Apparently yet another of Philip K. Dick’s tales is turning into a movie. In this case, it’s “King of the Elves,” a kind of modern fantasy-fable about the owner of a rural gas station who meets some elves and their dying king, only to become king himself and help the elves take on some trolls. It’s a neat little piece, notably because it’s the only “fantasy piece” Dick wrote, and because it’s supposed to be one of the most personal pieces Dick wrote. Also, it’s a Disney movie.
KING OF THE ELVES (Domestic Release Date: Christmas 2012, Disney
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directors: Aaron Blaise, Robert Walker
Producer: Chuck Williams
Legendary storyteller Phillip K. Dick’s short story (his only experiment in the fantasy genre) becomes the basis for this fantastic and imaginative tale about an average man living in the Mississippi Delta, whose reluctant actions to help a desperate band of elves leads them to name him their new king. Joining the innocent and endangered elves as they attempt to escape from an evil and menacing troll, their unlikely new leader finds himself caught on a journey filled with unimaginable dangers and a chance to bring real meaning back to his own life.
I’m a little worried, obviously; Disney has a mixed reputation for staying true to the source material, such as with the highly altered, “kiddified” versions of Snow White, Cinderella, and Pocahontas. Disney also has a great talent for making movies which entertain both parents and children, particularly its Pixar selections; The Incredibles and Finding Nemo are great views for adults too. Plus, while Dick’s stories always make good movie ideas, they don’t always turn out; see Paycheck (Ben Affleck as an action hero?) or Next (critics panned it for… well, its Dickian ending).
So, I guess we’ll see. Disney has the production values and the star appeal, now we’ll see if they can make a good movie, a bad movie, or a children’s movie.