Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Miscast Member...

What happened? Did Paul Pressler suddenly become in charge of Disney Entertainment...

Someone at Disney Entertainment did not get the memo...

You know the one? About the retheming of the park into period-centric areas. The last time I looked, the Hollywood Backlot, soon to be Hollywoodland, was themed more to a studio with plans to slowly turn the theming more towards the 40's and the Golden Era of movies. Debuting the new blinking eyes/talking mouth technology is an important step in evolving entertainment in the parks. Putting Mickey here to do a dance show is a great idea. Theming him to hip-hop/gangsta culture is a terrible mistake. I can't see how this got past so many people that had to sign off on it. I mean, taking classic songs and hearing the lyrics altered to a variation of: "Drink up my gangstas, yo ho!" Someone actually thought that this was good? You're kidding me, right?

Shows should reflect the place they're in as well. Look at the Mickey and Minnie "Over the Waves" show over in the American Waterfront port of Tokyo DisneySEA. It's perfect for the area and totally blends in with the theme of the port. There was no attempt to "contemporarize" this cultural icon. Mickey isn't supposed to be hip. He is square. He is safe. He is the friend that you know you can count on to be there for you in times of trouble. He is not meant to symbolize whatever cultural fad is of the day (Disco Mickey, anyone?). He's an example of American Exceptionalism and a model for how others could be. He's not a thrill seeker looking for acceptance from a fickle public. For that, please see Donald Duck. But don't just listen to my rantings. Judge it for yourself.

After seeing this you might want to go (or contact) see Guest Relations and let them know your opinion of this move...


Connie Moreno said...

I haven't even seen it yet but I agree with you TOTALLY!!!

Atomicmickey said...

Shades of Stitch's Supersonic Celebration on the East Coast. Let's hope this has the same length of run . . . ugh.

GREAT point about Mickey as a character. He's much larger than this drivel. The dancers are actually talented, wish they had a better show to be a part of.

Shake Spear said...

Owww puleeeeze,

That is soooooooooo BAD!!!!

Who is in charge of Disney Entertainment now?

Paul Pressler must have found a new job!

Anonymous said...

I saw this for myself in person recently. Some of the dialogue needs re-tooling, at least.

I think that the main problem is that they are trying too hard to be hip.
The crowd seemed to enjoy it, but I doubt that the show will last a year.

Of course Honor, you DO realize that even in some of the classic cartoons Mickey did popular dances of the time, right?

Still, I agree with Honor's advice folks,

The most constructive thing that people can do is to give feedback IN PERSON at DCA's guest relations.

So don't be lazy. Don't just bitch and moan on youtube and message boards. The ONLY way to get the message across is to give feedback IN PERSON.
And also give feedback about it if you are offered to take a guest survey.

Honor-- If you make it to DCA anytime soon, I trust that you will you follow your own advice?

Tinman said...

I have a sinking feeling this show won't be lasting very long...

Bob D said...

That was completely disgusting.

Thanks for adding the link - I was sure you were over-exaggerating. Especially about the "drink up my gangsters." But sadly, you weren't. Sigh.

An Hamburger said...

It's just another one of those out of touch, design by committee shows that they've been adding everywhere. Just as lousy as ToyStoryTheMusical, those DisneyChannel stage shows, the "dance" parades, that Stitch thing in Tomorrowland...

I hope it's just filler until the area is properly themed, and then maybe that stage could be used for a Hollywood, or 1930s cartoon based show.

I'd like to see a walking, blinking Oswald in front of a chorus line, with Clarabella and Horace and Mickey doing comic bits and songs. Something that fits the surroundings, takes the audience out of today's world, and can't be done anywhere else.

DCA's theme is so convoluted now, that just about anything is thrown in anywhere that there is space, and it's good enough.

They've tried that hip and edgy thing so many times over the past decade, and it has never worked.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to go to Guest Relations next time I'm there... and compliment them. I really like it. It's cheesy, yes, but you expect a level of that, every now and then, with Disney productions. After having watched So You Think You Can Dance? for 5 years, I've grown to like Hip Hop/Break/Krumping/etc. dancing. I also really like the changes they made to the music.

So sue me. :P

That being said, I don't think it belongs in the area. Somewhere else, for sure. Possibly Downtown Disney, but there's nothing really there that would facilitate this kind of show.

anon said...

ugh, that wasn't hip hop at at all. those fashions are circa 1997 boy band, complete with painful remixes of classic songs. I agree with An Hamburger, this reeks of design by committee. Keep this on the disney channel with the rest of the rejected flash-in-the pan ideas.

The one thing I will say is that the type of music they were supposedly emulating is a very big part of the california music scene for better or worse. but please don't confuse "gangsta rap" with hip hop or turntablism. the only thing "gangsta" here musically was the syncopated Yo Ho verse

Made4U&Me said...

While I doubt this show will last long, it has a gradually corrosive effect on Mickey's image. Perhaps this show will never eclipse most people's fond wholesome memories of Mickey- those who see it and don't like it will most likely dismiss and forget it. However it sets a precedent for similar, and worse infractions against Mickey's personality in the future.

What I would really like to see, is someone out there, begin documenting the Company's attempts to make Mickey "relevant"- make no mistake, that's exactly what they think they are doing. Even a simple blog, that shows every T-Shirt of Mickey Spraypainting his name on a wall, Mickey in baggy clothing, Mickey scratching records at a turntable (these are all real Mickey images available on merchandise). I think such a collection of images, viewable all together would garner quite a bit of attention, and would certainly push Disney to address the issue publicly. An isolated product that's already on the shelf, won't get more than an eye roll from a guest who doesn't agree with it, but to see so much blatant disrespect for this character that plenty of people already like "just the way he is", all in one place, would allow the world to see what Disney's doing, and maybe voice their opposition to it.

perfectly flawed said...

I gotta say, it's not as bad as many of you are saying. I like to see Mickey being more diverse and explore other cultures. The show is trying to portray
Mickey as a relatable character to today's audience. If old dogs can learn new tricks, so can mice. So I applaud in their attempt.

Though, I gotta say the program seems cheesy for my tastes. It's not bad, but it could certainly be better.

If anything, the show seems to be temporary.. judging from the set pieces; they'll probably change it to a more lavish and thematic production once Hollywoodland comes in.

Anonymous said...

While it's best that you go to Guest Relations, not everyone can make it there. Those that can't or won't be at Disneyland in the near future can go on to the Disneyland website and scroll down to the bottom. There is a "Contact" button that you can click on to send in your thoughts. Please be considerate and don't use language that would be offensive.

You know, like the songs in the show?

Truecoat said...

I would be appalled as a parent to hear Mickey use the word "gangsta" in that way. My kid is suppose to drink up like a gangsta? Do they even realize what is being said here? I have taught my kids about how that whole culture is garbage . The entertainment dept should go driving down to the hood to re-evaluate what they want Mickey to represent. Either that or they should start selling 40 ouncers after the show.

Nathan Birnbaum said...

He actually doesn't say it, but it's in the song that the crew are dancing to.

Cory Gross said...

There's DisneyCool and then there's actual cool. Actual cool is stuff that is actually, emergently cool, and sometimes Disney accidentally coincides with that. Tron Legacy looking incredible and bagging Daft Punk, for instance. But DisneyCool is this attempt that tries too hard, like hapless parents thinking they can do what they think their kids think is cool. This Dance Crew thing is 100% DisneyCool.

That said, I 99% don't care that this exists (I'm using up the 1% right here). I've long since reconciled to the fact that Disney makes things for people who are not in the same demographic as me. I pay as little attention to Hannah Montana and High School Musical and the Jonas Bros. as I can. They're not meant for me. Neither is this, and that's okay.

I did find this riff on American Exceptionalism interesting though. Hip Hop, Rap, R&B... those are American musical styles. You people invented those, along with Country and Western, and Jazz and the Blues, and Rock n' Roll. It is part of your cultural, musical fabric. And they're no less disgusting and horrible than any other type of American music. The only thing worse than the violence, greed, sadism and sexuality in "Gangsta" music is the violence, greed, sadism and sexuality in Country music.

Besides being 100% lame DisneyCool, what Mickey is doing in Dance Crew is 100% American.

Herc said...

I think you are picking and choosing. The Tron party and the glowfest don't fit the era also. Maybe it is just a quick fix to get guests interested in something at DCA until the makeover comes to that area.

Herc said...

Think you are picking and choosing. The Tron party and the Glow Fest don't fit the Hollywoodland theming either. Maybe Disney is getting these out of their system before the makeover. In the newly themed DCA, where would Disney put, let's say a Tron party?

nojarama said...

This has no place in ANY Disney's parks. Just horrible (my eyes and ears are still bleeding). Epic FAIL.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Rich Ross era of Disney, folks. His influence is everywhere in the Mouse House now, and his tastelessness is invading every nook and cranny of it. Look to see Goofy come out any day now (notice that he's never had a steady girlfriend?). After all, this is the company that features a gay couple with "their" child on one of its network shows, Modern Family. Wow, how edgy and contemporary can you get, huh? The corrosion and degradation of Walt's wholesome family kingdom will continue until amoral accountants stop running the place. I weep for Walt's legacy...

Honor Hunter said...

"Welcome to the Rich Ross era of Disney, folks."

Ross had nothing to do with this. He is in charge of Walt Disney Studios and handles the film divisions. This comes from Disney Entertainment, they are the villains of this creation, not Ross.

"I think you are picking and choosing."

No, I believe it is entirely different. While ElecTRONica would be better in Tomorrowland (where any future Tron themed creations will likely be, btw), the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area is totally suited for it. It's supposed to be a working studio, how would a film not fit a studio? The reason it is not over in DL is because the Halloween theming and Star Wars construction make it more difficult. Come January it'll be leaving because of the construction that is scheduled to start.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Honor 100% but unfortunately the kids that are coming in to see this show (and by kids I mean teenagers) just love all the gang references and music. They do not even realize the changes that are going on around them and even if they did, they could care less. They are seeing a modern day dance show with all the wrong references. But by cheering, whistling and making lots of noise, they are sending the wrong signal to Disney. If this keeps up with Entertainment constantly getting things wrong (Like ElecTRONica) the loyal Disney Fans are going to turn on them and just stop going. That's about all we can do because they no longer will accept this type of complaint at Guest Services or City Hall. It's really sad that Entertainment is so out of touch with the guests.

Kristian Roque said...

This is horrible.. "Drink up my gangstas, yo ho" really? How naive can you get? Are we going Nickelodeon channel or something? Thanks for the post Honor, now time to save Disneyland before the horrible downfall.

perfectly flawed said...

Wow, it's so interesting that the racists and conservatives are bashing Mickey Mouse's dance concert. Linking Rich Ross to this is purely ridiculous. Are we all suppose to have little tea parties at the resort?

Anonymous said...

Nickelodeon is way smarter and cooler than this, FYI. Disney is the gold standard for theme parks, but Nick's programming is far superior.

Marjorie said...

What's up with the homophobia, Anonymous #4? Acceptance of gay people has f***-all to do with this lame disgrace of a DCA dance show, so stop making this about your bigotry.

Anonymous said...

"There is a "Contact" button that you can click on to send in your thoughts. Please be considerate and don't use language that would be offensive.

You know, like the songs in the show?"

What do you mean by that last statement? There is no foul or offensive language in the show. Tacky? maybe, but not offensive.

I'm sorry if I offended you with my language, but come on, its nothing compared to what one will usually find on the Internet. I'm shocked that you called what I said offensive, You act as if this is the first time someone has used bad language on the Internet. You are perhaps new to the comments on this blog)

My point was, there are many people who are so lazy that they won't bother to give feedback of ANY kind. They don't even bother to click the "contact us" button. ALL they do is just whine on message boards. And very often they jump the gun and panic over nothing (I'm talking to you Micechat)

I don't think the show is too bad, but again, they do seem to be trying too hard to be hip.

Regardless, this show will probably not last very long. Perhaps a year.

Anonymous said...

I would have less of a problem with the show if Mickey wasn't a part of it.

Honestly I don't think it's the worst thing they've done, it's not great either. With proper theming and characters involved this could be a dance specific Mickey Mouse Club. But with Mickey it comes across as too gimmicky even for Disney.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

"Nick's programming is far superior"

You mean like Fan boy and Chum-Chum?
And Spongebob Squarepants?

I wouldn't exactly call programming like that "superior" ;)

Anonymous said...

"Linking Rich Ross to this is purely ridiculous"

I agree.

Fortunately, Honor set that person straight. Lets just hope that they comes back to see Honor's message.

An Hamburger said...

Could have been worse, it could have been Woody N Buzz up there rapping and breakdancing.

Honor Hunter said...

Guys, make sure your comments are directly related to the post and topic please. Don't start getting political and calling each other names. There are other websites for that, we try and keep this about Disney and about entertainment. I don't want to reject posts so please keep that in mind, k?

Anonymous said...

I think the bottom line is, if you don't like the show, give feedback at DCA's guest relations.

The "contact us" link at is really more intended for people who are giving feedback of something that they recently saw and experienced in person at the Resort. Or for people who need technical assistance with the website. Not for people who only saw something at the Resort from a youtube video.

And perhaps just as important (if not more so) be sure to give positive feedback when you see something that you like.

Cory Gross said...

I am enjoying how "Drink up my gangsters, yo ho" is being singled out.

You guys do realize that pirates were criminals, right?

You do realize that the second and third (and even to an extent the first) Pirates of the Caribbean movies were basically glorifying the 18th century equivalent of the Hell's Angels, right?

Like, in the context of the films, the East India Trading Company were the heroes. They were cleaning up the ocean and getting rid of pirates. Good!

I really, really hope that you guys complaining about this aren't the same people who complain about how they made the PotC ride "politically correct" when they turned the rape scene into one about food. You know the line:

"Oh, I tell you true, it's sore I be to hoist me colors on the likes of that shy little wench. Favor, keep a weather eye open maties. I be willing to share, I be!"

When translated from pirate to english, he's talking about raping her and then passing her around to be raped by the rest of the crew. Personally I'm glad they changed the ride to be politically correct, because I especially don't want to think about rape when I'm at Disneyland.

"Drink up my gangstas, yo ho" is a perfectly valid modern translation of that lyric.

So again, why so offended? There is already glorified criminality at Disneyland. And they already play Country music there, which is every bit as immoral as Rap and Hip Hop. It's an icon of Americana singing (a bad version of) pure, homegrown American music. The only reason it's in DCA is because America Sings isn't around anymore.

Nomanisan said...

Pirates are from 200-300 years ago so it's probably ok to have a "romanticized" representation of them. It doesn't draw on the fact that people in the audience may have been attacked and had their valuables or even people's lives taken by them. Time lets you do things like that. Gangstas happen to live right down the street and are a common problem in many parts of the nation. That's entirely different in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

"And they already play Country music there, which is every bit as immoral as Rap and Hip Hop."

Really? When's the last time you seen a Country artist do a drive by?

perfectly flawed said...

"Really? When's the last time you seen a Country artist do a drive by?"

Well Mavericks love their guns. Our Former Vice President named Dick C. shot his friend multiple times.... And there's Mama Grizzly: The Alaskan Huntress, she loves her moose soup.

Anonymous said...

Who was talking Mavericks? We were talking Pirates.

Perhaps you're just trying to get a few digs in before you get blown away on Tuesday.

Enjoy it till then Perfectly Flawed.

perfectly flawed said...

I'm just wondering how a drive-by could be closely connected to this children's concert. Mickey wasn't threatening anyone about killing people. And it wasn't like Mickey was showing off his bling and cursing his friends.

I think the reality is that some of you are afraid of change.

And in a matter of fact, I'm neither an Elephant nor a Donkey.

Anonymous said...

How about all the folks who want this show to go away plan a meet-up at DCA and take up the space during the show. As soon as it starts you can just boo, yell, throw things, boo some more and I'm sure that'll get make it go away.

Animated Response said...

It has nothing to do with being afraid of change. It has everything to do with providing context and period centric theming. Mickey doing a modern gangster in an area that is designed to reflect 40's Hollywood? It might work in another park where theming doesn't matter, but it doesn't work at a Disney park.

Anonymous said...

"So again, why so offended?"

Words don't have to curse words to be offensive. The reference to "drink up, yo ho" is trying to connect Mickey with the drinking seen in the Hip-Hop and Rap community. This isn't something I want to see in a character that children look up to. It's not something I want in a family atmosphere.

I find such things offensive.

perfectly flawed said...

"drink up, yo ho" isn't a new lyrical presentation at a Disney Park, you guys know that right? Pirates of the Caribbean has been romanticizing rape, robbing and terrorizing - and you guys are okay with that? It's simply just for fun and entertainment.

Perhaps we should have age restrictions for the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction since it promotes criminal actions...

Mr. Hoody said...

Yeah, totally harmless. In fact, lets now make rides out of Gangstas. Well have a drive-by attraction, a shooting range where you can kill innocent bystanders and they can serve 40's at the refreshment stands.

While we're at it, let's change the name to Disney's Compton Adventure.

Cory Gross said...

Really? When's the last time you seen a Country artist do a drive by?

Granted, rednecks usually get out of the pick-up when they want to assault someone.

Sorry, I live in a part of my country where my day-to-day life is far more threatened by drunken idiots in cowboy hats than by homey-g's in baggy trousers. Rednecks are horrible people and their music encourages them to be horrible people. There is the odd Country musician who actually takes responsibility for their lives and sings about the downside of all that boozing and womanizing, but most of the Pop-Country pablum glorifies it. The hypocrisy of American moralizing when you guys lost your nut over Marilyn Manson but somehow gave Toby Keith a free pass just blew me away. I guess if you wrap yourself in the American flag, you can promote and glorify any kind of immorality.

Now, sure, the statute of limitation on being offended by pirates has passed, unless you happen to live around Somalia and have had actual pirates hold you hostage at gunpoint. However, the statute of limitations has not passed on murder, robbery and rape, all of which are (or have been) glorified in a Disneyland attraction. It's even worse now that it ends with Jack Sparrow celebrating his being a really old school gangsta'.

I wonder how someone who has actually been raped reacted to that former scene in PotC. Oh, I'm sure it was just "political correctness", right? So stop being so "politically correct". Get over Mickey's Dance Crew. It's not even meant for you.

kings said...

"I wonder how someone who has actually been raped reacted to that former scene in PotC. Oh, I'm sure it was just "political correctness", right? So stop being so "politically correct". Get over Mickey's Dance Crew. It's not even meant for you."

There is (and was) no rape depicted in PotC. in the pre-PC version, one scene showed lusty pirates chasing pretty wenches, along with a lusty (and somewhat hefty) wench chasing a pirate. All staged for humor, not violence. The other scene was a pirate selling wenches for brides. While certainly not totally wholesome, that scene was also staged for humor.

As for Mickey’s Dance Crew, while the overall song and dance routine wasn’t overtly negative or hostile, it was just Mickey using lyrics and doing a dance move that has negative connotations to MANY. As it was pointed out, while the overall show on it’s own wouldn’t have been that much of a problem, it was just Mickey’s particular participation that put it over the edge for so many people.

If, in your situation, Mickey came out and did a country song that had violent red neck connotations, you probably would not appreciate it and feel it was not the proper vehicle for Mickey to be taking part in.

Cory Gross said...

Actually, I wouldn't care. I would know that Mickey's Homophobe Hootenany wasn't meant for my demographic, skip it, and go to the Haunted Mansion instead. Hell, the flag ceremony and the rest of the patriotic offal in the park offends me, but I'm not going to get in a tizzy about it. I'll be having fun elsewhere.

I accept that violence done by rednecks is an accepted part of America's cultural contribution to the world, so I'm not really going to fuss about it when I'm at Disneyland. But so is Rap and Hip Hop a part of America's cultural contribution to the world. I guess you guys don't like it, but Disney doesn't cater to your musical preferences.

Maybe Mickey's Homophobe Hootenany would or wouldn't be staged for humour, but I'm shocked (actually no, I'm not) that you're able to describe scenes of implicit rape and say that they're staged for humour and not see how that is the problem. Thank you, though, for bringing up how the scene of women being sold into sex slavery is still in the ride. Oh, but it's being staged for humour, so that makes it okay.

Anonymous said...

All of you guys need to lighten up and quit getting so bent out of shape!!!

A lot of the criticism here is clearly coming from "fake fans" who really do not know their Disney history all that well.

This is not the first time that Mickey has done popular dance moves/steps from specific periods. (He did the Charleston in the 1930's, he went out to disco's in the 1970's, etc.)

This is not ruining the Mouse at all!

I bet a lot of you folks who are hating on this show are probably going to hate Epic Mickey, too. Shame, shame, double shame.

Anonymous said...

I saw the show recently and I thought it was cute/cool!

Anonymous said...


I wanted to pop in here and mention that I saw most of the Disney Dance Crew show again today and they have changed a few things;

--Most of the dialogue has been re-tooled. The dancers no longer use the horrible hip-hop lingo like "princess".

--The dancers no longer make fun of Mickey's classic outfit.

---Mickey's back is to the audience when he changes outfits.

--They changed the "Yo Ho" lyrics. The song lyric is back to the classic "hearties" and no longer "gangsters"

These changes may seem small, but they DO improve the show.

Please spread this news.