Walt Disney Pictures took its show on the road with a 20-city touring attraction celebrating the summer release of Hercules. Disney’s Hercules Mega Mall Tour, designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, introduces movieg’ers to characters from the animated feature. Like previous Disney mall tours for Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Imagineering used its expertise as designer of Disneyland and Disney World to give the attraction a theme-park feel, according to Lylle Breier, vice president of special events for Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. ‘It’s going to be the biggest, the most interactive, the most theatrical, but most of all, the most fun mall tour we’ve done,’ says Breier.
The tour was created in collaboration with Walt Disney Feature Animation and offers demonstrations on the art of animation, a live stage show and interactive games. Sponsored by Chevy Minivan, the tour will also feature a Chevy Venture Minivan giveaway at each location.
‘Based on the enormous popularity of our previous two mall tours, which have each attracted over four million guests, we have come up with an all-new interactive experience,’ says Richard Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group.
In an interesting educational twist, the tour’s ‘Learn To Be an Animator’ 10-minute video workshop allows kids to follow Andreas Deja, animation supervisor for Hercules, through the step-by-step animation process. ‘It teaches kids how they draw Hercules,’ Breier says. ‘It’s a really wonderful story, and at the end of it, [Deja explains] how he became an animator.’
The central multimedia performance is called the ‘Ani-Muse-Ment-Show’ and features a live singing muse, modeled after the five muse/narrators from the feature film. Hercules-themed game booths and prizes round out the attraction.