It’s a Small World: The Movie is older then you think

So apparently a movie based on It’s a Small World is in the works, set to be directed by the guy who did the National Treasure movies. This idea is apparently older then you’d think: Disney considered the idea of a Small World movie back in the 70s.

Plot summary via JimHillMedia

Imagine (that) it’s the day afternoon tomorrow, with the constantly escalating tensions of the world raised to fever pitch. (When) even the smallest spark can start a fire. And then it does.

The spark’s name is Aleksei, the nine-year-old son of the Russian Consul General in Paris. Full of curiosity and the stories that he’s heard about the “evil” Chinese, the boy ventures across the boulevard and over the fence to the Consulate of Communist China — where he is caught by Chinese security guards who take him into custody. When the Russians learn of Aleksai’s capture and detention, they demand his immediate release and, naturally, are refused. The rankled tempers become a shouting match of spying and kidnapping accusations.

And — when the story of Aleksai hits the media — millions of people hear (about) it. (And resulting media firestorm brings Red China and the U.S.S.R. to the very brink of war.)

Suddenly the “Aleksai Affair” is an urgent matter for the United Nations. However, it quickly becomes clear that — while there may be calmer heads here — (there is fuel being thrown) on the fire. There are people (in the world) who would like to see a conflagration for their own profit. Particularly Alexander Bashillian, the despotic ruler of a small nation in a backwater of the world that only has one major industry — munitions.

Into this desperate situation walks a most unlikely group of heroes: the students of the United Nations school, a special educational facility for the children of U.N. Ambassadors. They’re a small group of kids of different races, from different countries and ethnic backgrounds that — (when they’re) forced together, have found that they can get along just fine.

These kids are young enough to think that the world should do as they do. But what can the children of the U.N. Ambassadors do keep the world from blowing apart?

Disappear.

When they do, in a faked mass kidnapping plot hatched by the son of the U.N. Ambassador from Iceland and the daughter of the U.S. Ambassador, the “Aleksai Affair” is instantly old news. Forgetton by everyone … except for Bashillian, the munitions despot.

Alexander tries to stir the fires (of war) by casting blame for the crime on one — or both — of the nations entangled in the original affair. When that fails, Bashillian sends his agents to join the thousands already on the hunt. But with a dark goal in mind: to find & kill the children of the U.N. Ambassadors. With the hope of making a bad situation worse.

But the United Nations’ children have other plans. Not just to stop Bashillian and his evil agents. But to stop the world as well. To bring our planet back from the brink of disaster.

themysteryofgravityfalls:

Duct Tape! Wood Glue! Hey, You! It’s time to fix more things with Soos!

(via krudman)

epcotexplorer:

Pictures of Progressland – The Artistry of Corporate Showmanship

Out of all the pavilions that Walt Disney exuded influence over for the New York World’s Fair of 1964, the one that bares the greatest hallmark of Walt’s personal touch is General Electric’s Progressland. The star of the show was the Carousel Theater of Progress, a depiction of suburban life throughout the 20th century and how appliances and the electric age influenced how the typical American family lived, worked, and played in a quickly changing and dynamic time.   As a matter of the happenstance, the General Electric exhibition was also the one pavilion that reflected the true nature of the New York World’s Fair- part trade show, part international summit, all parts space age optimism wrapped up in the flash and glamour of striking googie architecture and corporate might. Of course, to any student of theme park history, this will sound familiar, with the earliest iterations of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland and Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center both reflecting optimistic, corporately branded futurism.

           image

Progressland, being no different, was driven by General Electric’s desire to exhibit their product and industrial roles in a commercial and public light. As most corporate entities at the fair did, they signed on specific design firms to create their thematic exhibits. General Electric chose Walt Disney’s WED Enterprises to lead such an effort and their final product remains, to this day, one of the most beloved and long running theme park attractions left from this point in time. The Carousel of Progress still spins happily along in Disney World’s Tomorrowland, even if the 21st century has caught up with it and its thematic background drastically altered. But, this is only one part of the Progressland Pavilion that originally graced the shores of Flushing Meadows’ Pool of Industry. In 1964, Disney had designed a whole series of ancillary attractions for the pavilion, attractions that would have accompanied the carousel’s message of industry and optimism,  and would have represented GE’s full breadth of services and appliances. In media, today, these attractions rarely are discussed, and even by fairgoers were relegated to the back seat, when compared to the audio animatronic laden rotating theater show. However, they bear interesting insight to the nature of the World’s Fair of 1964 and prove to even be a object of longing for some theme park fans, today. For those of us that enjoy EPCOT Center and the thematic showmanship of specific industries and trades, Progressland and her Medallion City, her SkyDome Spectacular, and her Nuclear Fusion Demonstration will be very redolent of the shows we’ve lost along the wayside in places such as CommuniCore, Spaceship Earth, and the World of Motion. The concept is very much the same- a multilateral company hiring Disney to design and showcase their commercial triumphs and endeavors. What follows is a rare and in depth look at the Progressland pavilion and its intents, aesthetics, and exhibits.

              image

While I won’t go into the details of the 1964 iteration of the Carousel of Progress, as that’s been assessed and documented with descriptive powers far better than my own, I would like to point out the aesthetics and details that the rotating theater cars had. What you see here is a Kaleidoscope Screen, reflective glass and plastic that lined the walls of the pavilion’s theaters. During the introduction to the Carousel of Progress, these lights would flash and glow in sequence to the narrator’s voice and the iconic music of the pavilion.

image

image

The carousel theater show, from then on out, progressed in a manner very much akin to the experience you can still find in the Vacation Kingdom, today. When the show ended, though, guests were lead up to the second level of a pavilion by a speed ramp that was connected directly to the theater, and in place of the stage.  This unique feature of the 1964 carousel only existed in the first two versions of the show, and streamlined the entire experience. Also, the visceral experience of “walking forward” and “springing up out of your seats to meet the future” help crystalize the optimistic sand hopeful message and imagery of the presentation. The speed ramp was quite the sight, too. Clad in mirrors and brushed metallic trappings, the entire corridor was a spectacle of light and luminosity.  Images of GE engineers and scientists were projected onto the walls and mirrors and had the effect of floating in space. Much of the focus of this imagry is on energy technology and industry, the theme of next show.   Disney dubbed this area a “Time Tunnel”, one that transported you from the present to the far-flung, but foreseeable future.

image

image

image

Once guests exited the tunnel, they were deposited in the second part of the Progressland show: The SkyDome Spectacular and Fusion Demonstration, prefaced by another corridor of mirrors and informational plaques detailing GE’s work on electrical energy and new technologies with fuel cells, thermionic conversion, and magnetohydronamics. After a short wait, guests entered the SkyDome, and, at the time, the world’s largest projection screen on the interior of General Electric’s iconic domed pavilion. With terraced viewing, guests were shown the history and adventure surrounding man’s struggle to temper nature and making fire serve civilization on a 200-foot screen in the round. Dramatic lighting and projections highlighted both topic and theme. Once the show ended, guests descended from the top level of the pavilion to see the actual technologies described to them in use.

image

image

image

image

image

Considered the climax of the Progressland experience, the Fusion Demonstration beneath the domed screen and in another, smaller, theater in the round. Standing on a plinth was a large quartz tube, with control panels and displays detailing the process of fusion that would be attempted. After a countdown, brilliant flashes of light and a loud, popping, crack would signify that GE was successful in tapping into the nuclear science of sun building. Billed as a first public demonstration of fusion, this feat took place every 4-6 minutes. Clerical workers that staffed the pavilion soon grew accustomed to the loud explosions emanating from the dome, according to memoirs and recollections many years after Progressland had closed and moved to Disneyland.

image

image

image

image

image

Finally, guests would make their way into Medallion City, back on the first level of Progressland. The city was named for the “Total Electric Award” medal that GE popularized for its products. Widely considered to be the post show of the pavilion, this was the main exhibition hall for General Electric and was a stylized city with buildings dedicated to each of the company’s initiatives and appliances. Among the topics showcased were beauty and comfort products, business and industrial solutions, and even a town hall and hospital featuring the latest in electrical ingenuity. Fully airconditioned and comfortable, Medallion City was very much the showroom for GE and guests could even place mail orders for the products they had seen in the Carousel Theater, and now, in person, and in use. The idea of allowing guests browse a “city of the future” certainly wasn’t new to the World’s Fair, either. General Motor’s Futurama at both the 1939 and 1964 New York World’s Fair exhibited an “Avenue of Progress” in which guests would see their automobiles on display. Ford’s Wonder Rotunda, another Disney creation, also showed off automobiles to their guests. This degree of cooperate was the widely accepted modus operandi of the fair, and this style was replicated, much later, in EPCOT Center.

image

image

image

image

In summary, the Carousel of Progress’ charm and place in thematic history reaches far beyond the carousel theater show that we still have, today. In part, it is the base of the experience, and the most memorable. But the entire Progressland Pavilion was a thematic bastion of industrial artistry and extravagance.  Corporate and commercial advertisement? Yes. But it left a lasting mark in the minds of those who saw it and were inspired by the spirit of progress and optimism the pavilion fostered. The art of corporate showmanship hasn’t changed much, since the days of international exhibitions and World’s Fairs. 

image

image

(via epcotexplorer)

epcotexplorer:

50 YEARS OF PROGRESS 

Today, 50 years ago, the New York World’s Fair of 1964 opened its gates and dazzled the world with an array of experiences and exhibits that encapsulated not only the zenith for themed exhibitions, but the frenetic culture of America in the 1960s. 

Imbued with a sense of optimism, technical artistry, and corporate might, the 1964 World’s Fair remains as a watershed moment for pinpointing our place in the 20th century’s politics and scientific achievements. 

There is a sense of history about the fair for the story of Disney, too. Four Disney designed attractions debuted on April 22: it’s a small world, GE’s Progressland pavilion, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and Ford’s Magic SkyWay. 

it’s a small world has enjoyed 50 years of operation, at all 5 Disney resorts around the world. Mary Blair’s iconic style is now synonymous with Disney’s name and is a hallmark of the warm and evocative spirit that Disney seeks to further. The Sherman brother’s prayer for peace is now an anthem sung around the world.

The Carousel of Progress still spins on in the Magic Kingdom, a touchstone for the values and mainstays of Walt Disney’s personal touch and legacy. The Carousel of Progress’ influence in EPCOT’s Future World remains readily apparent and relevant. 

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln enjoys a place of prominence on Disneyland’s Main Street, USA, boasting patriotic pathos and a tie to both the thematic and the historical past of the United States. 

And, the Magic SkyWay, though not totally intact, still has vestiges of its grandeur in the Primeval World along the Disneyland Railroad and EPCOT’s Universe of Energy. 

But, what is really remarkable about the New York World’s Fair is how much it altered things for Walt Disney and WED Enterprises. It was at the 1964 Fair that Walt Disney began to see the possibility for an ‘East Coast Disneyland’, sparking the development of what would become Walt Disney World. And in turn, EPCOT City, the centerpiece of the Florida Project was borne out of the corporate and industrial alliances that the Disney organization made at the World’s Fair.  Beyond the expansion of property and venue, though, the technology at the World’s Fair advanced Disney’s thematic prowess. Full size Audio Animatronics came into prominence in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Carousel of Progress. The flume used in it’s a small world was seen as a viable conveyance for use in Pirates of the Caribbean. And Ford’s SkyWay was the precursor to the Peoplemover and the Omnimover systems.  In the course of two to three years, Disney’s involvement in the New York World’s Fair had set them on an astronomical trajectory to new heights of art and illusion. 

Happy 50th, New York World’s Fair. 

Throughout the day, I’ll be reblogging and uploading some of my favorite posts on the NYWF and it’s accomplishments. Stay tuned. 

       

Celebrate Earth Day and Animal Kingdom’s 16th Birthday with the opening day special, Animal Kingdom: The First Adventure

themysteryofgravityfalls:

Fix it! Do it! Accidentally unscrew it! It’s time to fix things with Soos!

magicforces:

Disney legend Frank Thomas used live action reference for a number of his characters. In this case it was character actor Hans Conried who provided the voice and acting reference for Hook. You can see how Frank adapted the photographs to create the one and only Captain Hook, right on top of the actors performance.

magicforces:

Disney legend Frank Thomas used live action reference for a number of his characters. In this case it was character actor Hans Conried who provided the voice and acting reference for Hook. You can see how Frank adapted the photographs to create the one and only Captain Hook, right on top of the actors performance.

(via cartoonology)

barryjohnson77:

"He’s makin’ the story sound like some Greek tragedy."

A few more of my story sketches of the Muses from Hercules.

(via disneyconceptsandstuff)