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  1. #1

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    America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Okay...first of all you have to understand that this was my FAVORITE attraction as a kid...bar none. I loved it more than the Matterhorn, Pirates, and the Haunted Mansion combined. (So I was a weird kid ) And it KILLED me when they took the show out and replaced it with the China thing, only to later ditch that in favor of those oh-so-effective Rocket Rods...and finally....Buzz Lightyear.



    While I don't HATE Buzz Lightyear, I have been dying to see at least SOME type of footage of this and to hear the sound track again after all of these years. (I think they brought it back to say goodbye in 97, but I don't think I made it over that year.)

    So....this afternoon, I FINALLY received a copy of "America The Beautiful" from the Extinct Attractions Club. The quality of the video is rather poor and you only see the front screen, obviously, but it was amazing to see some of my favorite shots again...

    - coming out of the tunnel at Yosemite
    - banking a sharp left in that plane over the Colorado River...
    - Chicago, New Orleans, Jamestown, Nome Alaska
    - Niagra Falls
    - looking up at the Lincoln Memorial and turning around and seeing that spectacular shot down the mall...(only in my mind now...but I could see it clearly)

    and my personal favorites as a kid...

    - Lombard Street
    -The firetruck in the streets of L.A.


    And...it all came back to me. I remembered the waiting area, having to sit there for 15 freaking minutes waiting, the doors finally opening... I could feel the leaning rails, I remembered the phone booths outside.....



    Of all of the attractions that I miss from years past, this is at the top of the list for me.

    So here's my question:

    On the DVD, (which gives a historical background of the attraction and also includes a rather shaky "American Journeys"), the VOICE of the narrator in America the Beautiful is NOT the guy I remember as a kid. The voice in this version is much lower, and maybe smokier than the person I'm thinking of.

    Was the original voice of ATB Jack Wagner? And if so, was there ever a time it WASN'T? The same incredible sound track is there (George Bruns? Buddy Baker?), and the exact same footage, but the script is completely different and the voice is much lower and less dramatic. That was my only letdown in this otherwise amazing purchase. I had NO IDEA how dramatic a difference the narrator can make in a film like this. This guy was putting me to sleep. NOTHING like the Disney voice I grew up with. The guy on this DVD is closer to Jack WEBB (Dragnet) instead of Jack Wagner.

    And as far as copyright goes, it looks like Extinct Attractions did their homework. The announcement at the beginning of the disc clearly states that the Disney footage is used for historical purposes only and remains copyrighted by Disney. Disney must have made some type of allowance for groups or individuals who want to use this footage for educational purposes. All other footage, which was, I am assuming, donated to Extinct Attractions, remains copyrighted by the EAC.

    WHICH INCLUDES..... some AWESOME footage of the Peoplemover and that wonderful 60's background music!

    I am VERY happy with my purchase. Just puzzled by the different voice.

    Any help?
    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 01-18-2008 at 08:42 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    I remember two America the Beautiful films. The first got updated when the cars looked too old. When the China film came over from Epcot in the mid 80's, they alternated with America the Beautiful playing during the day and China at night. Or maybe it was the other way around. I don't recall it ever going to just China, but that would be very much like Pressler.

    It was always fun to see people leaning and grabbing the rails to avoid falling over.

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    This was one of my favorites too. I also remember "Magic Carpet 'round the World" at WDW.


  4. #4

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    What you got for the EAC was the video that was released to schools I am guessing. It is not from the attraction other then they used the footage in the attraction. That video has a different score and narrator as you pointed out. Plus they also did re-edit the film for updates over the years, so you never know what you are looking at.
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  5. #5

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    I believe the version of American The Beautiful (with Lombard Street and the firetruck) that was shown at Disneyland, was narrated by Dick Wesson*...who also did voiceover work on many of the old Disney television shows, and also did voiceovers on many old Disney movie trailers.

    But it could have also been Dick Tufeld. I'm always getting those two Dicks mixed up.

    You can find some fun sound clips from the attraction here:

    http://sorcerersworkshop.org/americaphones.shtml



    *Not to be confused with the motion picture actor of the same name.
    Last edited by Opus1guy; 01-19-2008 at 10:15 AM.

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Yes, Jerm is right, what you got fron the EAC is a Disney educational film version. I remember seeing it when I was a kid in school. The version played in Disneyland used Jack Wagner as the narrator. The backing score for the movie is available in the 6 CD set, "the Magic of Disneyland", that was relesed in 2005. While it doesn't have the narration, the musical score is excelent. Also, America the Beautiful was updated twice durring its run at Disneyland, once in 1976 for the bicentennial and again in the late 70's with the removal of the 'western electric' scene to shorten the film
    <img src=http://bp3.blogger.com/_i-2Qprcy5-g/RpA6e_CiMvI/AAAAAAAAAOU/7OREY0I5_jU/s1600-h/DisneyPhotoImage1.JPG border=0 alt= />"To your left we have a welcome neighbor..... Our GE nuclear powerplant"
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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    It was always fun to see people leaning and grabbing the rails to avoid falling over.
    The rails were there to keep you from falling over??? Now you tell me. I always used them to brace myself while throwing up.

    JK. I loved the cinematography and the journey of that film, but I couldn't enjoy it to the fullest because it made me so motion sick. Seriously, I'm a wimp. I even have to use the "non-motion" theater for Wild Arctic at Sea World. SOC even makes me queezy and it's my favorite ride at DCA.
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  8. #8

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    I loved the simple exit show with the phones to call characters and the walk in phone booths that used hands free technology (read speakerphone) If I had to call home, I always did it from one of the booths.

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by bearride View Post
    The version played in Disneyland used Jack Wagner as the narrator.
    I'm almost positive this is not correct for the Park version. I knew Jack personally and know his work and voice fairly well. In fact...I don't even think Jack was associated with Disneyland in 1960 when this version of America The Beautiful was produced. While Jack started doing some contracted voiceover work for parade and in-park announcements in the mid to late 60's...he didn't really come on board as Disneyland's "voice" until 1970.

    From Jack's biography:

    Jack's association with Disneyland began in 1955 when he was invited to attend opening day. In the ensuing years, he did guest announcing and narration for Christmas parades and other special programs, coming on board full time as Production Consultant in 1970, and shortly thereafter being named Park Announcer as well. "From there, it just kind of snowballed," he recalled.
    I'm pretty sure it is either Dick Wesson or Dick Tufeld.

    Perhaps merlinjones can nail it down?

  10. #10

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Was it James Algar? He was often a narrator and he wrote and produced the original:

    http://legends.disney.go.com/legends...ey=James+Algar

    At first I was thinking Winston Hibler, narrator of the "True-Life Adventures" and "People and Places."

    I haven't heard it in a long time, but wasn't the narration rather low-key like the documentaries?

  11. #11

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    Was it James Algar? He was often a narrator and he wrote and produced the original:

    http://legends.disney.go.com/legends...ey=James+Algar

    At first I was thinking Winston Hibler, narrator of the "True-Life Adventures" and "People and Places."

    I haven't heard it in a long time, but wasn't the narration rather low-key like the documentaries?
    Nope. It wasn't Algar or Hibler.

  12. #12

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Okay...got a definitive answer (as far as I'm concerned). Bothered an old Imagineer friend of mine at home on the phone just now, who I know from his love of attractions of the past would know, and his answer was without hesitation and without me providing a list to choose from:

    "Dick Tufeld. Same guy famous for "And now your host, Walt Disney" on the Sunday night shows. He was also the voiceover artist for many Disney movie trailers. Did you know he was also the voice of Robot in the "Lost In Space" television series?"

    And found an example of his voice on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=http:...?v=B3_-bE0mxKs

    Yep...that's the voice of the original 1960's "America The Beautiful."

  13. #13

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Thanks for your help everyone. I was totally thrown off by this other voice that was used for the educational version of the film. I had no idea that such a version existed before you all suggested it. I never saw it in a class room...only at Disneyland.

    And the educational version does have a completely different script. I am supposing they did this to tailor the film for more of a lecture rather than entertainment. For instance, during the Chicago footage, the narrator, again in a very low key, almost monotone voice reads the Carl Sandberg text:

    Chicago...Hog Butcher for the World,Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;Stormy, husky, brawling,City of the Big Shoulders." That wasn't in the Disneyland version.

    And they emphasize the idea of Freedom and the ability to choose our own governent. So....yeah. I'm thinking they must have tailored the script to speak more directly to elementary aged kids to show westward expansion, etc.

    On the other hand, the SCORE is absolutely the same. No question. I think I have it narrowed down to Buddy Baker. The footage and the score are identical to the Disneyland version.


    Quote Originally Posted by Merlinjones
    I haven't heard it in a long time, but wasn't the narration rather low-key like the documentaries?

    I remembered it being very upbeat and dramatic. Before Opus1 posted above, I was about to say that the voice I would compare it to was often on the Wonderful World of Disney. Some of the lines I remember are:

    " Fasten your seatbelts as we venture into Zion's deepest gorge. And now,
    our magic carpet must navigate with considerable care. Uh, please don't pick
    the flowers as we pass."

    "That sprinkle of buildings snowed in on the edge of the Bering Sea, is
    Nome, Alaska, a community standing literally at the ends of the earth. On a
    nice warm day in summer, the temperature here will average: 49 degrees."

    "What other city can boast a street like Lombard Street, where one almost
    meets oneself coming and going? Here you don't need to turn your head to see
    the scenery."

    The voice on this educational version, however, is a cross between Jack Webb and Charlton Heston. Very smokey, low, and monodic. Blech.

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy
    Okay...got a definitive answer (as far as I'm concerned). Bothered an old Imagineer friend of mine at home on the phone just now, who I know from his love of attractions of the past would know, and his answer was without hesitation and without me providing a list to choose from:

    "Dick Tufeld."
    Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to do that! It's good to ask people with connections and I had a feeling I would find some here on Micechat. And thanks for posting the trailer on Youtube. That is indeed the voice I had in my mind's ear.


    One other thing....the EAC DVD also has some video from the queue for the Rocket Rods...before the broke down. In it, the line went through the 360 theater...and they featured shots showing the development of the automobile, etc, including several shots from ATB. The music they played along with some of the best scenes was HORRRRRRRIBLE! Does anyone remember this? There were some neat shots of Walt, but that montage was pure sacrilege to anyone who truly loved ATB back in the day.

  14. #14

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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    I'm almost positive this is not correct for the Park version. I knew Jack personally and know his work and voice fairly well. In fact...I don't even think Jack was associated with Disneyland in 1960 when this version of America The Beautiful was produced. While Jack started doing some contracted voiceover work for parade and in-park announcements in the mid to late 60's...he didn't really come on board as Disneyland's "voice" until 1970.
    Woopsis!!!!!!! You are correct. My bad.
    <img src=http://bp3.blogger.com/_i-2Qprcy5-g/RpA6e_CiMvI/AAAAAAAAAOU/7OREY0I5_jU/s1600-h/DisneyPhotoImage1.JPG border=0 alt= />"To your left we have a welcome neighbor..... Our GE nuclear powerplant"
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    Re: America the Beautiful Circlevision/Extinct Attractions Question...

    EAC really has improved their shipping and customer service lately. much improved
    Last edited by dcs287; 04-10-2008 at 05:44 PM.

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