Everything Disney touches these days turns to gold, so the company’s family-oriented streaming service launching next year will probably be a success no matter what. However if the Mouse House really plans on competing with Netflix it’s going to take more than just some old movies Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series to do it, they’re going to have create lots of original programming. But if they are looking for potential shows that will fit perfectly with their brand, they don’t have to look far. They already have a property that is ideal for serialization, in a genre at which they are experts, and already has a loyal and dedicated fan base. Disney are long overdue to turn Sky High into a TV series.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who have never seen the 2005 comedy about a superhero high school, and people who have known true joy. The movie is a fantastic mashing of two classic types of stories–superheroes and coming of age in high school. Because the students there learn the unique and specific skills and insights required of superheroes it’s full of self-referential comedy about the inherently ridiculous nature of a world full of powerful beings in absurd costumes. The movie follows Will Stronghold, son of two of the most famous and greatest superheroes in the world, during his freshman year at Sky High, where students either learn to be a hero or a sidekick. It’s sweet and empathetic the way many school stories are, it’s got plenty of action worthy of its characters’ abilities, and most importantly, it’s incredibly funny.
The premise has always been screaming out for serialization: School, with its diverse mix of kids and faculty, are perfect for episodic television, but because Sky High was a movie, it only scratches the surface of its idea’s potential for superhero silliness. It’s a lot of fun seeing a giant-brained science teacher lecture on the proper way to build a freeze ray guns, or an insecure gym teacher take out his frustration on his students by screaming at him with his sonic boom voice, but what does superhero math class look like? How important is geography class when you can fly? What kind of books do they read at Sky High? Do they have to learn how to come up with the right pun for every situation? Do you have to learn how to do a proper superhero landing?
And in the movie we only really see the school’s “losers,” the would-be sidekicks, and the “cool kids,” the future super villains. But where are the super Goths? Do they grow up to become Batman and Rorschach? And what kind of kid grows up to be a mad genius? There are so many more great characters for us to meet during a full school year. Imagine what you would have missed out on if you only got to spend two hours at Hogwarts.
Disney wouldn’t even be limited in how the show does or doesn’t connect to the movie. They could simply do a total reboot with all new original characters, or they could easily make it a continuation from the film which came out in 2005. If they decided to go back to the Sky High we knew they could bring back some of the teachers from the film. Who wouldn’t want to see Bruce Campbell come back as a meathead phys ed teacher? Or Lynda Carter as the principal? And except for Kurt Russell in maybe his funniest role ever (no hyperbole) as the world’s greatest hero The Commander, former Kids in the Hall members Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald were arguably the funniest adults in the movie. How bitter and hilarious would they be if they were still teaching there?
Disney could even bring back the Stronghold family, maybe with Will returning as a teacher to get away from the stress of being a hero. Or they could just make cameos as famous alums. Either way, we’d get to explore more of the school with new students and stories without having to ignore its history.
(And yes, of course this means we’re thinking about an entire Sky High Cinematic Universe. What does Sky University look like? )
Any and every property is getting a reboot, or a revival, or a re-something these days, yet Disney has been sitting on an genuinely wonderful, beloved film with a great concept that combines two of the most tried-and-true genres around. It’s an idea that has been begging for a TV show for 13 years, and now is the perfect time to finally make it happen. Because if Disney really wants its streaming service to compete with Netflix (which, let’s face it, it will regardless) it should finally re-enroll at Sky High.
What do you think? Would you be excited for a Sky High series? Tell us if this idea deserves an “A” in the comments below.