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Arthur Levine

Nemo: Found

By May 1, 2006

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For a little fish, the star of the Pixar/Disney toon, Finding Nemo, sure generated a lot of movie and video revenue. Now, Nemo and his underwater pals are generating a lot of theme park attractions at the Disney parks. The ancient reptile with the incongruous surfer-dude patois from the popular film is already the star of the wonderful Turtle Talk with Crush, located at Disney's California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort and inside The Living Seas Pavilion at Epcot in Florida's Walt Disney World. The wildly innovative attraction features real-time interaction between a CGI-animated Crush and live theme park audiences. And in the fall, the lame Sea Base Alpha ride-through attraction at Epcot's The Living Seas will get Pixar-lated into The Seas with Nemo and Friends. The totally revamped ride will meld the toon characters with the real marine creatures swimming in the pavilion's enormous aquarium.

In late 2006, "Finding Nemo--The Musical" will debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom, part of the Walt Disney World resort. "But wait," you say. "Finding Nemo didn't have any music." Right you are. Disney Creative Entertainment brought in Broadway composers to develop original songs for the 30-minute production. I recently got to hear a sample performance of one of the songs, which was charming and bodes well for the new show. In the style of the theatrical version of The Lion King (and designed by the same puppeteer), live actors will operate the Nemo puppets in full view of the audience.

In 2007, the shuttered sub lagoon at Disneyland will gurgle back to life when the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage dives into action. The attraction will mark the return of a beloved and greatly missed Disneyland ride. Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris, meanwhile, will get Crush's Turtle Twister, a spinning coaster/dark ride, in 2007. Whew! Where else might the Nemo stars surface? Stay tooned.
Walt Disney Parks 2006 Ride Guide
Pirates of the Caribbean Ride Review

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