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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    Spoilers they are not. I've said before that Walt will die November 6, 2002, and I'll say it again here, too.

    Shrek the Third was indeed the worse movie, but anytime a sequel pulls out some stupid plot point like "The secret twin brother the protagonist never knew about!" or "What if Shrek was never born!", it's just a bad movie in general. Shrek 4 wasn't total garbage, but it was still pretty bad.
     
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  2. TimeEnough Well-Known Member

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    I thought he was going to die in 2001?
     
  3. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    I changed it to 11/6/2002 a few months back, not sure if I said that here or not. He'll die at the ripe old age of 100, just a month before his 101st birthday.
     
  4. alpal2214 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I just read through the threadmarks when I came upon the TL and I never saw it, so I thought it was. Sorry!
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Star Wars: Trench Run

    HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    On February 27, 1980, Disney released its sixth video game, Star Wars: Trench Run, developed in conjunction between Walt Disney Imagineering and the fledgling LucasArts Games division. Released three years after the movie that started it all debuted, Trench Run instilled the world with another instance of Star Wars fervor, which didn't even have a chance to peter out before The Empire Strikes Back released in theaters just over a year later. That being said, the game didn't do as well as Galaxian, Black Hole, or Asteroids, living up to company expectations but not going much further.

    Star Wars: Trench Run was Disney's most ambitious and technologically advanced video game yet. It took the vector graphics of Asteroids and put them to use in the rendering of a pseudo-3D environment, namely the Death Star trenches. The player pilots Luke Skywalker's X-Wing fighter during the climactic Battle of Yavin, the ultimate goal of the game being to send a proton torpedo down the exhaust chute at the end of the tunnel.

    The game operates like a standard shooter, with access to a blaster that does little damage but never depletes, and a finite amount of proton torpedoes that destroy an enemy TIE fighter in one hit. The game is split into three separate segments, getting progressively more difficult:

    • The Trench: The game begins with the player piloting one X-Wing and flanked by two friendly ships, hurtling through the Death Star trenches. TIE fighters here are rather scarce, and most of the obstacles come from dodging structures and blaster fire from stationary turrets that are easy to destroy. As Star Wars: Trench Run was the first game of its kind, this area can be seen as a tutorial of sorts. It ends when Darth Vader appears in his TIE Advance, swiftly destroying the two other Rebel craft and zeroing in on Luke.
    • The Run: Vader doesn't stick around for long, though, as he's fired upon by Han Solo in the Milennium Falcon (offscreen) and jets off to take care of them, first. In the meantime, the player must face off against the same obstacles as before, but with no help whatsoever and the added threat of a higher volume of TIEs. If the player survives long enough, Darth Vader returns, queuing the next and final segment.
    • The Edge: During this final part, the player is pursued relentlessly by Vader, and as a result cannot stay in the same location for very long, as one hit from Vader means instant death--a fact toned down by the fact that his TIE Advanced takes a decent amount of time to target Luke. At the end, precision timing is required to send a proton torpedo into the designated target. If the player has conserved their stash from over the course of the game, they get multiple attempts at the shot, but more often than not players arrive empty handed and get only one chance to destroy it. If the player succeeds, the game ends, and loops on a higher difficulty. If they lose, the game ends in failure, and the Empire destroys the Rebel Alliance.
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    WDI Building, Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA
    March 2, 1980

    Rolly Crump took a seat at one end of the main Imagineering conference table. Great ideas had come to life in that room, ideas that shaped the worlds of the past, the future, and of fantasy. Now, though, he didn't know why he was here. Seated next to him was Tony Baxter, who was shaping up to be a fusion of Marc Davis and Claude Coats' best traits--a master of character and of environment, able to envision a world and populate it with people and creatures.

    "You're probably wondering what I called you two in here for," announced Walt, who was at the head of the table.

    "I was, yeah," replied Tony.

    "I'll just get straight to it: the world of video gaming is getting big, much to big for its leading party to still be relegating it to not even an official position in their studio. Our video game department--even if it's really just you two--has outgrown Imagineering."

    "So what do you want us to do?" asked Rolly. "Join LucasArts Games? Sorry, Walt, but I'm not leaving Disney proper until you leave Disney proper."

    Walt laughed. "No, no, that's not what I meant. It's nice to see you're exceptionally invested, though. No, I think it's high time we created a video game studio as a new arm of this studio. Something like, 'Disney Studios Interactive', to show we still treat our games with the same fine-toothed comb as our films, but the media is indeed interactive."

    "And you want us to leave Imagineering and start up this... DSI?" pressed Tony.

    "Yes, precisely. But only if you really want to. I wouldn't want to force anything down your throats."

    Tony sighed. "Walt, as much as I'd like to, I can't. Helping design EuroDisney has let me see that I love Imagineering, more than anything in the world. I can't leave it behind. I'm sorry."

    Walt nodded, seeming saddened, but also as if he'd known what Tony's answer was going to be before he even asked. "I understand. Rolly, how about you?"

    Rolly Crump exhaled loudly. "Geez, Walt, I dunno. I really like being an Imagineer, but then again, I haven't been doing much theme park design as of late, have I?"

    Walt chuckled. "I suppose not."

    "And even though I adore it... well, I adored animating, too, before you called me in to work on the World's Fair with WED. I'll take the dive, Walt. You were certainly right about last time, and I'm confident you'll do it again this time, too."

    "Congratulations, then, Rolly. From this moment on, you are officially the head of Disney Studios Interactive," Walt boomed. "Now, let's get to work!"
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  6. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    Can't wait to see what gaming has to offer once Nintendo enters the picture.
     
  7. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    I also am looking forward to when I can start posting my TTTE related ideas.
     
  8. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    What dates/months do they take place around? I'll work them in then.
     
  9. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Nice for them, the star wars game was very nice, but with this difficulty, for expert players and fans it seems
     
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  10. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    My current idea is that the first event takes place March 3, 1981. Which is when David Mitton informs Britt Alcroft he and Robert Cordona got the Jim Henson Company to fund the show. As well as some technical details regarding the show's production like the model trains used.
     
  11. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Alright, PM me what you've got and if it's good, you can post it.
     
  12. connorCD I make bad threads that get little to no attention

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    I'm thinking about an idea for a potential movie for this timeline. Mind if we start a conversation about it?
     
  13. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Go for it. I might not be able to respond for a little while, but I'll get to it soon.
     
  14. Threadmarks: Cross Pollination

    HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Marvel Comics Group, New York City, NY
    March 12, 1980

    Stan Lee steepled his fingers. "Jim, what should we do about the Disney Channel deal?"

    Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter snorted as he awoke from a nap. "The... what? You mean the animated shows?"

    "Yes. DePatie-Freleng--well, Marvel Productions in a few months--is already working on a Spider-Man show that can be up and running as soon as next year. They want me to write for them, too. But what do we do about the animated Marvel universe we're creating? Where do we go from Spider-Man?"

    "I'd say the Incredible Hulk, obviously," offered Shooter.

    "I suppose so. It's too bad those deals with Universal over the live-action Hulk show fell through. I guess that bastard Michael Eisner doesn't know a good idea even when it's an inch in front of him."

    "On the bright side, he gave us back the full rights to the Human Torch in the chaos after Sid Sheinberg bit the dust. Eisner must really hate superheroes."

    "I think he does," replied Stan. "I've had the displeasure of meeting the guy, he flat out turned me down on everything I had to offer before all my papers were out of the briefcase. When I was leaving, he muttered something about comic books being for 'children'. Apparently, Universal's too cool to fool with 'children' these days."

    "...So the Incredible Hulk is next. We've got the rights to the FF, they're still decently popular. The X-Men are outselling every single comic on the stand these days. And of course, we've got the Avengers, Cap, Iron Man, Thor... who of those would fit television, you think?"

    Stan Lee's face lit up. "All of them."

    Shooter's face fell. "What?"

    Stan grabbed a pen and flipped over the paper before him, exposing a blank side. He quickly began scribbling down words and drawings on the page. "So, you know how in our comics the characters always... cross over between the other titles? Cross pollination. Something to entice readers of, say, Daredevil to hop on over and see what Spider-Man's up to that month. What if we tried to do that with these animated TV series?"

    He'd written down a very confusing diagram under the title 'The Marvel Animated Universe'. Arrows pointed in every direction, connecting Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four to the X-Men to the Hulk to the Avengers...

    "That's insane. There's no way we can pull off a project this big," protested Shooter.

    "We can't, but Disney can. Get Walt on the horn. I've got a hell of an idea to share with him."

    --------------------------------
    Elstree Studios, London, UK
    March 17, 1980

    George Lucas let out a groan of disbelief and anger, as he took a seat on the curb. "How bad was it?"

    "Pretty bad," said Irvin Kershner, the film's director. "Apparently, the fire was started by a short-circuiting coffee machine. It destroyed about half of Dagobah, and one of the Yoda puppets looks like Belloq at the end of Raiders, but everyone got out okay."

    Lucas put his head in his hands. "Great. That's gonna kill the budget."

    Kershner nodded. "Stanley Kubrick wasn't too happy either. The fire made it to The Shining's set, and did some damage there, too. But that's not our problem."

    "Goddammit. This movie had better do fucking phenomenal. Trench Run did well, but not like Black Hole. I sure hope people aren't getting tired of Star Wars mania..."

    --------------------------------
    Site of EuroDisney, Aprilia, Latina, Italy
    March 22, 1980

    Tony Baxter shifted his stance and ticked off another box, standing before a crowd of Imagineers. "Jungle Cruise?"

    "Finished the final details last night."

    "Seabase Nautilus?"

    "She's still being worked on. All the details in the lagoon are taking a lot of time to install."

    "Grizzly Gulch Railroad?"

    "Track's in place, but not all the details, and the T. Rex is still being embedded in the wall."

    "Alright. That's all I've got for now. We're coming up on crunch time, people. We've got just under two months before EuroDisney opens, and we've got about three month's of work left. So, double-time! No, triple-time, ladies and gentlemen! We don't want another Disneyland Opening Day disaster on our hands, do we?"

    "No!" roared the group.

    "So hop to it! Tinker Bell can't build this whole place by herself!"

    The Imagineers dispersed from where they had assembled at the Roman Forum, this park's version of a Main Street, USA. Snow White Castle, a decidedly fantastical take on the classic 'weenies' of the Disney Parks, loomed in the distance. Tony Baxter swiveled in the direction of the open-air market, which declared it was selling 'Exotic Gifts from the Empire's Furthest Reaches' in Latin, and kept his nose on his clipboard as he walked. He was paying such little attention that he ploughed right into Walt Disney.

    "Oh, man, I'm really sorry, Walt!" apologized Tony, crouching to pick up his fallen papers.

    Walt just laughed. "No worries. I've done my fair share of running into things myself."

    Tony stood. "Well, that's a relief. So, you finally made it back out to Italy, I see?"

    Walt shushed him. "Keep it down. I'm supposed to be at a shareholders meeting in New York right now."

    "Does Roy know you're here?"

    "Would I be here if he didn't? My brother knows all. When we were little, he made me give him half an extra biscuit I swiped at dinner one night, otherwise he'd tell Dad. And getting in trouble with Elias Disney was no laughing matter."

    "Do you want a tour of the place? Maybe a ride on something that's finished?"

    "What do you have?"

    Tony scanned his paper. "Let's see... Jungle Cruise, Pirates, Phantom Manor, Peter Pan... the Timekeeper animatronic show works, but it might be a little creepy without any other audience members..."

    "How about... Around the World in Eighty Days?" proposed Walt. "That's EuroDisney's small world analogue, correct?"

    "It is. Shall we go backstage, or walk the beaten path there?"

    "The beaten path. That way I can point out any problems I see along the way," Walt explained.

    The duo set off, and along the way, Walt did indeed point out many problems--127 to be precise--that ranged from distances between trash cans ("No more than twenyy paces, remember--people are lazy and won't walk farther than that to throw away garbage,") to still seeing the castle in Discoveryland to a few dead light bulbs. Every time Walt and Tony stopped, the younger Imagineer realized how important Walt was to the building of a Disney theme park. He shuddered, thinking of a world where Walt Disney was gone, and he, Tony Baxter, had to make all the tough-but-tiny decisions. Hopefully, that world was still a long way's off.

    --------------------------------

    (A big thanks to @Pyro for suggesting ideas/helping with anything and everything comic book related ITTL, including the MAU!)​
     
  15. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    How this affect the shining? i loved that movie
     
  16. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    1. Apparently, Eisner is too short-sighted to understand that kids who buy comics or watch animated shows about superheroes grow up into adults with nostalgia and disposable income.
    2. Was the specific number of Walt's issues with the park a reference to how many takes Kubrick did for a scene in The Shining?
    3. How similar is the Phantom Manor to OTL? I presume that the Italians would be less likely to object to Vincent Price's narration than the French were.
     
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  17. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    All of hollywood was and don't lie yourself, till 80's comics were a big niche but a niche
     
  18. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    There was a fire IOTL that was started on The Shining's set around the same time, which spread to Empire's set and did two million dollars' worth of damage. The storytelling beat was too good to pass up (plus, keeping George Lucas something of a struggling artist makes him stay an artist and not become a businessman as IOTL [though, he's already been pushed off that path by Disney owning most of the rights to Star Wars merch, not him]), so I went for it. There won't be any adverse effects on the quality of either film, though.

    Eisner... was not very smart in the first place. He did some weird stuff in an attempt to appeal to teens when he helmed Disney IOTL, like name Splash Mountain (originally called Zip-A-Dee River Run) after a Tom Hanks romcom named Splash. Him giving comic books the finger seems pretty much in line with stuff like that.

    Honestly, I just pulled that number out of thin air. But yeah, we'll go with what you said.

    Phantom Manor will be covered when EuroDisney opens. I'm thinking of doing multiple posts to cover the opening, so I can be more thorough, either divided up by land or in pairs of lands.
     
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  19. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    I hate this shit, after episode VII, lucas is far more talented people want to admit.
     
  20. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    I assume you mean Return of the Jedi there, and not The Force Awakens. Anyways, it's blatantly obvious that George Lucas' artist side--the side that made American Graffiti, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Raiders of the Lost Ark--was put to one side when he realized how much cold, hard cash he could make on Star Wars. In early drafts of RotJ, the Ewoks were actually replaced by Wookies, and one of the major influences that changed them into Ewoks was Lucas' desire to merchandise more (hence forcing literal teddy bears into far too much of the movie's runtime). By the time the Prequels rolled around--movies that are utterly terrible--it's easy to see making money was the only thing on his mind. All three of those movies are terrible, and and since he hasn't worked on the new trilogy or spinoffs, what, may I ask, shows he's still using his talents?
     
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