Recent Pixar movies hard to translate to theme park attractions

Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 1:12 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up have all been critically and commercially successful movies. But each is built around unconventional characters — a French rat, a nearly wordless robot and an elderly widower — that don't necessarily lend themselves to rides, shows and souvenirs. That's particularly true when compared with Pixar's earlier movies, which have revolved around more-easily marketed characters such as clown fish, race cars and action figures.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Monday, August 17, 2009 1:44 PM

Well the films that resonate more with children are easier to market (in Disney's case). Ratatouille, Up and WALL-E have a more grown up theme compared to the other whimsical Pixar movies. Especially in the case of WALL-E (which I loved) ..most of the people I hear heralding its praise are adults.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 1:49 PM

And I think that's a good thing too, because in a sea of crappy movies, I'm astounded at how good these Pixar film have been. Up was brilliant, and at the very least it's good for Disney in that I'll buy a ticket and the DVD. Frankly the more cross-functional movies do less for me.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 2:33 PM

I haven't seen Wall-E myself, but I would think that Wall-E would be a fairly easy character/idea to theme a ride to. Space and robots are two subjects that seem to spark imaginations, so they would more than likely be very popular. The others are a little harder, but maybe once Soarin' runs its course, it could be adapted to Up

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Monday, August 17, 2009 2:47 PM

^Once you watch WALL-E, I'm sure you won't see it that way. It's not your typical space/robot movie.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 2:48 PM

Hmmm...the scene where Ratatouille gets "flushed" into Paris wouldn't lend itself to a waterslide ride? The restaunt wouldn't translate into a nice in park restaurant? I don't know. I think the last three Pixar movies seem to offer quite a few possibilities for attactions. Merchandise on the other hand, not as much as the earlier films.

Then again, who says a film is a requirement for a new attraction?

Now come to think of it, I would imagine that the suits DO need a film requirement. In particular, a film with big merchandising potential. Because if they are going to spend tens of millions on an attraction, they might as well build something that is a selling machine...one with a convenient gift shop in the exit.

Last edited by janfrederick, Monday, August 17, 2009 3:00 PM
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Monday, August 17, 2009 4:09 PM

What about the Incredibles. Is there anything in any of the parks for the best Pixar movie ever.....At least I think it is :)

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Monday, August 17, 2009 4:31 PM

Jeff said: Up was brilliant...

Indeed. Best movie of 2009 so far.

Ever notice the movies that bill themselves as "the thrillride of the summer!!!!!!" are never actually turned into thrillrides?

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Monday, August 17, 2009 5:03 PM

Well, UP could be adapted into the Soarin' attractions at DCA and WDW. A 3D movie about soaring over N. and S. America? It's a natural fit. They could even go low rent like the Aladdin spinner, and just theme a balloon spinner to UP. Imo, I think the article doesn't take into account that for every Toy Story Mania or Carsland, there are other classic animated films where the attractions based on them at the theme parks are far more modest in ambition and budget.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 5:07 PM

Why can't Disney create another Peter Pan type ride for UP. The ride cars would be small houses with a large collection of balloons coming out of the top. The rest they can design for themselves.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 5:09 PM

Mamoosh said:

Jeff said: Up was brilliant...

Indeed. Best movie of 2009 so far.

Ever notice the movies that bill themselves as "the thrillride of the summer!!!!!!" are never actually turned into thrillrides?

AH CHOO Terminator OOOOH!

Woah! Sorry about that, I really did mean to cover my keyboard.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 5:18 PM

There is near confirmation that Disneyland Paris will be building a Ratatouille dark ride at their Walt Disney Studios park. It is a very interesting concept where you're the size of a mouse, so everything will be giant sized around you. They would also use the brilliant trackless cars that are randomly controlled in the ride, like Tokyo Disneyland Pooh Hunny Hunt.

Last edited by Absimilliard, Monday, August 17, 2009 5:18 PM
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Monday, August 17, 2009 6:03 PM

With Wall-E they could do the chase scense at the end when they are trying to get the planet to the machine and keep it away from the bad robots.

What about Cars? I heard there is a second one in the works for 2011. That was a great movie and they could do something fun with that.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 6:28 PM

"Cars"-themed rides already exist at Disney Paris and have already been announced for California Adventure.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 7:33 PM

I don't get it. I can come up with all kinds of ideas to theme an attraction to these movies. I couldn't possibly be more creative than the imagineers, could I?

There are a lot of nice flat rides that would be a good fit for "Up" (Awesome movie, btw). I don't see the old widower or the scout kid being very popular as dolls, on t-shirts, or walking around the park though.

Isn't there already a restaurant on Disney property in which the rat in Ratatouille pays diners a visit?

Wall-E would make an awesome dark ride/coaster hybrid like Mummy. I'd love to see a remote control Wall-E toy for sale (do they make these already? It seem like a good combination).

I love The Incredibles! I occasionally see merchandise from that movie, like Halloween costumes and dolls, but why hasn't Disney themed a ride to it or made a sequel?

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Monday, August 17, 2009 8:54 PM

I didn't know that Moosh, thanks for the heads up.

Impossibles would be super awesome. Something like Toy Story. Maybe thats the problem, they already have rides using what they could use in the park already. So coming up with new clever ideas is tough.

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Monday, August 17, 2009 9:12 PM

Im personally still waiting for that Monsters Inc Door Warehouse suspended coaster myself.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:01 AM

Touchdown said:
Im personally still waiting for that Monsters Inc Door Warehouse suspended coaster myself.

Your wait might take till 2011 or indefinitely (depending on what sources are telling me) for it to pop up in DHS...

Chefs de France has a little AA Remy visiting tables.

Wall-E had a living character AA, but that isn't ready to go beyond testing and such.

Incredibles, I agree, is the most underutilized characters Pixar has. I think this is due to Brad Bird having to come and save Ratatouille right after finishing Incredibles and his new work on the San Francisco earthquake movie...

Last edited by The Mole, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:04 AM
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