Thursday, March 20, 2008

Stop the desecration of "It's A Small World"

Disneyland's "It's A Small World" attraction, which features animatronic children singing the maddening song about global peace, has been closed for months in order to retrofit the boats that carry patrons though the venerable ride to accommodate the wide fat asses of modern Americans (people were less weighty when the ride was launched at the NYC World's Fair in 1964). But now it's been revealed that the inheritors of Walt Disney's dream have hatched an evil plan to add cartoon characters throughout the ride and to replace the Rain Forest section with a tribute called "Up with America"!

The situation is serious enough that the family of the ride's creator has stepped forward in an effort to stop the madness:

Dear Disney Executives,

It has recently been brought to my attention that the Walt Disney Company including WDI has proposed changes to the “It’s a Small World Ride” at the Disneyland Park in Anaheim. As I understand the changes include the addition of the Disney Characters (Mickey, Minnie, Lilo & Stitch, etc.) to the ride in select areas, and the replacement of the “Rainforest” section with Mickey Mouse in a tribute entitled “Up with America”. I also understand that the boats and trough they ride in will be expanded for the safety and comfort of the parks modern day guests.

While I fully understand and support the upgrade to the boats as a necessary safety upgrade, the addition of the Disney Characters and the “Up with America” section I do NOT support as it represents a gross desecration of the ride's original theme and my Mother’s stylized artwork.

The Disney characters of themselves are positive company icons, but they do NOT fit in with the original theme of the ride. They will do nothing except to marginalize the rightful stars of the ride “The Children of the World”. This marginalization will do nothing but infuriate the ride’s international guests and devoted Disney fans.

My Mother and I have always had a strong sense of patriotism for America and I DO support a tribute to America. Disneyland has several venues, which are perfect places for this tribute including “Main Street USA” or “New Orleans Square”; unfortunately the “It’s a Small World” ride is NOT one of them. Once again this will marginalize the children of the world theme and bastardize my Mother’s original art. Furthermore ripping out a rainforest (Imaginary or otherwise) and replacing it with misplaced patriotism is a public relations blunder so big you could run a Monorail through it.

As a former WED employee I am saddened to realize the degradation of the company’s talent and focus and the subsequent decline at the Disneyland Park itself. I cannot believe someone from WDI was paid to come up with such an idiotic plan as this.

As the head of the Blair family I cannot urge you strongly enough to abandon this idiotic plan and instead upgrade the boats and return the ride to it’s original classic form, design and colors. The desecration of Mary’s art is an insult to Mary Blair, her art, and her memory, and to the entire Blair Family itself.


Kevin L. Blair
Kevin Blair, Donovan Blair, Jeanne Chamberlain,
Maggie Richardson, Kevin Allison

The letter is featured on the Re-Imagineering website, "a forum for Pixar and Disney professionals to catalog past Imagineering missteps and debate solutions in hopes that a new wave of creative management can restore some of the magic that has been missing from the parks for decades." While we'd debate whether the magic is missing from Disneyland, we certainly join this effort to preserve this timeless, if annoying, classic attraction that almost always has the shortest lines and quickest wait times in the park.


Anonymous said...

you MUST stop the changes re Small World - it's a national treasure!

Anonymous said...

First time I've agreed with a post by Tabloid Baby.