Thursday, May 08, 2008

Not Everybody Liked Honest Abe

Sometimes when I'm doing research for my "real job" in TV, I come across articles that cross over into the "Coaster Radio Universe."

It happened the other day when I found this old Chicago newspaper article from 1964.

When Walt Disney and his Imagineers created the "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" exhibit for the 1964 World's Fair, it was seen by most as a technological marvel.

It was widely praised by all who saw it and went a long way towards cementing Walt Disney's legacy as one of America's greatest entertainers.

Today, Disney fans across the world have come to see that moment as the birth of Audio Animatronics and beginning of Disney's mastery of theme park technology.

So it's interesting to read the op-ed by Mr. Lerner where he says that the exhibit was "tasteless" and an "amateurish mess."

He said that when the curtains opened, he saw what looked "like a dead man with a knife stuck in his back." He went on to complain about an "imperfectly timed sound track" and a "12-minute forgettable speech."

You'll have to read it for yourself, because there are a lot more complaints. Frankly, it's surprising because it's generally agreed upon by most historians that the "Great Moments" exhibit was a pivotal moment in entertainment history. It was easily the most popular exhibit at the World's Fair. The technology was so good, it led to attractions like "Pirates of the Caribbean" and other Disney theme park blockbusters

I don't bring this up because I think the author is at all right. I bring this up to show that no matter how great an accomplishment is, there will always be someone who doesn't think it's great.

I guess there's something we can all learn from that.

Talk about it in the forums.

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