Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Funny Disney Plusing Hobby

My Funny Disney Plusing Hobby

I love to look up the original stories that Disney movies are based on. Then I see how Disney changed and/or adapted the movie for film. Did Disney hold true to the story or just keep the name. Did they try to share the same moral as the original? What happens if they make it into a ride or stage play? Will they change the moral value or did they change it again. Did they do a good job retelling the story in the different mediums? What would I do if I took a Disney movie and turned it into a ride? What parts would I leave out that they kept or put in that they left out? I have found most of the time they do a gentler version of the story, be it movie or ride. They tend to leave out the darker parts.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.
The original Peter Pan story is much darker than the Disney version. It is harsher and the danger from the pirates and mermaids more intense. There is an entire segment of the story that takes place in Skull Rock that is totally left out of the movie due to the dark nature of the segment. Still it is a story about holding onto childhood and keeping the joy all through life.

Peter Pan is a wonderful movie about childhood joy and the decisions we make as we grow up. It is about the childhood Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust (whimsy) that we need to hold onto as adults so we can keep a joyful, youthful heart. Holding onto the childlike faith helps us deal with the problems of life without losing joy.
Peter Pan the ride is a quick run through the story. It does not linger on any one part and gives a quick over view of the story. It shows the Darling kids leaving their home and flying off to Neverland. It gives glimpses of the fun spots of Neverland and then rushes through the cruelty of Captain Hook as he ties up Tiger Lilly and then battles Peter. This is a victory of childhood joyfulness over evil that wants to take away joy.
What would I change about the movie and ride? I’d add more of the darker elements taking it back closer to the original story. For the ride I’d make it longer and spend more time with Tinker Bell, got to love the Queen of Pranking Pixies. They totally leave out Tink’s being tricked by Hook. I’d enjoy seeing more of the fight between the desire to stay a child and growing up.
Little Mermaid Princess Ariel fish friends

Little Mermaid is an example where Disney used the name of a story but kept very little of the original story and nothing of the moral that was taught by the original story.
The original story of Little Mermaid is the story of a young mermaid who is quickly reaching the age where she can go to the service of the water to look around. When she does she falls in love with a prince that is sailing by. She knows mermaids have no soul and live for three hundred years in exchange a life with no soul. Humans have a short life but have an eternal soul and have emotional ties with each other and a higher power, God. She wants a soul and is willing to give up her long life for a soul, love and relationship with God. In the end she gives up both her chance for a soul and love to save the life of the prince she has fallen in love with. In the end she was granted a soul as a reward for her sacrificial love for the prince. There is no happy ever after with her going on with the Prince.
In the Disney movie version they gloss over that and it becomes a story of a young girl proving herself to her father. It is a classic struggle of a teenager to find herself and to prove she is ready for the challenges of life on her own.
The new Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ride focuses on the action and does not develop the characters. It depends on the riders knowledge of the story to fill in the gaps it leaves in the story. It totally skips over the final battle between Ursula and Ariel along with her Father. If I could redo the ride I’d take it closer to the movie. I’d work on how to add in that final battle. I can see it would be hard but I’d try.

All of this is what Walt Disney called plusing. When you think you are done doing something look at it again and have others look at it. Can it be improved or plused? Even today when making a movie or designing a ride the animators and/or imaginers are still asked when they turn in what they call finished work, “can you plus that?”


  1. This is random, but I love the font on this page! What is it called?

  2. It is called Walt Disney Script and it is a free true font. Just do a bing or google search for it. I LOVE it but some people said it did nto translate to their brousers so I changed to something more "normal".


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