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A War on Audio-Animatronics?

Bairstow

Well-Known Member
Even Disney's new animatronics have projectors ON them, causing a strange unworldly aspect.

(yo dog, we heard you like projectors)
Agree with most of your points, but I love me some projected faces.
Animated characters often have facial geometry that's nigh-impossible to accurately replicate, let alone animate as a real-life animatronic. This is not just because of the intense speed and range of motion of things like the eyes and mouth, but the fact that the geometry of the moving parts of a cartoon's face are often literally impossible. Figures based on non-cartoon humans and animals, even exaggerated ones as seen the Haunted Mansion, don't have this problem.
Projected elements on a partially-sculpted face gets you around these problems, and the figures we've already seen in Frozen and Mine Train are a quantum leap from what was first tried on Buzz Lightyear. I remain excited to see what Disney is going to be able to do with this kind of tech in the future, and am encouraged that figures using this tech seem to be coming out at a fairly rapid pace.
 

cheezbat

Well-Known Member
The CEC animatronics were never as good as the Showbiz Pizza ones, and are kind of creepy when not performing.
The newer Studio C Garner Holt bots are more advanced than the old Creative Engineering Showbiz Pizza bots...

Still love those old 3-stage shows though...there's something about them so classic.

Oh...and Chuck E Cheese stopped adding animatronics to new stores starting in 2013...they've just recently made their plans to remove the shows public knowledge with their newest remodels.
 

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Cowboy Steve

Well-Known Member
I can see both sides of the argument - though I think the answer is a balance between the 2. My generation is always going to have an affinity for the AAs at WDW as we grew up when they were new and on the cutting edge of Disney storytelling in the parks. But, the world changes and technology is advancing at break neck speeds. Driving this is the consumer. While the screen immersion is done almost too much at Universal, it is still very popular. Admittedly, I have not seen Pandora yet, but at least prior to that, Universal showed us they can compete on Disney's level with the WWOHP expansions. The theming in those two areas is just stunning in it's attention to detail. The queues, the stores, just everything is so well done you really believe you are in those settings. Some of the projection elements of the HP queues are a little cheesy - seeing Harry Ron and Hermione talk to you from a doorway in a classroom for example. But I didn't have any problem overlooking that and enjoying the details.
 

the-reason14

Well-Known Member
It's not a war, it's called evolution to higher technology. No one is actively condemning AA's, it's just that they do not command the same awesome feeling that they once did. With the desire for more and more expanded realism in theme park entertainment, AA's cannot keep up. Like myself they have become less flexible and more mechanical. Nothing puts you into the scene faster then well done screen graphics. AA's are very entertaining, but, not exactly able to create the immersion that is so promoted these days. No matter how good the AA's are, you are concentrating on the idea that you are watching a robot and not concentrating on the story. Screens put you in the story and are so realistic that you don't even think about the fact that they are not real.
I agree but disagree. If it's about being fully immersed, then ya a screen can do that. If it is done properly. However, there is nothing more amazing then riding through a scene that is chock full of amazing AAs such as Pirates, SSE, Mansion. What I've discovered is after the novelty wears off on rides like Ratoutille(sp) in Paris, it's like watching the same scenes in a movie over and over again. Ya it's great at first, but the re-rideablilty goes down. You can ride Pirates, and Mansion over and over again and see new things. We need more rides like that, not less.
 

Amidala

Well-Known Member
I agree but disagree. If it's about being fully immersed, then ya a screen can do that. If it is done properly. However, there is nothing more amazing then riding through a scene that is chock full of amazing AAs such as Pirates, SSE, Mansion. What I've discovered is after the novelty wears off on rides like Ratoutille(sp) in Paris, it's like watching the same scenes in a movie over and over again. Ya it's great at first, but the re-rideablilty goes down. You can ride Pirates, and Mansion over and over again and see new things. We need more rides like that, not less.
That's fair, but I think it's worth noting that heavily screen-based attractions like FoP and Soarin' are extremely popular with guests (IMO, for good reason).

I love Pirates, SSE and Mansion as much as anyone else, but I would say we don't need any more rides like that. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see WDW get more classic dark rides, and maybe even dark rides with completely unique concepts (not tied to IPs). But I want to see a dark ride that utilizes all of the technology available to us in 2017 (like Shanghai's Pirates, Mystic Manor, Hunny Hunt, etc.) not one that's built to feel similar to older dark rides to appeal to our nostalgia.

I really think there is a "best of both worlds" third option, where we can have the immersion of screens and the novelty of new and improved, modern AAs.
 

Cmdr_Crimson

Well-Known Member
Chuck E Cheese is being stupid. They totally redesigned Chuck E and he now looks like a sewer rat instead of a cool guy. I'd never seen such a horrendous character redesign before. Now they are getting rid of a big visual element, part of what made it more than an arcade, because "the kids stopped looking at the animatronics years and years ago." My own observations would differ.

They're trying to stay ahead of the curve, but they're not. They're just destroying themselves.
Actually he started as a rat and by mid 90's he then somehow delve into Darwin's grab bag to become a mouse...
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I agree but disagree. If it's about being fully immersed, then ya a screen can do that. If it is done properly. However, there is nothing more amazing then riding through a scene that is chock full of amazing AAs such as Pirates, SSE, Mansion. What I've discovered is after the novelty wears off on rides like Ratoutille(sp) in Paris, it's like watching the same scenes in a movie over and over again. Ya it's great at first, but the re-rideablilty goes down. You can ride Pirates, and Mansion over and over again and see new things. We need more rides like that, not less.
Basically, I agree and there is an audience for both. The occasional attraction that I have seen that incorporates the two are also very good, and, in each of those cases AA's are at a minimum and are solidly in the story.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
I love Audio-Animatronics (when done well). But the projected faces still look ghostly and creepy to me. I know a lot goes into great 3D video, but screens seem like a cop-out.

Given Disney's penchant for cost-cutting, I'm a bit surprised we haven't seen Audio-Animatronics replaced with H-1B workers in costumes.
 

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
Good AAs are good. Bad AAs are bad.

Good screens are good. Bad screens are bad.

Good projections are good. Bad projections are bad.

Now, I understand having a preference for one over the others. But if I preferred AAs over screens or projections, then they better be good AAs. Bad AAs, no matter how much I prefer AAs are still bad. A good screen or projection will always beat a bad AA. Because... good is better than bad. Variety is good, but not if you're throwing in the bad.

Screens have edges and animatronics have their uncanny valleys and tics and projections can't make every angle look perfect. There are some tools better suited than others, but, if you can't do it well, don't do it at all.
 

Seabasealpha1

Well-Known Member
The CEC animatronics were never as good as the Showbiz Pizza ones, and are kind of creepy when not performing.
As a child of the 80's I firmly believe that CEC should have been ditched and the Rock-a-fire Explosion gang should have taken over... I personally hate Chuck...(and yes, I take my kids...) but I often long for Showbiz. Give me Fats or give me death!

 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
As a child of the 80's I firmly believe that CEC should have been ditched and the Rock-a-fire Explosion gang should have taken over... I personally hate Chuck...(and yes, I take my kids...) but I often long for Showbiz. Give me Fats or give me death!

@MisterPenguin, what was it you were saying about doing Animatronics well?
 

Bairstow

Well-Known Member
As a child of the 80's I firmly believe that CEC should have been ditched and the Rock-a-fire Explosion gang should have taken over... I personally hate Chuck...(and yes, I take my kids...) but I often long for Showbiz. Give me Fats or give me death!


At least they're still getting gigs.


 

Cmdr_Crimson

Well-Known Member
As a child of the 80's I firmly believe that CEC should have been ditched and the Rock-a-fire Explosion gang should have taken over... I personally hate Chuck...(and yes, I take my kids...) but I often long for Showbiz. Give me Fats or give me death!

What's great is that Aaron Fetcher the creator of The Rockafire Explosion is still going on making shows with his AA Band on his youtube channel. Plus Creative Engineering is based in Orlando as well..He had the band also used for a Clo Green show in Vegas as back up singers for one of his songs...
 
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