Disney Tops Entertainment

| Thursday, 14 Jan. 2010
Disney Ships started showing 3D movies long before "Avatar" debuted.

Disney Tops Entertainment
Disney Cruises started in 2001 with two ships, Disney Magic soon joined by Disney Wonder, sailing out of Port Canaveral, the port closest to Disney World in Orlando. Disney Cruises has been a hit with Disney fans since its inception, even though the cruises generally cost more than competing cruise lines.

Naturally, Disney Cruises offer something no other cruise lines can offer, the rights to all of the great entertainment created and owned by the Disney Company. This includes movies, Broadway plays and animations. And it is first-class entertainment, including movies using the "polarized 3D technology" similar to the recent non-Disney movie release "Avatar."

For Disneyphiles, an ardent dedication to "make believe" is an admirable character trait. Disney characters like Micky Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and the Little Mermaid are regarded as real people rather than of storybook characters. Don't even bother to ask the obvious existential question of how Micky can be in several places at the same time - it's magic created with a healthy dose of pixie dust.

Disney has been in the entertainment business since long before most cruise lines were even started. The company practically invented animation, and they have been at the forefront of robotics and stagecraft for years now. Epcot Center was showing 3D movies not requiring red and green colored lenses but based on the advanced "polarization" process used in Avatar long before it became a hit movie.

The style of 3D seen at Epcot Center and in movies like Avatar is leaps and bounds ahead of the old fashioned red and green glasses approach. The glasses are just slightly tinted and both lenses are the same color. Disney even offers glasses with lens to correct varying amounts of nearsightedness in case you have a special prescription.

Both Disney cruise ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, have been offering movies onboard in this style of 3D for over a year now - the same as Disney has had at Epcot Center for many years. It is impressive; the picture does not have any stray red and green borders and your brain doesn't suffer to align the images the entire time you are watching the movie.

How does the Disney-style 3D work? Instead of one projector showing a film with some images outlined in red and others in green, the process uses two separate projectors running nearly identical images but with slightly different "polarization" added to the certain objects in the images of each projector. Without the glasses the screen looks almost normal. But with the glasses on the 3D effect is the most authentic yet easiest to watch 3D imaginable.

Disney Stage Shows With that kind of dedication to making fantasy a reality it is pretty hard to beat Disney Cruise Lines in the area of entertainment. The stage shows on Disney Cruises have been outstanding presentations since the first cruise. After all, Disney had already produced some of the most popular Broadway shows ever; The Lion King, Aida and Beauty and the Beast.

Disney Cruise Line line rolled out "Toy Story," a show based on the popular Pixar animated movie characters in late 2007. Now they are in the final stages of a brand new stage show that will be one of the highlights of the two new Disney ships ready to debut in 2011, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

The newest cruise ship stage show, called "Villains Tonight!" is dedicated to all the "lovable and loathsome bad guys" that have appeared in Disney productions over the years. In this case, it is safe to assume that refers to a duality of personality, as no Disney character could ever be purely loathsome.

"Villains Tonight!" will be in preview production onboard Disney Magic this Spring, and if you sail March 27 or later you can see the new show before it is moved to the brand new Disney Dream next year. I will be onboard Disney magic to see the debut week of this production March 20th, and I am really looking forward to it. The plot description is extraordinarily transcendental - almost like a Greek Tragedy. Consider this synopsis...

Hades and his faithful sidekicks, Pain and Panic, welcome the audience as souls newly consigned to "the Underworld" - but it has been made an upbeat and happier place. The fun comes to a halt when "The Fates" predict that Hades will fall as Lord of the Underworld if he doesn't make "the Underworld" an evil place once again.

So he conjures up the most despicable Disney villains including Disney's newest crook, Dr. Facilier from "The Princess and the Frog," classic divas and scoundrels like Ursula ("The Little Mermaid"), the Evil Queen ("Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"), Captain Hook ("Peter Pan") and Scar ("The Lion King").

What ensues is a comical journey as Hades, Pain and Panic embark on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers featuring everyone's favorite Disney villains and their sidekicks. The 977-seat Walt Disney Theatre becomes a hilariously wicked world through the use of elaborate sets and special effects for a dazzling journey through many villainous worlds, from the deck of Captain Hook's ship to Scar's Elephant Graveyard to Ursula's Undersea Lounge.

This is a show I can't wait to see, honestly. I have seen many Disney productions at their parks and on Broadway and found them all to be not only first class technical productions but also surprisingly entertaining stories. This sounds like it has a distinct duality of character of its own - one where both children and adults can have fun. I will be onboard Magic to see the debut of this show March 20.

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