Talking With the Creators of Disney's New 'Finding Nemo' Musical

May 4, 2022, 7:53 PM · Greetings from the Walt Disney World Resort, where I am attending Disney's "The Celebration Continues" media event today and tomorrow. It's my first time back at Disney World since March 2020, so I will have plenty to share about my experience. But before I get to that, let's look ahead to a new attraction coming this summer to the resort.

As we have reported earlier, a new Finding Nemo musical will open at Disney's Animal Kingdom this summer. This afternoon, Disney provided me an opportunity to talk with Chris Iannuzzi and Matt Fiuza of Disney Live Entertainment about "Finding Nemo: The Big Blue... and Beyond."

The use of an LED video wall in the new production is giving me "Bourne Under the Sea" vibes. We'll see how it works out.

In other Walt Disney World entertainment news, Disney announced today that Fantasmic! will be returning later this year with a new show sequence. The Pocahontas segment is out to make way for the new scene, which will feature Pocahontas along with Mulan, Elsa, Aladdin, and Moana, supplemented with "new technical enhancements."

In addition, as previously reported, Fort Wilderness' Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue will return on June 23. And stay tuned for a review of Cirque du Soleil Drawn to Life, coming later tonight.

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Replies (2)

May 5, 2022 at 10:35 AM

There's a lot of concern about this revamp, so Imagineers and producers are under a lot of pressure to deliver. They are replacing talent with a screen, and while Bourne over at USF has been successful accomplishing the task, that show didn't have the standard established by the original Finding Nemo show (replacing the limited cast, screen-based Terminator with the similarly screen-based Bourne). If they wanted to create a show with a significantly reduced cast (and thus lower operating costs), they should have tapped a new IP instead of staying with Nemo. This new show will always be compared to the beloved original, and I think this new show has to be a grand slam to avoid the inevitable criticism from fans and theater lovers fighting for talented performers.

Hopefully the extra time being taken to develop this show is used to make it the hit that it needs to be, because let's face it, the last couple of new shows at WDW haven't lived up to expectations (HarmoniUS and KiteTales).

May 7, 2022 at 2:12 AM

Thank goodness that they're dropping that over-long Pocohontas sequence from Fantasmic! It had zilch to do with the rest of the show, and it slowed things down. It was a bore, and had to go.

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