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  1. #1

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    Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    Another member brought up an interesting point that I wished to discuss in more detail. The simple comment was that Pixar as Disney but most Disney fans aren't accepting of Pixar in a Disney theme park. When I thought about it, it's really strange. For the majority of Disney's existence the dominant entertainment was hand drawn animation. While Disneyland was not specifically filled with Disney characters, they were included within it's berm. Various animated characters came to call the park home. Toy Story forever changed how we look at animation. From that point on the animation gradually changed from hand drawn, to computers. Computer based animation became more advanced, producing higher quality stories and characters. Disney partnered with Pixar, and as a result Disney's hand drawn animation began to suffer. Eventually, after a series of strained relationships Disney outright bought Pixar. The thought that "if you can't beat them join them".

    All of this has an interesting effect on the parks. Disney now has decided to shed a lot of it's older hand drawn characters in favor of the new cutting edge Pixar ones. Many see these new characters as Pixar invading the parks... specifically invading Disneyland which had been home to traditional characters for generations. The term "Pixarland" always comes up. There is a new hand drawn movie about to be released but aside from that the tradition of hand drawn animation has died a slow death in the halls of Disney. I am curious if Disney fans will ever accept the new CGI characters? specifically because that seems to be the only thing new Disney has to offer.

    They have an extensive vault of unused characters. Some are wll known others are more obscure. The Little Mermaid comes to mind as WDI has pulled out all stops in hopes of it saving DCA. But Little Mermaid is one attraction... Pixar has been added to the majority of the recent ones. The problem with a vault full of characters is that if you don't use them then future generations forget about them. To an older generation, seeing a classic character is like stepping back into childhood. To a new generation an older character simply sparks the question "Who's that?"

    So I'm wondering what others think. I wonder if Disney fans will ever accept Pixar? I wonder if they will accept the shift that has taken place towards CGI? or if individuals will continue to long for a return to hand drawn animation?
    Last edited by techskip; 05-30-2009 at 10:41 AM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    Yes. And the return to hand-drawn animation begins in November with 'The Princess and the Frog' and continues with the immediate slate of films that the studio has already announced.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    But the Princess and the Frog is going to be their last hand-drawn movie isn't it? I know they announced more but I think they're all going to be CGI.

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    I think the reason fans don't like the Pixar invasion is because none of the rides fit the theme of their location, and the attractions themselves are not very well thought-out. That plus it seems like every new attraction is based on Pixar instead of original ideas.

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    My answer is this: I accept the Pixar characters, not substandard rides. I personally like the Finding Nemo characters just fine....but the revamped Sub Voyage doesn't work for simply as, there's nothing new to it. You lost a unique ride experience and gained a movie projected fake-underwater. That's not the character's fault.

    A example is...the Monsters Inc. dark ride. I like the characters, and I like the ride...no problem there. It fits alright where they put it, even if it has nothing to do with California. My problem isn't the characters themselves, but how they are handled. I can say the same with the Tiki Room update as an example in Florida...do I like Iago and Zazu? Sure, they're not bad. But the attraction is terrible. For me at least, the characters being Pixar or Disney doesn't matter..quality of execution and matching theme where they place them matters.
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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyKid1994 View Post
    But the Princess and the Frog is going to be their last hand-drawn movie isn't it? I know they announced more but I think they're all going to be CGI.
    In 2006 John Lasseter and Ed Catmull set programs and initiatives in place for WDAS to return to hand-drawn animation. Some that information is detailed in this March 2007 NYT article:

    http://micechat.com/forums/news/5593...-3-4-07-a.html

    and most recently at the Cannes Film Festival for the 'UP' premiere Lasseter had this to say:

    "What I'm excited is Disney bringing back hand drawn animation. They kept saying audiences don't want to want to watch 2D movies. They don't want to watch bad movies. 2D became the scapegoat for bad movies."

    "We're bringing back 2D animation," with Disney Animation's holiday release of the more traditional, hand-drawn pic "The Princess and the Frog."

    "What's old is new again for audience who haven't felt this kind of film before," and "It will get stronger and stronger in next few years."
    http://micechat.com/forums/news/1109...ss-frog-2.html

    At last week's 'The Little Mermaid' 20th Anniversary Reunion event in Burbank all of the veteran animators that have worked on films ranging from 'The Lion King', 'Beauty and the Beast, 'Mulan', 'Tarzan' and up to 'Enchanted' were all thrilled to be involved in hand-drawn animation projects again at WDAS.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    It's a really interesting and complicated issue, I think. Good idea for a thread, techskip. For me personally...I guess this is how I'd break down the obstacles in the path to accepting Pixar elements in the parks.

    * Stylistically, Pixar films have a very specific look. A very nice specific look, mind you. But as with any specific style, it doesn't work to just throw it in wherever you want. Disneyland was wisely designed to keep animated characters confined to one land, for the most part. This has not happened with Pixar franchises - we've seen them scattered everywhere, with no regard for whether or not the Pixar look fits.

    * Thematically, Pixar franchises are almost never put in appropriate places in the DLR. We get modern-day toys in Tomorrowland and Frontierland and Paradise Pier, monsters from Monstropolis and sea turtles from Australia in Hollywood, and non-California-related cars and insects in a park that's supposed to be about California. It's a truly embarrassing lack of regard for theme.

    * Creatively, the Pixar attractions we've seen so far just haven't been all that great. We've gotten a pair of rather cheap-feeling shoot-'em-up rides, an overly literal retrofitting of an existing attraction, an overly static retrofitting of another existing attraction, that sort of thing. Mind you, I think Turtle Talk with Crush does admirably on this front, but it has some other issues (thematic appropriateness, lack of acceptable theming outside the screen, etc.). And RSR looks like it's going to totally do away with this particular problem, so kudos to Disney for that. But it hasn't happend yet.

    * Practically, it's difficult to make real-world versions of Pixar characters and settings that are true to the original. (This is a problem with any sort of animation, mind you.) We're used to seeing these characters be extremely dynamic and flexible and stylized and...well, animated. It's very difficult to convey that with animatronics or...urgh...stationary figures and painted flats. The results tend to feel plasticky and unconvincing by comparison to the originals. By nature, it's a lot easier to simulate slow-moving, drunken pirates and the like. You can use screens...but those tend to feel like screens, not like convincing reality, unless they're really used wisely and tastefully and a way that you can't experience at home.

    * Emotionally, most people haven't had enough time to develop full-on nostalgia for Pixar films. Toy Story is around that point now, I suppose...I know I'm certainly sentimental about it. Other Pixar films too, to a certain degree. But these are not classics that we've lived with for multiple decades. They're relatively recent (albeit VERY good!) films. That's going to put Pixar-based stuff at a slight disadvantage anyway.

    The first three factors are easily controllable; the second two are more challenging. If Disney does its very best with all five, I will be happy to accept Pixar stuff in the parks. More fun to enjoy it than to complain about it!


  8. #8

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    First off, Up is an incredible movie, and honestly kind of reminds me of a more classic movie.

    Now onto the park. I totally accept Pixar into the park, as long as its done classy and not just used to advertise the movie more. I enjoyed Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, even though it doesnt exactly fit in the area extremely well, its a good ride. Other uses could also be good, and its a thing about accepting the change of the world right now.

    Disneyland is all about constantly changing to fit TODAY, and although a lot of us here dont want to see the old rides go, its kind of what the basis of Disneyland is.

  9. #9

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    Great FACTUAL information, ALIASd!

    Thanks!


  10. #10

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    The one problem I have with
    Pixar being integrated within
    the theme parks is an issue you
    brought up.

    They have an extensive vault of unused characters. Some are wll known others are more obscure. The Little Mermaid comes to mind as WDI has pulled out all stops in hopes of it saving Disneyland. But Little Mermaid is one attraction... Pixar has been added to the majority of the recent ones. The problem with a vault full of characters is that if you don't use them then future generations forget about them. To an older generation, seeing a classic character is like stepping back into childhood. To a new generation an older character simply sparks the question "Who's that?"
    It's how Pixar films is getting
    all the focus and attention,
    while pre Pixar animations films
    are not and are being forgotten.

    In the early 90's Disney hand-drawn animation
    created classic films and stories such as
    Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King,
    and Aladdin.

    All of these films were great hits,
    and yet these movies never got
    attactions based from them.

    Now sure, they all have gotten
    stage shows and parades but those
    kind of attactions do not last long
    enough or would over stay their welcome.

    These films deserved just more than that.
    They should have received an attraction
    that would be permanant and coherent.
    Such as immersive, detailed and
    impressive dark rides that many find
    in Fantasyland.

    What I do not understand is that
    why are Pixar films getting rides and
    attractions implemented into the parks
    while other great films that came before
    them have not?

    Yes, The Little Mermaid will finally be
    made into a attraction/dark ride but why
    has it taken so long for it to happen?

    Over the course of time, the hand-drawn
    films have only been represented or appeared
    in parades i.e. Parade of Dreams or have had
    temporary stage shows i.e. Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.

    Sure, it's great in short term
    achievement, but these films
    need more than that in order
    for future generations to
    enjoy and appreciate them.

  11. #11

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    Sorry about the typo... I had meant to say TLM saving Disneyland Resort but I figured I'd just put DCA to make it easier to read... Somehow I managed to put "Disneyland" and forgot "Resort"... problem fixed.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob™ View Post

    All of these films were great hits,
    and yet these movies never got
    attactions based from them.

    Now sure, they all have gotten
    stage shows and parades but those
    kind of attactions do not last long
    enough or would over stay their welcome.

    These films deserved just more than that.
    They should have received an attraction
    that would be permanant and coherent.
    Such as immersive, detailed and
    impressive dark rides that many find
    in Fantasyland.
    I'd argue, respectfully with this portion...recent Disney films, of the 2D animation, have gotten elements in the park that were more permanent than the stage shows. Doesn't mean they were good, or all of them lasted....Tarzan's Treehouse? Pixie Hollow? Pooh dark ride? The Home on The Range Big Thunder Ranch overlay? For me, it doesn't make a difference where the characters come from...quality and good implementation of them into a themed area does. Disney certainly hasn't been shy about using their film characters in the parks (look at Stitch.) Pixar certainly hasn't been lacking lately, but Disney has been promoting their own characters just as much I'd say.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    Excellent thread, skip.

    IMO it depends on the individual fan's experience with Disney in the years B.P. (Before Pixar). My personal experience as a child and adult was as a fan of Disney Studio animation (as well as a fan of Pixar and other studios' animation).

    What's Pixar? To me Pixar was a magical thing that happened after John was treated like crap at Walt Disney Feature Animation, left Disney, and turned Pixar into a megacreative house. Which wouldn't have mattered beans to the counters, except that the megacreative house also made megabucks. Which got Pixar purchased by Disney Corporate -- at the very time when the torch of Disney Animation was being carried by a gaggle of executives who couldn't tell a screen story to save their souls.

    And so now the guy who left Disney and made Pixar the megacreative studio -- who creatively stood for everything Disney was years ago but is no longer -- wears a Disney decal on his forehead. Don't get me wrong, IMO John is brilliant and Pixar's work is excellent, but is no more Disney than any other non-Disney studio.

    Pixar = Disney? Not for me. No more than Henson = Disney if Eisner's purchase of Jim Henson's studio had gone through and Miss Piggy and Kermit characters were walking DL alongside Mickey and Minnie.

    A corporate purchase doesn't buy a character's soul. When I saw Woody in Toy Story and Nemo in Finding Nemo I was laughed and cried and was delighted. When I saw Woody in Frontierland and Nemo in the Subs, I just shook my head and said, "You have gotta be kidding." To me it's 100% corporate marketing and 0% creative. Which IMO is why FNSV looks and feels the way it does -- every artist who works on it knows, deep down, what it's really about.

    And it doesn't apply just to Pixar characters. The Tarzan Disney Store Display in a Tree and Depp of the Caribbean are typical Disney Corporate versions of authentic Disneyland attractions.

    However I seriously doubt that fans born in the 90's would have the same viewpoint. They're used to the "Walt" Disney Corporation's treatment of Disney characters and Pixar characters, or whatever other characters Disney decides to buy -- and then sell at the magical marketing channel called Disneyland.


    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 05-30-2009 at 11:11 AM.
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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    The problem I have with the Pixar takeover is this: (and mind you I have loved all the Pixar films)
    The Pixar characters seem to be pushing out the Disney pre-Pixar characters. My son has a Disneyland jacket with embroidered characters on the back...there are just as many Pixar characters as classic Disney ones. Pixar has made 10 films and already represents half the usable characters? I know small kids aren't familiar with most of the older Disney films, but still...
    And most importantly, I sense that it's all solely due to marketing. The Pixar characters are from newer films which most children have seen or own. That means Mom and Dad will probably buy more stuff when the kids ask for it because it's from their favorite movie.
    Oddly enough, the place where hand-drawn still rules is in the marketing of the Princesses. When Pixar makes a film with a character that fits the princess mold, expect her to take over and at least one of the others to be dropped.
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    Re: Will Pixar ever be accepted at the Disneyland Resort?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob™ View Post
    What I do not understand is that
    why are Pixar films getting rides and
    attractions implemented into the parks
    while other great films that came before
    them have not?
    I believe timing had a lot to do with it. A show or parade is inherently a great deal cheaper to produce then a full blown attraction. It also has a "temporary" lifespan which allowed Disney to capitalize on the current popularity of the film to "strike while the iron is hot" so to speak. A lot of those movies came at a time when Disney was utilizing the Lucas Films franchise. Disney dabbled with Tarzan's Treehouse but that was about it. When the popularity of the Treehouse waned, it was used as an example of why hand drawn films shouldn't be included in DCA. You could sum it up as saying some of the greatest modern animated films were released at a time when Disney wasn't ready to use them.

    Dsney now is focused on the current trends. For better or worse that is their main focus and they have demonstrated it openly. From Pirates to Faries to Princesses to Pixar, they are catering to what the kids of this generation know and love. That is why there is a substantial gap as you mentioned... because the kids of today don't remember the movies we loved. The kids of today remember Pirates, Faries, Princesses and Pixar. Occasionally a classic is dragged back into the limelight (TLM) to help "save" an area.
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