View Poll Results: Do you like the presence of animated characters at EPCOT?

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  • Yes, I think it's great!

    33 43.42%
  • I like it but I don't want to see too much of it.

    30 39.47%
  • No, I don't want EPCOT to be another Disneyland.

    9 11.84%
  • I have no preference either way.

    4 5.26%
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Results 46 to 60 of 69
  1. #46

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Jedi View Post
    My main point, however, has always been the authenticity the presence of the character has in the park. Whether Mulan's appearance in the park is a fabrication of Disney or not, it's not a great stretch to have a dark haired Chinese woman in traditional garb roaming that pavilion.

    Whoa, you've seen non-dark haired Chinese women around?

    ...maybe the older ladies. lol


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  2. #47

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Whoa, you've seen non-dark haired Chinese women around?

    ...maybe the older ladies. lol
    Nope. I just tend to frighten them easily...



  3. #48

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Jedi View Post
    My main point, however, has always been the authenticity the presence of the character has in the park. Whether Mulan's appearance in the park is a fabrication of Disney or not, it's not a great stretch to have a dark haired Chinese woman in traditional garb roaming that pavilion. I think I pointed out in a previous post that it was a matter of blending well with the environment that was most principle important to follow. The image of an Asian woman in a Kimono doesn't exactly ruin the authentic feel of China. But a giant-headed cartoon character can, and will, remind you that you really aren't where your supposed to be pretending you are. It's called loose theming.

    I haven't directly mentioned Pooh, because overall, any cartoon character that requires a giant head and accessories disrupts the theming of any pavilion he's in regardless of his ties to that country.

    Think of it this way. A swarthy skinned couple dressed as an ancient peasant and princess walking hand in hand through Morocco is less damaging to that pavilion's surroundings, then a big blue Robin Williams look alike or wisecracking parrot. A young Chinese woman in traditional Chinese dress only carries me further into the folklore and history of China, but a guy in a big, red fuzzy dragon suit with Eddie Murphy's wry sneer takes me someplace else entirely. A prim and proper British nanny in classic wardrobe of a bygone English century is certainly more reminiscent of England then a Giant Yellow Bear that I see on almost every shelf, on every product, in every department store I can think of in America.

    What's most important, is not the lines that we can draw between each character and a country, but the impact that character has on the world each pavilion is trying to create. Even if we think one would fit, it's important to consider what the spirit of the Pavilion is. Not anything and everything Chinese, British, Canadian, or whathaveyou. But anything that contributes to the authenticity each section is trying to generate. I doubt that, had I taken a trip to the UK in any decade, I would have been regaled by visions of people in fuzzy, yellow bear suits.

    All of which would be very true, if the immersion idea was not allready ruined by hordes and hordes of tourists.

    I mean really, do you feel like you are in Morocco when you turn around and Mr. Joe Six-Pack with the socks and sandals is there yelling at his 14 year old kid with the "I'm with stupid" shirt on.

    I understand your point about the Disney invented images fitting thematicaly as opposed to the authentic, but never alive, storybook characters. But when you get down to it, EPCOT is not very authentic, and its because of the crowds. I love EPCOT and I think it's a wonderful park. I love EPCOT even more when its cold and rainy and you can then take in the effect without being in the middle of crowds of tourists (and yes, I am well aware of the irony in the fact that I too, am a tourist)

    -dave

  4. #49

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Short of making every Guest change into costumes prior to switching attractions there's little you can do about your fellow park goers impact on the theme. But that said, its the Imagineers and attraction managers job to make sure that the elements they can control are in order. Most of us go to a park to see the attractions, not the tourist. Add to that, an authentic character is one step closer towards taking your eye away from the other Guests and focusing on the illusion. The primary tenet behind a Theme Park is too make the theme the strongest most believable element you can make it, in spite of guy in the Goofy hat and Dragonball Z shirt.
    Last edited by Digital Jedi; 02-20-2007 at 05:11 PM.



  5. #50

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    World Showcase will never be mistaken for the actual place it's based on, so for that reason, I think it's just plain entertaining to have a Disney character in its location of origin, wherever possible.

    I don't know if it's a part of Kidcot already but they should have a station at every showcase that lists the disney titles from that originated from that location.

    If Epcot is about learning, then learning different backgrounds and cultures of Disney characters is a fun way to make it more accessible to the kids. Not that anything should be dumbed down or anything.


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  6. #51

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    If Epcot is about learning, then learning different backgrounds and cultures of Disney characters is a fun way to make it more accessible to the kids. Not that anything should be dumbed down or anything.
    I completely agree. I remember visiting EPCOT Center as a kid and being so bored! The only things I remember vividly are Imagination with Figments, The upstairs area where they had green screens so kids could be in some pre-filmed movies, Meeting Figment and the Dreamfinder (in person), and learning about the Manatees in the Living Seas areas.

    If there had been more character impact, I'm fairly sure I would have had more interest in hte park than I did at that time. I would have been more keen about the world showcase area if I could have gone looking for the characters and elarning about where they'd been from. Otherwise, it was just a bunch of differently styled buildings that didn't interest me at all.

  7. #52

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    ^Were we on the same trip? Because that's how I remembered my first time at Epcot, only take out Manatees and replace it with Dolphins and add IllumiNations into the mix.

  8. #53

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    It should be noted, that not every kid was bored by EPCOT and World Showcase. I know a lot of folks make mention of that in defense of the addition of character overlays and the addition of thrill rides in various parks. But truth is, not every child is the same or is intrigued by the same kind of stimuli. I was barely 10 on my first trip to EPCOT. And I enjoyed every aspect of it. And I wasn't in a minority group of children either. Plenty of my friends from differing backgrounds and ethnicities thought EPCOT was stellar.

    If EPCOT got boring at some point, it was when they began dumbing down and removing certain attractions because they didn't have 45 minute lines rounding the corner to the next pavilion. EPCOT actually starting loosing people when they started deviating further and further away from their original spirit in favor of catering to the kiddies and teeny boppers. It's too easy to whiz through Future World in a few hours today, when back in the day, numerous Dark Rides gave you ride time for your money. You could spend the day at the Future World alone. For classic EPCOT to have been a "boring" park, it sure does have a lot of faithful followers who were kids when the original was built.

    Adding characters to make the park more interesting to a select few children who don't get it, is to sacrifice something better for something watered down. It's a cop out, truthfully. It's an easy "fix" to a perceived problem, rather then an enhancement to the smart thinking already there. I just think they can do way better then that.



  9. #54

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Jedi View Post
    It should be noted, that not every kid was bored by EPCOT and World Showcase. I know a lot of folks make mention of that in defense of the addition of character overlays and the addition of thrill rides in various parks. But truth is, not every child is the same or is intrigued by the same kind of stimuli. I was barely 10 on my first trip to EPCOT. And I enjoyed every aspect of it. And I wasn't in a minority group of children either. Plenty of my friends from differing backgrounds and ethnicities thought EPCOT was stellar.

    If EPCOT got boring at some point, it was when they began dumbing down and removing certain attractions because they didn't have 45 minute lines rounding the corner to the next pavilion. EPCOT actually starting loosing people when they started deviating further and further away from their original spirit in favor of catering to the kiddies and teeny boppers. It's too easy to whiz through Future World in a few hours today, when back in the day, numerous Dark Rides gave you ride time for your money. You could spend the day at the Future World alone. For classic EPCOT to have been a "boring" park, it sure does have a lot of faithful followers who were kids when the original was built.

    Adding characters to make the park more interesting to a select few children who don't get it, is to sacrifice something better for something watered down. It's a cop out, truthfully. It's an easy "fix" to a perceived problem, rather then an enhancement to the smart thinking already there. I just think they can do way better then that.

    I think I'd be in the same boat as you had I gone as a child. Growing up, I read all these books, even the vacation guides, about what I would expect to see at Epcot. All the stuff about learning fascinated me and I wanted to go so bad. I didn't care about the Magic Kingdom part because we had Disneyland already.


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  10. #55

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    I think I'd be in the same boat as you had I gone as a child. Growing up, I read all these books, even the vacation guides, about what I would expect to see at Epcot. All the stuff about learning fascinated me and I wanted to go so bad. I didn't care about the Magic Kingdom part because we had Disneyland already.
    Contrastingly, I was somewhat less interested in history, certainly had only a passing interest in science, unless it was Sci Fi related and 0 interest in traveling abroad. It was actually EPCOT that stimulated my interest in a few things and showed me places I really hadn't taken the time to understand. Even today, it seems like I learn a little something when I go there. Interestingly enough, not a thing I learned from EPCOT those days was taught to me by a "character", but rather by the unique personalities or presentations of the park. I still remember learning what wind resistance was from the World of Motion post-show. To this day I can't help but see that video when I drive down the Interstate.



  11. #56

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Jedi View Post
    The primary tenet behind a Theme Park is too make the theme the strongest most believable element you can make it, in spite of guy in the Goofy hat and Dragonball Z shirt.

    Well maybe in Japan he may sort of fit in (maybe, on a good day)

    -dave

  12. #57

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Jedi View Post
    It should be noted, that not every kid was bored by EPCOT and World Showcase. I know a lot of folks make mention of that in defense of the addition of character overlays and the addition of thrill rides in various parks. But truth is, not every child is the same or is intrigued by the same kind of stimuli. I was barely 10 on my first trip to EPCOT. And I enjoyed every aspect of it. And I wasn't in a minority group of children either. Plenty of my friends from differing backgrounds and ethnicities thought EPCOT was stellar.

    Exactly. My first trip to EPCOT was when I was a little older - maybe 14 or 15, but I loved it.

    My kids, who are 5 and 8 want to go to either the Liberty Science Center or the American Museum of Natural History all the time. I don't recall the AMNH having any character overlays

    -dave

  13. #58

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phonedave View Post
    Well maybe in Japan he may sort of fit in (maybe, on a good day)

    -dave
    Maybe if he stands next to the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card display. <Points to avatar>



  14. #59

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    i like the idea of characters being in the area's they're from. Like Belle, Beast, Clopin and Esmerald in France. Or Peter Pan & Wendy & Pooh in England.


  15. #60

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    Re: Animated Characters at EPCOT World Showcase. Like or Dislike?

    I'm of mixed opinion.

    Personally, I don't mind the characters in Epcot. I think the use of Nemo in Living Seas is a great way to bring the attraction up-to-date, and there's certainly a fine tradition of Disney characters being used to educational ends (especially back in Walt's day with animated shorts).

    That said, I do see it as a bit of a creative failing on Disney's part. They managed to open Epcot and subsequently expand it over the years without using the characters. Living Seas was a huge hit originally - wouldn't it be possible to make it a huge hit without characters? I guess I just view using the characters in the pavilions as the "easy way out."

    It's not characters per se, mind you, it's the mainstream characters; Wonders of Life has(d) some great characters (Cranium Command), they just weren't Disney's mainstream ones.

    So while I'd prefer that Disney exercise a bit more imagination and not rely on the characters to make a pavilion possible, I'm great with it provided they fit. In Nemo's case, the characters obviously fit so well that it must have been nigh-irresistable to use them, and it's apparantly been done to great effect. I wouldn't like to see characters being arbitrarily added just as a means to "plus" a pavilion (e.g., draw crowds), though.

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