand drawn shorts… could you know anything about shorts?

    Thank you by advance, dear Michael.

  • FigmentJedi

    I heard it was a case of being unable to secure the rights. Though Pratchett has allowed for a television show based on the City Watch from other books in the Discworld series to go into production now.

  • Ally

    Thanks for the update, dear Michael.

    I hope Disney will do Snow Queen in (near) future but I hope they don’t greenlight and cancel Snow Queen again just to keep things interesting…

  • Ally: The “another promising project” was just a reference to Mort. I don’t know anything about the other projects that are supposed to be in development at the moment. I also don’t know what’s happening with the shorts program, aside from the fact that they’re finally releasing “Ballad of Nessie” this year.

    Figment: Thanks for the info!

  • Joseph Kastner

    The cynical response to this post – would you rather they churn out another Home on the Range, another Brother Bear, another Atlantis?

    Yea, Dreamworks Animation had originally planned to churn out three per year. Reality, however, has smacked the midget in the face and he’s reversed that decision. Underperforming films – Monsters v. Aliens/Megamind (among others) – are hurting DWA stock badly. Sure, Dreamworks stumbles upon a hit every now and again, but they are very rare. And, in the case of How to Train Your Dragon, they didn’t know what to do with it at first. I would much rather Disney take their time and choose the right projects then pull a Dreamworks and churn out junk in the hopes that one will stick even slightly.

  • Ally

    Dear Michael,

    thank you for your answer.



  • Victor Kong

    I’m kind of disappointed that they’re not going to do Mort. I see it as not another Brother Bear or Home on the Range, but another Lilo and Stitch. A movie that can be charming and funny at the same time. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m a HUGE Discworld fan.

  • Liam Scanlan

    Andreas Deja said in this very interview that John Musker and Ron Clements are working on another feature:

  • Liam Scanlan

    And it’s for Disney, so they’re not leaving.

  • elizabeth

    Aww,that’s too bad. But great to hear new news about it, I wonder what will be next for disney after winnie pooh.

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