Saturday, March 8, 2008
The first soft opening of WDS new attraction "Stitch Live ! " - using the same technology than "Turtle talk with Crush" - began today for the annual passholders and no need to say that Disney and more was there for an exclusive report. Warning: the article is full of spoilers!
First, this new version of "Stitch Live !" is good, and better than in Hong-Kong - where it is called "Stitch Encounter". I was in Hong-Kong January 2007, and so, i know both versions. One of the main reasons why it's better is because of the pre-show area and the show room - which is bigger than in HKD. In fact, there is no pre-show at HKD, for a simple reason: the attraction is located under Space Mountain, and the room available was smaller than the one at the WDS.
At the Walt Disney Studios, the attraction is located in the art-deco Disney Channel building where guests previously were supposed to enjoy a visit of the TV studios.
The truth is that it was incredibly boring and certainly not an "attraction". Now,this new Stitch Live! is really an attraction - a kind of "B+" ticket, but at least it's a real one.
Because we are in Europe, the show presentation will be in different languages, and the entrance is located at the left corner of the building. When you enter, it looks the same than before, until you arrive in the pre-show room.
Four TV screen on the left and a dark blue colour, quite elegant, i must say.
Good point, also, for the lighting, and the art-deco style of the lights.
Guests wait a few minutes before the pre-show movie began on the tv screens where only the Disney Channel logo appear.
Then, the pre-show is on, and the surprise is that what appears on the tv screen have no relation with the show itself and Stitch! Instead, it's trailers for Disney Channel shows like "Hanna Montana", etc...Of course, the "alibi" is that we are in the "Disney Channel" building.
In HKD, there is no pre-show movie, but there is no pre-show room, too! Which means that if DLRP wanted to have a special "Stitch" pre-show movie, they had to ask WDI for a brand new one. And i suspect that if we have these Disney Channel trailers instead of a "Stitch" pre-show movie, it's once again for a problem of cost. Anyway, this is not dramatic, but always annoying as it is so easy to guess the intention "behind" , i.e to save some money.
Once this non-Stitch pre-show is over, doors open to enter the main room while the guests of the previous show are moving out.
Not only the room is bigger than in HKD, but the decor around the screen is different, too. The colours of the lights on the left and right hand side of the screen will change regularly during the show, depending of the action. For instance, when the villains invade Stitch's spaceship, the colours will turn red, etc...
A cast member ask the young kids to come in front of the screen, as they will "interact" with Stitch later.
The show begin with Stitch inside his space ship, and the quality of the image is perfect - pristine, i should say. The show this time was in french, and i think we can say that the guy doing the acting with Stitch's voice was okay.
Of course, the interactive technique is perfectly done, and one moment really amazed me. It's when Stitch took a picture of a young girl in the front row. Stitch push on the button of "his" camera, there is a "flash" effect, and less than two seconds later he shows on the screen to the young girl her picture - a real one. We all know, of course, how this kind of inlay effet can be done, but what is amazing is that it's done in less than two seconds. Brilliant.
We also see the Lilo character "calling" Stitch from his Hawaian home. But the villains trying to catch Stitch are on their way, and they appear two or three times in the screen "inside" the screen.
...Until they announce they are inside the spaceship. It's time for Stitch to escape, and a labyrinth map appear on the right of the screen. I must say that all this sequence has been really improved. In the HKD version, it was a bit poor, but here, it works much much better. The audience help Stitch to find his way out, and of course he succeed. The last image with Stitch escaping in his small shuttle are really good, too.
Of course, it's the end of the show, and the guests leave the room.
Stitch Live ! is a small attraction indeed, but WDI imagineers have done a real good job, and better than i expected. The show, for sure, have his limits, but i think it's a nice addition to the WDS, and, of course, the kids will love it! Don't miss it next time you come to the Walt Disney Studios!
Photos : Disney and more
Friday, March 7, 2008
It's saturday - well, in France, it's midnight and already saturday! - and so we have a "high-res wallpaper pictures" topic. And, as i know that most of you - including me! - can't wait to se the "new" California Adventure placemaking, this wallpaper topic is all dedicated to it with concept-art of the future attractions or re-theming.
If we except the new one above, you know most of the renderings include in this topic. But they are here in super-high-res quality, so, click on each picture to get them in big size. They will all look fantastic on your computer desktop!
The first one above is a brand new "Toy Story Mania" picture released by WDW, and it looks great.
The new "Walt Disney Story" in the Cathay theatre replica.
The rendering below is about the future Little Mermaid ride.
Another Toy Story Mania rendering.
A concept-art of the highly awaited "Super E-Ticket" Radiator Springs Racer ride.
The next one is about the also awaited spectacular Disney world of colour water show.
This last one is not really about DCA, but, as the hotel is almost a part of the park, i thought i could include it here.
All Photos: copyright Disney
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Disney and more Time machine - Back in time to 1974 : America Sings tribute : Artwork, photos and video !
Today, the Disney and more Time Machine bring you back in time to 1974 when the great America Sings attraction, a tribute to American music, opened in Disneyland, replacing the Carousel of Progress after the show moved to the Magic Kingdom Park WDW in 1973.
America Sings used the same Carousel Theater that its predecessor vacated, with its outer ring of six theaters, all connected by divider walls, revolving mechanically about every four minutes around the six fixed stages in the center of the building. Unlike Disneyland's Carousel of Progress, which rotated clockwise, America Sings went counter-clockwise. And just like Carousel of Progress, the show was full of great WDI Audio-animatronics.
The show's Masters of Ceremony were an American bald eagle named Sam (voiced by Burl Ives) and an unnamed owl rumored to be named Ollie (voiced by Sam Edwards). The image of Eagle Sam was designed by Disney animator Marc Davis, as were the other characters.
The great imagineer Jeff Burke, who, later, will be DLP's Frontierland show-producer, built the attraction in collaboration with Marc Davis. Composer Norman "Buddy" Baker arranged a selection of songs chosen to represent a panoramic view of American music.
The show had four acts, an intro and a epilogue, and between each act, as the theater rotated with the lights blacked out, Sam sang about the next era the audience was about to enter, reprising the chorus of "Yankee Doodle".
In the intro,the four acts, and the epilogue, the songs were:
* Yankee Doodle - Eagle Sam
* Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair - Eagle Sam
* Pop Goes the Weasel - Ollie and the weasel
Act 1 - The Deep South - with the songs:
* Dixie / L'il Liza Jane / Camptown Races - Geese Quartet
* My Old Kentucky Home - Colonel Houndstoothe (Bassett hound in rocking chair)
* Polly Wolly Doodle - The Swamp Boys (gator trio, frogs and harmonica-playing raccoon)
* Single Girl - Mother Possum
* The Birmingham Jail - Coyote
* Down By The Riverside - Hens, Foxes, Swamp Boy Frogs
Act 2 - Headin' West - with the songs:
* Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill / I've Been Working on the Railroad / Fireball Mail - Geese Quartet
* The Old Chisholm Trail - Saddlesore Swanson
* Who Shot That Hole in My Sombrero? - Sombrero-wearing dog
* Billy, the Bad Guy - The Boothill Boys (vulture duo)
* Home on the Range - Tex Ranger (dog)
Act 3 - The Gay '(18)90s - with the songs:
* She May Be Somebody's Mother / The Bowery / After the Ball is Over - Geese Quartet
* Where is my Wandering Boy Tonight? - Geese Quartet & Mother Rabbit
* Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey - Showgirl Pig
* Sweet Adeline - Blossom-Nose Murphy (goose) & Geese Quartet
* The Old Grey Mare - The Old Gray Mare & Geese Quartet
* Bird in a Gilded Cage - Bird in a Gilded Cage and Fox
* Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay - Storks, Geese Quartets (male and female), Pig, Bird in a Gilded Cage and Fox
Act 4 - Modern Times - with the songs:
* Ja-Da / At the Darktown Strutters' Ball / Singin' in the Rain - Geese Quartet
* A-Tisket, A-Tasket / Boo-Hoo - College Quartet (male wolf, male fox and two female cats)
* Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar - Piano Pig
* Hound Dog / See You Later Alligator - Rooster, Stork, Porcupine, Hound Dog and Alligator
* Shake, Rattle and Roll - Rooster and Frog
* Twistin' U.S.A. - Motorcycle storks
* Joy to the World - Modern Times cast (except Piano Pig and College Quartet)
* Yankee Doodle (reprise) - Eagle Sam
* Auld Lang Syne - Sam and Ollie
* Exit Music: Stars and Stripes Forever
Some of you, dear readers, were lucky enough to see the show. Others, and even me, didn't had the chance to enjoy it. So, for all of you, here is a great two-part youtube video of the whole show, thanks to scottof83. The video was taped on April 10th, 1988 by his father, on the last day of this beloved attraction!
America Sings closed on Sunday, April 10, 1988. According to Alice Davis, wife of the late Marc Davis, production of Disneyland's Splash Mountain had gone way over budget and the only way to recover was to close down America Sings and use the characters from that attraction.
America Sings was finally replaced by Innoventions, a version of the Epcot attraction of the same name, in 1998. Most of the Audio-Animatronic animals were moved to Disneyland's Splash Mountain log flume, which opened on Disneyland's 34th anniversary on July 17, 1989 and where Tony Baxter did the fantastic job that we all know with the America Sings AA characters.
Two goose Audio-Animatronics were taken out before America Sings even closed. In 1986, they had their "skin" removed, which left only a robotic skeleton, and had their heads replaced, and were used as two talkative G2 droids in the queue to Star Tours, which would open in early 1987. The rock and roll stork in the finale is now used by Imagineers for training new Animatronics programmers, acting as a final exam of sorts. The remainder of the show's Audio-Animatronics were recycled.
Artwork and photos : copyright Disney
Youtube video, thanks to scottof83
My thanks to Wikipedia for part of the text
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
If you ask almost anybody working at DLP, they will probaly tell you that, no, the addition of a monorail or an Epcot theme park was never planned for the Disney Paris resort. Never.
Hmmm...may be, but every DLP fan knows that the land for a third theme park exist in front of the Newport Bay and Sequoia Lodge Hotels. In the last 15 years, nothing was built on it, and nothing will be, except, precisely, a third theme park or, eventually, the famous "Lava Lagoon" water park.
Except, that ONE rendering exist, a very rare one, in fact the only one that i ever saw showing both a monorail AND an Epcot "Spaceship Earth" icon.
If you look well at the artwork, you will see the facade of the Newport Bay Hotel, and in the background the one of the Disneyland Paris Hotel. But the silver silhouette of the Epcot icon is located exactly in that piece of land i was talking about, in front of the Newport Bay.
So, may be DLP will never have for real an Epcot theme park, and even more certainly no monorail, but one thing is sure: somebody at WDI, many years ago, did think about it.
Artwork: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc
I want to thank the excellent Webcot web site who gently provided me the artwork.
Monday, March 3, 2008
This is the last article about Epcot's original artwork, and we will have a look to the World Showcase artwork, beginning by the one above of the Mexican pavilion.
The next one below is about the China pavilion.
Let's have a look to the Germany pavilion with these two renderings
A small one about the facade of American Adventure
Let's travel to Japan with this rendering of the Japan pavilion
Here is the one about France
And three renderings about the United Kingdom area
Now, as you know, other countries were envisioned but not built. Here is a concept-art of a Swiss pavilion, with the famous Matterhorn.
An Equatorial Africa area was also envisioned. Below two of the renderings, and you can know more about it in the Jeff Lange aticle HERE
Russia would have been beautiful, with the onion domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, and two great attractions, a theatrical one with Audio-animatronics, and a ride that Jim Hill described well in his article HERE
I will end with one question: do you think an "Epcot" park was ever envisioned by WDI for Disneyland Paris? Come back soon, as you will have the answer in a future article!
All artwork: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc
I remember you that you can find the previous articles about Epcot's original attractions artwork: for Spaceship Earth HERE, for The Living Seas HERE, for Communicore HERE
, for The Land HERE, and for Journey into Imagination HERE.