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Friday, March 12, 2010

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln - The Triumphant Return

As everyone knows, the first showing of Great Moments with Mr Lincoln was at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York.  It has been in and out of Disneyland since it's arrival in 1965.  Mr. Lincoln was always the comfortable shoe for me.  I admit, I hardly ever saw it except if it was really hot outside and I wanted the air conditioning, or it was too cold outside or I was tired and wanted a place to rest, Mr. Lincoln was always there for me.  Even when I made a huge hog out of myself, demolishing the buffet at Club 33, and couldn't ride any attraction without hurling, Mr. Lincoln was there to give me solace and rest for my distended stomach.
Two years ago I decided I wanted to visit my old friend Abe and noticed he was gone.  Yes gone and replaced with an entertaining film starring Steve Martin and Donald Duck.  It was fine but it wasn't Mr. Lincoln.  I asked a cast member, why Mr. Lincoln was gone.  He didn't know.  I just wanted to know who the Commie was that did away with President Lincoln.  I have an idea it was Eisner who did it before he left.
So now Mr. Lincoln is back, bigger and better than ever before.  Disney has melded the best of all of versions of this show into one.  In the lobby, you can watch the Steve Martin/Donald Duck movie that use to play in the theatre.  It is a fun movie with clips of past shows, attractions and shops and is an excellent way to kill time between Mr. Lincoln viewings.
There are also amazing pictures of Lincoln on the walls as well as a 20 foot model of the Capital that one talented, crazy guy carved from stone.  The workmanship is amazing.  It is perfectly in scale and he made it all by hand.  Brilliant!
A pre-movie shows clips of Royal Dano, the iconic Lincoln actor who Walt had to have as the voice of Lincoln.  He is wonderful.  I am so glad that they use his voice for the show and what a show it is.  It is stirring, inspiring, sad, glorious, just like out Country.  They have kept the ballad "Two Brothers" along with Civil War photos that illustrate the song.  The look of the show overall is very "Hall of Presidents" from Magic Kingdom.
Lincoln is the most advanced audio animatronic figure to date, even better that Jack Sparrow. While he does "defy gravity" when he stands, the facial expressions are amazing.  His new skin (which is less reflective) is more lifelike and his hair is more realistic.  He truly is a marvel of modern engineering.  While having Lincoln stand without an arm to assist him (push him into a standing position like real people do) looks robotic, everything else is dead on.  Kudos to all the hard work that went into bringing our 16th President to life and reminding us of our darkest hour as a Nation and how we can overcome adversity.  
Do me a favor and visit Mr. Lincoln.  He may not be flashy but he is difficult to ignore.

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