Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spaceship Earth Script Comparison

So my friend Ian (of the terrific blog Pure Imagineering) has suggested that I add a new post to my blog, and while I can't upload anything analytical at the moment, I did want to share something that I think will interest fellow theme park students. In my research into theme park writing, I wanted to take a look at the evolution of the script of Spaceship Earth, which in my mind has run the full spectrum from some of the best theme park writing ever written ("Poised on the threshold of infinity, we see our world as it truly is: small, silent, fragile, alive, a drifting island in the midnight sky.  It is our spaceship.  Our Spaceship Earth.") to some of the very worst ("To move their armies around, they built a system of roads all over the known world. Rome built the first World Wide Web, and it’s leading us into the future.").

Four different versions of the script have been written; the original by none-other than the genius Ray Bradbury. They are fascinating to compare. The original is poetic, esoteric, and perhaps to a theme park audience, convoluted. The latest has been attacked as dumbing down, cramming in references to 21st century buzzwords. (And in some cases, curious - 'Islamic scholars' has been changed to 'Arabic').

Here's an example of the change; the opening scene at the dawn of recorded time. The original:

"Where are we now?  It is the waiting dawn where vast things stir and breathe.  And with our first words and first steps, we draw together to conquer the mammoth beast.  It is the dawn of a new beginning, the dawn of recorded time."

And the current:

"Here in this hostile world is where our story begins. We are alone, struggling to survive, until we learn to communicate with one another. Now we can hunt as a team and survive together."

You can find the document at: http://www.theneverlandfiles.com/misc/spaceshipearthscript.htm

I think it's also relevent to include this quote from Walt: "You can’t live on things made for children – or for critics. I’ve never made films for either of them. Disneyland is not just for children. I don’t play down."

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