Tuesday, January 22, 2013

'Escape From Tomorrow,' Adam the Woo, 'America Sings' and Brenda Chapman in The Mouse Castle Lounge

I've got a pair of cautionary tales this week in The Mouse Castle Lounge, illustrating what can happen (or potentially happen) when you go too far documenting Disney without their permission.

We start with video blogger Adam the Woo. He's established a sizable following exploring abandoned building and attraction sites, mostly in Florida, and sharing his adventures online. He's also a Disney fan who's posted a number of videos of Walt Disney World over the last few years.

Mr. the Woo ran afoul of the Mouse House recently when he took his camera to Epcot during its 30th anniversary celebration and went backstage, shooting video of cast members-only places not open to the public. This wasn't the first time he captured off limits areas at Walt Disney World. In 2010, he and a friend hopped the security fence at the longtime closed and abandoned water park River Country, posting video of their findings online as well. The end result of these escapades is Adam the Woo was trespassed from Walt Disney World last week, a "lifetime ban" that came from intentionally breaking the rules.

Here's the video that was the last straw for Disney. Adam goes into a backstage area at Universe of Energy at about the 3:15 mark.

Meanwhile, at this year's Sundance Film Festival, independent fillm maker Randy Moore has caused a stir with his new flick, Escape From Tomorrow, "a surreal, postmodern voyage into the seedy underbelly of family entertainment." It follows the travails of Jim, a husband and father on vacation with his family at some very familiar theme parks. After finding out he's lost his job at home, Jim starts a downward spiral into madness at a place that turns out to be less than happiest place on earth.

The kicker is Escape From Tomorrow was cautiously filmed almost exclusively at Disneyland and Walt Disney World without any knowledge or consent from Disney--and in the process, Moore went out of his way to skewer the corporate mass entertainment mentality. The attorneys are going to have a field day with this one.

This video clip doesn't do justice to the weirdness the film reportedly entails:

On a less litigious note, this week in the Disney News Archive, I set the dial to summer 1974 and revisit Disneyland's audio-animatronic musical spectacle, America Sings.

All this, plus my favorite blogger of the week (not in person--I wish), Brenda Chapman, the co-director of Brave, are in The Mouse Castle Lounge. Give it a listen. You know you want to. 

Just promise not to sue.

The Mouse Castle Lounge can also be heard on iTunes and Stitcher.


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