Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Lost American Adventure Narrator?

Didier over at the Disney History Blog posted a great article given to him by Jim Korkis. The article is titled 'DisneyLand is Good for You'. Written by Charlie Haas. This dates back to Dec. 1978. The article was great and explained a lot of how the architecture and colors are all there to put you at ease at the primal level. A very good article well worth the time to read it. One part of it jumped out at me though. John Hench was talking about a new attraction that they were going to put into Florida. Now this article was 1978, so I am assuming Epcot and based on what he says, it's the American Adventure. It seems that there were some changes made in the presentation of the show between it's Story-board phase and opening. John says,

"...though in Florida, we’re going to have a special pavilion about America and tell about America today, so we are taking on that problem. We have spokesmen for the past—Benjamin Franklin, Will Rogers and Mark Twain -but we don’t have anybody for the present the future yet. We’ll have animatronic figures of those three men, like Lincoln, and those figures speak to you. They have a living presence. As it were. Franklin will tell about what the American spirit really was how it came here and got started, then Mark Twain will take over for the great expansion, and Will Rogers will sum it up. Those last two guys were kind of iconoclasts, Mark Twain was certainly a balloon-buster if there ever was one, so it isn’t a Pollyannia kind of thing. But we’re backing it up with big images. ‘‘for the summing up and the future, that’s a problem. I don’t know who in today’s world sums it up as accurately as musicians, the young musicians. But who are they? They seem to be a collective bunch, they come and go like flowers. You never know—there’s no one guy. But they seem to distill an essence, the spirit of things today. Most of them are optimistic.”

My first thought was, I guess they could not come up with someone to be that last narrator. The show, as it is now, ends with a film montage that takes us through the decades from the 40's into the 80's and then Mark Twain and Ben Franklin return for a pep talk for the future. John Hench mentioned that he thought the remaining narrator would perhaps have been a musician of the day. The interview was published in 1978, so who would have been on the short list for this? John Lennon maybe or Billy Joel? One of the Beach Boys? That's a tough one. Or maybe an older musician like Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly or maybe Lou Rawls? An interesting thought exercise. Outside of music I would have thought that perhaps JFK could have been a good narrator. The silver lining in this cloud is that in a future re-hab of this attraction, maybe we can see them pull out some of the old notes and add that last narrator.

Here are a couple of links with more of the standard information for the attraction and John Hench

No comments: