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Jungle Cruise Update

el_super

Well-Known Member
Both women seem remarkably accomplished- but Disneyland is a different beast entirely, especially when talking about Splash Mountain and Jungle Cruise.

No. No it isn't. This kind of rhetoric just promotes the idea that Disneyland should be this kind of untouchable museum piece where nothing should be changed, and nostalgia alone should be justification for past misdeeds. At worst, this also seems like a justification for why certain classes or groups of people shouldn't be allowed to design theme park attractions.

Anyone can work on Disneyland attractions. Attractions were always meant to be temporary and to be swapped out. Nothing is sacred.
 

BuzzedPotatoHead89

Well-Known Member
No. No it isn't. This kind of rhetoric just promotes the idea that Disneyland should be this kind of untouchable museum piece where nothing should be changed, and nostalgia alone should be justification for past misdeeds. At worst, this also seems like a justification for why certain classes or groups of people shouldn't be allowed to design theme park attractions.

Anyone can work on Disneyland attractions. Attractions were always meant to be temporary and to be swapped out. Nothing is sacred.
It’s a balance. As this debate shows there will invariably be a desire to make changes that reflect new innovations including more broadly popular or marketable and/or inclusive IPs, while simultaneously retaining the underlying elements of the park that harken to the nostalgia of the past.

That said I reject the notion that nostalgia for a certain attraction or period of time in and of itself (as opposed to the detrimental policy or actions themselves) represents a tacit endorsement of misdeeds of the past for which it may parallel. In some respects “nostalgia” or symbolism can represent a symbol of hope and/or resilience.

But a theme park is an odd beast in that it represents an idyllic escapism, which means different things to different audiences. In practice that can fuel the need for both more relevant entertainment offerings for more contemporary target audiences while retaining/respecting aspects that provide for the proverbial sense of “timeliness” for more traditionalist segments of the fan base.

From a business perspective (to maximize the customer base), the aim should be to keep both types of audiences satisfied and suitably entertained.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
This guy popped up on my Instagram feed today. He does some cool stuff...

 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Charita's resume is strong and reflects someone who has grown and evolved in the industry, whether she is a household name or not. It's a little concerning that she started in accounting and finance, rather than a creative or technical field (reminiscent of Eisner's much-maligned Strategic Planning group), but she's clearly been around long enough to have a pretty solid understanding of the design process.

While your optimism is admirable, I'm not that convinced with Charita Carter's resume. She started as an accountant and was an accountant for a decade, which means she has a degree in Accounting. Then she went into Producer roles, which is a Hollywood way of saying Project Manager. As an accountant.

Ms. Carter may not have a creative bone in her body. Most accountants don't. Or if they do, they keep their creative side hidden until a third drink at Karaoke Nite.

The question remains: What has Charita Carter done and what rides has she created? What stuff did she work on? And what was her role with that stuff? All of the information from WDI tells us is that Charita Carter spent the last 20 years as an accountant and project manager for unnamed projects. That doesn't instill a lot of confidence. :oops:

Carmen's resume, on the other hand, is more difficult to decipher. Given the terminology, I almost have to wonder if she's in the part of WDI that used to be Consumer Products. Phases like "creative product," "editorial participation," and "global marketplace" just don't seem to fit with the typical jargon of the design and construction industry. Consumer Products was merged into Imagineering about 3 years ago, so there's a large group of employees who have spent their careers managing vendor contracts and product licensing, rather than design. At the very least, she seems to have a more corporate/business-oriented background than what you'd typically associate with WDI. I don't doubt that she's quite accomplished at what she does, but it doesn't seem like she necessarily has a lot of experience with designing theme park attractions, experiences, and environments.

Bingo! I think you are 100% accurate that Carmen Smith came to WDI via Disney Consumer Products. Her resume is obviously from that early 21st century world of Consumer Products, not design and creation.

And yet Carmen Smith's resume is even murkier and unknown than Charita Carter's. Ms. Smith appears to be that 21st century breed of executive who is cloaked in HR psychobabble and corporate buzzwords. Often, there is very little there when you strip that stuff away from an executive.

You are very kind in stating that Ms. Smith must be very good at what she does. It would just be nice to know what she actually does do. Because from her resume and official WDI press release, it's still impossible to know what she actually does. :cool:

Isn't that pretty much what they're doing with the Jungle Cruise? Removing outdated depictions of black characters, in favor of cute animals?

I think that's the outcome here for the Jungle Cruise. They are going to go the Lion King route and pretend that no humans native to the continent actually live there, that it's a continent entirely populated only with animals. That solves the problem some have in thinking it's "problematic" to show African peoples living in Africa, no matter how faithfully you recreate their costumes and culture for a boat ride.

No humans exist on the continent of Africa except for visiting tourists! Problem solved. :rolleyes:
 

Homemade Imagineering

Well-Known Member
Haven't there people been claiming that the Africa scene in It's a Small World is problematic because it's full of animals with very few humans?
If that’s the case, they should add more AAs to the scene, and the overall attraction without having to remove any of the animals. While they’re at it, it would be nice if they could remove the Disney characters in favor of more cultures being represented. The attraction is extremely well intentioned, and the characters, in my opinion, do in fact detract from the message, so it would be nice if they removed them in favor of more representation.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
If I’m not mistaken, Italy is represented by one solitary male doll on a gondola and a Pinocchio cut out? Jordan isn’t really represented directly but I guess the generic Middle East is represented by Aladdin? Lol. Whatever it is. I don’t care. The intention of the ride is good and pure. It’s a Disneyland classic from the 60s with primitive dolls and Sherman Bros tune.

The entire USA is represented as the Mid West. Are people in LA and NY mad?
 
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WEDfan9798

Member
It’s a balance. As this debate shows there will invariably be a desire to make changes that reflect new innovations including more broadly popular or marketable and/or inclusive IPs, while simultaneously retaining the underlying elements of the park that harken to the nostalgia of the past.

That said I reject the notion that nostalgia for a certain attraction or period of time in and of itself (as opposed to the detrimental policy or actions themselves) represents a tacit endorsement of misdeeds of the past for which it may parallel. In some respects “nostalgia” or symbolism can represent a symbol of hope and/or resilience.

But a theme park is an odd beast in that it represents an idyllic escapism, which means different things to different audiences. In practice that can fuel the need for both more relevant entertainment offerings for more contemporary target audiences while retaining/respecting aspects that provide for the proverbial sense of “timeliness” for more traditionalist segments of the fan base.

From a business perspective (to maximize the customer base), the aim should be to keep both types of audiences satisfied and suitably entertained.
You're on the money. In fact, Walt did not just say that Disneyland would change, but he also said that there is room for nostalgia at the Parks and that some attractions ought to be permanent additions to the park, including things like the Carousel of Progress, Lincoln, and Small World. I realize that CoP actually moved to Florida in the 1970's.
 

Homemade Imagineering

Well-Known Member
You're on the money. In fact, Walt did not just say that Disneyland would change, but he also said that there is room for nostalgia at the Parks and that some attractions ought to be permanent additions to the park, including things like the Carousel of Progress, Lincoln, and Small World. I realize that CoP actually moved to Florida in the 1970's.
Exactly, I can only imagine the uproar if PotC, HM, IASW or even JC were completely removed and erased from the park entirely. At least SM is maintaining its layout for the most part, along with probably a few of the current AAs and some leftover theming here and there (I'm assuming). If they announced they were completely razing all of SM from the ground up in favor of something entirely different, it would cause much more uproar within the community, and this would indeed, possibly more so be the case if they decided to erase/ raze any of Walt's core originals. It's all 100% a balancing act, as it should always be.
 

Practical Pig

Well-Known Member
If I’m not mistaken, Italy is represented by one solitary male doll on a gondola and a Pinocchio cut out? Jordan isn’t really represented directly but I guess the generic Middle East is represented by Aladdin? Lol. Whatever it is. I don’t care. The intention of the ride is good and pure. It’s a Disneyland classic from the 60s with primitive dolls and Sherman Bros tune.

The entire USA is represented as the Mid West. Are people in LA and NY mad?
You know, as far as sensitivity to stereotypes goes, I think the intentions behind those representations count for a lot. The It's a Small World message is a celebration of human unification, of dissolving our barriers, of recognizing that we are all living together in this global society. I have to respect that a lot. And if there are some future revisions that would help it be more on message, bring them respectfully on.
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
If I’m not mistaken, Italy is represented by one solitary male doll on a gondola and a Pinocchio cut out? Jordan isn’t really represented directly but I guess the generic Middle East is represented by Aladdin? Lol. Whatever it is. I don’t care. The intention of the ride is good and pure. It’s a Disneyland classic from the 60s with primitive dolls and Sherman Bros tune.

The entire USA is represented as the Mid West. Are people in LA and NY mad?
There is a difference between associating Italy and Italians with gondolas versus leaving most of the Africa scenes full of wild animals. Unfortunately, there’s a very long history of portraying Africans and black people in general as animals and savages, especially as monkeys and apes. In addition, the narrative that Africa is nothing but huts and wild animals is still an ongoing thing.

I don’t think anyone is trying to argue that Disney’s intent is bad, just that some decisions should be carefully thought out.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
There is a difference between associating Italy and Italians with gondolas versus leaving most of the Africa scenes full of wild animals. Unfortunately, there’s a very long history of portraying Africans and black people in general as animals and savages, especially as monkeys and apes. In addition, the narrative that Africa is nothing but huts and wild animals is still an ongoing thing.

I don’t think anyone is trying to argue that Disney’s intent is bad, just that some decisions should be carefully thought out.

In the case of IASW, don’t you think it has something to do with Africa having all the cool animals? What animal would they use for Italy for example? I can’t even think of one animal that is really associated with the country off the top of my head. On a ride, you are going for the most bang for your buck as the boats glide by the given scene. For Italy, they chose a gondola because people see that instantly understand. For Africa they chose a few African natives and all the really cool animals because it instantly paints a picture. By the way, the Africa scene is by far my favorite scene in IASW. It has the most character with all the colorful animals and all of the greenery hanging from the ceiling gives it much more depth than ceiling tiles found elsewhere. Someone looking at the glass half full could say they cared the most about the Africa scene. Would a few more natives with perhaps more accurate clothing in addition to the animals really make a difference?

It’s my ongoing joke but if we want to be really accurate we could just put all the dolls in business casual clothing and have them sitting in cubicles. Of course the ride has to be based on stereotypes because it’s in those stereotypes that you find the most color, character and diversity.
 
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