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  1. #106

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    Re: Disney Announces Avatarland to open in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    A dragon is featured on the sign, we all know that. And that dragon alone is an invite to the world of imagination in terms of animal life anywhere and everywhere. No specific planet or solar system required.
    Are you talking about the original range of the dragon, or the areas left on the map where they still live?

  2. #107

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    Re: Disney Announces Avatarland to open in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondo Mouse View Post
    Brilliant idea! I agree The Jungle Book would make for a wonderful ride... the characters, the music, the jungle setting. It would be classic Disney ride magic
    Why they didn't move the JUNGLE CRUISE to DAK with real animals or a JUNGLE BOOK overlay is beyond me. Adventureland at Magic Kingdom should go in another direction to differentiate it from DAK. And Tomorrowland should do the same to be relevant in comparison to Future World.

  3. #108

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    Re: Disney Announces Avatarland to open in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    I think cynicism is warranted given the project's origins. It was dreamed up by Iger and Staggs who apparently didn't even bother to inform Joe Rohde that Avatar would be coming to the park.
    Even a cynic would wonder why Joe would need to be informed. To give his blessing? Or his ire? There is no reason to inform him. He can do what every other person gets his information when he is no longer in the loop. Just read it from the press reports.

    In a corporate environment, people want to avoid confrontation even if they are crushing the dreams of the originator. I have no idea if Joe is still working in the company, but this means he isn't in the line of command and he doesn't call the shots.

  4. #109

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    Re: Disney Announces Avatarland to open in 2017

    Part of the reason Harry Potter is so successful is because it taps into those very old myths. Very few new creatures were invented for that world. Most were just picked right out of old stories and used just as they have always been used. A couple were given slightly different spins but wizards learning magic from old books and arcane alchemical processes to fight basilisks and werewolves is nothing new. If someone didn't know what Harry Potter was and you said, "It's about a school for wizards." what pops into their head is going to be close enough to what it actually is.

    Avatar has none of that. It's only cultural signifier is white guilt. If you have to explain that world to someone the easiest way to do it is to say, "It's a sci-fi allegory for the horrors of Manifest Destiny." It's longer, clunkier, doesn't really resonate at all within any culture, and with that description, a million people will imagine a million different things. Unless they have actually seen Pandora (itself used by avatar for its cultural significance) they probably aren't going to imagine anything like it.

    Creatures of myth and legend are very old. They have deep cultural significance to a wide range of people. In both Europe and Asia tales of dragons go back over a thousand years. 8 years ago there was no such thing as a Na'vi. 50 years ago there was no such thing as a Bantha, but 3000 years ago, China still had dragons.

    Everyone knows these creatures. In the medium of a theme park, where there are no voice over intros and no opening crawl to explain the world, you have only your surroundings and maybe a map to determine what the world you have stepped into means. Having cultural signifiers that go back a hundred generations make it much easier. We immediately understand everything about Frontierland because everyone knows exactly what the old west means. Even if it means a hundred different things to a hundred people, they still understand the environment because it is such a big part of our American culture, and that's only about 200 years old. If you show someone a picture of a cyclops, nobody needs to ask you what it is. Everyone's seen it a hundred times before. That six legged horse thing though?
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  5. #110

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    Re: Disney Announces Avatarland to open in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    The idea that an imagined creature must be an earth bound imagination is a very specific requirement. I didn't find it in the vision statement despite claims that its in it. I find such restrictions to be limiting as that is not how imagination works. Imagination has absolutely no limits.

    The only limit shall be the kingdom of animals as all ideas come from earthbound people. There are no aliens among us. We create our own myths and our own stories. Avatar is a derived work that is still original. We know where the story came from (Ponohontas). Only the animals and environment is wholly original.

    This discussion is interesting as it is. They are still going forward with it and I don't mind. All four parks at Disney World are short of attractions. They need all the help they can get.
    It's not an unusual limitation because it doesn't need to be bluntly stated in a few sentences designed to mimic Disneyland's dedication. The themes of the park's intentions are all there in the concepts that were proposed, developed and built. They all focus on the earth and our relationship with it. No abstraction and the most fantastical elements being mythological creatures once though real being made real. No other wholly fictional animals. No aliens.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Why they didn't move the JUNGLE CRUISE to DAK with real animals or a JUNGLE BOOK overlay is beyond me. Adventureland at Magic Kingdom should go in another direction to differentiate it from DAK. And Tomorrowland should do the same to be relevant in comparison to Future World.
    Kali River Rapids was to feature live animals.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    Even a cynic would wonder why Joe would need to be informed. To give his blessing? Or his ire? There is no reason to inform him. He can do what every other person gets his information when he is no longer in the loop. Just read it from the press reports.

    In a corporate environment, people want to avoid confrontation even if they are crushing the dreams of the originator. I have no idea if Joe is still working in the company, but this means he isn't in the line of command and he doesn't call the shots.
    Joe Rohde is still the creative director for Disney's Animal Kingdom. Decisions on creative content and their placement being made by financial planners shows how the inclusion of Avatar was more about "fixing" the lack of large scale intellectual property in the park. It was a completely top-down financial decision, not at all a creative decision.

  6. #111

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    Re: Disney Announces Avatarland to open in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper Dan View Post
    Part of the reason Harry Potter is so successful is because it taps into those very old myths. Very few new creatures were invented for that world. Most were just picked right out of old stories and used just as they have always been used. A couple were given slightly different spins but wizards learning magic from old books and arcane alchemical processes to fight basilisks and werewolves is nothing new. If someone didn't know what Harry Potter was and you said, "It's about a school for wizards." what pops into their head is going to be close enough to what it actually is.

    Avatar has none of that. It's only cultural signifier is white guilt. If you have to explain that world to someone the easiest way to do it is to say, "It's a sci-fi allegory for the horrors of Manifest Destiny." It's longer, clunkier, doesn't really resonate at all within any culture, and with that description, a million people will imagine a million different things. Unless they have actually seen Pandora (itself used by avatar for its cultural significance) they probably aren't going to imagine anything like it.

    Creatures of myth and legend are very old. They have deep cultural significance to a wide range of people. In both Europe and Asia tales of dragons go back over a thousand years. 8 years ago there was no such thing as a Na'vi. 50 years ago there was no such thing as a Bantha, but 3000 years ago, China still had dragons.

    Everyone knows these creatures. In the medium of a theme park, where there are no voice over intros and no opening crawl to explain the world, you have only your surroundings and maybe a map to determine what the world you have stepped into means. Having cultural signifiers that go back a hundred generations make it much easier. We immediately understand everything about Frontierland because everyone knows exactly what the old west means. Even if it means a hundred different things to a hundred people, they still understand the environment because it is such a big part of our American culture, and that's only about 200 years old. If you show someone a picture of a cyclops, nobody needs to ask you what it is. Everyone's seen it a hundred times before. That six legged horse thing though?
    Brilliant post! Totally nails the difference between the deep cultural roots that originally made the "lands" of Disney's domestic theme parks resonate so strongly with worldwide audiences, and the shallow brand marketing that is the hallmark of ideas like Avatarland.
    "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


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