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How Would a Second Art of Animation Resort be Themed?

When the Art of Animation resort opened on property at Walt Disney World in 2012, it was as a variation on what it had originally been planned to be. If you look at a map of the resort and one of the Pop Century resort across Hourglass Lake, you’ll see how similar the two resort layouts are. There’s a reason for that. The basic buildings of the two resorts were built around the same time. But due to a downturn in tourism after the attacks of September 11th 2001, building on the second half of the Pop Century resort came to a halt. Now there appears to be a possibility that the shoe may be on the other foot.

In 2010 Disney returned to work on the previously abandoned resort and decided to not go forward with what had been planned as a “Classic Years” partner to Pop Century, going further back than the 1950s, which is where that resort picks up before carrying on to the 1990s. Instead, they created what we now know as Disney’s Art of Animation resort.

The resort is separated into four different sections which are themed after specific animated films from Disney’s filmography. These include: Cars, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and The Little Mermaid.

When these films were announced as the focus of the resort, I was initially a little confused. As a longtime fan of animation, and someone who did a lot of cartoon drawing throughout my preteen and early teen years, this didn’t seem to me to be a lineup of films that embodied the greatness of the actual ART of animation. The Lion King stands alone as a really good choice if this is your primary concern.

The resort as a whole does not dodge its title, featuring many themed decorations throughout which emphasize the artistic process that goes into creating animated films. This includes many examples of reproduced pencil drawings both dominating the resort’s central “Animation Hall,” which is the building where guests check in, eat at a food court, and enjoy a variety of other services and with oversized sketch pads leaning up on the ends of many of the other buildings as well. The resort’s primary souvenir shop is called the “Ink & Paint Shop” and is decorated with oversized bottles of paint mix.

But obviously, the higher-ups at Disney wanted their new resort to feature themes that would be most appealing to the most families. And with this as their goal, I have to admit that they did a great job for a few reasons.
1) Each of the featured movies is indeed very popular.
2) Both The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo are perfect choices in allowing the designers of the resort to integrate them with the necessary swimming pools.
3) While Cars might appeal more to families with little boys, the same could be true of The Little Mermaid and families with little girls. Meanwhile the other two seem a little more neutral.

Still, I can’t help but feel like these aren’t the ideal representatives if you’re focusing on the quality of the actual animation in the films.

So when I heard a rumor that in the long-term, Pop Century might be transformed into a second Art of Animation style resort (complete with the very profitable family suites) I naturally saw it as a chance for Disney to fix this a little. The idea makes sense beyond making the resort more profitable, in that the nostalgia attached to Pop Century undeniably has an eventual expiration date. Most young families are led nowadays by parents who grew up in the 80s or 90s, and that really only incorporates one quarter of the resort. Their children aren’t very likely to share their interest in pop culture from these decades, much less decades from before their parents were born.

What I want to do is to make some suggestions for four Disney films with great animation which might still be appealing to guests for this new version of the Art of Animation resort. I have no idea if this rumor will actually pan out, but there’s no harm in thinking “what if?”

Obviously, Disney animation goes way back to the 1920s, so there’s a lot of material to pick from. Some of the movies feature truly beautiful animation, while others – – less so…

As my pal Lebeau pointed out, if we focus only on the movies with the absolute best animation, there’s a good chance those choices won’t be particularly popular with potential guests. Especially if all of those choices come from somewhere between 1937 and 1959. Well, they mostly would…sorry….

I want to try to strike a reasonable balance between my ideal celebration of those hand-drawn masterpieces and the modern animated films which would be more familiar to younger visitors. In hopes of identifying which animated films might be among the most popular I looked up their box office numbers. Obviously, there’s more to it than that, but I figured that would be a good starting place. Here’s what I found initially…

Right. Frozen is #1, just like we’ve been hearing for the last few years. That’s no surprise. What didn’t occur to me until I reached Monsters University down at #8 was that only The Lion King predates the turn of the 21st century. All of the other movies listed here are much more recent…and of course they are. After all, the cost of a movie ticket is much higher in 2017 than it was in the 1940s. What I needed to help balance out this perception a little was a list of the top-grossing Disney animated films with the numbers adjusted for inflation. That would come a lot closer to giving us an idea of how many tickets were sold to see each movie. Here’s what I found…

Notice anything? Frozen isn’t even on this list. Why is Finding Dory there then? Because this list is based on domestic numbers while the other is based on worldwide numbers. That’s not ideal, but it does give us a decent idea of how popular older movies like Snow White and 101 Dalmatians were when they were released. Of course we also have to take into account the additional money many of these movies took in over the years due to a steady program of re-releases. Films like Pinocchio and Fantasia were initially financial failures due, in part, to overseas markets being closed to Disney at the time of their releases because of the ongoing Second World War. With repeated releases, both of these movies found appreciative audiences and have become regarded as classics of the art form.

How do we fairly determine what the best animation is? Well, we can certainly rely a little on some other critical sources, and on how a movie influenced the future of animation. In general, hand-drawn classics such as Bambi, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Sleeping Beauty are considered among the most beautiful, but films from later eras have also been important and appealing, including 101 Dalmatians, Tangled, Aladdin, and Moana.

The existing Art of Animation resort features two popular films from the era of the Disney Renaissance (1989 & 1994) and two computer animated films made by Pixar (2003 & 2006). While these do stand out as important to the company in some ways, I’d love for this second version to assist in completing a representation of Disney Animation’s history. In addition, the existing Pop Century resort has three significant pools that they’d ideally work into whatever theme they chose. I’ll try to do that too, but the bowling pin-shaped pool in the 1950s section of Pop Century might need to be reshaped.

Can this be done while still including areas based on Disney movies that will entice families to the resort? I’m not sure, but I’m going to give it a try…a little.

Choice 1: Pinocchio (1940)

Is this a movie that is likely to inspire enthusiastic bookings from young families? Maybe not, but it fits so much more of what we’re looking for. The movie is artistically stunning, historically important to the studio, and as you’ll see, there’s no trouble in working a pool area into the theme.

Pinocchio is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful and influential pieces of animation ever put on film. The artists at Walt’s disposal appear to have delighted in posing challenge after challenge for themselves on this project and the results are still extraordinarily impressive.

Check out this scene in which the animators gave us a look at our main character from inside a round fish bowl with the distortion that would naturally occur.

It was the first feature-length Disney film to bring home an Oscar in a competitive category, winning the little golden man for what would turn out to be the company’s theme song to this day, “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

As for my vision of how to make the theme come to life in the context of a value-plus resort area? I’ve got a couple of ideas.

First of all, we handle the needed pool area by making use of a concept for a Disneyland attraction that was never built and simply scaling it back a bit. So instead of sliding out of Monstro the Whale’s mouth in a boat like a flume ride, you would simply use traditional parallel water slides to emerge down into the pool with a satisfying splash. Depending how detailed you wanted to go with the theming, you could include figures of Gepetto and Figaro on their little boat inside the head of Monstro, also making the effort to exit the mouth.

My second idea would perhaps need to be placed on a building facing away from this pool area in order to avoid a clash in scale. It is based on the opening image of Pinocchio and stars perhaps the studio’s most enduring sidekick character, Jiminy Cricket. Just lean that book up against the end of one of the resort buildings and perch Jiminy up top. At night, there’s probably even a decent method for reproducing that spotlight.

And where is Pinocchio himself? I’m leaning toward putting him opposite the Monstro pool at a relatively life-size scale so resort guests could take photos alongside him

Choice 2: Lady & the Tramp (1955) and 101 Dalmatians (1961)

What can I say other than “people like dogs”?

I’m cheating just a little bit here, but I think Disney would appreciate this slightly less expensive idea after the pretty pricey theming I suggested for Pinocchio. After all, they already own several huge figures based on the main dogs from these popular movies both right there at Pop Century and at the All-Star Movies resort. Moving those, while not easy, allows them to create a theme for the one pair of buildings currently at Pop Century with no pool.

The corridor between the two buildings could offer a unique park/walking area melding the turn-of the century American setting of Lady & the Tramp with an early 60s era London of 101 Dalmatians. The facades of the two buildings would also be unique from one another, reflecting their contrasting artistic styles, with one featuring the lush, warm, Victorian aesthetic of Claude Coats’ work and the other reproducing the more modern layered colors and lines look that Ken Anderson created for the 1961 film.

Both movies are not just popular historically, but also have special places in the development of animation at the studio. Lady & the Tramp was the first animated Disney film to make use of the super wide-screen aspect ratio of CinemaScope. The change was made in the middle of production and required the animators to significantly adjust how they planned and populated scenes, but the final product is one of the studio’s most appealing and underrated visual experiences.

Just six years later, Disney made the change to primarily using xerography for 101 Dalmatians, a move which made the process of animation less expensive and allowed for much quicker production of all of those spots on those dogs. While some fans of animation do not prefer the look of xerography, it does maintain visual evidence of the talent of the artists drawing the characters and its lower cost may have actually saved the animation department at Disney.

Choice 3: Tangled (2010)

How popular is Tangled really? Well, that’s kind of hard to say. It was just the fifth highest grossing animated film of 2010. Of course, that was a pretty big year for animation, because it was still the tenth highest grossing film of the year overall.

Although it continues to reside in the shadow of the mega-hit Frozen, it appears to have remained popular enough to motivate Disney to include it at a steady rate in the parks. In addition to meet and greets with Rapunzel and a dedicated float for the movie in the Magic Kingdom’s daytime parade, perhaps the most highly themed restrooms in all of Walt Disney World were created based on the movie. The gorgeously appointed rest area features charging stations, a hide and seek game with Rapunzel’s pet chameleon Pascal, and has even spawned a popular photo opportunity with one of the film’s floating lanterns.

More significantly, Tangled marks a big leap forward in the improvement of computer generated animation to more closely match the charm and warmth of traditional hand drawn work. The project’s original director, Glen Keane, led a seminar with this specific focus, demanding that the computer imaging program being used be made to “bend its knee to the artist.” Honestly, the idea that he had to argue for such a result seems extraordinary, but the results can’t be argued with.

New programs were created over the course of several years, and many many man hours, resulting in a huge $260 million production budget. While that amount technically gets counted against Tangled’s financials, every Disney animated film produced since it has benefitted from the advances made possible because of Keane’s vision.

So, how do we take the gorgeous Rococo-style visuals of Tangled and apply it to a new Art of Animation resort area? Well, I’m going to suggest something a little more two-dimensional than in most of the rest of the resort. If you look at the way two of Pop Century’s building areas are grouped, you’ll see that they open from one end and feature the broad side of one of the buildings at the other end, with the pool located between. I’m going to emphasize this visual vantage point, by having the large side of that far building painted as a mural of the island kingdom of Corona.

The pool will include a centrally placed model of the boat Rapunzel and Flynn inhabit during the high point musical number “I See the Light.” By day, this feature will be de-emphasized due to generalized light, but at night, lighting can be used to call attention to it. Additional lights will also be used in the building with the mural to suggest the floating lanterns.

Choice 4: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

After lots of consideration and several changes of mind, I finally landed on a suggestion for a fourth movie for a new version of the Art of Animation. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t actually fulfill many of the requirements I’ve laid out previously.

Walt Disney’s history with Lewis Carroll’s stories featuring Alice goes way back, both in terms of his introduction to them and in terms of his plans for the concept in his work on film. Prior to the existence of the Disney animation studio, Walt made a series of movies mixing a live action young actress with animation called the “Alice comedies.” Mickey Mouse appeared in a 1936 animated short based on Through the Looking Glass, and Alice In Wonderland was identified early on as a target for a full-length animated feature. You can see the book leaning up alongside Peter Pan in the opening scene of Pinocchio. For a variety of reasons, it took until 1951 for the project to come to fruition.

Unfortunately, Disney’s version of Alice In Wonderland was initially a relative failure for the company, and didn’t become widely popular until a re-release in the 1970s after Walt’s death. Despite this later boost in popularity and upward critical reassessment, it’s still not one of the top overall box office earners in the Disney filmography.

While there is at least one very large water-related event in the film, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to theming of the main resort pool.

I will, however, argue that the artwork in Alice In Wonderland is pretty unique and the film itself was only made possible by Mary Blair’s amazing modern design work.

My primary reason for selecting this movie over some of the other possible options relates to the sheer volume of iconic, colorful, and fun characters from it who should make for lively decoration of its resort area. The Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, the Mad Hatter and March Hare, the White Rabbit, the Dodo, and others can easily populate the central corridor of the resort.

One feature that can be imagined would appear at the pre-existing children’s pool in the central area of the Pop Century resort. It is relatively small and shallow and perfectly circular. That reminds me of the caucus race, and by simply placing the Dodo on his pedestal in the middle, you have taken advantage of this pool in making the theme work. The whimsical flower-shaped “Hippy-Dippy” pool might fit in well enough with only mild aesthetic adjustments.

Disney as a company initially resisted the popularity of Alice In Wonderland that cropped up on our nation’s campuses based on its perceived connection with drug culture. To my mind, the only thing they’d have to do in this case is leave the hookah out of any depiction of the Caterpillar.

What do you think?

So those are the suggestions I’d make today if someone asked me about changing Pop Century into a second Art of Animation resort in the model of the first. Are the films I suggested the absolute best in terms of animation? Not entirely. Movies such as Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White are perhaps more artistically excellent than most of these. I only left out Fantasia because it is already pretty well depicted at the All-Star Movies resort.

But, if you consider the films I did suggest, they do represent the history of feature-length Disney animation pretty well when taken in concert with the first Art of Animation resort. Each decade from the 1940s (Pinocchio) until the current decade (Tangled) except the 1970s is included.

Are there any Disney animated films you wish I had included? Do you have any design ideas for them? I’d love to hear your own suggestions.

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Posted on May 8, 2017, in Movies, theme parks, travel, Walt Disney World and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Agree with you except… All Star Movies already has 101 Dalmatian themed building.

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    • daffystardust

      Yeah, I’d have them re-do that and move the big figures over to the new area.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your suggestion to Disney is to spend money to remodel 2 hotels instead of one? Guess who just got laid off from amateur Imagineering. 😉

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        • daffystardust

          Just 2 buildings worth. They’re lucky I’m not asking them to change out the Fantasia area as well. 🙂

          Considering that this new second version of Art of Animation will generally make them more money in the long run and I’m actually making use of big figures which are already in existence I figure the cost will even itself out acceptably.

          There are obviously a few other choices I could have made, including Frozen (I figured a pool area would end up being too much like Blizzard Beach), Peter Pan (My ideas were too ominous, especially considering the scary whale I’d already suggested), Moana (good for a pool, but not as important artistically as Tangled), and Up (My idea for an inclusion of Paradise Falls would be cost prohibitive). It’s a fun exercise, but necessarily an easy one.

          Like we said before, you could easily just select the movies with the best animation, but those would pretty much only be from the early days of the studio and some would be hard to theme with pools.

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        • Yep.

          It’s an interesting puzzle for die hard fans who are inclined to obsess about these things. If Disney ever pulls the trigger, I’ll be curious to see what they come up with.

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  2. I have been giving this a lot of thought since the subject came up a few weeks ago in one of your first videos from the Spring Break series. Before I share my ideas, I’ll offer my reaction to your selections. I will rank them from Worst to First:

    1. 101 Dalmatians/Lady in the Tramp

    Yeah, that’s a pretty big cheat combining two dog moves into one hotel. Obviously, you know that All Star Movies already has a building devoted to Dalmatians. I would argue to Disney that they need to update ASM to replace the very dated Mighty Ducks and Love Bug themes. I don’t think they can spare Dalmatians for AoA Vol 2. Also, I don’t think Dalmatians and Xerography are generally considered among the best Disney animation has to offer. As for Lady and the Tramp, I think it is well represented by Tony’s on Main Street.

    1. Tangled

    Similarly Tangled is pretty well represented in the parks. The characters are popular enough to have been given their own cheaply animated TV series, but if you’re going to go the princess route there are obviously more appealing options. You know what I’m talking about. This also presents a problem with scale. In most of AoA, the Imagineers worked very well with scale. In the Nemo section, the characters and environments are over-sized because we guests are supposed to be little fish like Nemo. In the Cars section, the characters were recreated using smaller frames. In the Lion King, the animals are life-sized. But in the Little Mermaid section, you have these giant characters that may be visually appealing, but they make no sense. With Tangled, you’re either going to have a little Rapunzel up in a tower or a giant-sized Flynn Rider.

    1. Pinocchio

    Pinocchio is one of the most ambitious animated movies ever made. So it’s an obvious choice if you are taking the resort’s name literally. And a Monstro-themed pool is just a no-brainer. My only concern with Pinocchio is commercial. There aren’t going to be a lot of kids asking to stay in the Pinocchio family suites.

    1. Alice in Wonderland

    While the movie itself is considered a mixed bag, Alice is beloved by theme park fans because it has a long connection with Disney parks. The story, and it’s many iterations, also has a broader appeal beyond the Disney version. And there is just so much you can do with it. Alice can fit just about every concept. And remember the scale issue I was talking about before? Since Alice both shrinks and grows you can really play with over-sized figures. A giant Alice makes sense. You can also have over-sized mushrooms, caterpillars and Cheshire Cats. The landscaping could go totally nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • daffystardust

      I was actually not thinking Tangled would emphasize the large figures at all, putting the focus on the environment instead. As with the life-sized Pinocchio i suggested, you could do the same for guest photo opportunities.

      I’m emphasizing the importance of Xerography rather than its overall appeal, and 101 Dalmatians not only is its origin point for dominant use of the technique, but is probably the most artistically appealing use of it. As a pre-teen I actually preferred these movies because I had experience with pencil drawing and I loved being able to see the pencil strokes of the artists.

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      • As I was reading your ideas, I got the impression that you were looking to create more immersive environments de-emphasizing the giant character approach. I think with Tangled, you’d end up with something similar to the highly themed restrooms/stroller parking in the Magic Kingdom. That’s a neat place to hang out, but I think the kids want to see the characters front and center. Also, it wouldn’t really fit in with the existing approach. AoA does a good job with recreating environments via landscaping. But the character sculptures are the showpieces, no?

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  3. As for my ideas, well, I’m not as married to the “Art of Animation” concept. I’m looking at things from the commercial point of view I imagine Disney would appreciate as well as which movies I think could best be adapted to the existing structure. While Sleeping Beauty features stunning animation, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a swimming pool.

    So, Frozen is the obvious choice here. It just is. It’s hugely popular and an upcoming sequel could spark another wave of Frozen mania. The winter theme lends itself to water features ala Blizzard Beach.

    I want to offset the girl-appeal of Frozen with something for the boys. I’m going to go with Aladdin. You could do an oasis pool if you wanted or put it in the Lion King slot. I’d want to see some sand, a giant genie and Jasmine and Aladdin on a flying carpet. You could have a Cave of Wonders entrance, an over-sized Jafar in snake or genie form. Lots of possibilities.

    Based on pool appeal, I’m suggesting one of the movies located in the Pacific. Several years ago, I would have gone with Lilo and Stitch. Disney might pounce on that idea, but I think Stitch’s popularity has waned. Enter Moana. The only issue with that is the possible overlap with the Frozen demo. But I think Maui (in his many forms which would be well represented) evens the scales. This one just builds itself.

    My fourth suggestion was Alice in Wonderland for the reasons I outlined above. But I’m going to throw out a couple alternates. We’re lacking in Pixar properties and also potentially in movies that appeal to boys. So if Disney raises these concerns, I have back-up plans for Monsters Inc. and The Incredibles. Neither screams out “pool” to me, but either could fill that middle slot that lacks a water feature.

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    • daffystardust

      As an old curmudgeon, while I appreciate your choices for their appeal and visual possibilities, I absolutely object to their recency bias. 🙂

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      • I’m definitely taking a more market-friendly approach. While I have nothing but respect for Pinocchio as an artistic achievement, I want to book some suites here! I’m thinking if we were standing in Iger’s office and someone asked “what about the recency bias” they would return to their desk to find their belongings packed up in a box. I got kids to support! I can’t afford to lose my non-existent job coming up with ideas for rumored redesigns of hotels.

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        • daffystardust

          Obviously if I was doing this with the idea that I had to keep a job by emphasizing stuff that is already popular with young families I would just rubber stamp Frozen, Aladdin, and maybe Zootopia. Then maybe they’d let me squeeze in my Pinocchio idea. Or maybe they’d pat themselves on the back for re-using the Jungle Book figures that are already there.

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        • The Jungle Book could be pretty cool though. Lazy river. Think about it.

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        • daffystardust

          So maybe that’s the solution then? Do Jungle Book instead of Zootopia and stick to our guns on Pinocchio? I have to admit that if the real world Disney company announced that lineup I would probably be relatively happy. The art in Jungle Book is pretty inconsistent, though. Those vultures look terrible. It does have the historical importance of being the last animated feature Walt had a significant voice on creating.

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        • Of the movies from that era, Jungle Book is my favorite. I like it, but there are definitely shortcomings. Agree on the art.

          I know that your approach is at least partially built around honoring the history of Disney animation. And since we’re dealing in fantasy, that’s an option. I think if they actually built it, families would disproportionately book rooms in the original buildings which are themed to more popular, recent movies. Although that Monstro water slide would be quite a draw. Of course it’s beyond any water feature at any Disney resort including the Deluxes… But we’re not restricted by real world limitations.

          If I’m in charge of the redesign and my objective is to put together a concept that will appeal to animation purists, I’m giving your proposal a lot of consideration. If my goal is to maximize appeal to our resort’s core demographic and by extension maximize our profits, we need to make a lot of changes. Have the team get to work on the Alice building and come up with six more concepts for our meeting at the end of the week. And no more classic Walt stuff. Give me something that will move some merch.

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        • daffystardust

          A couple of kid-friendly ideas I ruminated on included:

          One broadly focusing on all of the great Disney cartoon shorts. That would obviously feature all of the members of the “Fab 5” while still giving significant nods to classic animation stretching back to the late 1920s and everywhere along the way.

          Another focused on the Winnie the Pooh characters. This would be very popular with families with very small kids and could easily theme a pool, but again, the artwork itself is pretty middle-of-the-road when you consider the company’s overall output and it might put off many groups with older kids. Also, there’s something about the property that seems only Disney-adjacent to me because I’m familiar with the original books/artwork. But it would still be something Walt worked on.

          Oh, by the way…Walt Walt Walt Walt 😀

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        • I think the Pooh idea would appeal to a lot of families. While they don’t appeal to me all that much, it seems like a lot of adults are fond of the 1000 Acre Woods characters too. You’re not exactly pointing to a specific movie with either of these ideas. Personally, I don’t love that as it represents a break from the first half of the property. But hey, who am I? I’m not Walt, that’s for sure. Or Bob.

          Is there a property that is sadly under-represented at Disney World that could be rectified by being included in our little project? I think Pinocchio fits that bill. Aladdin is another movie I think should have more of a presence. Anything else?

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        • daffystardust

          I think “Up” is much more popular than its representation in the parks would suggest.

          I obviously seriously considered creating something for Bambi because of its gorgeous artwork and because it really is under-represented. And obviously it could have a pool or not. But I think maybe too many people associate it with that one fateful scene and it bums them out.

          I don’t think most laypeople have any idea that Tony’s on Main Street is based on Lady & the Tramp. First thing to do there is for that restaurant to have food that people don’t pretty unanimously hate.

          Jungle Book is definitely under-represented, considering its strong box office and two very memorable songs.

          That’s what comes to mind so far…

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        • I wonder if there is a way to gauge the relative popularity of these movies now. Obviously, their original box office gives us a starting point, but not the full picture. Anecdotally, I think movies like Up, Wall-E and Ratatouille are all well-respected but largely forgotten. (Then again, apparently the Ratatouille ride is being cloned for Epcot, so maybe I’m wrong.) Up does have a presence at Animal Kingdom, doesn’t it? We went to a Dug and Russell meet and greet a few years back and I believe the Wilderness Explorers game is still there.

          One problem with Bambi is that it just doesn’t lend itself to a theme park setting. Other than a dark ride, what are you going to do with it. And, yep, the thing it’s best known for is traumatizing kids.

          If you get into the door of Tony’s it’s pretty obvious thanks to the statue that it’s themed to Lady and the Tramp. I have never eaten there myself, but I have read positive reviews from time to time. Authentic, it’s not. But I have heard from plenty of people who believe the food gets a bad rap. I actually booked a reservation last trip to try it out myself, but we ended up cancelling when I realized Mindy wouldn’t want to go back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner after our afternoon break. So instead we went to Planet Hollywood. Like Bambi, Lady and the Trap has the problem of featuring non-anthropomorphic animals as the leads. That’s limiting.

          We should consider a new hotel based around little-loved Disney movies like Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Brother Bear and Atlantis. Atlantis just screams out for a nice big pool.

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        • daffystardust

          I think there’s a reason those movies are “little loved.” Disney probably would like people to forget they exist.

          As long as there isn’t a sizable wooden house with a rainbow of balloons bursting from its chimney somewhere on property, then Up is under-represented.

          Most of what I have heard about Tony’s is that their tomato sauce tastes like the can it comes out of. I did see a good review for one new dish recently and have heard that they are making long term efforts to overhaul the menu.

          I like Ratatouille a lot, but I’m not sure I’m all that excited about that ride coming over from France. A Wall-E attraction in either Tomorrowland or Future World would get on my radar pretty quickly, though. My overall impression is that Up as a bit more juice than those other two, but maybe I’m talking to too many adult-aged people.

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        • Here’s what happens when I talk about Up at home.

          Me: “How about U-”

          All of the girls in earshot “Too sad!”

          Me: “We can fast for-”

          All girls: “TOO SAD!”

          Me: sigh

          It’s always hard to gauge these things because so much is based on your personal experience. Aside from a recent incident where the kids complained about being exposed to Up (which they made sure to let me know was ‘too sad’), I rarely ever hear anyone bring it up. I think it’s one of Pixar’s best which is definitely saying something. But does anyone under 12 care about it? My guess is, only if their parents do and even then not much. I could easily be wrong. I did check the rankings on IMDB which tells me Up, Wall-E and Ratatouille are all well-liked by movie buffs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the need a larger presence in Disney World.

          My main objection to the Ratatouille ride in Epcot is the cartoonification of the World Showcase. And that’s a losing battle. So, I guess have at it. If the Guardians are candidates for Future World, sure why not put Wall-E in there too.

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        • daffystardust

          Hey, the Muppets have a roving show in Future World, so why not Wall-E? Obviously, I’m not a hardliner against characters in Epcot. I just want the edutainment to be the focus instead of the IPs. I don’t see any reason why Wall-E can’t help teach me about recycling or whatever they want him to help teach. I liked when Remy the rat used to show up in Chefs de France. These are fun touches to what is otherwise an educational or cultural experience.

          What I don’t like about the new Frozen ride is that it doesn’t even pretend to tell us anything about Norway. For crying out loud, even if there was a pre-show that talked about how the movie was heavily inspired by Norwegian culture and art I would be very very forgiving. What they have is a little display in the Stave Church doing that job where most people will completely ignore it.

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        • We’re drifting from the AoA topic, but from the rumors I have read edutainment is no longer a thing. There are lots of plans for Epcot, but none of them even pay lip service to education. I have been told to expect fun rides that are upgrades from what’s there in every way except staying true to the park’s original concept. I guess that will have to do.

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        • daffystardust

          How about a Wall-E themed section to AoA2 that piles on the educational content? The edges of the pool and the backs of the room doors, and the shower curtains all have important environmental data printed on them.

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        • Now you’re just trying to upset climate deniers. 😉

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  4. “Obviously if I was doing this with the idea that I had to keep a job by emphasizing stuff that is already popular with young families I would just rubber stamp Frozen, Aladdin, and maybe Zootopia. Then maybe they’d let me squeeze in my Pinocchio idea. Or maybe they’d pat themselves on the back for re-using the Jungle Book figures that are already there.”

    While Frozen and Aladdin would be good choices, I think you’re right in using Jungle Book instead of Zootopia because, besides people relating to the message (which is a good message, don’t get me wrong), it seems to have surprisingly had little cultural impact for a movie that made over a billion at the box office (at least from what I’ve seen) so I’m not sure it’s really all that popular. But with Jungle Book, everyone knows about songs like Bare Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You so there’d probably be at least a little more demand for it.

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