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Aug 28

Motion Comic Magic / re-creating the ‘Western River Expedition’ ride

A post on re-purposing comics and illustration into animation

One thing that is exciting to me is how modern animation techniques to re-purpose images of all sorts can be used to recreate and explain the past, present and future. I just saw an example that, while simple is a good.

At the D23 Expo (official Disney Fan Club) last weekend in Anaheim Tony Baxter presented a simulation of a theme park attraction that was meant to be built at Walt Disney World (WDW) in Florida when the parked opened instead of the classic E-Ticket attraction…Pirates of the Caribbean. The ride would be a musical trip through a stylized old-west called The Western River Expedition that would feature many Audio Animatronic figures and a big flume drop at the end. The problem is that guest coming to WDW wanted to know where the Pirate ride that they had heard about was. So the new western themed ride idea was scrapped for a clone of the Disneyland pirate ride. Many Disney theme park fans are still hoping that someday the ride might become a reality in some form, but that is not so likely.

To see examples of the concept art and read about the history, visit HERE.

But thanks to Disney having a huge archive of concept art and rare footage that can put it together  in a simple form with some background music and presented it as a visual discription of how the ride might have been. Below is a video of that presentation which features art by one of my favorites Marc Davis and with live narration by Imagineers Tony Baxter and Josh Shipley.

Below is the description from the youtube.com video…

On Sunday, August 21, Walt Disney Imagineers Tony Baxter and Josh Shipley lead a fascinating presentation of rare footage from 1950s and 1960s-era Disneyland for D23 Expo attendees. As part of the presentation, Tony and Josh took guests aboard a complete ride-through of the never-built Western River Expedition attraction, designed for the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida. Though never built, numerous conceptual renderings as well as a complete model of the attraction were built and have been preserved by Walt Disney Imagineering. This video is a ride-through of the attraction as guests would have experienced it, recreated with concept art and photos of the attraction model. Live commentary is provided by Tony Baxter and Josh Shipley.

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  1. […] what had never been built thorough motion-art and motion comics in my post a while back….re-creating the ‘Western River Expedition’ ride. That example used concept art, photos of models and other elements that Disney had in their […]

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