an abstract and sparse visual representation to create its world might not be the best way to go, given the content and intended audience.
Fair points and well made, ali973 . In reply, I'd say that Disney say at all their press launches that they don't do "adaptations of animated features for the stage." Instead, they take the whole project from scratch each time.
This is true that this is what they say, but I've always been very skeptical. To me it just sounds like part of their overall messaging when addressing their public.
I don't doubt their process in constructing the story and concept from scratch, and I know that this is not the film on stage - but they've yet to convince me that these shows are complete departures from the original films. The only stage adaptation that could make this claim is perhaps Hunchback.