Disney’s adapting Philip K. Dick’s "King of the Elves"

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

I thought it was a bit odd that a couple of the guys from Undeclared would be doing the next Muppet movie. I thought it was even odder when I found out Disney was doing a Philip K. Dick adaptation. He is, after all, known for his dystopian worlds of corporations gone amok and for surreal metaphysical and theological themes — which drew on his own personal experiences with drugs and mental illness.

Nonetheless, he did write one light fantasy story ripe for a Shrek-like treatment. So, Quint reports, Disney’s adapting Philip K. Dick’s “King of the Elves”:

Walt Disney’s King of the Elves, based on the Philip K. Dick story about a gas station attendant who receives a knock on the door one rainy night. It’s a group of elves. Small, maybe a foot tall each. They are all green, with leaves and foliage growing off of them.

They beg him for shelter from the storm. Despite his better judgment he allows them to stay and as reward he is made king of the Elves.

Directed by Bob Walker and Aaron Blaise. It’s pretty far out from release, of course, but they showed some art. The elves I described a little above. The art was very painterly and the idea is that these little green buggers live in modern day Mississippi and have been undiscovered based on their appearance. With the leaves growing on their bodies if a human enters their domain they can just ruffle their foliage, duck their heads down and be completely undetectable.

There aren’t just small creatures in the forests. We saw art of huge moss covered man-like tree giants.

This list of Disney and Pixar’s Full Animated Line-Up Through 2012 sheds some more light on the subject:

Directed by: Aaron Blaise (Brother Bear) and Robert Walker (Brother Bear). Legendary storyteller Phillip [sic] 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.

If you’d like to read the original short story, it is in print, available in the Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

Long before we get to Pixar’s King of the Elves movie, we have WALL•E, which, of course, looks fantastic:

Pixar fans may want to pre-order The Art of WALL•E and DK’s WALL•E: The Intergalactic Guide.

Oh, and take a look at the Buy n Large corporate site.

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