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  1. #1

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    Angry I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    This is going to be a bit of a rant, so if you don't want to hear me sound like a crotchety old man, leave now. You've been warned.

    If there's one phrase I'm tired of hearing, it's "make it work." Usually, it will come into the discussion something like this: "I know this doesn't really fit the theme, but I believe in Disney. They'll make it work." The point of theming is not to "make it work." You shouldn't have to turn your head, squinch up your eyes real tight, and then open your left one halfway to see how something fits the theme. It fits or it doesn't fit.

    This mantra of "make it fit" is also responsible for the convoluted backstories that have grown like kudzu from WDI. Yes, there were backstories before, but most of the time, they were never revealed to the audience. They were simply devices used to stimulate the Imagineers' imaginations as they designed the project. Nowadays, a complicated backstory is necessary to explain what would otherwise be a laughable break in the theme. The story must be spoon fed to the audience to help them understand why the ride supposedly fits when it so blatantly doesn't.

    I understand that Imagineering's hands are tied. Their job is no longer to design alternate worlds and bring them to life; it is to leverage franchise branded product on the platform called DL. Fine. So why keep pretending? Why not just come right out and say it? How about this?

    "The era of the cohesive, tightly themed land is over. It was fun while it lasted and we will fondly remember this brief phase in the development of the amusement park. We find, however, that in this day and age, our customers are more concerned w/ having fun. Our surveys tell us that if the ride is fun, it doesn't matter whether it fits some arbitrarily defined 'theme.' The customers know they're not in some alternate world, so let's not insult their intelligence by telling them they are. Theming, at its heart, is really just a way to group a bunch of rides together, so let's not pretend it's something more. W/ that, we welcome you to the new Marveldisneyavatarfantasystudiosland."
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  2. #2

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    The point of theming is not to "make it work." You shouldn't have to turn your head, squinch up your eyes real tight, and then open your left one halfway to see how something fits the theme. It fits or it doesn't fit.
    Amen
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



  3. #3

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    I agree, that's when i suggest the integration of stuff like Marvel, i try to avoid the "make it work" concept.. I advocate stuff that WILL work without having to warp the theme around it to do so. Sadly that also means that the more well known Marvel characters aren't really in consideration, there are Marvel comics feauturing western heroes that would fit fine in Frontierland, but not many know em, so it kind of is a moot point there. I do think iron Man works fine in Tomorrowland as it exists now, on account of all the fururistic technology he uses as well.

  4. #4

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    I agree with all of that back story stuff; I know most of them and I still don't always understand the things I'm seeing. But no more themed lands? That's enough to make me cry! Why not? Because Imagineers have more creativity than most people and feel the need to write a whole book of a back story? Why can't they keep making themed lands, and just ditch the novels?

    Also, Disney does not insult my intelligence by transporting me into a marvelous jungle, or an early European land full of flying elephants and princesses. Imangination is not insulting. Imagination is what keeps us young. Marvelavaterfanstasybigthingyouwroteland just sounds horrible. It's like marshmallows and ketchup; good separately, but for the love of all that is holy, don't eat them together!

    Keep it separate. Keep it themed. Ditch the back story.

  5. #5

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    So if the imagineers no longer create cohesive lands and only care about pimping Disney franchises, why is Beuna Vista Street being created? Why does DCA continue to receive subtle changes in order to enhance theme? I assume it isn't just to pander to cynicism.

  6. #6

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    "The era of the cohesive, tightly themed land is over. It was fun while it lasted and we will fondly remember this brief phase in the development of the amusement park. We find, however, that in this day and age, our customers are more concerned w/ having fun. Our surveys tell us that if the ride is fun, it doesn't matter whether it fits some arbitrarily defined 'theme.' The customers know they're not in some alternate world, so let's not insult their intelligence by telling them they are. Theming, at its heart, is really just a way to group a bunch of rides together, so let's not pretend it's something more. W/ that, we welcome you to the new Marveldisneyavatarfantasystudiosland."
    Bingo. Disney's only problem now is making all that fit on a T-shirt and still leave room for the picture of Walt's head.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 03-24-2012 at 12:55 PM.
    "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


  7. #7

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    I don't think people mean make it work the way you seem to interpret it. I think of it like "well I can't think of a way to make this fit but I'm sure disney has some great ideas for it." No one is saying they WANT to have to squint and try to understand the connection. Its like if I said, I don't know how POTC is going to fit in new orleans square, but I'm sure they'll make it work. And they did!!! The burden of "making it fit" is not our's but WDI's and I think that is what most people mean by it.
    In the quest for quality, I have no problem with the characters footing the bill.

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    Also, while Carsland is obviously based off a franchise (which really doesn't mean anything in the argument you're making), doesn't it seem like the single most cohesive and well themed land Disney Imagineers have created to date? I dont think anyone has to squint to make that place come to life. If anything, wouldn't it help if certain people opened their eyes?

  9. #9

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    Quote Originally Posted by ChurroMan View Post
    So if the imagineers no longer create cohesive lands and only care about pimping Disney franchises, why is Beuna Vista Street being created? Why does DCA continue to receive subtle changes in order to enhance theme? I assume it isn't just to pander to cynicism.
    And, I won't add too much to discussion, to be fair, not all backstories are created in an attempt to tie something into where it doesn't fit...in fact, I'm willing to bet the majority of backstories still dont do that. Backstories, in many ways, are still being used to guide the design process. Believe me, I'm the type of person where this helps as with things I create, I like to make sure every little detail is thougt out. I have two large ttattoos that I designed myself and had my artist draw out. How this relates is well, it may sound nerdy but, I created and envisioned backstories for the tattoos that help me to guide the design and meaning of them...this thought process is still happening. Backstories like the one for Big Thunder, the queue of Indiana Jones, Grizzly Peak, and even on more recent projects like the Paradise Gardens complex and queue for Radiator Springs Racers are being made to guide a process and tell a story and how everything ties into the bigger picture or story (which can be the land, the actual attraction, etc...). You can look at the bad of backstories that are being used to tie in unrelated themes into another but you can't ignore that the majority don't do this. The main purpose of one is to completely tie together the story and picture.

  10. #10

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    Quote Originally Posted by ChurroMan View Post
    Also, while Carsland is obviously based off a franchise (which really doesn't mean anything in the argument you're making), doesn't it seem like the single most cohesive and well themed land Disney Imagineers have created to date?
    I'd agree it certainly looks nice, detailed, and well themed on a grand scale without hesitation. I don't care for the movie myself or the characters that much, but the detail and ambiance is there in the land itself, no denying it.

    That being said, I'd say DisneySea (American Waterfront with the Tower of Terror, Vulcania/Mysterious Island, Mermaid Lagoon, Lost River Delta, etc) might 'win' in terms of cohesive and well-themed original lands, to my way of thinking. That's a whole park full of them. Carsland is highly detailed and deserves praise for such, but it isn't as 'fantastical' as say Mysterious Island in terms of the basis for what the land is (world where cars are dominant life vs. the fantasy/sci fi meld of Captain Nemo's inventions and fantasy creatures present in the rides).

  11. #11

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    True enough, I was thinking more about the Disneyland Resort in this case. I mean, Adventureland and New Orleans Square are phenomenal, but Carsland seems to be just as rich and lively, if not more so.

  12. #12

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    My thoughts on the "make it work" would be TSI.
    Who thought Pirates should be on the same island as Tom?
    And when I think of the Frontier (the land which TSI is in), I think of Pirates (sarcasm)
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



  13. #13

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    Quote Originally Posted by ChurroMan View Post
    True enough, I was thinking more about the Disneyland Resort in this case. I mean, Adventureland and New Orleans Square are phenomenal, but Carsland seems to be just as rich and lively, if not more so.
    Carsland is the exception that proves the rule.
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  14. #14

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    Quote Originally Posted by ChurroMan View Post
    So if the imagineers no longer create cohesive lands and only care about pimping Disney franchises, why is Beuna Vista Street being created? Why does DCA continue to receive subtle changes in order to enhance theme? I assume it isn't just to pander to cynicism.
    There is nothing I am more certain about in my life than Buena Vista Street being "pander-central". They built DCA. The hardcore DLR fanbase and APers hated it. They've hated it for 10 years. So Disney did what it always does when the fanbase is kicking them repeatedly - they brought out the Walt and Mickey trump card. Nothing appeases the Parks fanbase more than Walt. Buena Vista Street is Disney saying "We built this tribute to Walt, but we did it so you won't complain when we cartoon-up the rest of the place. Oh, hey ... here's goes Mickey's face right up there on the Ferris Wheel ..."
    Last edited by Krack; 03-24-2012 at 02:38 PM.

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    Re: I'm tired of the phrase "make it work."

    Quote Originally Posted by Krack View Post
    There is nothing I am more certain about in my life than Buena Vista Street being "pander-central". They built DCA. The hardcore DLR fanbase and APers hated it. They've hated it for 10 years. So Disney did what it always does when the fanbase is kicking them repeatedly - they brought out the Walt and Mickey trump card. Nothing appeases the Parks fanbase more than Walt. Buena Vista Street is Disney saying "We built this tribute to Walt, but so you won't complain when we cartoon-up the rest of the place."
    The park was universally disliked which was indicative by its low attendance records. Disney had to do something to bring in the crowds. In fact, one of the complaints hardcore and non-hardcore fans had alike was that DCA was not "Disney" enough. It wasn't. It was a low-quality product that had little resemblance to what Disney usually puts out.

    So Disney actually listens to the customers by making a better products (i.e. vastly improved entrance, BVS, and general cleaning up around the park), and adding more characters....and this is a bad thing?!!?!! You haven't even experienced the final product yet. Why do people insist on bashing things that aren't even open. This has more to do with an axe to grind than anything based on factual evidence.

    These comments remind me of a certain person...

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