As if the reviews for Artemis Fowl weren’t scary enough…
After years of steering clear of horror, Disney is making a surprising return to the genre in an equally unexpected way. Early next month, the company’s publishing unit will begin to release Disney Chills, a series horror novels aimed at middle-schoolers in the vein of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps.
The series will be an anthology, with each new book following a different tween as they encounter a classic Disney villain who has somehow crossed over into their reality. It goes without saying that each villain will be just as menacing to each kid as they are in their own story.
Fittingly enough, Ursula, arguably the most menacing Disney villain, will appear in the series’ first entry titled Disney Chills: Part of Your Nightmare. The premise is as follows:
“Eleven-year-old Shelly Anderson just wants to be popular. Her parents have split and she has to start over at a new school with different classes, a brand new swim team and an unfamiliar social scene. So what if she just wants the cool kids to like her? Is that really too much to ask? So when Shelly finds a mysterious nautilus shell that summons the infamous sea witch, Ursula, she jumps at her chance to make a deal that will solidify her as one of the coolest girls in school. But when Shelly’s wish quickly goes belly-up, she must figure out how to back out of the witch’s deal before it forever binds her fate.”
Part of Your Nightmare will be available everywhere July 7th. The next two books in series, Fiends on the Other Side and Second Star to the Fright, will be released on October 6, 2020 and January 5, 2021, respectively. All three entries are written by Vera Strange.
Interestingly enough, Disney is already hard at work on a Disney+ show called Just Beyond, based on another book series written by Goosebumps scribe R.L. Stine. Should Disney Chills become a hit though, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the company adapt it for the platform or even the big screen either.
Disney may not be doing anything with its bigger horror properties like Alien or Predator at the moment, but coming from a generation with only Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, and that one scary episode of Boy Meets World to choose from, the fact it’s finally taking risks in exploring those kinds of avenues is far from scary. It’s refreshing.