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  1. #61

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    They could have an extended, exclusive run of Walt Disney's "Song of the South" in the Opera House and fill nearly every show due to its longtime lack of availability -- probably even offer FastPass reserve seats - - then sell the DVD/Blu-Ray and CD soundtrack (at premium prices) to nearly everyone on the way out (with savvy resellers stocking up for sales on Amazon and ebay).

  2. #62

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    Just make the Voices of Liberty a permanent addition to the Main Street Opera House. That would solve the attendance problem right there.

  3. #63

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    It's so strange that they would build the Carthay Circle Theater as a restaurant when it would've been perfect for this sort of thing. This current trend is pretty odd. Movie theaters as restaurants, banks as art galleries and opera houses as movie theaters. I guess the last one makes a little more sense, but it's still puzzling when there's a cinema down the street and another across the esplanade.

  4. #64

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    They could have an extended, exclusive run of Walt Disney's "Song of the South" in the Opera House and fill nearly every show due to its longtime lack of availability -- probably even offer FastPass reserve seats - - then sell the DVD/Blu-Ray and CD soundtrack (at premium prices) to nearly everyone on the way out (with savvy resellers stocking up for sales on Amazon and ebay).
    And then be completely trashed by media sources and online blogs for promoting a racist film. I don't think Disney is gutsy enough to do this.

  5. #65

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    I vote for Sleeping Beauty and/or The Black Cauldron in 70mm in the Captain EO theater.

  6. #66

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    Quote Originally Posted by biggsworth View Post
    I believe they show movies in the theater already for special events. I would think they will follow this format. If they can run Lincoln in the day time and something else at night I would be ok with it. I have always felt they should show the animated classics in the park but just show them weekly and change them out starting with Snow White and work up to Tangled and then start over again.
    ^^^
    THIS.

    They can't get rid of GMWML permanently. That is simply unacceptable. But occasional alternate programming is most welcome.

    Personally, I'd like to see The Walt Disney Story pre-show return as well. I used to really, really enjoy that when I was a kid (I guess I was one of those weird kids who didn't run past the Main Street Opera House the minute he passed through the entrance tunnels, and actually wanted to SEE EVERYTHING, not just get my adrenaline fix for the day). I used to giggle incessantly seeing the film of Disneyland's construction being played super-fast (with "Whistle While You Work" being played at an appropriately brisk pace as well), and I remember some little side show with an audio-animatronic owl or Ludwig Von Drake teaching a class about...something. And, of course, the replica of Walt's office in Burbank. Plus it was so nice and cool inside on a hot day!

    But Disney's classic films (both animated and live-action) most definitely do belong inside the Park, and even more, they belong on the big screen. I dearly miss the times I spent inside the long-gone Fantasyland Theatre, where one could see a continual replay of some of Mickey & the Gang's classic color shorts (The Band Concert (1935), Through the Mirror (1936) & Mickey's Trailer (1938) ), as well as occasional other animated films (Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1969), Ward Kimball's It's Tough To Be A Bird (1969)), so any effort at bringing the classics back out and putting them on the big screen in the Parks (or anywhere else, really) is most assuredly welcome by me.

    [Tangential Rant: I, too, am annoyed that the resurrection of the Carthay Circle Theatre (the original having been demolished over 40 years ago) is a restaurant rather than a movie theater (although I'm sure the restaurant itself is very nice). It should be a movie theater; in fact, had it been built as a movie theater, Disney could have further exploited it - and worked in some nice cross-promotion for the Parks, particularly DCA - by having movie premieres there, much like they did with the POTC films on the Rivers of America. And when not hosting film premieres or runs of the latest Disney hit, it could be used for revivals of various Disney classics, whether animated or live-action. What a wonderful plus to add to any Park visit - being able to see a Disney classic film on the big screen, where it was meant to be seen! Plus, it would have truly revived the spirit of the Carthay Circle Theatre itself (the original Carthay Circle Theatre saw MANY movie premieres in its heyday), as well as a way of bringing to life one of the highlights of Walt's life.]

    So, while I never want to see the Lincoln exhibit disappear altogether, I welcome this attempt at bringing something new to the Opera House. Like any theater, it needs to change the show every once in a while. A Lincoln-in-the-day, Disney-classics-at-night programming pattern is a really nice compromise that works well for everybody, I think.

    Personally, I think Walt would probably love the idea.

  7. #67

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    Re: "Song of the South" >>...And then be completely trashed by media sources and online blogs for promoting a racist film. I don't think Disney is gutsy enough to do this.<<

    Well, the movie isn't at all racist at heart or in content. It's a perception largely based on its unavailability. No one seems to complain about or protest Splash Mountain (based on the film) at all. And any PR would just increase interest.

    But you're right - - they likely wouldn't do it, even though there is a mint to be made!

    As to the Carthay Circle, I agree that is exactly what should have been built behind the facade - - a Walt Disney Classics Theatre -- not a fancy restaurant (a Brown Derby would have been better)
    Last edited by merlinjones; 08-05-2012 at 08:56 PM.

  8. #68

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    The sad reality is that intelligence levels and attention spans have been decreasing over the years. Few young adults these days actually care about history or take pride in the country they live in because they have no idea what sacrifice is or the effort it took to create a free and prosperous society. The vast majority of individuals coming into the park are more interested in getting to the next thrill ride rather than participate in something meaningful.
    Last edited by Seawolf; 08-05-2012 at 09:05 PM.

  9. #69

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    Well, the movie isn't at all racist at heart or in content. It's a perception largely based on its unavailability. No one seems to complain about or protest Splash Mountain (based on the film) at all. And any PR would just increase interest.

    But you're right - - they likely wouldn't do it, even though there is a mint to be made!

    As to the Carthay Circle, I agree that is exactly what should have been built behind the facade - - a Walt Disney Classics Theatre -- not a fancy restaurant (a Brown Derby would have been better)
    Yeah, I think I misspoke a bit. I can't say for certain whether the movie is racist or not, but it's going to get a ton of bad press leading up to the release and they're going to get slammed left and right. There'll be tons of people to defend them and if Disney can stick to their guns and say that the racial aspects of the film aren't the foci, that they stand by the film, or whatever, then it might work. But it's a lot of work for a dollar that can be earned in easier ways.

  10. #70

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    Well, the movie isn't at all racist at heart or in content. It's a perception largely based on its unavailability. No one seems to complain about or protest Splash Mountain (based on the film) at all. And any PR would just increase interest.
    Hmm. Well, merlin, my friend, I don't think I would go so far as to deny racism in the case of SOTS. It's not overtly or aggressively racist; this much is true. However, the film, and its portrayal of African Americans is, shall we say, problematic. The more scholarly criticisms of the film (which we should definitely listen to and seriously consider, because they are valuable) point out what could be called benign racism at its heart. A kinder, gentler, friendlier racism is still racism, but it's a type that's far more insidious than the overt kind, because it's much easier to digest and accept. (A spoonful of sugar helps not only medicine go down; it helps poison go down, too.)

    The Snopes article on the film is helpful in this regard:

    Although some Blacks have always been uneasy about the minstrel tradition of the Uncle Remus stories, the major objections to Song of the South had to do with the live action portions. The film has been criticized both for "making slavery appear pleasant" and "pretending slavery didn't exist," even though the film (like Harris' original collection of stories) is set after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Still, as folklorist Patricia A. Turner writes:


    Disney's 20th century re-creation of Harris's frame story is much more heinous than the original. The days on the plantation located in "the United States of Georgia" begin and end with unsupervised Blacks singing songs about their wonderful home as they march to and from the fields. Disney and company made no attempt to render the music in the style of the spirituals and work songs that would have been sung during this era. They provided no indication regarding the status of the Blacks on the plantation. Joel Chandler Harris set his stories in the post-slavery era, but Disney's version seems to take place during a surreal time when Blacks lived on slave quarters on a plantation, worked diligently for no visible reward and considered Atlanta a viable place for an old Black man to set out for.


    Kind old Uncle Remus caters to the needs of the young white boy whose father has inexplicably left him and his mother at the plantation. An obviously ill-kept Black child of the same age named Toby is assigned to look after the white boy, Johnny. Although Toby makes one reference to his "ma," his parents are nowhere to be seen. The African-American adults in the film pay attention to him only when he neglects his responsibilities as Johnny's playmate-keeper. He is up before Johnny in the morning in order to bring his white charge water to wash with and keep him entertained.


    The boys befriend a little blond girl, Ginny, whose family clearly represents the neighborhood's white trash. Although Johnny coaxes his mother into inviting Ginny to his fancy birthday party at the big house, Toby is curiously absent from the party scenes. Toby is good enough to catch frogs with, but not good enough to have birthday cake with. When Toby and Johnny are with Uncle Remus, the gray-haired Black man directs most of his attention to the white child. Thus Blacks on the plantation are seen as willingly subservient to the whites to the extent that they overlook the needs of their own children. When Johnny's mother threatens to keep her son away from the old gentleman's cabin, Uncle Remus is so hurt that he starts to run away. In the world that Disney made, the Blacks sublimate their own lives in order to be better servants to the white family. If Disney had truly understood the message of the tales he animated so delightfully, he would have realized the extent of distortion of the frame story.


    I think these two scholarly works are worthy (if lengthy) reads on the topic of the film as well:


    Song of the South and the Changing Complexion of American Film in the 1940s

    A frown upside down / the affective, cultural and convergence histories of Disney's "Song of the South" (1946)


    I thought this passage from the first piece was especially noteworthy -

    Although this film met the requirements for mythifying African-American servants, it failed to satisfy almost everything else--including audience members. Alice Walker, a native of Joel Chandler Harris' hometown of Eatonton, Georgia, recalls recognizing that appropriation of the Remus tales from the black storyteller even as a young child in 1946:

    Our whole town turned out for this movie: black children and their parents in the colored section, white children and their parents in the white section.

    Uncle Remus in the movie saw fit to ignore, basically, his own children and grandchildren in order to pass on our heritage--indeed, our birthright--to patronizing white children who seemed to regard him as a kind of talking teddy bear.

    I don't know how old I was when I saw this film--probably eight or nine--but I experienced it as a vast alienation, not only from the likes of Uncle Remus--in whom I saw aspects of my father, my mother, in fact all black people I knew who told these stories--but also from the stories themselves, which, passed into the context of white people's creation, I perceived as meaningless. So there I was, at an early age, separated from my own folk culture by an invention.

    As James Snead notes, Alice Walker wasn't alone in her contempt for this Uncle Remus:

    The image of the benign old slave darky--certainly abnormal after the Civil War, and probably also before it--was nothing short of insulting in 1946, a time when blacks returning from service in World War II were just beginning to consolidate their hard-fought gains and agitate for their rightful place in American society. At the film's New York premiere in Times Square, dozens of black and white pickets chanted, "We fought for Uncle Sam, not Uncle Tom," while the NAACP called for a total boycott of the film, and the National Negro Congress called on black people to "run the picture out of the area."


    That was in 1946. I think it's fair to say that SOTS is a film that has always been problematic, and will remain so forever.

  11. #71

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    I think the problem is far more people like the idea of Great Momments with Mr Lincoln then who actually like the show itself... The type that love it, but never watch it. Means you are more moved by the idea it exists, rather than actually loving the show.
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  12. #72

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    I attended two Voices of Liberty - Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln shows today (Sun. 8/5) at 1pm and 2pm. The 1pm show had a good-sized crowd, with the theater being 1/2 full, and probably a little more than that. The 2pm show was not as crowded--perhaps 1/3rd full. But I do think the Voices of Liberty are having some effect on attendance. Heck, the singers are the main reason *I* went to watch the shows. I'll be sad to see them end their engagement in Sept. But the idea of screening classic Disney movies on select nights sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

  13. #73

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyjustin View Post
    And then be completely trashed by media sources and online blogs for promoting a racist film. I don't think Disney is gutsy enough to do this.
    I've seen the movie. It isn't any more racist than Gone with the Wind.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  14. #74

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    I love this show, and watch it every time I go... but it is sad to see great CMs present this show for a crowd of like 12 people

    if they close it permanently, it'll be another attraction on the list of iconic rides from my childhood that have been removed for what are IMO inferior replacements or nothing at all (peoplemover, skyway, circlevision, and now possibly this)

    at the very least, I hope they keep the location a theater and rotate Lincoln back into the theater every few years or so

  15. #75

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    Re: Lincoln makes way for Disney movies

    It'd be a shame to shut it down completely after all the work and money they put into rebuilding it not too long ago, so I hope that's not what's going on.

    I do think its location is problematic for a lot of people. Many folks think of Main Street as just shops and restaurants, and it flies over their radar that there's even an attraction there.

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