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MouseStation 374 - Tony Baxter on the Return of Mr. Lincoln

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On today's show, Tony Baxter talks about what went into last Friday's return of an upgraded Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland.

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Feature: Tony Baxter on the Return of Mr. Lincoln

Since the Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction reopened last Friday at Disneyland, this week we are presenting a mini-press conference that Tony Baxter did about the attraction at the D23 Expo with MouseStation's Steven Ng, Ryan Weeda of WDWDailyNews.com and Hiram Ash from Southeast Review. Also on the recording is Craig Hodgkins, who served as moderator for all of the D23 press conferences.

Tony and his team had all of the original Royal Dano tracks to work from and choose from. He was blown away by how adept James Algar was in directing Dano, and how patient Dano was in doing many multiple takes. Tony couldn't understand what Algar was doing with his direction but it went from fairly good recording to perfect one and he thought, "man, that's what acting is all about."

Tony's team had some benefits that the Imagineers creating the original show did not. Computer technology let them fix individual words, saving takes that had previously been unusable because they were just a bit off. They used Algar's original notes to refer to in order to make value judgments. Tony left in a take where Dano's voice cracked on one line because it sounds like a real person actually saying those words.

The former preshow is now being used as part of the main show. Because of that, they had to modify the original Buddy Baker underscore to match.

There was some talk about Paul Frees (the show's original narrator) and Corey Burton, who usually does any necessary fill-ins for Frees soundtracks. It was mentioned that you can see Frees as reporter in the 1953 version of the movie The War of the Worlds.

Tony talked about how the show differs from what other shows might be because it's at Disneyland, where magic is supposed to happen. He also talked about how the U.S. Government did not offer input on this show, though they did participate in the creation of The American Adventure at Epcot.

The design of the new Lincoln Animatronic is high tech, and allows for a much more organic structure to make Lincoln look more lifelike.

What do you think? Let us know by sending us an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278)!

Twitter/Facebook poll questions

Here are the responses to some questions that Mark was asking on Twitter and Facebook in the last week. If you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

If you had to rate "The Princess and the Frog" on a scale of 1-10, what would you give it?

  • 8 For Disney Feature Animation definitely being back, it was hand-drawn beauty and accuracy of portrayal of a lot of New Orleans/Louisiana culture in how it looked. 9 for the music, most of which really does come from New Orleans or the state. 2 for the frog-hunters, I didn't think the portrayal of them was kind or accurate. 8-9 for how they took great pains to get as much "right" about the city and the state's culture and natural beauty. 1-2 points taken off for slight inaccuracies, such as NO ONE puts honey on beignets in New Orleans and they are not served in diners, and I know it's "creative license" for movie-making purposes, but the Mississippi River is in front of St. Louis Cathedral, not behind it. Over all I loved it. --From a suburb of the REAL city of New Orleans
  • I'd give it a 10! Probably my favorite animated disney movie
  • Unfortunately I haven't seen it yet, so can't rate it yet.....Boo Hoo!
  • 9, there is still improvement but it had the makings of a classic
  • 9.5!!
  • 10
  • but we're biased down here in N'awlins.
  • 10; It was much better than I expected. It had a great story, funny characters, a unique villain, and toe-tappin' music.
  • It gets an 8 from me. The hand drawn animation is exquisite. I really enjoyed the characters and the story and I'm frequently humming the tunes.
  • I say this without going to my review to look up what I gave it. Hopefully I'm consistent: 6.
  • Unfortunately I haven't seen it yet.
  • 8.5
  • 9. Loved everything about it but a couple of the songs weren't that catchy. Pretty much half and half on the songs.
  • Hm - I think I'd give Princess and the Frog a good 8 - could've done w/o the Frog hunters - but loved Facilier's musical number!
  • 10++++++!
  • An 8.5 to a 9

Mark posted his thoughts on Twitter and Facebook late this past Saturday night: Really liked The Princess and The Frog. I'll give it a solid 8, maybe 8.5 out of 10. Wonderful to see new hand-drawn animation from Disney. I liked the Firehouse Five Plus Two reference at the end, plus I love (what I hope was) the reference in the architecture of the restaurant. Some nice, poignant moments, some good dynamic tension, good characters and good story. Songs a mixed bag.

What do you think?

Again, if you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

Wrapping up

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).