Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
I agree. I was only discussing the dragonI think DHS Fantasmic isn’t appreciated enough. While there are portions of DL’s that are better, there’s also portions that are worse. I really think each version is of similar quality, and I’m even talking about the pre POTC DL version. I’m going to repost something I wrote 3 years ago, comparing the two:
Ok you’ve all done it, I have the time to write it now, and it’s time for my whole thoughts on why Fantasmic! At DHS is much more maligned then it should be and DL Fantasmic is not the perfect masterpiece people make it out to be. Full disclosure: I enjoy both, also for simplicity sake I’m going to compare DL F! circa 2015, I’m also going to compare both the story and the quality of the scenes. Allright here we go:
Part 1: The call to Adventure (Opening-the first Sorcerer Mickey segment)
This segment from my memory was identical in each show, as it should because it’s darn near perfect. This opening scene does a great job of first informing the audience what is about to happen and then showing Mickey figuring out and playing with the magic of his imagination.
Part 2: Jungle Dreaming
DL: Mickey imagines a flower and then immediately after two villains enter the story the murderous Ka, and the comical kidnapper King Louie. Don’t get me wrong I love the dancing monkeys and the giant snake, it’s a great scene I just think it’s really misplaced as it suggests that Mickey quickly goes dark and starts imagining villains nearly immediately after the dream begins, of course the next vignette explains why, Mickey is drunk ! Look, I love the pink elephants as much as anyone and love the rock and roll riff on the song but there is a reason Walt decided to nix this idea for the spinner. Then we are treated to a very bizarre and out of place I’ve got no strings that seams to be here only to set up Monstro in the next scene. In short a very entertaining scene but a bit of a story telling mess
DHS: After the flower which is identical in both versions, instead of Jungle Book we get Lion King here but instead of focusing on villains we get treated to a stylized version of I just can’t wait to be King with a menagerie of black lit animals and along with the dancing monkeys minus King Louie. After this we have the dancing bubbles section that I happen to enjoy but realize most don’t. However, it’s hard to not see how this segment is designed to show Mickey’s imagination running away from him which sets up the appearance of the first villain appearance in this show.
Winner: DHS, it’s story is much more concise and even if you think the stage elements are better in DL, the snake will eventually come later.
Part 3: Adventure on the High Seas (Monstro, Stunt Sequence)
DL: This section is the highlight for the show in this version, after Monstro comes we are treated to the Peter Pan sequence and start to get an idea of how big Mickey’s imagination is.
DHS: This segment is when danger first presents in this show rising the tension, however it’s not good, especially when compared to DL.
Winner: DL in a landslide
Part 4 and 5: Princess Segment and The Evil Queen
I combined these two because they are identical, but because I’m focusing on DHS’s story I’ll just state it here, Mickey pulls back and has the last “happy segment” until the forces of evil drawn to him attack with the Evil Queen unleashing the mayhem.
Part 6: The middle villains (Ursula/Jafar and Churnabog)
DL: The queen calls upon Ursula to wreck havoc, who then passes the baton to Churnabog. While I love the music, and realize it wasn’t always this way, I must point out that this is all one giant water screen section and after the awesomeness of Pan and the tension set up by the Queen this was always a major bummer and a drag on the show.
DHS: While I do not like that they included villains who do not possess magic (Frollo, Scar, Cruella) I do like the idea of all the villains coming down on Mickey, but having the Jafar scene here really helps rising the tension and danger. I also have to call out how great a transition between Genie Jafar, Hades and then Churnabog is. It also makes Mickey’s situation seem hopeless leading up to the Mistress of all Evil showing up.
Part 7: Malnificent
Other then the shots and quips of the extra villains and some extra water fountains the script is nearly identical, but DL has such a better dragon that DHS doesn’t stand a chance
Part 8: Good Triumphs (Tink, Boat Character Calvalcade)
This is another segment with the same script, and another segment where DL stagecraft trumps DHS, as nothing can match seeing the Mark Twain full of Disney characters
Part 9: Sorcerer Mickey Finale
The finale plays out the same story wise in both versions but here DHS has the upper hand because it more faithfully recreates the dream segment in the short with its mountain background, individual flares moving to Mickey’s command at the beginning. I much prefer the east coast version of this segment
Summary: I feel they are tied, DHS has a much better put together story, and other then the Pocahontas segment doesn’t have any “bad segments,” that said when DL F! Is good it is far better then DHS, but between the lackluster middle villains segment, the disappointing Mickey finale that is not very faithful to the original short and the muddled Jungle segment can’t quite emerge victorious over DHS.
Also I really like being able to sit down with an unobstructed view at DHS.