Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I'd like to take a minute or two to come back to this amazing animated flying dragon which was seen recently above the Shafter-Minter Field airport in California, during one of its top-secret flight. Everybody did immediately the link with the WDI patent below, and there is no doubt that both are linked.
But many also thought instantly to the upcoming Avatar land at Animal Kingdom and it's indeed reasonable to think that this flying dragon has been created for a use in the Avatar land. Except that the dragon will probably need to be slightly rethemed to have the perfect look of Avatar creatures as, as you can see below, the dragon with its design is not totally identical to Avatar “Ikrans”...
Then John frost of the Disney Blog in one of his recent posts said that the dragon could very well be used during Shanghaî Disneyland grand opening celebrations, and i think John got a good point here. He's definitely right, specially considering how important the dragon is in chinese mythology.
But there is still something bothering me in this flying dragon. Don't get me wrong, i think WDI latest invention is great. If they succeed to have an animated flying dragon, and one who is breathing fire every guest will be amazed. But, still, there is something which will avoid the illusion to "work" totally. What, you ask? Have a look at the picture below. You got it, it's the kite over it . The huge fan behind the pilot can eventually become invisible from a distance, and the sound of it be covered by the sound of the show, but seeing this huge kite over the dragon obviously destroy the illusion.
So, how could they do it? My guess is that the illusion will work well with a use during night shows only. The kite could have a black color instead of white which will help to have it "disappearing" in the night background and they could eventually use one of these giant lights to illuminate and "follow" only the dragon during its flight over the audience. There is one other point, though, which could be a problem. These ultralight aircrafts are notoriously dangerous, and a night flight with these doesn't help to feel it'll be more safe. Except that in this case it will probably never be a "long" flight. The dragon could "lift-of" from a backstage road or parking lot, do a turn at 90 degrees to come over the Avatar land or SDL castle and then after two or three minutes go back and land again backstage. In this case the flying distance will be very short and the risk limited - except during bad weather with strong winds, of course.
So, my bets - just for the pleasure to bet! - are going on a use of this flying dragon during night shows or opening celebrations whether it will be for SDL or Avatar, and in any case, during night shows only. It's definitely there where the illusion will work the best.
Pictures: copyright Disney, Fox