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Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD Review

Discussion in 'Mousecellaneous' started by daliseurat, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

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    OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    I finally got my copy of this. On the website, Disney said it would be shipped in 10 days. It took 20 days, but I guess 10 until it shipped and 10 more for shipping...

    So, for anyone who's interested, here's my thoughts.

    It is not an in depth, secrets revealed DVD that will give you new stories you've never heard. It doesn't really have any footage you may never have seen. It is not the DVD that was seemingly promised. It is a DVD for the casual Disneyland guest who doesn't really know much about the park.

    What it is is a mildly entertaining look at Disneyland with various imagineers giving you some stories and history. Nothing new or groundbreaking. Marty Sklar, Tony Baxter Kevin Rafferty and a couple others tell entertaining stories you've probably heard. But, It's always fun to hear them tell these stories.

    Now what is truly TERRIBLE about this DVD (or set of 2) is that it production value is horrible. The DVD is shot with WIDESCREEN. All of the old footage, and the stock footage, as well as many still photos are squashed into the widescreen frame making everyone look short and fat. This is distracting enough to stop watching. And this is happening for MOST of the 1 hour documentary. Also, the resolution seems vary bad. Some of the footage we've all seen somewhere else in much better condition. They also used NEW music instead of Disney music. While this was a contractual thing, according to the discs producer, I'm sure the contract didn't state that the new music should be TERRIBLE.

    The second disc has 5 features.

    The first is IMAGINEERING DCA. It's more of the same stuff from disc one, except it's DCA. Boring.

    The second is WHAT IS IMAGINEERING? Sounds pretty good, but they sum it up in a sentence or two and don't really give us anything to ponder. A missed opportunity.

    The third is Mickey's Trivia tour. Awful. It's another of those badly done quiz games. And the answers are shown as clips from the documentary. Lame, Lame, Lame.

    The fourth is IMAGINEERING NEW ATTRACTIONS. This is a little better, because you get to hear some excitement from Tony Baxter about FINDING NEMO subs. And some rationalization about turning TOM SAWYERS ISLAND into PIRATES LAIR. Nothing new or exciting. On second thought, this was bad as well.

    The last is IMAGINEERS ON IMAGINEERING. Mostly they reflect on their first time at Disneyland and how much they love being an Imagineer. No insights. Another wasted opportunity.

    This set is 2 discs. Disc one is the one hour documentary with the wrong aspect ratio footage, and Disc two has the five features that are about 30 minutes in total. Why all of this isn't on one disc, I couldn't tell you.

    It's nowhere as good as the DISNEYLAND : SECRETS, STORIES AND MAGIC Documentary. And I felt that one was maybe a C+ at best.

    As a theme park souvenir it would be okay if they hadn't messed up the aspect ratio of all the older footage. But it falls far short of it's concept and even further from what any fan would want.

    The producer, MARK RHODES actually responded to criticism on MICE CHAT. He was surprisingly candid and admitted that he had made several mistakes (including his decision to squash the old footage into the widescreen aspect ratio) and asked for suggestions to make it better. While I applaud his honesty, all he really is saying is that he had a good idea and then had no idea how to actually pull it off in a way that was any good. He made many bad decisions, and was clearly only doing what Disney marketing department demanded. I would hope that if he does get another opportunity, he does really listen to the criticism and produce something that is worth watching.

    Bottom line, most Disney fans will be disappointed with this. Nothing new. However, if you are a completist, or really want to hear the imagineers talking about Disneyland without telling you anything new, see if you can borrow a copy before spending your money.
     
  2. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    You know, I got my copy recently too, but have not bothered to open it. I've read all the reviews, and none of them positive. I've also read all the info about it on Micechat. So, I'm not all that motivated to watch it now, and not sure what I ultimately want to do with it.

    I understood what Mark Rhodes said about it, that it was basically supposed to be the typical Disneyland souvenir DVD. That was the mandate from marketing, and the reason why it's spread out on 2 discs. They would only allow for 1 hour for the main feature, and forced the rest to go to a second disc. The problem I have, is that instead of relaunching the whole souvenir DVD idea, they decided to market it as a "behind the scenes" thing and even had a signing event at Disneyland with the Imagineers. If that didn't say it was for the hardcore Disney fan, I don't know what does. So, it's no wonder all the negative buzz is coming back...it was marketed to the wrong crowd. It just sounds like it was mismanaged from the start. Apparently Tony Baxter said if it did well, there would be more of them to follow for other parks and attractions...we'll see.

    I've said this here before (related to Dave O'Neal), that I don't know if Disney is capable of making true "behind the scenes" documentaries or what-have-you. They have a poor track record. Heck, the Travel Channel specials on the parks are better than the marketing driven stuff we usually get....
     
  3. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    Thanks Daliseuraut. You summed up my opinon perfectly. You know people shrug their shoulders and say that Disney is the master Marketeer and is more out for money than quality, but this example shows they really screw up the marketing sometimes too. As Ben said, this is really marketed towards the wrong crowd. It's a market that Disney often dismisses as "extreme hardcore fans", so it's funny to see that they thought this might do better with that crowd. Ironically we are far more vocal than the passive tourist who really might have enjoyed these discs.
     
  4. almandot

    almandot Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    and how many times can we hear that played off as an excuse anyways.. Okay fine this dvd is for the casual tourist.. great. it's documented, it's out there, great. now it's out of the way and you'll never release another dvd dedicated to all the tidbits everybody already knows now right? right?......
     
  5. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    And why is it the casual tourist Souvenir that needs constant updating? Is that kind of consumer likely to buy a new version every year? You'd think 1 every 5 years with maybe minor updates would be sufficient, leaving more money for a more indepth release.

    On the other hand, maybe there's just not much left to tell us about Disneyland. Perhaps they could focus the Walt Disney Treasures on a little piece of property that the Company has in Florida. Goodness knows, the marketeers would prefer that's where we spent our time anyway.
     
  6. BLM07

    BLM07 Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    This isn't really about the DVD, but why do people watch TV shows (or anything full screen) stretched out on a wide screen? Aren't new TVs able to keep the image "full" instead of stretching it?
     
  7. Dirk

    Dirk Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    Hmmm ... now if we place this statement over among the posts regarding the latest OA ...

    If we look at what Randy said to expect for the coming years they seem to have adopted such a concept for the OAs thanks to Randy. So for the same to work with the souvenir DVDs maybe we just need to find a producer willing to re-establish the main product (the main souvenir DVD) as Randy did with the OAs ... any volunteers?
     
  8. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    The widescreen TVs need to be SET properly. Unfortunately most of not all them don't have anything that does this automatically for each different aspect ratio. So most people have it set for widescreen. When a regullr picture comes on, the TV stretches it. But on the remote is a button that allows you to correct this. You may have to do this several times on the same channel, or with different DVD's. When you watch normal TV ratio on a widescreen set properly, you get black bars on the side. And i never see anyone correct it on their sets. It drives me crazy. I can't stand looking at the wrong aspect ratio.
     
  9. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    Yep. What Disney needs is a guy like Randy doing the videos. Great idea. And I never thought about who was buying each updated video. US. Hardcore fans who want more in depth stuff. Good thing they keep disappointing. More Disney marketing at it's worst.
     
  10. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    You know, I think Disney does a TERRIBLE job marketing everything. I hate every ad they do. Nothing they do to TRY and get my business does anything but repel me. They don't market to the right audience, they don't find the right product, and they don't know what the product IS half the time. YEAR OF A MILLION DREAMS? Sorry, horrible. The fans do more and far better marketing for the company without even getting paid. All the unofficial Disney websites do more for the mouse than their entire marketing department. This DVD was marketed so poorly. If you weren't on these boards you'd never know it existed. And then they didn't deliver on what was promised. So now there is a backlash. I'm sure that this will sell quite well. The folks they DIDN'T market it to will by it because it's new. They'll dislike it because of the lousy aspect ratio and think twice about buying any more of these things. As I said before, get someone with the skill and dedication of Randy to do these discs.
     
  11. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    See, here's the problem. If Disney just grabbed their archivist, Dave Smith and had HIM interview past and present imagineers along with selected pieces of imagineering history, they'd have something. They don't do it. So a guy like Dave O'Neal does it. And he does a nice job with his interviews. So why can't DISNEY?

    See, Disney has allowed these discs to be so bad, that even BILL has to point out that Dave O'Neal has some value to the community if for no other reason than to do something Disney just doesn't.

    But no one here would ever believe Bill would actually be ENDORSING Dave. :eek: No. No that's not ever gonna happen.
     
  12. Horizons

    Horizons Playlist Author

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    I got an email that Dave is offering up a 40% discount off all DVDs and CD's, through May 8th. Bill can add to his collection now.
     
  13. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    Well said. In my dream world, Paul F. Anderson would be publishing his amazing Persistance of Vision historical journal again and also putting together his own DVD's of interviews. He doesn't have much on video, but he has a HUGE archive of amazing audio interviews he's done. Some great Ken Anderson interviews that I've heard on his audiotapes that came with POV. Also, my wish list would include the recorded panels from the NFFC conventions. There have been some outstanding interviews done there. Great stuff with Marvin Davis, Marc Davis, Alice Davis, and many many other not named Davis. Randy did a couple (at least) great panels there. I'm not sure why they've never been able to sell those, probably something to do with getting the access to the guests and their showing copyrighted material. And to my knowledge, no one has even bootlegged that stuff. So I will gladly raise my glass to anyone who preserves the memories of these great folks!
     
  14. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    Yes, it's great when this stuff does get preserved. Disney's problem is that they are so protective of their material (ok, well, in most cases), that they have a hard time letting an outside company have access to create these things (legally). It's not like they're letting film historians take and preserve their older content for historic reasons. When Disney does try to create these kinds of things, they are often scrubbed so clean, you only get the sanitized side of things. Disney is not really able to present all sides, and air dirty laundry at this point. That's why these ameteur documentaries, interviews, and recordings are good in that they present a Disney with warts and all. I just don't trust that the company could handle that itself.
     
  15. BLM07

    BLM07 Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    Yeah, it drives me crazy too, everyone looks short and fat. I don't see why, if a cable company could provide digital cable & high speed internet, they couldn't send out another signal to tell the TV what aspect ratio to use.

    Well duh! Why should Disney use the people that helped create the attraction when we can have someone hawking about how the new Nemo rides are "educational"?! Let's hear from the voices, the imagineers, the contractors or more people directly involved with the attraction.

    Let's not forget the Travel Channel, they do a pretty good job of showing behind the scenes stuff, too bad it isn't on the Disney Channel.
     
  16. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    Oh yeah, I've got all of that stuff, and I agree 100%. I too anxiously await the Disney family museum. Its a shame Bruce Gordon passed away while working on it. I have nearly all the family albums. Somehow my wits allowed me to record them when the Disney Channel was showing Vault Disney. They really are great. And I do love the WALTS PEOPLE books.
     
  17. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    This is very true! And those two were able to give a "warts and all" view in their books sometimes. At least it seemed that way...they weren't afraid to acknowledge mistakes and stories the company might not normally tell. It really is a shame to lose both of them at young ages...
     
  18. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

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    Re: OT Disneyland Imagineering the Magic DVD review

    Bruce and David were awesome. Love their books. Also, their BRUCE AND DAVID shows at NFFC conventions were amazing. They always managed to tell stories they shouldn't be telling in a way that wouldn't get them in trouble. And they were really nice folks.
     

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