Walt Disney World's New Cirque Show to Open This Fall

August 17, 2021, 12:19 PM · Walt Disney World's new Cirque du Soleil show will open November 18, with tickets going on sale Friday, Disney announced today.

"Drawn to Life" was slated to begin previews at Cirque's Disney Springs theater in March 2020, but the pandemic scuttled those plans. Cirque's parent company filed for bankruptcy a few months later, throwing the future of Drawn to Life and dozens of other Cirque productions into doubt. But the show is back in production and will be ready to go in time for Thanksgiving, Disney and Cirque now say.

"We are so looking forward to unveil this beautiful, long-awaited creation to the public," Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group President and CEO Daniel Lamarre said. "We were moments away from opening night in March of 2020 when performances were paused. Intermission is now over and we cannot wait for Cirque and Disney fans to experience the joy of this love letter to the art of Walt Disney animation."

I saw several scenes from the production during a media preview of Drawn to Life in March 2020. As Disney describes it, Drawn to Life "is a live acrobatic journey telling the story of Julie, a determined girl who discovers an unexpected gift left by her Disney animator father: an unfinished animation. As she dives into the inner world of animation guided by a surprising pencil, Julie embarks on an inspiring quest filled with her childhood Disney memories."

Here is the "Aerial Pencil" scene - an aerialist's tribute to the pencil test that provides the foundation for so much character animation.

And here is "Inner World of Animation," featuring rhythmic gymnasts from Japan to illustrate the process of bringing multiple drawings to life in flipbook.

I spoke after that preview with Lamarre and Show Director and Writer Michel Laprise. Note that Laprise's comments include some plot spoilers.

Drawn to Life is Cirque's 50th production and will perform Tuesday through Saturday at Disney Springs. Tickets go on sale August 20 on Disney's website.

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Replies (1)

August 17, 2021 at 7:32 PM

I feared that this was going to be a causality of the Cirque Du Soleil leveraged buyout/bankruptcy fiasco but I am very much relieved to see this production is alive and well. I think the concept is beautiful in it’s simplicity, and I look very much forward to seeing how the artistry and masterful athleticism of Cirque marries with such an indelible and foundational bedrock of Disney’s rich history.

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