Monday, April 21, 2014

Thoughts on the New Velociraptor

Last week we reported on a new walk around character coming to Dinoland USA, a certain Professor Woodson from the Dino Institute and a pet velociraptor named, “V”.  This duo is apparently in a testing phase, and may only be around at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a couple of weeks.  In our previous report, we speculated on what kind of character this might be.  Was it a cutting-edge animatronic, perhaps an improvement on the former Lucky character?  The answer is, with all honestly, by no means is this cutting edge in any aspect, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just a bit cool.

image courtesy of the Disney Hipsters
If you don’t remember Lucky, don’t worry neither do most people.  Lucky is one of those things few people got to see, but many wish they did.  Lucky was, or is since I am sure he still exists somewhere, an audio-animatronic Segnosaurus who walked freely, pulling a flower cart, around Dinoland USA greeting guests.  In a word, he was mind-blowing!  He appeared at DAK only for a short time, and then made other short-run appearances in Hong Kong Disneyland and a few non-Disney events.  Since the day his schedule at DAK ended, we have been wishing and hoping for him to come back.  Lucky was that cool.

So when we got wind of this new walk around Disney character coming to DInoland USA we all got excited and perhaps a bit hopeful.  “V” is not an audio-animatronic.  It is a giant puppet, basically like a guy in a colorful Godzilla suit.  When I first saw photos of “V” my heart sank, and I thought it looked cheap and silly.  But after seeing some video footage, and hearing from a few DAK fans, I think we need to put away the memory of Lucky and let “V” stand on his own merits.

Lucky (image from DisneyWiki)

It is actually a pretty cool concept, and the execution is fun.  And far be it from me to criticize Disney for thinking out of the box, designing something new, and resisting the temptation to just pull another character costume out of the closet.  And since it seems like the concept works to some degree, how about a parade made up of similar dinosaur puppets?  A march of the dinosaurs, so to speak, might be quite the replacement for Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade.

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

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