A remodeled theatre in the corner of Disney’s Animal Kingdom themepark is about to become the focus of Disney’s latest entry into the musical theatre market. Finding Nemo, the Musical will be a 30 minute show that features brand new songs, puppets, and special effects that are sure to please the average guest. If it becomes a breakout hit, it might even find it’s way to Broadway in an extended format.
LaughingPlace.com has scored some official Disney photos of a dress rehearsal for the show. You can really see the influence of Michael Curry, who co-created many of the puppets for The Lion King on Broadway as well as some Disney parades and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
puppets are larger than life — such as Crush (seen above), the cool sea turtle who
is nearly the size of a Volkswagen. Other characters will be portrayed
by a diverse array of puppetry styles, including rod, Bunraku and
shadow. This AP article has a few more details
The show is set to open to guest previews in Mid-November sometime. Hopefully by the 18th, but that’s not a guarantee.
The full Press Release is available below the cut.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The undersea world that charmed audiences
around the world in the Disney-Pixar smash-hit film "Finding Nemo" will
come to life in an all-new musical stage show at Disney’s Animal
Kingdom. Preview performances begin in November with the premiere set
for January 2007.
Featuring original songs by Tony Award-winning "Avenue Q" co-composer-creator Robert Lopez and a cappella musical
"Along the Way" co-creator Kristen Anderson-Lopez, "Finding Nemo-The
Musical" will immerse Walt Disney World guests in the story of Marlin
and Nemo — an overprotective clownfish father and his curious son —
through a dazzling production that combines puppets, dancers,
aerialists and animated backdrops.
The visually inventive show represents the first time Disney has
taken a non-musical animated feature, as well as the first Pixar film,
and transformed it into an original musical production. It will be
presented in the newly enclosed 1,500-seat Theater in the Wild,
completely redone to accommodate first-class theatrical productions.
"In ‘Finding Nemo,’ directors Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and the
talented team at Pixar created a film filled with unforgettable
characters and a story rich with honest emotions that resonated with
audiences everywhere," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks
and Resorts. "The movie was a worldwide box-office success and an
Academy Award winner.
"We are truly excited to bring this beloved story to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in this live musical spectacular."
During "Finding Nemo-The Musical," Theater in the Wild will become a
magical undersea environment through innovative lighting, sound,
special effects, animated projections, and the theatrical puppetry of
Michael Curry, who co-designed the richly detailed character puppets
seen in the Broadway version of Disney’s "The Lion King."
Principal characters such as Marlin, Nemo and Dory will be
represented by live performers operating animated puppets. Some puppets
are larger-than-life — such as Crush, the cool sea turtle, who is
nearly the size of a Volkswagen, and Nigel the pelican, who stands 22
Other characters will be portrayed by a diverse array of puppetry
styles, including rod, Bunraku and shadow. Tap dancing sharks, puppets
riding bicycles, and a punk rock routine by Bruce the shark create
theatrical magic and fun throughout the big blue world.
"It is our goal to bring the undersea ‘Nemo’ characters to Disney’s
Animal Kingdom in a live setting in a way that captures what is truly
special about the film," Rasulo continued. "This production will meet
that challenge in a dynamic and wholly original way to bring us into
the fantastic ocean world."
The director for the new show, Peter Brosius, is artistic director
of The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, winner of the 2003
Regional Theatre Tony Award. The Broadway show "A Year with Frog and
Toad," nominated for the Best Musical Tony Award, originated at The
Children’s Theatre Company.
"Finding Nemo-The Musical" is the first major musical produced for
Walt Disney World Resort by Disney Creative Entertainment, which has
received acclaim for its productions around the world, including
"Disney’s Aladdin" (at Disneyland Resort in California), "Festival of
the Lion King" (at Hong Kong Disneyland), "Twice Charmed" (on the
Disney Cruise Line) and "The Golden Mickeys" (at Hong Kong Disneyland
and on the Disney Cruise Line).
"It’s exciting to be involved in projects that introduce a new
generation of future theatergoers to the work of internationally
recognized creative talent through Broadway-caliber short-form shows
that all audiences can appreciate," said Anne Hamburger, executive vice
president of Disney Creative Entertainment. "Millions of children
experience live theater for the first time during a visit to a Disney
"Finding Nemo-The Musical" tells the story of a father clownfish,
Marlin, and his son, Nemo, each on a separate journey that ultimately
teaches them how to love and understand each other. The two have been
separated — and Marlin will stop at nothing to get his son back,
facing undersea challenges with his new friend Dory, who swim with the
sharks, take on the jellyfish, and ride the current with Crush the
turtle. Meanwhile, Nemo, relocated to a fish tank in Sydney, makes new
friends who teach him that he’s stronger than he thinks. When news of
his father’s heroic journey reaches the tank, Nemo is inspired to do
whatever is necessary to escape the tank and see his father again.
"Finding Nemo-The Musical" is a 30-minute show, performed several
times daily. Admission to Theater in the Wild is included with regular
Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park admission. Guest information is
available by calling 407/824-4321 or by visiting disneyworld.com.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park celebrates one amazing adventure
after another with wild animals, exciting attractions, lavish stage
shows and lovable characters. Highlights include a runaway train
adventure, an authentic African safari and a thrilling race back in
time to prehistoric worlds.
“The Year of a Million Dreams” is a first-of-its-kind celebration
with more than one million very special dreams to be granted to guests
visiting Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts. Guests will find
Disney cast members delivering an unprecedented level of guest service.
The celebration will also be highlighted by the debut of innovative
Disney attractions and entertainment spectaculars at both Disneyland
and Walt Disney World resorts.