|02-05-2014, 01:42 AM||#1|
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Layton, Utah
A challenge to all that don't like Star Wars or Marvel in the parks
I was thinking today about the several podcasts I listen to and the threads I have read bemoaning the fact that the Disney company, which owns Marvel Comics and Stars Wars properties are increasingly growing those property's presence in DLR and DL in particular.
I have a serious challenge, not to start an unproductive argument but a debate to question this reaction to 'non-traditional' Disney properties.
Here is my argument in the affirmative...feel free to respond, politely, remembering we are all friends here.
Disneyland and Disney in general is about fantasy and escapism for children and adults who like to act like children. The many movies and properties that originally started in the Disney catalog have presented a great collection of children's stories and heroes.
Many of these movies are about female characters, now referred to as Disney Princesses, and they tend to slant female. Now I hear you saying, 'What about Jungle Book, Fox and the Hound, Aladdin,...etc, etc'. Yes there are male protagonists, but they aren't the ones me and my friends pretended to be when we were 10. When I was 10-13 years old me and my friends (this means me and a bunch of smelly, loud boys) pretended to be powerful superheros. I remember being the Hulk, Captain America, and even more obscurely, Black Panther and Union Jack.
We wanted superpowers, we wanted to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Beat the bad guys.
We never played for the goal of 'getting the girl to fall in love with us', it was to defeat the bad guy and make wrongs right, to save the city.
My point is that Marvel Superheroes provided that escape for me and made me, a geeky boy in a tough neighborhood (Well, as tough as Utah gets in the 70's), they made me feel powerful, in control and even safe.
As a parent I want to share that with my kids, in particularly my sons, although my daughters are force fed geek culture as well.
Disneyland is all about escaping to a world where 'your dreams come true'...but we seem to over-define what dreams are allowed to come true to only mean 'authentic Disney property'...my dream isn't Alice in Wonderland, or even Pirates of the Caribbean...my dreams were of power and might for right, Marvel gave that to me.
Then we add in Star Wars, I breathed that property in my youth. I recreated the compactor scene in my room, I dreamed of having the 'force'. I watched the Jedi Training Academy on my last trip to DLR and wished, so very much, that they had a robe for a 6'6" guy. (they didn't...sigh). I wanted a light saber, a speeder, a droid for goodness sake, or a blaster, where is my blaster!!!!
These two properties fit the mold of what Walt made. For him he wanted to escape to the Main Street of his youth, a Jungle Cruise, Pirates, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and the future, the precious vision of the future started for him by Jules Verne, HG Wells and Isaac Asimov and continued by events like the World's Fair. He was a futurist, in the best way.
Add the great fables he brought to life, he painted pictures for the viewing crowds of fantasy, of escape.
These new properties are just as much about that and they are more for a young restless boy, like the princesses are for the girls. Feel free to argue with me about it, but my 11 year old sons favorite ride in Disneyland was Star Tours, with no prompting from me (mine is still, and might always be, Pirates of the Caribbean).
Last thought, to all the purists out there....begging, 'we need the park Walt envisioned, the one he would be proud of. We must cherish his legacy!'
I am not against this, not in the least, but I think we can't let it mean that we can only have things he touched. Don't get me wrong, we need the Enchanted Tiki Room kept pure. But we need to make room for things that have the Disney Spirit of Fantasy, Good, and Heroes.
My favorite Walt Disney quotes are
"Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."
"What we did yesterday will never be good enough again" (paraphrased I think, from what he told the imagineers)
It is that spirit that grows and changes the parks, and we still should.
Indiana Jones didn't ruin the park, neither did Roger Rabbit or Captain EO, Honey I Shrunk the Audience...I don't think bringing in two properties that...
1. Appeal to boys
2. Have the flavor of fantasy and imagination
3. Further inspire the imagineers and executives who handle the parks
I don't think bringing in those properties can do anything but good.
Of course we could stick with gas-powered, carbon spewing, putt-putt cars and pass it off as Tomorrowland! But I would prefer they use that space for something more exciting. Something Super
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