With the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise and the upcoming Tomorrowland feature film, Disney is digging deep into their catalog to deliver the theme park attraction experience on the big screen. The newest attraction to a narrative adaptation is Space Mountain, which is being turned into a trilogy of graphic novels.
As reported on Disney and More, the first graphic novel is simply titled Space Mountain. It’s described as “the story of two kids, a miniature flying saucer, and dangerous mission twenty-four hours into a twisted tomorrow.” Spider-Man writer Bryan Q. Miller wrote the graphic novel, while Batman artist Kelley Jones and Hi-Fi Design illustrated the new series of stories. The Space Mountain graphic novel looks really kid-friendly, but I’m sure it will appeal to sci-fi-loving adults as well.
The first of the series will take place in the year 2125, at the Magellan Science Academy, which has given two lucky cadets “golden tickets” to join a team of explorers on a special field trip that will last for 24 hours. When the trip goes off the tracks, the two children — along with a miniature flying saucer sidekick — must save the crew and return to Space Mountain, before time runs out and the universe comes to a destructive end. Honestly, the premise sounds very similar to the Witch Mountain movies, which are also from Disney.
It’s unclear if Disney Comics will ever make the Space Mountain trilogy into a live-action feature film, but if the graphic novel sells well enough, I don’t see why they wouldn’t try to turn Space Mountain into a new movie franchise. Space Mountain seems like a good opportunity for new movies to add to their catalog of kid-friendly theme-park-ride movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, and The Country Bears.
A few months ago, Disney Comics released concept art from the Space Mountain graphic novel. Part of the story is a literal space mountain that looks like it’s straight out of the Disney theme park, and which also has a 1950s sci-fi vibe. It feels as if the new graphic novel will have a look and feel that’s completely modern, while at the same time classic.
It’s going to be interesting if Disney will turn its other park attractions and rides into narrative experiences as well. I think something like a Jungle Cruise story could be fun to read, or a Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Matterhorn Bobsleds movie could be something worth watching. Disney has a vast array of properties they could mine for future stories, so it seems that the possibilities are endless. If Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof can make a feature film about Tomorrowland, then Disney can make anything into a movie.
The Space Mountain graphic novel will hit comic shops and digital download services on May 6, 2014, with Return to Space Mountain scheduled for sometime in 2015 and Battle for Space Mountain hitting in 2016. You can pre-order the graphic novel on Amazon, and check out two pages from Space Mountain below. (Click the image for an embiggened version.)