Thursday, October 05, 2006

Save Tom Sawyer's Island

Miceage.com has a spectacular scoop: Disneyland’s Burbank braintrust is planning to close Tom Sawyer’s Island and turn it into another Pirates of the Caribbean-themed attraction. Some of the reasons given are the success of the movies, the arrival of a Pirates threequel in May and the fact that their research shows that kids know Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow and they’ve never heard of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Betsy Thatcher.

That’s a shame, isn't it?

Disneyland is Americana. The place has its ephemera and catches onto passing fads, but it’s the traditional, timeless attractions, from the Barbershop Quartets to the Mark Twain riverboat-- to underappreciated Tom Sawyer's Island-- that keep the place above all others.

In this case, trading literature for pop culture (especially when a youth classic is weighed against a movie series that declines in quality and imagination with each installment) is a mistake that will only lead the park down the EuroDisney slide.

Besides, the boys in Burbank already have a dumping ground for bright ideas, just past the ticket booths in what used to be the parking lot and is now called California Adventure. Movie-themed and Pixar-related attractions are the highlights of the pop flop. Find a place for the ancillary Pirates there.

We wish Hollywood Thoughts would come out hibernation and weigh in on this one.

Canoeing around Tom Sawyer's Island on a recent Disneyland visit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have never been so sad in my life. Americana is right! Why would there be a pirate island in the river of America? In Frountier land! It is so sad, i think if the problem is popularity they need to make a new Tom Sawyer movie! Get kids interested in one of the best books in American Literature! I think what I will miss the most is the tom Sawyer and Huck Finn characters! I once saw a huck finn who was amazing, running around and playing with kids! But the saddest thing is that Tom Sawyer's island was Walt Disney's pride and joy, he designed it himself. It is so tragic. Don't get me wrong, I loved the pirate movies! There are just somethings tht should never change.