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  • Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

    Swab,
    I apologize if I derailed the thread with my decision to elaborate on the AA's of the J.C., the J.C. is something I care a lot about. As far as a theater AA I think there is an opportunity to test your theory about their demise by simply observing if Disney choses to bring Lincoln back or not.
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    • Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

      Let me give you my ill-informed, technologically naive personal definition of an AA as it applies to this discussion, so we need not have to endure any more of this ever-so-constructive nitpicking: I use AA as a generic term to refer to animated figures in any form; used in a manner to entertain. This includes 'programmed' figures, as well as 'triggered' figures; speaking and non-speaking.
      It is my very strong impression that Disney also NOW USES this same definition focsle. I believe you are correct! There are manuals throughout the resort that list the various POSSIBLE movements "animatronic" figures can make, from the very simple and mudane (that *could* be done without computers), to the very complex. It's like a motion-menu. Each figure is given a selection of motions depending on what that figure's role in the show demands.

      It's much much easier to just call ALL OF THEM animatronics, than to use that term only of the computer controlled ones, or any other arbitrary restriction like that. I believe that Disney eventually applied the term to all of the figures for this very reason.

      Animatronics was not really a new concept with Tiki. They had always existed (whether or not that TERM had yet been thought-of, I am unsure). The only new thing about Tiki was the AUDIO-track control! The figures were being controlled by an audio track on a tape. This track did not actually contain a meaningful sound signal, but rather an analog signal that was stored as though it was sound, but then interpretted as movement. (You could play this track through speakers as sound, and it would work, but would just sound like a bunch of noise). This audio-track storage of movement allowed for complexity in motions because it was such an efficient storage technique compared to other, bigger, more mechanical ways of storing motion data. That was the only reason why it was so innovative.

      Obviously, these days Disney no longer uses audio tracks to store movements... when they can just use computers and PCMCIA cards instead. So the "Audio Anamatronics" label is now stupid. Just call all 3D moving figures Animatronics in general.

      In summary:
      - If it's physically Animated, and it's 3 dimensional, it' an Animatronic, period. Regardless of how it is controlled (hydraulic fluid, pneumatics, cams, etc).
      - Audio-Animatronics are probably non-existent in any Disney park these days, and have all been upgraded to computer storage and controls, but they are all still Animatronics... they are just not using audio tracks for movement.
      Last edited by idreamofjeani; 11-30-2007, 08:34 PM.

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      • Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

        Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
        I have been thinking about an AA show featuring Disney animated characters. If any of you have seen the A&E program 'Inside the Actor's Studio', you may have a good idea where I am going with this.
        That would be such a great show!! :-D

        Outside of the current debate going on re: what is AA and what is not, I think an AA theater show would still work out well IF its done correctly. At Disneyland, that means it either needs to be a bit more interactive, or at least have a way to make it vary per performance.

        If Tower of Terror (in FL, at least) can have a more "random" drop pattern to make things interesting, why couldn't an AA show?

        I've thought that the formula of House of Mouse would also made an entertaining AA/film show. (Heck, have a back portion where people can watch the show and munch on food ala Golden Horseshoe). Have several different behind-the-scenes stories for the main characters recorded, several musical numbers prepared, and several reels to showcase -- and hit shuffle. Sure, you have the same pattern of Mickey's intro, a cartoon, behind the scenes bit, musical number, etc.etc -- but you don't know what is going to be played. Prepare recordings for several holidays, and you have something that changes each show, year round.

        The idea of an AA show still has a draw today. It just has to be done just right.

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        • Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

          Cool ideas so far, and the HISTA theatre would be a likely location--a 'Robotic' theme lends itself nicely to AA design.

          I have been thinking about an AA show featuring Disney animated characters. If any of you have seen the A&E program 'Inside the Actor's Studio', you may have a good idea where I am going with this.

          The show is a small-capacity room with a changeable 'panel' of Disney stars to be 'group interviewed' by a human host (who may her/himself be a face character, i.e. Alice, Cruella, Mary Poppins, etc.)

          I see the characters on a dais, seated. Possibly three or four daises created (but only one visible per show) all having a unique set of 8-10 Disney stars (allowing the show a little room for 'repeatability'--different day/time, diffeent dais).

          A sample group may include:




          The open forum could include song, conversation, showing 'clips' of Disney scenes. Even possibly have an interactive portion using a 'Turtle Talk' format.

          This tongue-in-cheek look at Disney Toons would, of course, be located in ToonTown, adding life to a pretty dead, non-engaging area.
          man this is an awsome idea!
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          • Re: The Revival of the AA Theatre-Style Attraction

            Originally posted by idreamofjeani View Post
            Animatronics was not really a new concept with Tiki. They had always existed (whether or not that TERM had yet been thought-of, I am unsure). The only new thing about Tiki was the AUDIO-track control! The figures were being controlled by an audio track on a tape. This track did not actually contain a meaningful sound signal, but rather an analog signal that was stored as though it was sound, but then interpretted as movement. (You could play this track through speakers as sound, and it would work, but would just sound like a bunch of noise). This audio-track storage of movement allowed for complexity in motions because it was such an efficient storage technique compared to other, bigger, more mechanical ways of storing motion data. That was the only reason why it was so innovative.
            The audio portion also relates to the synchronization to an audio track though - not just that they were stored on tape. The use of the audio tape was because it allowed easy synchronization with the playback - the data stored on the tape was 'played' at the same rate as the audio. The storage medium transfered to the DACS when they went digital.

            The uniqueness of Disney was not just that he created animated figures, but the synchronization of the animation to a show automatically. Of course through progression the abilities of the AAs and the advancement of the art is why the technology is still very much attested to Disney.
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