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Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson to Helm Disney’s ‘The Aristocats’

The ‘Summer of Soul’ director will also oversee the upcoming live-action/CGI hybrid film adaptation’s music, as well as executive produce under his Two One Five Entertainment banner.

For better or worse, another Disney live-action film adaptation of a classic animated film is in the pipeline. This time, The Artistocats gets the treatment, with Oscar winner Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Summer of Soul) in the director’s chair. Much like Lady and the Tramp, Aristocats will blend live-action shots with CGI animal characters and any fantasy elements.

As previously announced, Will Gluck (Peter Rabbit) will co-write with Keith Bunin, who also co-wrote Pixar’s 2020 animated fantasy Onward. Gluck will further serve as producer through his company, Olive Bridge Entertainment.

In director Wolfgang Reitherman’s original 1970 film, a family of aristocratic cats -- Duchess and her three kittens Berlioz, Marie, and Toulouse -- live out a pampered and cultured lifestyle in Paris. When their owner’s butler discovers that the cats will be willed a huge fortune, he kidnaps and ditches them far out in the countryside. Duchess meets and befriends an alley cat, Thomas O’Malley, who helps them find their way home to claim their inheritance.

Reitherman, also known as “Woolie,” was one of Disney’s famed “Nine Old Men” along with Milt Kahl, Marc Davis, Frank Thomas, Eric Larson, Ollie Johnston, Les Clark, Ward Kimball, and John Lounsbery.

In addition to directing, Questlove will also executive produce under his Two One Five Entertainment as well as oversee music for the film. Tarik Trotter, Shawn Gee and Zarah Zohlman will serve as executive producers.

For those interested in a Disney live-action adaptation coming out this year, The Little Mermaid swims into theaters May 26, 2023.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.