One of my favorite things is the Annie Leibovitz/Disney Dream Portrait collaborations that cast celebrities as spot-on real-life versions of our favorite childhood animated characters. The ads, which have been released in bunches over the past few years, consistently come up with unexpected but smart choices like Rachel Weisz as Snow White, Beyonce as Alice, Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella, and Queen Latifah as Ursula. Some are questionable, like Jessica Biel (and not an actress of color) as Pocahontas, but you still see what they’re going for.
Disney has released its latest batch of Dream Portraits—only two this time around, though they’ve crammed in four much-loved comedic actors. Above you can see Jack Black, Will Ferrell, and Jason Segel as three Hitchhiking Ghosts en route to The Haunted Mansion. (Thankfully, there’s no sign of Eddie Murphy or that awful movie he made.) The guys look great, but I experienced a brief stab of disappointment that Jason wasn’t cast in a more starring role.
It’s silly, really, and probably just because we write about him so much on Crushable, but I would’ve loved to see Segel as one of the Prince Charmings. I think it would’ve been a daring choice that acknowledges his shift from schlump to romantic lead in movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Five-Year Engagement. Not to mention that his How I Met Your Mother character Marshall Eriksen really is our dream guy. The Dream Portrait series seems to typecast its princes: Zac Efron and David Beckham have done battle with monsters and curses to get to their ladyloves. Jeff Bridges was an odd choice to pair with Penelope Cruz in the last round of ads, but he was also playing a weird prince in the Beast. I really could’ve envisioned Jason all suited up in princely garb and on a horse or looking soulfully out at the kingdom. It just seemed too easy to cast him as a goofy ghost. (And how has his girlfriend Michelle Williams not played a princess yet?!)
Then again, the second photo stars Russell Brand as Captain Hook, which is pitch-perfect casting down to the long hair and ticking-clock neurosis. Can we see him take on Gisele Bundchen‘s Wendy and Mikhail Baryshnikov‘s Peter Pan?
Disney hinted on its blog that there will be more images coming out in print in magazines like GQ, People, and Vanity Fair. So, fingers crossed that Leibovitz and co. dipped into some other movies. As far as I know, they haven’t touched Mulan, Hercules, or newer fare like Tangled!
Photos: Annie Leibovitz/Disney