Posts Tagged ‘Living Character Iniative’

Of animatronics and Wall*E

Friday, June 20th, 2008

It has been announced that after the release of Pixar’s newest feature Wall*E, a full-size animatronic Wall*E will be introduced into Disney’s California Adventure! This specially programmed, completely autonomous automaton will drive, make expressive noises, and pick up trash, just like its movie counterpart. Disney management says that it may even be allowed to interact with guests after it has completely cleaned its area of the park.

Unfortunately, just a few days after this news was released, Disney announced that it would be firing a significant number of its animatronics-department staff. This marks an end to Disney’s tradition of developing lifelike figures in-house or (in recent years) of outsourcing much of its animatronics work but not telling anyone. The released staffers will be replaced by specially programmed, completely autonomous Wall*E-style robots.

Buzz to the rescue

Monday, June 16th, 2008

As part of its “living character” initiative, Disney is exploring the possibility of replacing certain castmembers with animatronic figures. A few days ago, our Official DisneyLies Photo Correspondent managed to be on site during a test of the new Buzz Lightyear Guest Services Castbot.

Buzz Lightyear, tourguide

The robot speaks and understands more than 50 languages and can direct guests to any facility on the property, pass out maps, listen attentively to even the most bizarre complaint with a sincerely concerned expression, and blast particularly troublesome guests into oblivion.