As I type this, there's an ad in television circulation where computer-generated versions of Mickey, Donald and Goofy are riding Disneyland's latest attraction based on Monsters Inc. It's a tiny car that slowly rides along a rickety track. They're having an absolute blast on it.
Then the car stops and a clay model of Sulley carrying Boo slowly grinds into appearance from an alley. Sulley doesn't look the least bit fearsome; in fact they might have used his drivers' license photo for the model. The three in the car react with TOTAL FRIGHT!!! AAAAAAHHH!!!
Anybody watching the ad above the age of 7 can easily see the cheapness of the ride--it looks more like a highway roadside attraction one would find near a gas station. The problem is that the Disney company no longer wants to invest in a serious new theme park ride for the whole family--not since the one-two punches to the pocketbook that were EuroDisney and California Adventure. The new motto is, "cheap as possible." Then, it's the job of their unlucky marketing department to make the shoddy new offerings look appealing.
Usually the ads accomplish nothing but my unintentional amusement, or my anger at how stupid they think I am. But I'm talking about the unintentional amusement side today, and there is no greater example than the promo I have for an attraction Disney tried in the mid-80's.
Back then Disney wasn't afraid to spend. This new ride featured the directing talents of not just George Lucas, but Francis Ford Coppola! Its premiere was packed with celebrities and its main star was one of the biggest money-draws of the year! What could it be?
Yes, I just said Francis Ford Coppola was involved. And that's not the only surprising thing you'll see.
This promotion for Captain EO ran on the Disney Channel, and it's glorious. There are few "sincere" commercials that pack as many roll-on-the-floor moments as this one does. The list of celebrities at the premiere will make you scream, as well as anything Mark Hamill says. H-OO!
Get to watchin'!
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