Friday, May 6, 2011
POTC Update ! Jack Sparrow AAs coming at DLP POTC for the 20th Anniversary, Blackbeard projection effect replaces Davy Jones at DL, and more...
A big POTC update to end the week, and a great news as i can confirm that Jack Sparrow Audio-Animatronics will be installed at DLP Pirates of Caribbean for the 20th Anniversary! More about this below but before let's begin by the big news that was announced by WDI Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald today (and also revealed by Jim Hill earlier this week): "Captain Blackbeard will make his appearance on the ghostly waterfall in the grotto scenes of the park attractions beginning May 20, coinciding with the release of the new film, “Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides,” in which Ian McShane plays a starring role."
In two words, it means that this new Blackbeard projection effect will replace the Davy Jones projection effect BUT as Tom also says in his Disney Parks article; Davy Jones (will come back) later this year. Does it mean that they will regularly change the two characters on the ghostly waterfall - or will they install another "waterfall"? We'll see this later this year but for now, Disneyland fans will be happy to learn that something new is coming in the POTC ride in less than two weeks from now. More about this in Tom Fitzgerald article HERE.
Tomorrow is the day of the big POTC 4 Premiere at Disneyland and they've built a fantastic stage and a "90-foot-wide, six-story-tall motion picture screen on an island created especially for this event"...
...as well as "a state-of-the-art outdoor amphitheater – fully carpeted with stadium seating – is being built right on the Rivers of America just outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction".
For sure it's going to be a memorable evening and as soon as videos of the event will be uploaded on Youtube i will embed the best of them on Disney and more, so be sure to come back this week-end to watch this!
Talking about POTC, the movie, you may have read that screenwriter Terry Rossio has just turned in his script this past weekend to Disney for a planned fifth POTC movie. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Johnny Depp said "It boils down to story, script and filmmaker,"..but the actor isn't clamoring to jump back into the puffy shirt until a little time has passed after Pirates 4. He didn't relish the brutal schedule that saw him making Pirates 2 and Pirates 3 back-to-back in order to meet studio-mandated release dates in summer 2006 and 2007, respectively. "It's not something where I would say, 'Let's shoot it next month to get it out by Christmas 2012,'" he says. "We should hold off for a bit. They should be special, just like they are special to me."
And if you want my opinion, i think that Johnny is right. There is no good reasons to rush for a POTC 5, the most important thing is to take all the needed time to make sure it will be a good movie.
Let's come now to the other big news of this POTC update: Jack Sparrow audio-Animatronics will be installed next year at DLP Pirates of Caribbean, and this will include the Barbossa AA in the Pirate ship AND the "ghostly waterfall" projection effect, just like at DL and WDW.
I told you before that new effects were envisioned inside Phantom Manor and Big Thunder Mountain but for now - and unfortunately - these are on hold. In terms of enhancements on classic attractions, only POTC is sure for the 20th. No decision has been taken yet on Star Tours 2 for DLP - which doesn't mean that it won't happen as they still have time to change their mind.
So, where will they put the Jack Sparrow AA inside DLP POTC? According to my good sources Tom Fitzgerald apparently decided that the AAs will be placed at the same scenes that you can see them at DL or WDW. Which means that in 12 months from now Disneyland Paris fans will be able to salute Captain Jack Sparrow near the "mayor in the well" scene, hiding behind the clothes...
...and also a bit later in the ride, popping out of the barrel...
...and of course near the end of the ride for his final appearance. As the big treasure scene in DLP POTC is not the perfect place to put Jack's AA it seems that his Audio-Animatronic will be placed just in front of the treasure scene, on the left side, where you can see now the two skeletons drinking wine. They have more room to put this last scene with Jack AA there and it's quite logical.
Barbossa Audio-Animatronic will also appear on the pirate ship, except if in the meantime WDI Imagineers decide to replace him by a Blackbeard AA, which would make sense - and, by the way, why not having both of them?
But where DLP Imagineers will put the "ghostly waterfall" either with Blackbeard or Davy Jones projection effect? At Disneyland, the projection effect is inside the caves. But at DL the caves scenes are at the beginning of the ride, at DLP they are at the end. As it is better for the storyline to have it at the beginning of the ride and not at the end DLP Imagineers have decided to put the ghostly waterfall effect during the first lift, i.e right after the blue lagoon scenes, when we climb up inside the sunken fortress. Whether they will put it at the beginning, in the middle or at the top of the lift i can't tell you, but from what i know this is where the ghostly waterfall effect will appear next year inside DLP POTC.
My only regret is that Tom Fitzgerald didn't decided to put one Sparrow AA in the duelist pirates scene. That scene is unique and only exist at DLP POTC and it would have been great to see Captain Jack swashbuckling in that scene. Technically speaking it is pretty easy to do as they only have to change the head, hands and clothes, but apparently the reason why they will not do it is because these two AAs can have technical problems and when it's the case they usually put a curtain in front of them which means that in this case we will not see the Jack Sparrow AA. It's a good reason i admit, but, still, i think they should do it.
I'm sure this 20th Anniversary news will delight DLP fans - although i'm also sure some will think it's a sacrilege to the original ride - but whether you like it or not Captain Jack is coming at DLP POTC next year. AND, as Johnny Depp is living in France when he's not on a set i won't be surprised to see him at the Jack Sparrow AAs inauguration when it will happen next year, just like he did at Disneyland in 2006 on the video below!
All pictures and video: copyright Disney