Great write up! I agree with everything said. The new technology certainly impresses, I was blown away watching it on a 15 inch laptop screen, but I don't think a lot of the segments are stronger than the original. I'll miss the original intro, Pan segment, and princess medley vocals- the other changes I think are decently executed, but I wish I could see the original show, with this new technology- it would likely bring me to tears.After watching a video of it on YouTube, I can say that the refurbishment was a massive improvement on a technical level. But even though I do think the show has best effects any version of the show has ever had, I can't say it's an all around superior version. While I wouldn't say Disney ruined it, but I would say major structural damage was caused in certain parts. They pretty much changed things just to change things. There are so many changes, I have to break it down scene by scene to describe how I feel about it.
The First major issue is that Mickey comes out way before his musical cue. It really diminishes the impact. Second major issue is that almost everything from the score to Mickey Mouse's dialogue has been unnecessarily rerecorded with a quality noticeably lower than the pitch perfect original. Because of this, the whole show never feels as right as it should. That isn't to say there weren't changes that I like. Combining the Lion King and Jungle Book scenes worked out very well as did the Genie replacement for the Pinocchio scene. But then there's the PotC scene on the Columbia which I knew I would like less than Peter Pan due to the latter being an inherently better IP for the show tonally speaking. After that is the Whole New World section which I feel is a little tacked on and would've been better if audio of Aladdin and Jasmine singing to each other was in place instead of an singer who sounds a bit over the top for what the scene should be. Another poor change is Rapunzel in place of Snow White in the Princess scene. I'm not against Rapunzel being in the show, but I feel the flow of the scene is broken. However, the absolute worst change in the show is the transition to the Villain section of the show. Instead of the Queen talking to the magic mirror and transforming into the witch, it's now Mickey for some strange reason. The witch still shows up after this, but the villainous buildup of that scene is completely destroyed. The show from here on out is pretty much the same aside from the unnecessarily rerecorded dialogue that I mentioned earlier.
All in all, I still think that Fantasmic! is a solid show and looks better than ever, but like a lot of things in Disney today, unnecessary modernizations hurt the final project. If it were up to me, I would've updated the effects in a similar fashion, but changed the actual content in very few ways. I do think there's a reason the original 1992 version of Fantasmic! is widely considered to be the best version around the world. Sadly, it appears Disney didn't learn why and turned it into something that suffers from a lot of the same issues as its clones but to a greater extent in some respects.
Bingo. This show attempts to use all available effects, at all times- which looks amazing but might lower the dramatic effect of both the intro and finale. If you use everything you got for every segment, how can you go any higher?2) Don't have Mickey on top of the mill until the grand finale, giving away your ace far too early.
^Yup ! A little TDS in the show! Probably good that it's a little. Love that they used TDS F! Theme as the exit song.What everyone else has said, basically. Overall I'm impressed! This is coming from someone who hates WoC, HEA and DLF and thinks the original Fantasmic is untouchable. There were some nice, dazzling effects, and while I don't care for the new soloist, I love the new arrangement of the score. Brett has clearly been working on his Mickey voice, and sounds better than he has before. Also, it sounds like they cut down the opening announcement, but in a way that I think improves it.
Some criticisms I haven't seen noted yet:
- I could do without the projection mapping business before the opening chord.
- The flower section suffers from the new singing. It used to sound ethereal and like a lullaby, and now it just sounds like an excited amateur who got a gig singing the Star Spangled Banner at a high-profile sporting event.
- I like the new monkey mix, but the transition into it is awkward. I hate cheap uses of "Nants ingonyama (etc)."
- The princess section is okay, but drags. What happened to the Fantasmic theme strings floating above "Part of Your World"?!?
- I will miss Tony Jay's mirror most of all. The Corey Burton mirror just won't be the same.
- I'm so tired of seeing the Toy Story characters on the back of the Mark Twain.
- The original Fantasmic ended with the spotlights all "folding" in on themselves, like the whole show was sucked back into the stage and Disneyland returned to normal. It was such an awesome hard close to the show. Fast forward to 2009: Enter the GREEN NUKE. The light towers still "fold" in and go dark, but now there's a blast of pyro on the last note, contradicting the flow of the finale. The ending lost its impact for me. Now, Fantasmic!! Doesn't "fold" in on itself at all and the show now has a visually generic ending. That one hurts because it's my personal Fantasmic pet peeve.
One more positive thing: Did you guys see how the dragon now coughs up a fireball when Mickey slays her? That was awesome.