Theme Park Insider

Impressions de France

Theme Park Insider Reader Rating: 9 out of 10


Bob Rogers and Rick Harper
EPCOT "Impressions de France" co-producers/co-writers Bob Rogers (left) and Rick Harper (right) stand in front of the story board for the film. Rick was also the film's director, director of photography and music researcher/editor. This photo was taken in 1980 at Walt Disney Imagineering (it was WED Enterprises then) shortly before filming began. Today Rick Harper and his wife live in Carmel, California. He retired from filmmaking in the early 1990's, pursuing his interest in oil painting. He can be reached at Bob Rogers is the founder and Chairman of BRC Imagination Arts, headquartered in Burbank, California, Photo courtesy of Marty Sklar.

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Representing Paris, Epcot's France pavilion uses its buildings to create forced perspectives to make the pavilion look larger and more crowded than it actually is. Disney goes as far to spray bird repellant on its replica of the Eiffel Tower so that birds do not perch on the small-scale tower and look like "monsters."

Playing on a 200-degree screen in a sit-down theater at the back of the pavilion, Impressions de France was directed by Rick Harper and produced by Harper and Academy Award nominee Bob Rogers. The movie depicts a series of visual impressions from France, enlivened by Buddy Baker's arrangement of French classical music. Here is a list of scenes in the film, with their musical accompaniment:

Cliffs of Etretat in Normandy: Debussy - "Solo for Flute"

Marais Poitvin near La Rochelle: Saint-Saens - "Aquarium" from "Carnival of the Animals"

Chambord in the Loire Valley: Boieldieu - "Concerto for Harp and Orchestra"

Chateau Beynat in Dordogne Valley: Debussy - "Nocturne 1"

Bicyclists at La Roque: Offenbach - "Gaite Parisienne"

Hot air balloons near Chateau Chaumont: Ravel - "Daybreak" from "Daphnis et Chloe Suite 1"

French Alps: Debussy - "Clair de Lune"

Skiers in Chamonix: Erik Satie - "Trois Gymnopedies"

Mont St. Michel: Saint-Saens - "Aquarium" from "Carnival of the Animals" (again)

Wedding reception in Brittany farmyard: traditional folk music (unidentified)

Railway tracks in hills of Champeauroux: Saint Saens - "Finale" from "Carnival of the Animals"

Notre Dame de Paris: Offenbach - "Gaite Parisienne" (again)

Garde Republicaine rides through archway at the Louvre: Dukas - "Fanfare" from "La Peri"

Eiffel Tower: Saint Saens - 4th movement from Organ Symphony no. 3


An exceptional theme park show that is simply just a can't miss experience. Impressions de France has a beautiful, chills-inducing score, a new digital projection that’s free of debris, and breathtaking visuals that will send chills down your spine. The scenes are delightful and charming. The music and show are just pure french and so enjoyable. It's probably the best film in all of Epcot, it's just wonderful, and the visuals are worth seeing. A perfect show for adults. 9/10
It is ok. Like many French things, it is very subtle and nobody knows what is going on. If you have been to France, it is exciting. If you have never been there, it is very boring. Quite frankly the story behind the attraction is more interesting than the attraction.
A very enjoyable experience. The music is chilling, and the visuals are great. I'm not sure if I consider it as great as some people on the site, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. 8/10
If your not a fan of world wonders and great unique music you might be bored with this movie , but for me being a fan of all of the above I loved this attraction , it's flawlessly shot and just a great time to just sit down and cool down from the Flordia heat.
The best theme park show in existence. A flawless score with great visuals make this movie a highlight of the park. One of the few things at EPCOT that still has the spirit of the park when it first opened. 10/10

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