Pixar Doing Don Quixote
The Spanish fictional character Don Quixote pretty much destroyed himself with his fruitless adventures chasing windmills, and adapting Quixote for the screen famously tore Terry Gilliam apart, as told in the documentary Lost in La Mancha. Telling the story of the man from La Mancha doesn’t seem to end well for anyone, but that doesn’t mean Pixar isn’t up for the job.
According to Upcoming Pixar, the animation company’s upcoming project Up may be a retelling of the classic Cervantes story. The movie’s Wikipedia entry had been updated at the time they wrote it—it’s since been deleted—to say “Insider sources say this new film is a re-telling, somewhat, of the classic Don Quixote fable. And one of the blog’s readers adds, "Disney has tried forever to make an animated movie based on Don Quixote, maybe this is John Lassetter's way of realizing one of Walt's unfulfilled dream projects?"
What we do know about the plot so far is that it concerns an old man, a park ranger, who hooks up with a buddy and goes on some wild adventures. It’s no stretch to imagine that the story is inspired by Don Quixote, but whether it’s a direct retelling or not is hard to say. I mean, The Bucket List pretty much has the same plot, but no one is accusing Jack Nicholson of retelling Spanish classics.
Pixar is known for its smarty-pants storytelling and allusions, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they went full-fledged literary adaptation with this one. Regardless, they’ve recognized that Quixote is a classic, enduring story, and are telling their spin on it, even if there are no windmills in sight this time.
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