Laughin' Place: Redefining Disney

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by HeX, Oct 18, 2018.

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  1. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Yeah, Midway's pretty much dead. Without Pac-Man, its knock-off sequels, and Galaga, it's been overrun by competition and won't be a major player in the slightest going forward.

    Yes, that means Mortal Kombat is butterflied.
     
  2. Kalvan Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Ed Boon and John Tobias help John Carmack and John Romero found Id Software.
     
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  3. Goldwind2 Well-Known Member

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    Are sure they can't limp along until 1981 and be saved by a deal with komina begining with frogger
     
  4. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Nope, Midway is as dead as a doornail.
     
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  5. Kalvan Well-Known Member

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    So that means no Tapper, Demolition Derby, Domino Man, Satan's Hollow, Spy Hunter, Two Tigers, Rampage, Xenophobe, Narc, or Trog?
     
  6. GTStinger Well-Known Member

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    With no Spy Hunter or Rampage, my piggie bank would have a lot more quarters in it ATL
     
  7. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Keep in mind that many of those arcade games were only published by Bally/Midway. So the ones not made by Midway in-house will still exist, only they'll be in the bullpen of another game studio.
     
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  8. connorCD I make bad threads that get little to no attention

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    Tell me, is it possible to have MGM keep its hotel/casino division longer? It would be interesting to see how MGM play forward if they keep their resorts, and even more so if they buy FOX and do not get bought by Turner.
     
  9. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    Is there a point in the timeline where OTL people won't be born or not?
     
  10. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Unfortunately, the only way to make MGM really focus on making movies is to split them in half, the filmmaking business on one side and the casinos and hotels on the other. However, that doesn't put a possible future re-merger out of the question, once both companies are back on their feet.

    I personally subscribe to the thought that in alternate timelines, if the world is still roughly similar to OTL then all the people born IOTL are also born ITTL.

    That might be a little confusing, so I'll put it this way: if the POD to a timeline takes place during, say, the American Revolution, I think that Abraham Lincoln will still be born. But if the timeline diverges during the height of the Roman Empire, then there's no way Lincoln will be born. That school of thought allows recognizeable names to still be in alternate timelines, because if I was really strict then literally anyone born after the POD would be radically different.

    Also, since I'm a 2000s kid, I'd like to not butterfly my own existence.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  11. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    I was just thinking that John Tobias and Ed Boon could be employed by Disney's video game wing of the Imagineers.
     
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  12. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    Also, I had the random idea of a Discworld anime series. Weirder concepts have been greenlit by Japanese studios.
     
  13. Threadmarks: Crafting a Virtual Reality

    HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Walt Disney's Office, Burbank, CA
    February 3, 1980

    The new year was off to a great start. The studio had not one, not two, but four big-name films (Hood, The Secret of NIMH, The Empire Strikes Back, and Earth, Walt's nature documentary) in production, two of which were set to release before Christmas. And, of course, there were other things on the horizon: EuroDisney would be opening its gates come June, Star Wars: Trench Run would be debuting in arcades at the end of the month, and Marvel would be announcing their planned animated shows based on their superhero properties soon--shows that would be exclusive to the Disney Channel. But that didn't mean Walt was uninterested in adding more ideas to that already full slate--hence the meeting he was having today.

    Steven Lisberger and Donald Kushner were the men in the chairs across Walt's desk today. They sat there both excited and nervous, but were confident in their ideas. Hopefully, Walt would be too, because every other studio they'd approached had turned them down. Universal had been too busy pouring all of its cash into The Legend of the Lone Ranger and politely dealing with the character's original actor, MGM and Fox were in the process of collapsing as companies, Columbia had its hands full with Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Warner Bros. was just flat-out disinterested.

    "What have you brought me?" asked Walt, absently flipping through the pages and storyboards Lisberger and Kushner had handed him.

    "It's a film we've been working on for half a decade, now. The basic premise is that this computer programmer, Kevin Flynn, gets trapped in the mainframe of an evil company hell-bent on ruining his life. He's got to manipulate the rules of the new virtual world he's in to take down the bad guy, Sark, before it's too late," explained Lisberger. "Though, that's a very loose retelling of it. The whole script is there, if you're interested in reading the whole thing," explained Lisberger.

    "We call the movie TRON, short for 'electronic', and it's also the name of a character," added Kushner.

    Walt whistled. "Are these shots... computer-generated?"

    "Uh, yeah," replied Lisberger. "That's why we're coming to Disney, actually--those CGI scenes are amazing, but they're also expensive. We just don't have the funds to create the full extent of our artistic vision for this movie."

    "...If you can keep on making things that look like this, then I'd say we'll be happy to fund you," offered Walt.

    Lisberger and Kushner's mouths flopped open like dead fish.

    "You're agreeing to it just like that?" asked Kushner, dumbfounded.

    "Of course I am! I've been interested in computer animation for decades! I'm building my own CGI department here at the studio as we speak! This is not an opportunity I am willing to let pass me by. Disney will take on your project, no matter how much it costs."

    "So then... it's settled?" questioned Lisberger.

    "I should think so," said Walt. "You'll have to take a look at the official paperwork and all that junk, but TRON is officially now a Walt Disney production."

    --------------------------------
    Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA
    February 14, 1980

    John Lasseter bumped and shoved his way through the crowd in an attempt to get a seat. It seemed the whole Disney studio was in Soundstage One, and the floor was packed with hastily set-up folding chairs. Lasseter didn't know why he'd been called down here, but this meeting sure was taking a lot of time away from him working on his segment of The Secret of NIMH.

    Eventually, he found a spot to sit, and soon the lights dimmed and four men came onto the stage. Two of them, Jerry Rees and Bill Kroyer, were Lasseter's old friends from when they had, once upon a time, worked at Disney. The other pair, Alvy Ray Smith and Ed Catmull, had been selected by George Lucas to head what had been intended to become LucasArts' CGI department and what was now, after the merger, the Walt Disney Computer Graphics Group.

    "Ladies and gentlemen," began Catmull, "You have been assembled here today to watch some very early footage of Walt Disney Studios' next big live-action movie, TRON. It's not much, but it represents a landmark leap forward in computer graphics. So, observe."

    Catmull stepped to the side, and the screen behind him lit up. A video began playing, showing a man in a dark suit expertly throwing a Frisbee. While his skills were impressive, what caught the eye of animators and Imagineers alike was the visual effects. The footage was largely live-action, but it seamlessly fused that with back-lit animation and computer-generated imagery to create a world with as much depth and believability as everyday life.

    The men and women in the room were stunned, and when the clip ended, there was an uproarious demand to play it again. And again. And again. They played it until the film itself melted.

    There was thunderous applause, which Ed Catmull struggled to speak over. "This is just a sample of what we're trying to accomplish with this movie. The only trouble is, we need animators to help us, and a lot of them. Walt has instructed us to tell all of you that, if you wish, a certain number of you all may leave behind other animation projects like Get a Horse! or The Secret of NIMH to work on TRON. Although, it's on a first come, first serve basis, and subject to Don's approval--I wouldn't want to deprive him of any of his critical animators."

    "Are there any questions?" asked Rees.

    A million hands shot up into the air.

    "Alright then, a lot more than anticipated," he muttered.

    "You, there," said Kroyer, pointing to a woman near the back.

    "When is TRON supposed to come out?"

    "We're hoping for late-1981, early-1982. Summer of '82 at the latest."

    Another person, an Imagineer, was chosen to ask his question next. "Are there any other computer animation projects lined up for the future?"

    "Not to my knowledge," admitted Smith. "Though I can't imagine Walt would keep a new medium like CGI under wraps for long."

    "You go next," announced Catmull, gesturing to John Lasseter.

    He lowered his hand and shifted his glasses. "I only have one question," he stated. "Where do I sign up?"
     
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  14. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    Wait, is the Secret of NINH any different from OTL?
     
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  15. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Nope, it's nearly identical. It comes two years early because Bluth doesn't have to worry about setting up a whole animation studio before he can work on it. Because of that, I won't be doing a whole blow-out post outlining the film's plot like I've done with previous animated movies (the same will happen with ESB, which is for all intents and purposes identical to OTL), and will instead focus on its impact.
     
  16. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    ESB?
     
  17. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Short for The Empire Strikes Back.
     
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  18. alpal2214 Well-Known Member

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    Nice to see John Lasseter working with Disney this early on. So begins the era of CGI! One question: With the advent of CGI, will animation abandon hand-drawn 2D, like IOTL, or will they coexist?
     
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  19. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    There will be three stages in the 2D/CG animation relationship, those being:

    1. 2D Dominance: During this time, CGI is very expensive and while it provides new creative opportunities, those don't warrant bankrupting the studio. So 2D animation will remain king, with CGI being relegated to rendering large, intricate objects too difficult to animate by hand and generally expanding the capabilities of 2D animation, as well as being used in short films and commercials, much like Pixar's early days. This period will be from TRON's release all the way up to the early 1990s.
    2. Coexistence: During the 1990s and 2000s, the two art forms will live in harmony, with Disney generally making two animated movies a year, one 2D, and one CG. 2D animation during this period will utilize the advanced techniques of 'deep canvas' and 2D CGI (think Tarzan or Treasure Planet) and be highly detailed.
    3. CG Dominance: After Walt dies in 2002, the studio will begin to stop making as many 2D films and focus on advancing computer-generated imagery instead. Disney will never stop making 2D movies, but the amount will certainly be lessened. Most of their 2D films, as a result, will be made to harness the abilities of their format, and will use new art styles to freshen things up (think Lilo and Stitch's watercolor backgrounds).
     
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  20. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    Assuming that Shrek is made ITTL, might I suggest a fourth phase where 2D returns to the fold due to a bad reputation surrounding CGI films?
     
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