Monday, June 16, 2014

Go on and...!!

Here's an ineffective GIF Story from the Little Mermaid dark ride.

Ariel wants Eric to kiss her, but he won't do it because...of...reasons.

I mean, c'mon, just look at Eric’s face! You could get thrown out of a brothel with an expression like that! He’s ready to kiss her, and nothing's stopping him, so why won't he do it?

The only explanation I can find is, "Because then the ride would end too soon."

This GIF Story is even less effective in person. Every so often, Eric and Ariel lean forward to kiss, then decide not to, then try it again, and so on.

Maybe Ariel has halitosis, and Eric has short-term amnesia...?

Snark aside, this GIF Story has a lot going for it. Boiling an iconic scene from a movie down to a single, seamless, repeatable action is impressive. Yet without a reason to repeat this action, it simply fails to satisfy.

What's frustrating is that the movie offers a solution which is funny, effective, and would only require adding one animatronic to the scene. Place Scuttle in a tree, "singing" along with the music, like this...

...except here in the ride, he's perched right by Eric's ear. Then, whenever Eric and Ariel lean in to kiss, Scuttle squawks and kills the mood, forcing the lovers to begin the cycle anew.

This is just one of the ways that an understanding of theme park narratology can elevate a well-constructed scene, like the "Kiss the Girl" room, into a satisfying experience.

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