Fox Animation is going from trolls to dragons. The studio has announced, via Variety, they’ll follow-up this year’s animated feature Trolls with a live-action/animation hybrid adaptation of Puff the Magic Dragon, also directed by Mike Mitchell. It’s not often that we see movies based on songs, but the original 1963 tune performed by folk group Peter, Paul and Mary is quite literary.
The lyrics of “Puff the Magic Dragon” tell of a boy and his imaginary dragon friend, but the boy grows up and leaves the title character behind. Without his companion, Puff loses all courage and retreats to his cave by the sea. That doesn’t sound like enough for a feature-length script, but Troll Doll toys didn’t seem like something that could easily spawn a whole movie either.
There was an animated half-hour TV special made out of the song in 1978, and that focuses on the backstory of Puff (voiced by Burgess Meredith) and his pal, whose name is Jackie Paper, depicting their adventures during the boy’s childhood. Two more specials followed but with different children befriending the dragon.
Dragons are still a hot property right now, thanks to Game of Thrones and this year’s Pete’s Dragon remake, which wasn’t a huge hit but was well-received. That movie and Puff the Magic Dragon sound rather similar when you consider the basic premise of a boy and his friendly dragon, so it will be interesting to see how Fox differentiates theirs.
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