Our attention spans and patience are getting shorter and shorter these days, aren't they? A whole whopping 7 years ago, Disney released a movie starring Eddie Murphy based on their Haunted Mansion ride. I never saw it, because it looked pretty silly like most Eddie Murphy family movies. Critics had mostly negative things to say about it and I remember it made most people pessimistic about the possibilities of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
The success of the Pirates movies of course told us that as long as you treat these things properly, they can go extraordinarily well. Disney has apparently decided that enough time has passed to try again with the Haunted Mansion. The good news is they have no intention of making this a comedy though apparently it will still be family friendly.
As someone who has become a Disney fanatic in recent years, there is a part of me that wants to get excited about this. Guillermo del Toro, who made the wonderfully creepy Pan's Labyrinth is set to direct. That movie was family accessible, even if that monster with eyes in his hands personally gave me the willies. The ride is one that is on my "required" list everytime I visit Disney World. I prefer to ride it alone, surrounding myself with all the ghosts, the fantastic narrator, and the cool temperature. It creates such a perfect mood. I notice some new small detail every time I ride it.
The ride itself doesn't really have a story so much as it is just a guided tour through the mansion. Reportedly, they'll be basing the movie off the Hatbox Ghost, a character who is a "fan favorite" despite never really appearing in the ride. This also means he doesn't really have a story, unless Disney's kept it locked up in the vaults somewhere. Color me skeptical but optimistic, which pretty much defines how I feel about most movie announcements these days.