As promised during the D23 Expo, the Incredible Hulk has made his meet-and-greet debut at Disney California Adventure's Avengers Campus.
The giant new figure appears to employ Walt Disney Imagineering's "Project Exo" technology, which provides an exoskeleton to support larger-than-life characters walking around the parks. Disneyland says that Hulk will appear in Avengers Campus only for a limited time, so this also appears to be a test of Disney's new tech rather than a permanent debut.
Guest reaction to Hulk's appearance will play an important role in determining the next steps for this project. And that is where a compromise that Disney made to get Hulk on stage may come into play.
As you can see, Hulk is dressed in his Endgame time-traveling uniform, rather than appearing in his more familiar, shirtless form. This allows Disney to hide Hulk's face inside a helmet, where you cannot see if his lips are moving. Disney's Hulk character talks to guests visiting him in Avengers Campus, and the helmet costume allows Disney to not have to articulate Hulk's face and mouth, which it otherwise would have needed to do to make his speaking convincing.
Rival Universal has its own talking oversized theme park characters with Megatron and Optimus Prime from the Transformers franchise. But those are not humanoid characters like Hulk, so no one cares if they do not have fully articulated mouths and lips. And the Transformers characters in Universal's parks do not walk and move as much as Hulk does, so they do not require the same level of tech as Disney's Hulk suit does.
While Hulk's ability to move his legs and arms has the potential to impress, ultimately, he needs for his face and mouth to move just as impressively if this character is going to satisfy fans of Disney's super heroes. The talking Stormtroopers in Star Wars Galaxy's Edge can hide behind static masks because those are part of their characters. But Hulk's anguished expressions and "Smart Hulk"'s goofy looks and clever talk define this character as much his big green muscles do. So if I'm going out of my way to visit Hulk, I want to see his face.
What do you think?
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