Imagineering the Future of Disney's California Adventure Disney twenty-three
magazine | Summer 2009 | Pages 28 - 36
[ . . . ] What better way to honor Walt's vision and the Disney legacy than with a show celebrating the magic of Disney's timeless stories and beloved animated characters? World of Color will be DCA's new signature nighttime spectacular. and will make a huge splash.. uh... we're serious.
[ . . . ] Developed by Steven Davison, the man responsible for Remember... Dreams Come True fireworks and Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams, World of Color is expected to debut Spring 2010.
"This new show is 99.9 percent water," Steven says. "It's about the magic of water." And, of course, the magic of some of Disney's most amazing characters and moments.
The title of the 25-minute show pays homage to the television show Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. "It's really cool," he continues, "We're going to put that Disney nostalgia into it." But once the show kicks off, it becomes a whirlwind of all things animation, from classic to contemporary. "And it goes from mono to mega-stereo!" Steven exclaims... so listen up!
Show highlights include a scene that starts with the Spring Sprite from Fantasia/2000 bringing new life to the earth. From there, Pocahontas comes out to revel in the "colors of the wind." Steven has enjoyed mixing up characters from different films by giving them a new palette to play on. "Putting together the Spring Sprite and Pocahontas, as diverse as they may be, from two different worlds, makes sense," he points out. "One character creates this magical world, and the other can live within it."
There will be a cavalcade of characters living together in this liquid paradise, including Ariel, Crush, Dory, WALL-E, Scar, Alice, Buzz, Woody, and Tinker Bell, but the experience is elevated by brand-new technologies being employed to bring the show - and its characters - to life in ways that audiences are sure to enjoy.
"When you see Pocahontas, she's in the forest, but it's inspired by [Sleeping Beauty] artist and color stylist Eyvind Earle." Steve reveals. "It's like going into the world of production design using new textures and color stylings to create these animated worlds of color. We want your imagination to fill in the blanks. Projection and water live together seamlessly in this aquatic world." And that's the tip of the technology iceberg. Twelve hundred individual fountains, able to create a million unique colors, are being installed in the lagoon.
Of course, as with any artistic project, not everything makes the final cut. Several of the original sketches released for World of Color are, in fact, no longer in the show. "The show won't lock until we soft open," says Sayre Wiseman, director, Show Production, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment. [ . . . ] And since guest satisfaction is so important, some of the ideas presented here will change, and many more exciting ones will make the final cut. This is a process of tweaking and perfecting the show until it is truly - dare we say it? - magical.
"From the original drawings, about 50 percent are still part of the show," Sayre continues. "There are some where we just said, 'It's not working.'" "Or you didn't need it," Steven adds. "The first batch of work was to say, 'Okay, what can water do? And what do we think water can do?' And we were trying to connect it with a seamless story. Cars was in it at one point. We were going to do a whole car chase in water, but we tabled it to use in a future version of the show."