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  1. #1

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    Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Re-Imagineering: The BLAIR Family Speaks

    In early 2008, the family of IASW creater Mary Blair pleaded with top decision makers at Disney to not perminently alter the rides original scenes, and not to add out-of-place popular animated characters. Now, I'm not in any way a Disney purist. For years, my voice has remained a strong proponent of change the vast majority of the time.

    The addition of new characters and scenes will not ruin the ride experience for me in any way. Still, as Al has affirmed in his recent update, the ride is pretty much as popular today as it has always been. The recrafting of the boats to retrofit today's heavier guests does make sense. The Blair family has no qualms about that.

    Overall, my primary concern here is the executive Disney decisions/and mistakes that have led to the new monorails not be expected to being operational until at some precarious time next year. Where is the sense of priorities? The company should be concentrating on the design, mechanical, and legal problems associated with getting the new monorails up and going as soon as possible. Instead, they seem far more preoccupied with fixing what doesn't need to be fixed -plussing what already pleases guests with an exclamation point!

    The scene changes for Hong Kong Disneyland's Small World are fresh and new ..the idea excites me. The ride is obviously inspired by imagineer extraordinaire Mary Blair to the extent that most of the attraction is a duplicate of the original World's Fair attraction. To clone the new additions at DL is completely rediculous. I believe that few desire to see complete clones of the attractions at different parks.

    Unfortunately, the changes to the ride seem to be set in stone. Too bad that these plans cannot be removed like a sword from the stone in an act of chivalry. For those who wish to view the letter, here is a copy of the letter of protest from the Blair's as it appeared in March 18, 2008 printing of the imagineerbirth.blogspot -

    The BLAIR Family Speaks


    Dear Disney Executives,

    It has recently been brought to my attention that the Walt Disney Company including WDI has proposed changes to the “It’s a Small World Ride” at the Disneyland Park in Anaheim. As I understand the changes include the addition of the Disney Characters (Mickey, Minnie, Lilo & Stitch, etc.) to the ride in select areas, and the replacement of the “Rainforest” section with Mickey Mouse in a tribute entitled “Up with America”. I also understand that the boats and trough they ride in will be expanded for the safety and comfort of the parks modern day guests.

    While I fully understand and support the upgrade to the boats as a necessary safety upgrade, the addition of the Disney Characters and the “Up with America” section I do NOT support as it represents a gross desecration of the ride's original theme and my Mother’s stylized artwork.

    The Disney characters of themselves are positive company icons, but they do NOT fit in with the original theme of the ride. They will do nothing except to marginalize the rightful stars of the ride “The Children of the World”. This marginalization will do nothing but infuriate the ride’s international guests and devoted Disney fans.

    My Mother and I have always had a strong sense of patriotism for America and I DO support a tribute to America. Disneyland has several venues, which are perfect places for this tribute including “Main Street USA” or “New Orleans Square”; unfortunately the “It’s a Small World” ride is NOT one of them. Once again this will marginalize the children of the world theme and bastardize my Mother’s original art. Furthermore ripping out a rainforest (Imaginary or otherwise) and replacing it with misplaced patriotism is a public relations blunder so big you could run a Monorail through it.

    As a former WED employee I am saddened to realize the degradation of the company’s talent and focus and the subsequent decline at the Disneyland Park itself. I cannot believe someone from WDI was paid to come up with such an idiotic plan as this.

    As the head of the Blair family I cannot urge you strongly enough to abandon this idiotic plan and instead upgrade the boats and return the ride to it’s original classic form, design and colors. The desecration of Mary’s art is an insult to Mary Blair, her art, and her memory, and to the entire Blair Family itself.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin L. Blair
    Representing;
    Kevin Blair, Donovan Blair, Jeanne Chamberlain,
    Maggie Richardson, Kevin Allison
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 01-21-2009 at 04:30 PM.
    To Boldly Go Where No MiceChatter Has Gone Before!


  2. #2

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    WOW! That's one BLUNT letter! I agree with Mr. Blair 100%! But, alas, it seems that nothing will be able to stop the giant boulder rolling. As I see it, much has been done to try and sway the Disney suits to abandon this revamping of ISWA, but to no avail. Do we stop here? Do we wait until the re-opening to examine the changes, and THEN, if it is not pleasing, continue on with the fight?

    I agree with Ride Warrior concerning the carbon copying of the attractions at Disney parks around the world. Soarin' is a classic example. Why is Soarin' Over California in FLORIDA? Why not Soarin' Over Florida? If this trend of carbon copying attractions found at other parks continues, then the desire to visit other Disney parks will start to diminish. Why ride ISWA in DLHK when you have already experienced the EXACT SAME RIDE in DLR? Isn't that what makes the Six Flags parks interesting?...there aren't carbon copies in all the parks (or am I mistaken?)

  3. #3

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    The Blair family is right to be upset about the changes to IASW, but this sentiment has been the same since the changes were first rumored. It's difficult to say what the Walt Disney Company will do next, but it's to be expected that a significant number of people will like the changes, and the Company will then be make its decision.

  4. #4

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Didn't we go through all this with the letter a year ago?:P

  5. #5

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    This is the end result of letting people with an MBA but zero imagination run a company whose roots are imagination itself.
    *sigh*

  6. #6

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Wow, I didn't realize the Blair family owned it's a small world.

    Where were they when they changed the color scheme on the outside of the building??? Or when they did the Holiday Make-Over??? Oh I know, it's because they can get press out of this.


  7. #7

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Quote Originally Posted by almandot View Post
    Didn't we go through all this with the letter a year ago?:P
    Yea I don't see anything new about this. It's just another publicity grab a couple weeks before the ride opens.

  8. #8

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Quote Originally Posted by ManaByte View Post
    It's just another publicity grab a couple weeks before the ride opens.
    No, it's not. The date on the Re-Imagineering post that the OP linked to is March 18, 2008.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  9. #9

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    No, it's not. The date on the Re-Imagineering post that the OP linked to is March 18, 2008.
    It still makes it a publicity grab. It could have been posted then and possibly posted everywhere just a few weeks before it is about to open.


  10. #10

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Wow, I didn't realize the Blair family owned it's a small world.

    Where were they when they changed the color scheme on the outside of the building??? Or when they did the Holiday Make-Over??? Oh I know, it's because they can get press out of this.
    hahaha!!!

    so true!


  11. #11

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    No, it's not. The date on the Re-Imagineering post that the OP linked to is March 18, 2008.
    This letter was posted last year there and here and everywhere else. To bring it back up two weeks before the ride re-opens is nothing more than a publicity grab and flame bait.

  12. #12

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration





    =(
    Friend walks into line of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh-
    "Come on, Let's go see Country Bear- .......Oh."
    -August 1st 2010

    And this elevator traverls directly to The Twilight Zone The Gift Shop!
    -August 2nd 2010

  13. #13

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Quote Originally Posted by ManaByte View Post
    To bring it back up two weeks before the ride re-opens is nothing more than a publicity grab and flame bait.
    Publicity grab by whom?

    Not the Blairs or Re-Imagineering, clearly.

    Nor, it would seem, by RideWarrior -- his OP concerns Disney's spending priorities and their penchant for quickie clones, not the artistic qualities of sticking Stitch in Small World.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  14. #14

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    Quote Originally Posted by disney-fan-reborn View Post
    WOW! That's one BLUNT letter! I agree with Mr. Blair 100%! But, alas, it seems that nothing will be able to stop the giant boulder rolling. As I see it, much has been done to try and sway the Disney suits to abandon this revamping of ISWA, but to no avail. Do we stop here? Do we wait until the re-opening to examine the changes, and THEN, if it is not pleasing, continue on with the fight?

    I agree with Ride Warrior concerning the carbon copying of the attractions at Disney parks around the world. Soarin' is a classic example. Why is Soarin' Over California in FLORIDA? Why not Soarin' Over Florida? If this trend of carbon copying attractions found at other parks continues, then the desire to visit other Disney parks will start to diminish. Why ride ISWA in DLHK when you have already experienced the EXACT SAME RIDE in DLR? Isn't that what makes the Six Flags parks interesting?...there aren't carbon copies in all the parks (or am I mistaken?)
    It will be up to the guests in general (not just us MC clubbers and members of other blogs) to decide whether the new Small World experience is inferior to the original. APers, one would imagine will quickly grow bored - especially if the carbon copying of the attraction grows to include other parks in addition to Disneyland and HK Disneyland). They may well resent the changes to Mary Blair's artistry as well. If attendance for the ride is adversely impacted, that would be the time to fight the changes through critical letters to Disney.

    Regarding WDW's Soarin' Over California, I would rather enjoy a walking tour of Behind The Seeds at The Land ..or prove my tolerance level for stress by spending a painful couple of hours at Innoventions.
    To Boldly Go Where No MiceChatter Has Gone Before!


  15. #15

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    Re: Blair Family Open Letter To Disney Suits Over Small World Alteration

    I hope they send a follow-up letter.

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