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  1. #1

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    Did Marc Davis have it right?

    "When I went down to Disneyland for the first time, I felt from the very beginning that there was very little that was entertaining or funny to me. My designs were some of the first laughs found in any attraction at the Park. After all, people go down to Disneyland to be amused, not to be educated. That was my feeling. You want to take your family down there and have some fun and be entertained..." Marc Davis, on his re-designing of some of the "True Life" based attractions at Disneyland
    Walt Disney apparently agreed with him enough to let him redesign some major attractions in 1961-62. Do you agree with Marc? Is "education" a Disneyland responsibility? Are there too many "California History Lessons" at DCA? All thoughts regarding any Disney Parks are encouraged. Thanks, MCer's!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    He made those comments to the E-Ticket magazine after Walt died. I'm not sure if he would have been talkin' so much pride if Walt was standing next to him.

    Of course, I've always felt that Marc Davis let the "power" go to his head. It really comes out in some of his interviews. Don't get me wrong, he was a great animator and Imagineer... but I do think his ego was a little super-sized.

    Regarding your original question: My belief is that people will tolerate education... if you can sneak it in on them in the form of entertainment. The Lincoln show was like that. Innoventions does not.
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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    I beleive that there is a happy medium if they want an attraction to be educational. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a great example of that.

    Eye-Browless Whoopi Goldberg popping up randomly in Calfornia history... not so much.
    “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” ~ Mel Brooks



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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    With Marc's help, the Imagineers found that perfect balance in the early 60's. Visual humor of the type found in the great animated features graced the E Ticket classics of the 1960's - - while these rides still retained the mystery, sincerity, melodrama and dedication to convincing illusion found in Disneyland's initial attractions. Thanks, Marc.

    Sadly, the post-Katzenberg-style chattering, shallow, screaming and wildly unfunny verbal "comedy" that replaced the visual animation-type humor in the last 20 years (Innoventions, Under New Managment, etc.) is worse than no humor at all.

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by demento57 View Post
    I beleive that there is a happy medium if they want an attraction to be educational. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a great example of that.

    Eye-Browless Whoopi Goldberg popping up randomly in Calfornia history... not so much.
    Agreed.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    With Marc's help, the Imagineers found that perfect balance in the early 60's. Visual humor of the type found in the great animated features graced the E Ticket classics of the 1960's - - while these rides still retained the mystery, sincerity, melodrama and dedication to convincing illusion found in Disneyland's initial attractions. Thanks, Marc.

    Sadly, the post-Katzenberg-style chattering, shallow, screaming and wildly unfunny verbal "comedy" that replaced the visual animation-type humor in the last 20 years (Innoventions, Under New Managment, etc.) is worse than no humor at all.
    Great post, I couldn't agree more!

    Epcot is a great example of education and entertainment, or "Edu-tainment". Spaceship Earth, The Living Seas, Living With The Land, even the different pavillions in World Showcase manage to entertain folks. And when they leave, they know a little bit more than they did when they came in.
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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    There can still be something educational in something that is entertaining. I've learned all sorts of interesting things on the Jungle Cruise. Like what the back side of water looks like, that hippos are only dagerous when they wiggle their ears and blow bubbles, and Trader sam is trying to rip me off. There's practical advice on that ride It's a Small world shows me that, well it's a small world and there's lots of people who live in it and all sing that catchy song. And from Pirates I"ve learned that if I Maraud, embezzle and even high jack, as well as drink all the time I"m going to end up a skeleton. Unless my name is Capt Jack Sparrow and as of yet, I don't know his true fate.

    DCA's problem is not that there is too much or not enough history, there isn't enough for a family to do together. The park is very divided between kiddie rides and real thrill rides. And there isn't that many kiddie rides. Disney has made its fortune on being for the family. DCA fails at this and that is why I think it fails as a park.

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    Found a quote recently, and for the life of me I can't remember if it was from Micechat or my calendar...

    "Those who make a distinction between education and entertainment don't know much about either."

    I'll try to track down the source, but as an educator, I LOVE that quote!!

    Edit: Found it. The above quote is from Marshall McLuhan, cultural and media critic from the 60's.
    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 01-10-2007 at 10:18 AM.

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by localdisnyfan View Post
    Found a quote recently, and for the life of me I can't remember if it was from Micechat or my calendar...

    "Those who make a distinction between education and entertainment know very little about either."

    I'll try to track down the source, but as an educator, I LOVE that quote!!
    A sweepingly broad generalization like the quote above sounds like it came from MiceChat...

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    A sweepingly broad generalization like the quote above sounds like it came from MiceChat...
    Sweeping, but true.

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    I think it's important to have an equal amount of education and amusement to make some form of entertainment successful (even if the education is created for said entertainment, like sci-fi).

    If you stick to just one or the other, you'll loose a lot of your audience.

    To make an example of a very good form of entertainment balancing the two, I'll present Finding Nemo. Now as a child my mother had a salt water fishtank, so I knew a lot of these things already (but of course I was in my teens when I saw the movie anyway), but I find that the movie is very educational about sea life but is equally amusing. For example, the movie is true to the fact that clown fish like to live in sea anenomes, and that they sting, and that the clown fish have to brush in order to keep their semi-immunity to the stings. And (although I hate bringing this up as the beginning of the movie is so sad), when Marlin tries to get his wife to come back into their new home, had she done so, she would have been safe because of the anenome, as they protect the clown fish from predators. It's a symbiotic relationship in ocean life, and they way it was presented throughout the movie I felt was very clever and correct.

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    It almost sounds like Marc is making the classic DCA argument - it doesn't have to be educational or inspiring - it just has to be entertaining.

    Sure a Ferris Wheel and a Roller Coaster are entertaining... but...

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapplewhipaddict View Post
    I think it's important to have an equal amount of education and amusement to make some form of entertainment successful (even if the education is created for said entertainment, like sci-fi).

    If you stick to just one or the other, you'll loose a lot of your audience.

    To make an example of a very good form of entertainment balancing the two, I'll present Finding Nemo. Now as a child my mother had a salt water fishtank, so I knew a lot of these things already (but of course I was in my teens when I saw the movie anyway), but I find that the movie is very educational about sea life but is equally amusing. For example, the movie is true to the fact that clown fish like to live in sea anenomes, and that they sting, and that the clown fish have to brush in order to keep their semi-immunity to the stings. And (although I hate bringing this up as the beginning of the movie is so sad), when Marlin tries to get his wife to come back into their new home, had she done so, she would have been safe because of the anenome, as they protect the clown fish from predators. It's a symbiotic relationship in ocean life, and they way it was presented throughout the movie I felt was very clever and correct.
    Great points here, PA. At the same time, if you try to educate without the ability to keep your students with you, you'll certainly lose them. I think a good educator will be naturally entertaining, and the best entertainers or producers of entertainment will engage their audiences and give them something to take home from the experience.

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Circarama View Post
    He made those comments to the E-Ticket magazine after Walt died. I'm not sure if he would have been talkin' so much pride if Walt was standing next to him.

    Of course, I've always felt that Marc Davis let the "power" go to his head. It really comes out in some of his interviews. Don't get me wrong, he was a great animator and Imagineer... but I do think his ego was a little super-sized.
    I couldn't dissagree with you more. You can clearly see that his statement is correct even if you only look at his contributions in rides that were built and he later contributed to like the mine train and jungle cruise.

    Other Disney classics like Mansion, Pirates, CBJ, and America Sings rely so much upon his characters that you cannot divorce his work from any of these without completely destroying the ride.

    I don't want to detract from any of the other great imagineers who worked on these rides with Marc, but his hand is the most visible in so many of the iconic Disneyland rides that he can't be given enough credit.

    I still would love to have been able to see his Western River ride or what his snow queen ride would have been like.

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    Re: Did Marc Davis have it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    It almost sounds like Marc is making the classic DCA argument - it doesn't have to be educational or inspiring - it just has to be entertaining.

    Sure a Ferris Wheel and a Roller Coaster are entertaining... but...
    I sure don't consider the Ferris Wheel in DCA entertaining, and it
    wouldn't do a bit a good to add video screens in each car with
    Whoopi giving us a history of California showing at the same time.

    And Screamin' at DCA is really not what I would call entertaining, either.
    Even in "Rockin'" mode.

    Entertainment can include education, but it certainly isn't mandatory.
    But to include humor while educating is a different story.

    Marc had it right, humor is critical in entertaining.

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