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  • News Jessica Rabbit Takes Center Stage




    https://www.ocregister.com/2021/09/1...ral-character/


    Walt Disney Imagineering is rebooting another Disneyland attraction with a female lead character and revamped backstory to make it “more relevant” as the Anaheim theme park continues to update rides that have become culturally outdated.

    Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin at Disneyland is getting a new plot twist that throws Jessica Rabbit into the lead role as a private eye determined to stamp out a Toontown crime wave.

    Some scenes in Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin featuring Jessica Rabbit are being updated to be more relevant and reflect a new twist in the character’s story within the attraction, according to Disneyland officials. A scene featuring Jessica Rabbit and the weasels with an automobile as well as the finale scene of Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin are being updated, according to Disneyland officials.
    Last edited by Jesser-pie; 09-15-2021, 12:40 PM.

  • #2
    This surprises me, considering how Roger Rabbit hasn't been updated since the attraction opened. I hoping that this also means that TDA has more plans to refresh & update Toontown before MMRR opens.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is very...perplexing.

      Why was the idea of Jessica Rabbit being captured by the weasels considered "culturally outdated"? With the Jungle Cruise, I get that change, wanting to remove the racial stereotyping. But changing up the attraction to give her a bigger part even though she was already a big character in the movie and got herself out of harms way on the ride? This is not changing an attraction for the better; this is changing the ride for the stupid.

      Looking at Roger Rabbit's wife, Jessica may have been a highly exaggerated sex object...but that was the whole point. Noir stories were quite progressive in the hay day when it came to women. There was an occasional damsel in distress, but it was also the true start of the Femme Fatale character; a vamp who would use her gender to their advantage. Jessica took the trope and used it for the good. On the surface she appeared to be another busty beauty who sought the hearts of men, but as Eddie Vallent discovered, she was a devoted wife who was doing everything offscreen to save her husband. By the end, Roger and Jessica walked off into the cartoon sunset to be a happy couple in Toontown.

      The attraction is a very condensed version of the movie. Jessica is reduced to 2 scenes in order to better accommodate the short time of the ride. This didn't make her weaker; it was just a need in order to put the focus on the adventure of the guests on their adventure through Toontown.

      But I guess Disney doesn't like that she still appeared tied up and that Roger was the hero. I'll be the one to say that I've never heard a single complaint about the ride or the movie. People were already smart enough to know that Jessica's reduced role never made her character bad or even reduced her to a damsel (you could make the argument that Roger was reduced to a bumbling idiot on the ride). She still rescued herself and joined in with Roger fighting the weasels.

      Now their going the other extreme of building her presence in order to reduce Roger's character. Some might say, "No it doesn't, Roger is still central to the attraction if he's being included". We need to remember that Disney did announce that the purpose of the change was to essentially rewrite the story in Jessica's favor. Now she's a private eye (which is something I don't see her character doing at all; she's too smart to know that giving away her true presence only makes her a target) and she won't require saving (which again, she already engineered her own escape and probably would have even if the attraction didn't end the way it did).

      If your gonna tell me to "get over it", then your missing the point of being a fan at all. I'm allowed to criticize whatever decision I want. You can bet if Disney announced they were gonna keep the old racial stereotyping of The Jungle Cruise and we were told to "get over it", a lot of people probably wouldn't just accept that. People would want to voice their opinion. I certainly do when it comes to a change that's more or less in the mindset of "Someone could get offended" rather then "someone is offended".

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the article in the OC Register added more editorial color than was actually needed. This wasn't a cultural sensitivity update - I believe that they were trying to connect imaginary dots for clicks.

        I think this might be part of a larger re-thinking of ToonTown to make it relevant for the next 20 years. Keep in mind, ToonTown has its basis in Roger Rabbit, so it makes absolute sense to give the land a story around Jessica. I'm reserving judgement until I see what else they do.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm interested to see the final result and will judge for myself when I see it. As it stands, I don't hate the idea of Jessica taking center stage (though hopefully Roger remains in some capacity). Hopefully the rest of Toontown gets some love in preparation for the opening of Runaway Railway in the coming years, too.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dtimeisnow View Post
            This is very...perplexing....
            A statement in the article will hopefully clear up any confusion on where Disney is coming from:

            "Disney theme parks have pledged to integrate more diversity and inclusion into existing attractions and remove culturally outdated depictions."


            This is a continuation of the corporate initiative that was announced earlier this year:

            "Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro said, 'We want our guests to see their own backgrounds and traditions reflected in the stories, experiences and products they encounter in their interactions with Disney'....

            “'The world is changing, and we will change with it,' the company said.'




            "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
            it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
            together with every variety of recreation and fun,
            designed to appeal to everyone."

            - Walt Disney

            "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
            - Michael Eisner

            "It's very symbiotic."
            - Bob Chapek

            Comment


            • #7
              Ah! This makes me excited. This ride is one of my favorites and I know it will definitely benefit from a revamp! I’m more excited for this than MMRR. 😭

              Lets gooooo!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Awesome -- I am excited for this one!

                Comment


                • #9
                  If I remember correctly, Jessica does mention to Eddie that she did do some sleuthing of her own in the movie (albeit much more covertly), but the movie doesn't cover her snooping around, focusing more on Eddie and Roger.

                  So the ride doesn't exactly follow the movie, but if they are making her take a more active role, I think that's excellent. She's been a problematic character nearly since she was first introduced, so giving her some active participation allows Disney to keep the ride and make it less culturally insensitive to those who may have seen her as a problem before. Plus, Roger Rabbit was always a ride feared by fans to get the axe because of its characters and related movie, so it's great to see Disney keeping the ride and characters around AND also updating the ride for the future.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A statement in the article will hopefully clear up any confusion on where Disney is coming from:

                    "Disney theme parks have pledged to integrate more diversity and inclusion into existing attractions and remove culturally outdated depictions."


                    This is a continuation of the corporate initiative that was announced earlier this year:

                    "Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro said, 'We want our guests to see their own backgrounds and traditions reflected in the stories, experiences and products they encounter in their interactions with Disney'....

                    “'The world is changing, and we will change with it,' the company said.'
                    It's not that that's perplexing, I get that.

                    So the ride doesn't exactly follow the movie, but if they are making her take a more active role, I think that's excellent. She's been a problematic character nearly since she was first introduced, so giving her some active participation allows Disney to keep the ride and make it less culturally insensitive to those who may have seen her as a problem before.
                    What is perplexing is what was wrong with Roger rabbit in the first place. I really don't think anyone would look at Jessica and go, "how dare this woman be seen as an object". She's not problematic, she's the ideal.

                    Why was she seen as a "culturally outdated depiction" if this was no different from the millions of women who chose to use their beauty and gender to build themselves up?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dtimeisnow View Post

                      What is perplexing is what was wrong with Roger rabbit in the first place. I really don't think anyone would look at Jessica and go, "how dare this woman be seen as an object". She's not problematic, she's the ideal.

                      Why was she seen as a "culturally outdated depiction" if this was no different from the millions of women who chose to use their beauty and gender to build themselves up?
                      As I said previously, nowhere does Disney say any of this or cite any of this for the reason for the changes - this is editorialized by the OC Register to create clicks and outrage, and more clicks.

                      I'm not saying this couldn't ultimately be the reason Disney did this, but I am sincerely doubting it because they came right out and admitted why they changed POTC and Jungle Cruise, along with future changes for Splash. I see no reason why they would be vague or quiet here if cultural sensitivity was their reasoning.

                      My actual suspicion here is that they know ToonTown cannot thrive on one ride. In fact, a crush of people just going to MMRR will crush the land. They need other rides for balance. I wouldn't be surprised if changes come to the bounce house and boat next, in order balance things out and improve the land overall. Putting MMRR there is a statement of longtime commitment to the land. They're paving the in-road to it now. I think there's more to come.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is a bizarre move, but not for the reasons already stated in the thread. It's bizarre because the movie characters are not the protagonists of the ride. The guests are! We're sort of tagalong protagonists getting sucked into the wacky shenanigans, but it's still all about us. We're not exactly following Roger while he does...whatever he's doing...rather, we're drifting in and out of the action, encountering Roger and the weasels here and there but mostly just skidding from place to place in Toontown and taking in the funky cartoon scenery. It's great.

                        Jessica's appearances on the ride already subvert the "damsel in distress" trope that was so common in noir stories of the 1940s. We see her first getting thrown in the trunk of a car near the beginning of the ride and then, toward the end, having gained the upper hand of her own initiative and clobbered her captors with a mallet.

                        I'm interested to see where they'll go with this, because it's not like the ride was clamoring for an update, so it feels a little more "sincere" that they're choosing to give it one. But what a strange direction to take it!
                        Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm always glad to read about the Roger Rabbit ride and that some people are really passionate about it. I've never been a big fan of the ride and I don't even go on it on most trips.

                          I hope people are happy with the final result.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            FYI - The article has been updated with a bit more details (same link).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by savarese04 View Post
                              As I said previously, nowhere does Disney say any of this or cite any of this for the reason for the changes - this is editorialized by the OC Register to create clicks and outrage, and more clicks....
                              Exactly. It's pretty obvious which buttons writer Brady MacDonald is trying to press:

                              - His headline is "Disneyland makes Toontown ride ‘more relevant’ with Jessica Rabbit as central character" (note his use of quotes to comment on Disney's reasoning).

                              - He makes the same use of quotes in the first paragraph: "Walt Disney Imagineering is rebooting another Disneyland attraction with a female lead character and revamped backstory to make it 'more relevant'..."

                              - Second to last paragraph begins with "Splash Mountain will soon go under the knife" (emphasis mine).

                              Other than citing Disney's public statements and information already available online, MacDonald conducts no interviews with Disney management or WDI, and adds no depth to the subject of his story.


                              Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 09-15-2021, 07:41 PM.
                              "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                              it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                              together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                              designed to appeal to everyone."

                              - Walt Disney

                              "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                              - Michael Eisner

                              "It's very symbiotic."
                              - Bob Chapek

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Interesting timing.
                                Last edited by BigThunda; 09-15-2021, 02:29 PM.
                                Big Thunder Ranch > Galaxys Edge

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  This interview from 2012 was posted to another forum, figured it might be relevant to share.

                                  https://www.imnotbad.com/2012/04/exc...igner.html?m=1

                                  From the interview:

                                  "INB:
                                  Was there any concern about having Jessica appear in Car-Toon Spin, and actually having her "tied up" in the beginning of the ride?

                                  Marcelo:
                                  Hah! Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time! But, I realize that image taken out of context can appear very inappropriate. When the studio wanted to make prints of my designs for the ride, they printed THAT exact image. When I saw it, I was horrified! I never intended this to be a stand alone image. I asked them to pull the image from the public, and thankfully they did -- but they did sell these prints to Disney employees (cast) only. So, they're out there if you can find them! As it turns out, that's the collectible everyone wants."

                                  I had heard about some kind of debacle happening with an art print that Disney had to pull but never knew what it was, specifically. Maybe this was it?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Blurr View Post
                                    This interview from 2012 was posted to another forum, figured it might be relevant to share.

                                    https://www.imnotbad.com/2012/04/exc...igner.html?m=1

                                    From the interview:

                                    "INB:
                                    Was there any concern about having Jessica appear in Car-Toon Spin, and actually having her "tied up" in the beginning of the ride?

                                    Marcelo:
                                    Hah! Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time! But, I realize that image taken out of context can appear very inappropriate. When the studio wanted to make prints of my designs for the ride, they printed THAT exact image. When I saw it, I was horrified! I never intended this to be a stand alone image. I asked them to pull the image from the public, and thankfully they did -- but they did sell these prints to Disney employees (cast) only. So, they're out there if you can find them! As it turns out, that's the collectible everyone wants."

                                    I had heard about some kind of debacle happening with an art print that Disney had to pull but never knew what it was, specifically. Maybe this was it?
                                    I don't know when it happened, but it's been confirmed that Jessica being tied up in the back of the car has been removed. It was there when I visited, so it had to be fairly recent.

                                    I'm indifferent about this change. I think it's smart (some people might think otherwise, but who cares). It helps that the updates will only add more Jessica, which I don't know who would ever complain about that? I'm a huge fan of Roger Rabbit, and as a little girl going into her teens I always read Jessica as a strong woman, and Roger as the damsel. And yeah, she's sexy, but her character in the film is far more than that, and I'm happy the ride is diving into the active role she played in the film.

                                    Also I hope this is a great excuse to let ol' Roger Rabbit roam around Toon Town? My nostalgic heart is waiting.

                                    EDIT: I'm just also happy that the Imagineers get to explore how "whacky" they can make current scenes. Re-watching ride-throughs, there's just so much potential where screens could add more cartoony life to an already convincing and fun experience.
                                    Last edited by Captain Andy; 09-15-2021, 03:15 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Blurr View Post
                                      ...I had heard about some kind of debacle happening with an art print that Disney had to pull but never knew what it was, specifically. Maybe this was it?
                                      There's that one. I think what most often comes to mind on the topic of "Disney pulled the artwork" is the castle on the original Little Mermaid theatrical release poster and VHS cover.


                                      "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                      it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                      together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                      designed to appeal to everyone."

                                      - Walt Disney

                                      "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                      - Michael Eisner

                                      "It's very symbiotic."
                                      - Bob Chapek

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'm honestly just fascinated at the idea of taking a ride with a relatively THIN plot, that is almost 100% based around it's gimmick and just impressive set pieces, and then inserting a plot, even if it's more of an Easter egg thing.

                                        I'm really interested in seeing where this goes, and if this is a possible guide for rides or updates going forward. To my memory, the only other ride I can think of with a secret/twist b-plot that you can follow if you look for it, is Runaway Railway.

                                        Comment

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