Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Mickey Mouse Revue - Part 3

This is the Mickey Mouse Revue at Tokyo Disneyland and now we're ready for the show to begin (Please see Parts 1 and 2 of this series for my posts on the theater's exterior and the lobby and pre-show.)

As the curtain parts, Mickey rises up out of the stage along with an orchestra comprised of Disney characters. Mickey then raises his baton and leads the gang in a medley of "Heigh Ho," "Whistle While You Work," "When You Wish Upon A Star," and "Hi Diddle Dee Dee." Various players are featured in spotlight solos throughout the medley..

An interesting fact here is that when the attraction first opened at Walt Disney World in 1971, Mickey was the most complex Audio-Animatronic ever built. Thirty three functions (including tilting his head, raising his arm, and turning his body) all had to be squeezed into his 42 inch frame. This was the same number of functions that the 6 foot, 4 inch tall Abraham Lincoln figure had at the time.

Also interesting to the time that this show was designed, "The Jungle Book" was one of the studio's latest animated features, so Baloo, King Louie and Kaa the snake, are the most current characters in the show.

When the medley ends, Mickey and the orchestra lower down into the stage, and we see the shadow of the Big Bad Wolf sneaking across the stage.

Suddenly a portion of the curtain goes up, revealing the Three Little Pigs in a brick house, singing "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf."

When they finish, that portion of the curtain goes down and another section comes up on Snow White singing "I'm Wishing," while surrounded by her animal friends in a forest setting.

At the end of Snow White's song, the Seven Dwarfs appear next to her in their cottage and together they all sing "The Silly Song."

Next, Alice appears in the middle of a colorful garden while she and the flowers all sing "Golden Afternoon."

Just as they finish, gun shots are heard as The Three Caballeros rise up out of the stage to sing "Three Caballeros."

The lights go out on them in mid-song and what follows is their quick appearance and disappearance back and forth from the theaters two side balconies...only to reappear and finish their song back on the main stage.

Next, Cinderella appears dressed in rags and holding a mop and bucket.

As her Fairy Godmother sings, "Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo," the lights go out on Cinderella and a "star field" effect is projected onto her. The lights then come back on to reveal her wearing her ball gown.

At the end of song, the lights go out once more and Cinderella's silhouette appears on the curtain along with the prince's as they dance to "So This Is Love."

Next, Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Bear, and Br'er Fox appear and begin to sing "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah." A few lines into the song, the orchestra rises again and the curtain goes up to reveal the entire cast of the show singing along with them in a big finale number.

There are a few cast and set changes seen here during the finale. First, an audio-animatronic figure of the prince now appears at Cinderella's side.....

Also, the houses of The Seven Dwarfs and The Three Pigs do not rise back up.

The sky in the background slowly turns orange while a rainbow materializes off in the distance.

The song ends and everyone sings the last line of the "Mickey Mouse March" (the M-I-C-K-E-Y part.) Mickey then laughs his trademark laugh while saying, "Thank you folks, that concludes our show. We hope you enjoyed it!"

The end.

I wish I could say that they all lived happily ever after, but unfortunately I can't. The Mickey Mouse Revue is slated to close permanently on May 25, 2009. It will be replaced by "Mickey's Philarmagic" which now plays at Walt Disney World in the theater once occupied by The Mickey Mouse Revue. The show is designated on the official Tokyo Disneyland website as being unique to their park. Also, the 25th Anniversary sign outside the attraction (seen in part 1 of this series of posts) states that "there is only one Mickey Mouse Revue - and it's been an Opening Day attraction at two different Disney Parks....on two different continents!"

I wonder what will happen to the one and only Mickey Mouse Revue that has seen two different Disney park openings? My guess, judging from Disney's past history, is that it will never be seen again. Whether it goes into storage (doubtful), or gets tossed in the trash (more least with anything that can't be cannibalized for parts like the audio-animatronic figures), I will be very sad to see it close. Of course, I would love to see it brought back to the United States. I wouldn't expect Walt Disney World to take it back since they have Mickey's Philarmagic and the two attractions have a similar theme. It would be great if it could somehow be put into the Muppet Theater in California Adventure. Even if Disney felt a need to update it with more current characters and songs, it would still be nice to see it continue on in some form, but that's just wishful thinking on my part.

R.I.P. Mickey Mouse Revue. I'll miss you! :-(


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

OMG, thank you so much for this post. I've seen the show on some grainy, dark & shaky you-tube videos, but your photos really bring it to life. Did you take those photos???? When were they taken? The AA's look so shiny and clean. The "Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo," part is probably my favorite as is the end part where they all sing and Mickey says goodbye. (I'm holding back a tear on that part)

It is so sad that it might end up in the trash heap and used for spare parts, its make my heart hurt... For goodness sakes, as you stated in part one, this is really Walt's idea and its a WDW original. They moved COP to WDW, why not move MMR to DCA?? Is there any type of "push" or internet drive to save this attraction?

Thanks again for the super series post on MMR, it was enjoyable and educational and all for free :-)

P.s. are you still going to try and see it one last time? and if so, do you have an HD video camera?

TokyoMagic! said...

Hey VDT! I'm glad you enjoyed this series of posts. I had been wanting to do it for a while, but knew that it would be very long and take some time. I took all of the photos myself and I think most of them were taken just last year. I've also video taped it a couple times, but if I go back next month, I am going to video tape it several more times from different angles.

I agree with you about saving it, but COP was moved in 1973, and unfortunately it's a whole different company now. I would LOVE to see them move it, and I wouldn't care where it could go to Paris or Hong Kong and I'd be happy just as long as it continued to exist somewhere. I just don't think it is very likely given their past track record. And I haven't heard of any kind of "push" on the internet to try and save the attraction. I'm guessing that most people don't know it is closing....they might not even know that it has been in Tokyo for the past 26 years.

PTA Transit Authority said...

Boy if this is not one the coolest posts I have seen. I don't know which one was. Great photos.