Thursday, April 17, 2008

Brand New Musical Aboard Disney Cruise Line Brings “Toy Story” to the Stage for the First Time

The new Disney Cruise line Toy Story musical began yesterday, and here below are some high-res pictures and the official press release:

Disney Cruise Line transforms one of the most beloved animated features of all time into a stage spectacular at the Walt Disney Theatre aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship with the debut of “Toy Story-The Musical”. This is the first time the popular Disney•Pixar classic has been adapted for the stage.

Preserving the humor and heart of the original “Toy Story” film from Pixar Animation Studios, “Toy Story-The Musical” explores the true meaning of friendship as Buzz Lightyear and Woody transform from jealous adversaries to best friends with an unbreakable bond. The show’s elaborate costumes capture the vibrant colors and playfulness of the animated characters. Guests of all ages will delight in an original collection of show tunes that retell the story in a fun and energizing way.

“World-class Disney entertainment is an important hallmark of Disney Cruise Line that sets us apart from the rest of the cruise industry and one of the reasons guests sail with us again and again,” said Disney Cruise Line President Tom McAlpin. “ ‘Toy Story-The Musical’ represents the next generation of staged entertainment for Disney Cruise Line and a great enhancement to our incredible array of entertainment aboard the Disney Wonder."

Following the storyline of the original Disney•Pixar film, “Toy Story-The Musical” gives guests a toy’s eye-view of life in Andy’s room. The musical opens with an introduction to Woody, a pull-string talking cowboy who has long been six-year-old Andy’s favorite toy.

But Andy’s birthday brings a new arrival – Buzz Lightyear, the coolest action figure in the universe. Woody’s jealousy gets the better of him and he schemes to get rid of his new rival, but things go dreadfully awry. Woody and Buzz find themselves outside of Andy’s room and in a hostile world. Working together and overcoming their differences, they find their way back to Andy – along the way developing an appreciation of one another and creating a friendship.

“The ‘Toy Story’ film offered us a rich story and some incredible visual elements to build upon,” noted Jim Urry, vice president of Entertainment for Disney Cruise Line. “The team we assembled created costumes, set designs and a whole new musical score to literally transport our guests into the middle of the whimsical world of Buzz and Woody.”

Taking audiences into that world was no small task. Larger-than-life show sets help transform the 977-seat Walt Disney Theatre into a toy-sized world of fun and adventure.

Using Randy Newman’s Oscar nominated hit song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” as a departure point, this production has a new seven-song score that brings the story to life. New York-based Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn from the band GrooveLily blended together pop, rock and folk music to create a contemporary score that truly captures the heartfelt whimsy of the animated tale.

The costumes for “Toy Story-The Musical” are some of the most complex ever developed for a Disney Cruise Line production. Costume designer Ann Closs-Farley created an extraordinary vision for what the characters would look like on stage. With a combination of articulated puppets and inflatable costumes, the “Toy Story” characters come to life – including a nearly 9-foot-tall version of Rex the dinosaur and a 4-foot-round Hamm the piggybank.

In all, “Toy Story-The Musical” represents one of the largest productions ever developed for a cruise ship. This is just the second time a Pixar animated feature has been adapted for the stage by Disney Creative Entertainment.

“When we first thought of bringing ‘Toy Story’ to the stage, there was a great deal of excitement about the project,” said Anne Hamburger, Disney Creative Entertainment executive vice president. “Everyone on our team could immediately see how the heart and comedy of these characters could come alive in a memorable way that is unique to musical theatre.”

Here is a short making-of of this new DCL musical!

Photos and text: copyright Disney

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