Friday, February 14, 2014

Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!

Even though it's not the flashiest ride in the world, I have an affinity toward Monsters Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue.  Earlier this month, however, I realized that I had never photographed this ride. So armed with my Nikon D600, I took a spin through Monstropolis and snapped some shots where I could get them.  The best of those have been featured here, so enjoy these photos!

Sulley and Boo look for a place to hide when Monstropolis has its first human child intrusion ever.
Tucked away on the backside of Hollywood Land, this dark ride is a redressing of an original and infamous dark ride called Superstar Limo, which debuted with Disney California Adventure when the park opened in 2001.  That ride was a tour of Hollywood with animatronic celebrities around every corner, but it was so corny and absurd and subpar by Disney standards that it was panned by the fan community and quickly plummeted in guest popularity.

Reporting to emergency services a sighting of a human child has this monster all tangled up in fear.
So in 2005, it was refurbished and redone, with the original animatronics clad in new costumes or new positions--though keen eyed Disney fans can identify which old celebrity became which new Monsters Inc. ride character.  The original ride vehicles limos were retained and repainted as taxi cabs, and many of the Hollywood facades were repainted to be part of Monstropolis.

Mike, of course, doesn't handle it well.
Mike Wazowski freaking out in the locker room.
As it is, the new ride is a cute recap of the original Monsters Inc. movie.  While the dark ride technology isn't anything progressive, the Pixar source material does lend a more attractive and classic feel to the experience.  Perhaps this is because I've always loved the movie, but there's warmth and heart to the ride storytelling as well.

Skipping ahead because several intermediate scenes did not turn out well, photographically, Boo bops Randall.

Mike and Sulley find Boo's door and return her back to the human world.
Effects are pretty rudimentary (again, by Disney standards), but the famous and main scenes from the movie are all presented in a straightforward and immersive manner. And though I remember thinking that the animatronics could have been more articulated, the first time I rode the redo, it's important to remember that this was intended to be fix on an unpopular ride, and nothing ground-breaking.

Post-incident, a CDA clean-up crew is interviewed by the media.
And for me, the best part of the ride comes at the very end, when riders come face to face with paperwork-demanding Roz, who actually interacts with each car and has unique, relevant comments to the riders, related to their apparel or actions or even responses back to her.  All in all, it's a fun ride, which is the most important point.

Roz comes up with different comments for each car that passes by--all of them hilarious.

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