What began in late April as a rumour for extra entertainment during the opening Summer of the new Toon Studio soon became the re-use of the Starring Cruella De Vil sets and truck for a new live music show on Front Lot‘s Place des Frères Lumière… funny how Disneyland works sometimes, isn’t it?
The final show – carrying the full title of “Toon Train – Lights, Camera, Musique!“ – does indeed reuse the white truck and three trailer sets of Starring Cruella De Vil. Although anyone who saw the previous show will recognise the “train” instantly, the redesign and Toon overlay is very thorough and surprisingly inspired. As the cavalcade pulls out of the doors either side of Disney Studio 1 and creeps slowly around the tight corners of the square, guests will no doubt be instantly drawn to its colourful, detailed sets.
The main design of each remains faithful to its Cruella origins – an office, a rolling outdoor backdrop and a dressing room, but everything has been “Toon-ed up” with a more wacky edge, brighter colours and a clever filmstrip of character sketches stretching along the entire train. The centre stage is no longer a wild, Wintry lane but the colourful streets of Toon Town itself.
The white Chevrolet truck has been adorned with a giant red nose, the show’s logos and the filming accessories of Starring Cruella De Vil in its back. The dressing room’s mirror is now filled with postcards from Paris, “good luck” notes, photos from the 15th Anniversary Launch, some Disney Dollars from the US parks and even a classic Mickey Mouse Club sticker.
It’s this fantastic attention to detail in the sets, however, which could be part of the downfall of the spectacle, so far receiving some less than positive throughts on magicforum. Whilst the sets are inventive, Chip ‘n’ Dale on cue and the Walt Disney Studios Park musicians as brilliant at their jazz renditions as ever, the actual show doesn’t ever live up to the expectation set by what guests see before them.
As the musicians start up, Chip ‘n’ Dale seem a little confused about why they’re there, and even the surprise appearance of Clarice — their female friend from the 1951 short film “Two Chips and a Miss” — from behind the dressing room doors doesn’t bring about any real “raison d’être” for the chipmunks nor their lavish sets. Even the fun moments where Chip ‘n’ Dale dance with children from audience are strangely cut short so more time can be spent dancing aimlessly around colourful props…
One might also wonder why a location in Toon Studio itself wasn’t chosen for this streetmosphere — if not in the small Toon Studio plaza itself, but along the wide parade route which stretches from Flying Carpets over Agrabah to Art of Disney Animation. For example, musical event such as this on a temporary stage next to the Sorcerer’s Hat might have been a better way to celebrate the new land’s first Summer season.
As it stands, with Walt Disney Studios Park is finally finding differences between its Studio Lots comparable to those of Disneyland Park‘s lands, this is a little like sending the African Tam-Tams to Main Street, or letting Merlin l’Enchanteur cast his magic spells on the Molly Brown, when a much more appropriate home is only a few steps away.
Still, it’s a colourful way to properly introduce the Toons to the second gate, and any appearance of a live band (this year making quite an impressive comeback to both parks) will always be met with a smile from fans of Disneyland Resort Paris. With the park hopefully beginning to attract a younger clientele this year, a simple musical dance from Chip ‘n’ Dale might just become the best moment of the day for some of the park’s more easily pleased guests!
Video | Toon Train – Lights, Camera, Musique!