The Oncoming Storm: Losing Norway, Culture, and EPCOT’s Vision
On October 5th 2014, EPCOT’s Maelstrom will close and Disney will begin to revamp the Norwegian pavilion to include the characters, music, and narrative from Frozen, last year’s hit animated film.
I’ll put this simply, because it’s too soon to think of anything else to say: I’m angry. And I’m sad.
World Showcase’s original intent was supposed to be so much more than another repository for Disney’s brands and intellectual property. World Showcase and all of EPCOT was created out of Disney’s once unerring ability to be a company that showcased things, and showcased things that mattered. World Showcase was a permanent (if slightly stale) World’s Fair that existed to be an exhibition of the diversity of man, uniting and captivating visitors with the beauty and drama of the human difference. World Showcase was bravely dedicated to cultures that have defined what our world civilization had done throughout time. Does this description sounds grandiose and overzealous? Good. It should. For a very long time, EPCOT Center inspired these thoughts and these feelings with the content that it had on display. Norway and Maelstrom fit this theme like a glove.
While madcap and quirky and often downright puzzling, Maelstrom at least showed off the sinew of Norwegian myths and legends and culture. Brave vikings, mystical trolls, the barren wilderness of the arctic… The idea of Norway was encapsulated in a short ride. It was a romp. It was a short experience in the “genre” of Norwegian culture.
And now? It’ll be replaced by singing princesses that are “inspired” by the Scandinavian culture. This is a problem. Disney can not showcase culture vis-a-vis something made in their own image. Disney’s Frozen is more a reflection of Disney Animation than it is a reflection of culture. Aesthetic and narrative cues might come from Norway, but they were used to create a place called Arendale… a place that is fictional. A place based in pop culture fantasy. To show off Norway as it really is, Disney needed to extrapolate upon the underlying archetypes that existed within our collective unconscious about the place. Maelstrom already did that. Frozen will not. Frozen is a narrow narrative that uses Norwegian aesthetics and adapts one Norwegian story into a fairly enjoyable film.
Frankly, I like Frozen. I saw it in theaters, twice. But this enjoyment of it doesn’t broker any acceptable vision of EPCOT that includes shoehorning a modern film into a space that was meant to speak to the greater aspects of culture and mythology that define an entire country.
EPCOT, which has undergone a tumultuous trajectory over the past decade or so, is now faced with yet another thematic rift. Norway and Maelstrom now join The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Journey into your Imagination and Innoventions and other attractions that do not support a coherent and cogent vision of what EPCOT once was and should be. Some gems in the park will still exist, of course, but this is a large step in misaligning EPCOT’s focus and making the park less unique. Things like the alleyways of Morocco and Impressions of France and Living with the Land can only do so much on their own to support what EPCOT was and is supposed to be.
EPCOT faces an oncoming storm in removing Maelstrom. I hope it can weather it. I am an optimistic person, but a loss as large as this hurts. And it even hurts to admit that. With the removal of Maelstrom and the inclusion of Norway, there is no stopping what Disney can decide to do with other original and cultural attractions. Disney is now crossing a line into synergizing what was meant to be above and beyond what could be found in a magic kingdom park, or any other Disney park.
It’s a wicked storm, indeed. It’s a maelstrom.
I have been reading a couple of agitated statements and reasons why this whole ordeal stinks. But in almost 99 percent of them they all place the blame on the film itself. Which is causing some pretty incorrect conclusions. So let me clear something up here. Frozen fans are not to blame for the…
I hate to say it, but it seems the TDO gets very little right these days…
US students will be able to shield themselves during school shootings with the latest in body armour, the Bodyguard Blankethttp://goo.gl/WwvECT
Are fucking kidding me? I have been sitting at home and constantly watching the news after the events of yesterday. For those of you who are wondering, I am a junior at REYNOLDS HIGH SCHOOL! I was there when the shooter kept running in the halls trying to open the doors and get in. I was there in the dark praying and crying while my librarian kept saying ” they’ll have to kill me before they touch my kids” I have known her for three years, her determination to keep us safe broke her heart. Seeing this, that little children need protection in school. Are we sending kids to a battlefield? I have three little brothers ranging from 5-10, and still people have the nerve to speak about the second amendment? Really? I can’t even type anymore. I’m so disgusted and frustrated. When will you realize that it’s important to have gun control? When a shooter is pointing a gun at your child? Is that when you’ll realize that guns aren’t something to be kept around. People say it’s a free country but honesty, this country is more oppressed and diseased than any other country.
Show me ONE instance where gun control and gun free zones prevented school shootings.
Let me tell you guys a story.
In 1996, in a little town in Australia called Port Arthur, a gunman killed 35 and injured 23. This place was a tourist attraction, with plenty of visitors and locals going about their business.
35 people died.That’s 35 marriages, anniversaries, birthdays or uni degrees. 35 people left Port Arthur in body bags.
At the time, we had a pretty conservative government, and the Prime Minister at the time (in hindsight) was kind of a dick. But within two weeks of the shooting, Howard instituted a massive reform and buyback of all firearms.
But it must be a statistical flaw, you say, there weren’t that many massacres before 1996, right? No, WRONG.
In the eighteen years leading up to Port Arthur, there had been 13 mass shootings.
But April, you ask, this couldn’t possibly have worked could it? Wouldn’t it only have reduced the mass shootings? WRONG.
Since 1996, there have been ZERO mass shootings. That’s right, ZERO. FUCKING ZILCH. There have been scattered homicides, however:
How many schools have been raided and children murdered? NONE.
How many film buffs have been murdered in their seats? NONE.
How many innocent lives have been lost to the barrel of a gun? NONE.
On top of this, homicides involving the use of guns, and youth suicide involving the use of guns has declined dramatically, by up to 60%
Australia, however much the environment tries to kill you, is a safe haven, and you can walk the streets with 99% assurance that you won’t fall victim to a drive by shooting.
Your move, America.
in 1987 a lone gunman killed 16 people, wounded 15 and then committed suicide. within six months the uk government passed an amendment to the firearms act effectively outlawing all high calibre, high frequency, high capacity rifles and shotguns.
in 1996 another lone gunman killed 16 children and their teacher, and then committed suicide. again within six months the uk government outlawed all handguns. special dispensation had to be issued in order to hold shooting competition as part of the 2012 olympic games, and british hopefuls had to train overseas.
you can legally own certain types of shotgun, .22 calibre rifles over a certain barrel length, and antiques. that’s it.
in the nigh-on twenty years since the uk has had one mass shooting. one. and we’re down to about 30 gun-related deaths annually.
there is not one example of gun control laws reducing mass shootings and gun-related homicide. there are dozens. it literally works every time. the usa is the anomaly not because it didn’t work but because it hasn’t tried.
I was going to write an article to go with this gif on why homeopathy is total garbage, but honestly just go research it for 5 minutes and see for yourself how pure bovine excrement it is.
It’s as if saying something has been “Scientifically scienced” is enough to fool people into buying their nonsense.
Anyone else find it hilariously fitting that he gets sprayed with water?
Go Go Tomago and Honey Lemon
okay I have one thing to say about these ladies.
Go Go’s got those gorgeous thighs and HIPS LIKE DAMN GIRL
and HONEY IS SLAYING WITH THOSE LONG LEGS WORK IT BABE
I am digging the body differences here. Gogo is not your typical disney female body and that is perfect.
Looks like the critics were right… these two look JUST LIKE the female leads in Frozen! Why, the resemblance is UNCANNY!
The actions of 19 Islamic extremists on 9/11 left an indelible mark on America. Today, millions pause to commemorate the attacks’ 13th anniversary, to honor the victims and to remember that all life is special and sacred. But there’s an untold story amid the many speeches and moments of silence — one filled with a different kind of pain, grief and strong sense of loss.
this is for all the girls who are big girls that don’t have a skinnier middle than their butt and thighs
the ones whos bellies hang over their underwear
who’s waist size is thicker than their shoulders, butt, or anywhere else on their bodies
who’s boobs are bigger than their butts, they have curvy lumps on their backs, muffin tops, chicken legs, thick arms and smaller bodies, no boobs, no butt, all middle, whatever.
you’re loved too. don’t forget that.