By Charly SHELTON
Its been one year after Cars Land opened, a great new land for everyone to visit but targeting mainly boys now it’s the girls’ turn for some new attractions. This summer sees the opening of Princess Fantasy Faire, which we discussed in last week’s article, as well as a new show in the Fantasyland theatre, “Mickey and the Magical Map.”
This new show is not necessarily a girl-specific show like so many of the past productions that have occupied this space: “Snow White: An Enchanting Musical,” “Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage,” “The Spirit of Pocahontas” and for the last six years, “The Royal Processional” featuring all the Disney princesses when Fantasy Faire was located in the foyer of the Fantasyland theatre, just to name a few. This new show combines amazing stage and Disney technology with a story that seems to have been ripped from the screen of Epic Mickey.
The show follows Mickey, apprentice mapmaker to Sorcerer Yensid, as he does the one thing that the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” always does – he meddles with magic he can’t control and unleashes it in the wrong way. In the 1940s cartoon movie “Fantasia,” he unleashes a horde of broom zombies that cannot be killed, only multiplied, and they very nearly sweep everything away in a torrent of water. In the popular video game “Epic Mickey,” he sneaks into Yensid’s workshop and, using a magic paintbrush that is meant to create a world for forgotten characters, Mickey unknowingly unleashes the Phantom Blot, an ink blot bent on absorbing all the ink of every character in the world, as well as a torrent of thinner that thins the painted world to near nothingness. It’s a great game and its sequel is even better.
The reason I emphasize this video game when reviewing the stage show is that the two seem to share a very similar plot – one is just toned down to an appropriate level for an audience of children at Disneyland.
“Epic Mickey” is very dark and it deals with the humanity of Toons, whereas the new show is just lighthearted fun. Yet the similarities shine through – Mickey, using a magic paintbrush, accidentally uses too much ink and paint on a magical map world full of Disney characters. He is swept off on an adventure following an ink blot that he created but must stop before it does harm to the world of Toons in the map.
This stage show has some favorite Disney characters including King Louie from Jungle Book, Pocahontas, Princess Tiana, Rapunzel and, of course, Yensid and Mickey, plus many more. This show has new music and old favorites, remixes and updates on classic songs like, “I Wanna Be Like You” and a princess medley that leaves the jaw hanging.
“Mickey and the Magical Map” is good for all ages – with no hint of the dark motifs found in the game – suitable for anyone who happens to be in Fantasyland looking to get out of the heat and just sit down for a bit.
Not a bad idea for the summer ahead.
I give this show 4 out of 5 stars.