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  1. #1

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    A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...l=la-home-oped


    DISNEYLAND ANNOUNCED earlier this month that it was closing one of its most beloved rides for more than just an ordinary renovation. When it reopens in the summer, Pirates of the Caribbean at both Disneyland and Disney World will feature characters from the two films inspired by the original ride.

    It's good marketing and makes for a particularly dizzying case of life imitating art imitating life, or more precisely, theme park imitating blockbuster film imitating theme park. But the original Pirates ride, however technologically dated, will be missed.

    A movie based on a ride may seem to be a lark and indeed, Disney's "Haunted Mansion" was. But "Pirates" earned critical acclaim and worldwide gross revenue in the hundreds of millions. Disney is banking on the sequel to "Pirates," due this summer, to pull similar crowds, and it hopes that both movies can do for the ride (and for theme park attendance in Disney's 18-month, 50th anniversary celebration) what the ride did for the movies. Disneyland has brought its more-recent films into the park before, usually in the form of special shows, "character greetings" or attractions at California Adventure. But this will be the first time a recent film reworks a classic ride.

    Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp's idiosyncratic, Keith Richards-style pirate, and villains from both films will join the familiar animatronic scoundrels beloved by generations. Since 1967, the original crew has sacked and re-sacked a Spanish Main town for guests gliding gently through the waters (save for the occasional shiver from a nearby cannonball hit), while some of its members wait endlessly for a reluctant dog to hand over the keys to their jail cell.

    That particular tableau found its way to the big screen in the first "Pirates" movie, serving as a not-so-inside joke, one of those increasingly rare cultural references that almost everybody understands and finds inoffensive. Which is what's so appealing about the Pirates ride: its rickety, old-fashioned sense of humor, its G-rated, family friendly take on some pretty brutal subject matter the pillaging of a colonial seaport and its refusal to acknowledge the rapidly changing world outside its caverns. Knowing that the ride was the last to be supervised by Walt Disney adds still more texture to its anachronistic charm.

    The ride will certainly continue to thrill, or at least amuse, when Johnny Depp joins the cast. But makeup and dreadlocks aside, Jack Sparrow's face is easily identified as that of a modern movie star. Among the swarthy animatronic commoners, Depp's mug will collapse the decades of history that would have reminded riders of why exactly Pirates however hokey and out of date was evocative enough to win stamps of approval from both Walt Disney himself and modern-day moviegoers.
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  2. #2

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    It's good marketing and makes for a particularly dizzying case of life imitating art imitating life, or more precisely, theme park imitating blockbuster film imitating theme park. But the original Pirates ride, however technologically dated, will be missed.
    I'm sure this will also evolve into a redvine throwing free for all, but did you all notice the part where the author said the ORIGINAL PIRATES RIDE WILL BE MISSED? HELLO!

    Also interesting that we've had at least three threads on this issue and they generally escalate into people becoming a wee bit psychotic as they try to get their point across.

    My point: Outside of Micechat, many, many people will miss old pirates and will think this is a horrible mistake.

    *Bell sounds*

    Round Four: (That would be me in the lighter trunks)


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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    So I assume this means Depp has sold his "likeness" to WDI?

  4. #4

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    Marc Davis has just rolled over in his grave.

  5. #5

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    I don't see any problem with updating the scenes, and
    don't forget new special effects will be added. And as long
    as there is humor added, Marc Davis would be rolling in
    his grave with laughter.

    It will be neat to have the actual Black Pearl in Pirates.

    They have made some mistakes, most notably removing the
    pirates chasing the women. I'm not too happy that they moved
    the pirate on the barrels to the "chase" scene, since there
    is enough happening in that area, he is much more needed
    at the end of the ride, where he used to be. Oh, one more
    thing I miss is the shadow, from the pirate hat of the Captain,
    forming a hidden Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald. THAT was
    the most fun multiple hidden character DL has ever had.

    I'm hopeful of this refurb and update, considering the good they
    did with Pirates, HM, and Jungle early last year. So happy that
    I can be more upbeat about changes now, thank goodness
    the evil forces of Eisner, Pressler, Harriss (EPH, for Short,
    prounced as the letter "F" as in FLUNKED) are dead!

  6. #6

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    They should've added an animatronic base on Robert Newton's Long John Silver. Afterall, a bunch of quotes from Treasure Island did make there way into the original POTC ride.

  7. #7

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    I agree with Aladdin, Harrison Ford's appearance in Indiana Jones Adventure and the Star Wars characters in Star Tours don't seem dated to me...

  8. #8

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin
    I don't see any problem with updating the scenes, and
    don't forget new special effects will be added. And as long
    as there is humor added, Marc Davis would be rolling in
    his grave with laughter.

    It will be neat to have the actual Black Pearl in Pirates.

    They have made some mistakes, most notably removing the
    pirates chasing the women. I'm not too happy that they moved
    the pirate on the barrels to the "chase" scene, since there
    is enough happening in that area, he is much more needed
    at the end of the ride, where he used to be. Oh, one more
    thing I miss is the shadow, from the pirate hat of the Captain,
    forming a hidden Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald. THAT was
    the most fun multiple hidden character DL has ever had.

    I'm hopeful of this refurb and update, considering the good they
    did with Pirates, HM, and Jungle early last year. So happy that
    I can be more upbeat about changes now, thank goodness
    the evil forces of Eisner, Pressler, Harriss (EPH, for Short,
    prounced as the letter "F" as in FLUNKED) are dead!
    Just to follow up on your post about special effects, I was just watching the second disc in the special edition DVD of Pirates, and it showed the animatronics being installed back in 1967. They showed a bank of EARLY computers and Walt stated that they were using "space age" computer technology throughout the ride.

    Please tell me that they are not using the same hardware from 1967.
    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 02-12-2006 at 07:33 PM.

  9. #9

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    Quote Originally Posted by localdisnyfan
    Just to follow up on your post about special effects, I was just watching the second disc in the special edition DVD of Pirates, and it showed the animatronics being installed back in 1967. They showed a bank of EARLY computers and Walt stated that they were using "space age" computer technology throughout the ride.

    Please tell me that they are not using the same hardware from 1967.
    There is an advantage to using legacy computer hardware (if you can still get it). It runs the old software! (And if that old hardware was IBM, then there is a good chance that newer IBM hardware will run that ancient code).

    Sure, you can throw out the old stuff and replace it with new Wintel or Linux or MAc boxes, but the code will have to be rewritten, and that costs $$$.

  10. #10

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    Now that Steve Jobs of Apple is the major share holder and board member at Disney, the Pirates ride will finally be updated to run off an iPod.

  11. #11

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    Quote Originally Posted by Lore
    Now that Steve Jobs of Apple is the major share holder and board member at Disney, the Pirates ride will finally be updated to run off an iPod.
    Brilliant.

  12. #12

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    Quote Originally Posted by localdisnyfan
    My point: Outside of Micechat, many, many people will miss old pirates and will think this is a horrible mistake.
    On the contrary, outside of Micechat (or any other disney fanboard) no one else will care. We're talking about a general public that walks around Disneyland looking for snoopy, and referring to DCA as CaliforniaLand. I highly doubt they'll be that upset over ay changes.

    As for Johnny, honestly, in a few year's time, no one will even care. Walt Disney was one of the most prolific figures in entertainment for nearly half a century. Fast forward to today, and if most folks wouldn't even know who he was if you showed them a picture!

  13. #13

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    Re: A pirate's life for Depp (Discussion) - Los Angeles Times Editorial, 2/12/06

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulquarian
    Walt Disney was one of the most prolific figures in entertainment for nearly half a century. Fast forward to today, and if most folks wouldn't even know who he was if you showed them a picture!
    I guess, Soul, that most people think that's just the statue of some guy holding hands with some mouse in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle...
    Guess those same folks wouldn't know a classic ride if you showed them a picture, either (LOL)
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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