Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's A Disney Character World?

In the past week or so, Disney recently reopened It's A Small World at Disneyland. Now, I know this is a Disney World blog...but let's take a look at this new version of It's A Small World...because, as we all know, Disney likes to clone stuff, so there's the very slight possibility we could see a refurb like this one take place in the near future at the park we know and love so well. (Yay for hypotheticals!)

I don't know how many of you have heard the news of what Disney did with the Disneyland version...but for those of you who may be unaware, Disney had announced that they were going to include some Disney characters in this updated version of the classic attraction. Many on the Internet were outraged. How could they do this to this attraction?! Was this really necessary? It was defiling Walt's original vision. Is this just a way for Disney to put corporate characters into a ride that simply didn't have it, in an effort to continue that cross promotion thing they love to do? (I have my own personal answers on these questions, of course.)

But, despite my own personal opinion in that it really wasn't necessary, I viewed the video of the attraction with an open mind. And I have to say, there were parts of the refurb I really didn't mind seeing and then there were parts that I thought they could have done a little differently. (Ah, the joys of being an armchair much I wish I could be the real thing.)

Here is a version of the new attraction, in case you all haven't seen it. This version gives long shots, as well as close ups of the Disney characters in question.

First of all, for those of you who are worried, this attraction isn't LOADED completely with characters. Matter of fact, if some of them hadn't been pointed out to me, I might have actually missed them, as I didn't get Cinderella at first, Mulan was easy to miss, and I had no idea that Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa would be in this new version...all of them blended in nicely with the story. Oh, and I think I missed Mrs. Potts in there least I think she's there.

Of course, the other characters, I did notice. However, for the most part, I thought they looked natural, at least as best they could. Most of the characters looked like the It's a Small World dolls, just dressed in that character's clothing. Even though they were noticeable, they still blended in with the whole story of the ride. They technically looked like they'd been there the whole time.

My issue ended up being only for a few select characters. The first one I'm bringing up are the Pixar characters that were included in this version. Now, I don't have a problem with the fact that they are Pixar characters. I'm one who fully accepts Disney and Pixar to be one now. No, instead my issue is the way these characters look. The characters in question are Marlin, Dory, and Woody. They don't appear to look very Mary Blair-stylized. Instead they look more's like Disney just have these characters, lets just throw them in for the heck of it. They don't blend as seamlessly because they don't look as cartoony. (Go figure, cartoons don't look cartoony enough...)

I would have liked to have seen more cartoon versions of Marlin and Dory, along the same lines as the White Rabbit and Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa. (Flounder also looks too realistic for me too...what is it with Disney and the fish?) Woody, kinda looked like a creepy doll. I would have liked to see them have done something like they did with Jessie. Instead of a creepy looking doll, (wait, aren't they all creepy in IASW?) I would have instead of a realistic interpretation of Woody. I would have like to have seen him as a It's a Small World doll, dressed in Woody clothing. We would have gotten the message on who that was, plus it would have been more of a subtle nod, instead of an outright, blatent nod.

The other issue was with Stitch. And it's not because I have a pure hatred for Stitch. Personally, I could care less if they use him for attractions of not. (Matter of fact, I think that the idea to put him in the Tiki Room is a decent idea.) However, my problem with this is that It's a Small World is supposed to be (for the most part) a "realistic" depiction of people around the world...meaning, the attraction should feature things that are at least plausible. (The mermaids were there before.) Stitch however, 1. looks exactly like he does in the real stylization of him and 2. Stitch is a made up character. He's an alien. He doesn't fit in a Polynesian type world...I feel that including Lilo would have been fine...but adding Stitch to me wasn't the best idea. Personally, I think they should have left him out.

So, in all, I have to say, if they brought this refurb down to the wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I might actually enjoy it. And if they tweaked the things I talked about, I think it would definitely benefit the sanctity of the ride a little quell the fears of those Disney die-hards, for whom everything must remain the same. All in all though, I don't hate it, and think, if it had to happen, it wouldn't be a bad addition to Disney World. :)

Disclaimer...Please keep in mind though, I like the original how it is...I'm just saying if it were by chance to happen, it wouldn't be the end of the world...I do want that noted. Not trying to give Disney the idea that I think this is the most brilliant idea in the world, either. lol!


Cozyflier said...

Thanks for the update, I'll take a look at the link.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I disagree with your opinions on Stitch's inclusion in Small World.

He looks VERY stylized and blends in and doesn't really like he does in the film at all.

The enhancements to DL's Small World were indeed done very tastefully and do not deserve the heavy, unnecessary over-the-top flak that they recieved in Disney fan circles.