Friday, January 8, 2010

"Lost" Lincoln / I See Dead People....

Well, I saw the new Lincoln show for the first time last week. Fellow bloggers have posted plenty of photos of the pre-show, so I'll include just a few of my own shots here. I think this part of the attraction was very well done. I really liked the pre-show film and all of the displays.

This bust of Lincoln was created by Blaine Gibson back in 1965. Blaine Gibson sculpted most (all?) of the pirates for Pirates of the Caribbean, the Abominable Snowman for the Matterhorn, and the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse "Partners" statue in the Plaza....just to name a few pieces of his work.
This painting is displayed on a small screen before the pre-show film starts.

Here's a scene from the pre-show film that features Walt and Blaine Gibson. Walt is holding a copy of an actual Lincoln "life mask."

As for the actual theater was wonderful hearing Paul Frees' original narration, as well as the return of Royal Dano as the voice of Lincoln. I was also glad to see that the gimmicky "surround sound" headphones had been abandoned. I thought the Lincoln figure itself was pretty incredible. All of the Audio-Animatronic figures in all of the Disney parks should be that advanced! Since photography is not allowed inside the theater, we only have this vintage pic for today.

Unfortunately, I do have to say that I found two things about the new show very disappointing. First of all, Lincoln's speech had been shortened back in the eighties and I was very surprised to see that it had not been restored this time around. This shortening of his speech occurred at the same time that the "Two Brothers" segment had been added to the show.

This leads me to my second complaint.....that addition has ALWAYS bothered me. It doesn't fit with the rest of the show. That song and those photos were borrowed from the American Adventure at EPCOT. There are even Audio-Animatronics of that family that appear in the EPCOT show. Okay, so EPCOT was fairly new back then and they wanted to bring parts of it to Anaheim....Wonders of China was shown in the Circle Vision Theater.....Magic Journeys was even shown at night on the Space Stage in Tomorrowland, but why did they feel the need to shoehorn this segment into the Lincoln attraction in the first place? And even more important, why has it been left in twenty five years later when every other part of the show appears to be a return to the original version? The song is just horrible. Am I the only one that thinks this sticks out like a sore thumb? The real corker for me is the photo of the dead body at the end of the "Two Brothers" segment. I realize that this was the cold harsh reality of the Civil War, but I don't go to Disneyland to see the corpses of people that have been killed in war. If this part of the show had been left out, then perhaps Lincoln's speech could have been restored to it's original length. I would have much rather spent more time watching and listening to the Lincoln Animatronic.

As for the missing portion of Lincoln's speech, I am guessing that most people don't even notice it (just like one of the Enchanted Tiki Room songs that was cut from that attraction years ago), but I will include the missing lines here to see if they jog anyone's memory:
"Let reverence for the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap. Let it be taught in the schools, in the seminaries and in the colleges. Let it be written in primers, in spelling books and almanacs. Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls and enforced in courts of justice. And in short, let it become the political religion of the nation. And let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly at it's alters. And let us strive to deserve, as far as mortals may, the continued care of divine providence trusting that in future national emergencies, He will not fail to provide us the instruments of safety and security."
The scan below shows the front and back cover of a brochure that was available in the Opera House in the nineties.

Here is the inside of that brochure. The text on the left side shows the shortened version of Lincoln's speech. The missing portion was originally included between parts "3" and "4."

Maybe on this attraction's next redo, Lincoln's speech can be returned to it's full and original glory. Oh, and the new song at the very end of the show is called "Golden Dream" and it is also from EPCOT's American Adventure, but since the show is over at that point, it doesn't seem to stand out quite as much as:

♪ ♫ "Two brothers on their way (repeat two more times) wore blue and one wore gray (repeat)....the fife and drum began to play as they marched along their was gentle one was kind (repeat) came home one stayed behind....a cannon ball don't pay no mind (repeat)....if your gentle or if your don't think of the folks behind.....all on a beautiful morning (repeat)." ♫ ♪



Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Whew, I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't like the Two Brothers sequence. Sore thumb indeed - didn't know about the EPCOT connection, that just makes it worse.

I didn't realize Lincolns speech was shortened, I unfortunately didn't give this attraction much love over the decades since it terrorized me as a kid. I would swap the 2-brothers corpse sequence for more Mr. Lincoln any day!

I too was impressed with the pre-show area and Mr. Lincolns new AA facial features, all this shows Disney can shine when they want too.

Did you have to sing that dreadful song at the end of your post, now its running thru my head all day, blue and grey!

P.s. Nice post & photos, thanks!

P.s. I'm making a park run next Wednesday!

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that doesn't like that part of the show. It has bothered me since 1985! And the shortened speech has bothered me for just as long! Since that EPCOT segment wasn't added to Lincoln unitl 20 years after he debuted at DL, I wonder why it needed to remain now? Someone at Disney must like it a whole lot.

Dan Alexander said...

Nice post! I never saw the Mr. Lincoln show at Disneyland--now I really want to see the attraction.

On my WDW trip in November, I watched the Hall of Presidents show after not seeing it for many years and enjoyed that.

I grew up with American Adventure, and always thought it was really neat with the animatronic "walking" up the stairs, but must admit that I fell asleep during the show.

Two Brothers--OK, American Adventure sticks out like a sore thumb in Epcot because it is the only World Showcase attraction that shows the dark side of a country's history, and in a very graphic way.

Can you imagine some of the other countries having a similar show?

TokyoMagic! said...

You fell asleep during the American Adventure??? Actually, the last time I went, my friend fell asleep in the middle of it too. I give him a hard time about it. He has said he wants to go back and see it again and try to stay awake next time.

"Two Brothers" seems to work a little better in that attraction since it's a part of the whole Mathew Brady/Civil War segment (even though it doesn't make me like the song any better.)

The Japan Pavilion at EPCOT was originally going to have a rotating theater attraction called Meet The World, which did end up at Tokyo Disneyland. That attraction told the history of Japan through Audio-Animatronics and film. Unfortunately, it wasn't put into EPCOT because it kind of skipped over the whole World War II part of their history and Disney was worried that Americans/veterans wouldn't be too happy about that. They could have brought it to EPCOT anyway and then just inserted that same photo of the Civil War body into the show to make everyone happy. I know...NOT funny!

Dan Alexander said...

Another Epcot country unlikely to ever get an American Adventure type show: Germany!

Terrance T said...

I've yet to see the newly returning Mr. Lincoln but that is at the top of my must see list on my next visit. The American Adventure and Hall of Presidents were also great shows, too.

The news about not being able to photo/video-record the show is NOT good, though and sucks. They could be a little lenient is the photographer is considerate of other viewers.

Nick said...

Very interesting post!

TokyoMagic! said...

I do love both the Hall of Presidents and the American Adventure. I think there should be more shows with Audio-animatronic people. BRING BACK WORLD OF MOTION AND HORIZONS!

As for photos of Lincoln, I agree they should allow them as long as a flash isn't used. Dave of Daveland was able to get some really great pics of Lincoln. Those can be seen in his post from 12-28-09:

I thought about sneaking some non-flash photos, but the attraction host was sitting in the back row of the theater for the entire show...I didn't want to be "spoken to."

Anonymous said...


I totally agree with you about the Two Brothers segment not fitting and I felt quite disappointed and even disturbed that they removed in my opinion the most powerful part of Lincoln's speech when it was removed in the 80's and not restored now despite returning to the rest of the original show.



Anonymous said...

With the Lincoln photo you've posted where he is seated, do you know what decade that was from? I heard that there was a 1975 redesign of Abraham Lincoln when the show returned after a two year hiatus. But I cannot seem to locate any photos of the Abe AA model from 1975 to 1983. I read Abe was redesigned again in 1984 with new skin, more mobility, and a piece of paper for note reference.


TokyoMagic! said...

Anonymous Bill, Thanks for commenting. Yay...another person that doesn't like the "Two Brothers" segment! As for the date on that photo of Lincoln seated, it is from a set of slides that I bought at Disneyland in either the late seventies or early eighties. I would guess that it was taken after the show's return to the Opera House, but I have nothing concrete to back that up.

... But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

E: Two brothers. One whore blew, the other was gay.

Job said...
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