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Current WDW Carousel of Progress

Discussion in 'Archive' started by X-S Tech, May 31, 2004.

  1. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    -Does anyone know who arranged the music for the current version of this show? I know that the Shermans wrote the song but I'm curious who did the arrangements.

    -Also who composed the incidental music that appears in each scene (ie: the music that plays behind daughter Patricia as she gets ready for her Trolley party...).

    -Lastly, is that "Two Silhouettes" that I hear playing briefly as the radio is tuned, in the 40's?
     
  2. micca

    micca Member

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    Dunno if it's the song you heard, but the correct title is "Silhouettes" :)
     
  3. narkspud

    narkspud Member

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    Two different songs. The 1957 hit by the Rays is "Silhouettes." The Dinah Shore song from Make Mine Music (1946) is "Two Silhouettes."

    But I don't know which, if either, is currently playing on COP's wireless.
     
  4. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    Two silhouettes is the one I was referring to. Sounds like it to me but no lyrics are heard. I'll have to listen to Two Silhouettes again.
     
  5. Burnsland

    Burnsland Member

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    I had always thought it was "Two Silhouettes". So just now I listened to a mp3 of the show that I downloaded from somewhere or other, and it still sounds like "Two Silhouettes" to me.
     
  6. GrizzlyHall

    GrizzlyHall Member

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    I would also like to know this. I *love* the current arrangements.
     
  7. Grinning Ghost

    Grinning Ghost Member

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    The current show lacks the charm of the original 1964 verision. The script is clumsy, the acting bad, and the music arrangements can't compare to the original version. All of the style and charm of the original is just - gone... I shudder to think of the 80s version, "Now is the Time". That was even worse... Rex Allen had the most realistic and genuine performance as Father. (He did do a cameo for the current version as Grandpa in the last scene, but unfortunately he sounds old and tired in his performance.) God, how I wish they would restore it back to the original version for the 40th Anniversary of the World's Fair or the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland!

    GG
     
  8. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    While I agree that the acting in the current show is pretty bad, I don't think it's any worse than the Original show. The major difference is that in the 60's that type of acting was conventional, whereas today it stands out. God Bless the show writers at WDI but what we need for an AA show is someone who is a REAL writer. Someone who can come in and write dialogue like people talk, be it for modern times or for decades past. But what always happens is we get a show that sounds like 4 frat boys sat around making jokes till they had a script. Yeah if you were one of their friends you'd think it was pretty funny. But to the average audience the jokes are cheap and unsophisticated. I think the most obvious example of this is WDW's current Tiki Show. They had real comedians playing established characters from successful films and the jokes come off like something from "Family Matters"
    Zazu: Where I come from we call that "Hakuna Matata"
    Iago: Chunky Tuna Tostada?

    It's not even that the laughs are cheap, they just aren't funny. But I digress.

    I think Jean Sheperd did an allright job as the Father. His voice is just as nostalgic to me as Rex Allen. And plenty warm and realistic too. But the rest of the cast is just too forced. Maybe it's not the actors. Maybe it's the directors. Why are they directors? Have they directed voice over work for other non theme park projects before? It's not like there are several competing AA theater shows to inspire them to better their actors performances. They probably just get em in the booth, let em do what they do (they're professionals, trust them) and don't worry too much about retakes.
     
  9. gatordoc

    gatordoc Member

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    I won't argue about the show dialogue, but I'm sorry, Now Is The Time is a great song. I grew up at WDW in the late 70s and early 80s, and the two songs I most looked forward to finally getting when the WDW Forever system came online were Now Is The Time and If You Had Wings. In fact, I used to torture shop clerks at WDW when they would brag to me that the latest Disney CD collection they were selling had every Disney song I could ever want (needless to say, they never had either of these). Maybe it's because my sister and I used to go on those attractions over and over again when we were kids, but I love those songs. Well, with WDW Forever (may it RIP) we got Now Is The Time (the complete show, in fact), but I'm still waiting for all those tracks from If You Had Wings to be released...
     
  10. micca

    micca Member

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    Humble apologies for the error on the Silhouettes issue :-[ I too would love If You Had Wings and Now Is The Time could be issued.
     
  11. thx99

    thx99 Real-life Harry Caul Moderator Playlist Author

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    Like gatordoc, I grew up with "Now is the Time", and as much as I appreciate the classic nature of the original and the throwback of the current, I will forever equate COP with "Now is the Time". Blasphemy, I know! But having had the opportunity to visit WDW hundreds of times as a child (my dad works there), I cannot tell you how many times I experienced the attraction.

    Seeing the current version for the first time, I couldn't help but be disappointed with it, because it wasn't what I was accustomed to. Just as "Now is the Time" was foreign to those familiar with the GBBT versions. I don't dislike the current show, but it just isn't the same for me. :-

    It all comes down to your early experiences, I suppose.
     
  12. BLM07

    BLM07 Member

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    I love the current intro and ending music. I like all versions of GBBT, and I like Now Is The Time. The narration only parts of the show I like, but can get a bit boring I'll have to admit.
     
  13. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    My first real exposure to anything CoP was the version of GBBT that was released on the Sherman Bros Album several years back (91?). Prior to that I had only seen passing reference to this atraction, a photo or two but that's it. Shortly after hearing GBBT I went to Walt Disney World and saw the "Now is the Time" version of the show. I enjoyed the show, though I knew virtually nothing of it's history or prior versions. When I finally began learning enough about the Carousel to compare the two songs, my opinion was that GBBT was by far a superior song. It was simple yet elegant, with a theme that is optimistic and still rings true. Conversely "Now is the Time" while still upbeat, just sounds to me like a desperate advertising ploy. That is, they are trying to sell, with this song, something that just doesn't seem true. Sure it's great to live in the moment, but since when is NOW the best time? When in history has mankind NOT been excited about tomorrow and what was to come? I guess the whole point of the song was to show that even though Father and his family were convinced that things couldn't get any better, things DID keep improving, despite what the song said. Also a few of the lyrics seemed a bit awkward.

    Overall I guess GBBT just fit better into the overall show. I wish I had been there (alive) to see the earlier incarnations of the Carousel. Times change and therefore scripts are altered to reflect changing acting styles and people's ways of talking. I also think that there is an inherent flaw in trying to continually update a classic like CoP. You can only satisfy so many people. It's usually best to focus on who your audience is. With an update your focus is split, between the fans who don't want the show changed, and the contemporary audience who may never have seen the show, but who you are trying to woo with the updated version. Tricky situation.
     
  14. Grinning Ghost

    Grinning Ghost Member

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    Okay, the original version is downright corny, but I still like it better than anything since. I was fortunate enough to see it in 1978, and so the first three scenes were essentially the original 1964 version, with only some minor dialog changes here and there. Unfortunately, the fourth scene wasn't in tact, but not too far off from the original. It's a shame that 'Progress City' was deleted entirely. I would have liked to have seen what goes with it. So far, all I've been able to ascertain is that after the last scene, the audience would actually climb onto the next empty stage and ride an escalator, and what was next was the scale model for what was later known as EPCOT, with only the narration and lights would highlight each part as it was described. No AA figures. Have I got that right?

    GG
     
  15. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    To the Sherman Bros. credit it must be incredibly difficult to write a new song to replace something that is so near and dear to your heart. They've said a couple of times how GBBT was really their Ode to Walt, siginifying his basic optimistic outlook on life. After years of successful performances, to suddenly go back and have to rething the basic philosophy of the show, I'm sure I would have been hard pressed to muster any enthusiasm. Either way, Now is the Time is still a marvelous song in it's own right. Just thinking out loud.
     
  16. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    Oh I don't know GG I'd argue that Now is the Time is just as corny as GBBT.

    "The Worlds forward marching and you're in the Parade"? Sounds like Corn to me :)
     
  17. Grinning Ghost

    Grinning Ghost Member

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    Actually, I was referring to the script. I dunno, there's just something about the original that keeps me coming back to listen to it over and over again. I rarely ever listen to the other two versions, they just can't compare in terms of the quality of the show. They simply lack Walt's touch, and it really shows in my opinion. The original simply 'clicks' - the quality is there and it shows. The later versions were just pale imitations to me. I might actually like the current version if it had a better script, more sincere voice actors, and better musical arrangements. I suppose to get all of that, it would simply have cost much more money than Disney is willing to spend on such an old and now outdated show as this.

    GG
     
  18. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    Oh I don't know, I'd be willing to bet they spent just as much on the current version as they did on the original (minus the R&D costs of developing the Theater system and constructing the building back in 65).

    On second thought I guess it would cost more to get better actors or multiple takes on dialogue.

    I think the musical style that was used wouldn't necessarily save them any money though.
     
  19. DL FLIGHT 295

    DL FLIGHT 295 Member

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    yes......after the last act of the Disneyland Carousel of Progress, guests walked directly towards the stage; however, there was no stage. Instead, the theater floor was level to a foyer leading to a "speedramp" up to the second level. As guests filled in to board the speedramp, an oval illuminated panel coming out of the curved walls read: " Welcome to Progress City" (this is where the speed ramp march plays) above, in similar fashion were three viewing rows..much like the Mission to Mars "Mission Control" viewing rows. These were concaved...above the guests was the PeopleMover level-----the exact same layout the defunct Rocket Rods travelled. Guests were welcomed to Progess City by mother & father from the last act...Here Progress City was sen at dusk...as nite fell, more light and activity animated. The remains of this scale model can be seen from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at WDW.....however only a section was moved there, and it sits static with no animation. A projection of a jet plane taking off from the Progress City airport, signaled the close of the visit to progress city.

    The other half of the Disneyland Carousel Theater was used as aVIP lounge for GE. When America Sings replaced COP, guests riding the PeopleMover saw illuminated color panels of models and renderings for the propsed SPACE MOUNTAIN........later, as Space Mountain's contruction progressed, the old outdoor PeopleMover storage was displaced and relocated above where Progress City once was house. The mechanical crawl space underneath Progress City was now used as a repair pit for the PeopleMovers. The Super Speed Tunnel---originally was to be located in the Starcade area (PeopleMover Thrill Tunnel) was relocated in the center of the Carousel Theater upper level.......later that became the TRON tunnels........whew! this post was about the Carousel of Progress right??


    DL FLIGHT 295
    aka
    DC-88 SPACELINER
     
  20. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Member

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    "Now Is The Time" was the first version of COP I ever experienced and for nearly 20 years it was the only one I ever knew. Today, I appreciate the original COP from the Fair and DL, but I think the "Now Is The Time" version, which ultimately is the one that played longer than any other version of COP should not get slighted just because it was second. I have made the argument that in the 70s, when America became a much more cynical society less awed by what the future would bring in technology, the theme of feeling good about the present was a much safer one then extolling grandiose visions of the future, which summarizes the key differences in the songs.

    And I also think Andrew Duggan did a fine job as Father/Narrator in this version too. He at least had a voice of authority that equaled Rex Allen, and which Jean Shepherd sorely lacked, especially given how Shepherd's father is made into a doofus in the name of making the current show much more PC.
     

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