Saturday, August 25, 2012

Murphy the Dragon

Three years ago, after much fanfare, Disneyland unveiled its new and improved Maleficent dragon animatronic for FANTASMIC! Gone was the old "Dragon on a Stick" model.  This dragon was articulated, menacing, interacted with Mickey, and was state of the art advanced.

Maleficent making a dramatic entrance in dragon form.


So naturally, it promptly suffered breakdowns and malfunctions.  Pushing the animatronic past its specified technological limits created problems, and fans quickly dubbed the dragon "Murphy," after the man with the famous law.  If something could go wrong, it would, and it took about a year before Murphy came to operate smoothly and consistently, with all of its effects working properly.

The dragon breathes fire and sets the Rivers of America ablaze!

These days, Murphy is a smooth oiled machine.  The dragon has full range of motion, doesn't freeze up in the middle of a show, and consistently breathes fire onto the Rivers of America in FANTASMIC!'s climactic scene.  The only negative is that (s)he always seems to lose to that darned magic-conjuring mouse!

Maleficent/"Murphy" glares menacingly at Mickey, who prepares to do battle.

With a blast of energy from his sword, Mickey vanquishes the evil villain.

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