If you speak with those that aren’t so familiar with Disney theme park news about the new Avatar-themed expansion slated to open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27th, the look you may get is one of puzzlement with a common response being something like “But that movie is kind of old isn’t it?”
The original Avatar opened in theaters in December of 2009 and though it was a box office smash, enough time has passed suggesting that it may not have the cultural relevance that it once did. It’s true that a sequel is slated for 2018 but even that seems slightly under the radar. So how exactly does Disney ensure the success of its new expansion Pandora: The World of Avatar and introduce the themes laid out in the motion picture it to a new generation of families?
This is exactly the questions that the Orlando Sentinel posed to Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde this week who stated that ‘“We’ve been really quite scrupulous about the fact you don’t need to know a thing in order to experience and enter the land.” It is … meant to be understood emotionally, reacted to, navigated through and appreciated by a person who has absolutely no access to the pre-existing story.”
The broader appeal is something that Disney is definitely focusing on in their marketing push. Spots airing during the Oscars, The View, The Chew, and Good Morning America as well as the new website visitpandora.com all highlight the incredible visual appeal of the land including glowing plants, floating mountains, curious creatures and cascading waterfalls. Those tuning in The View were also treated to a tour by Avatar director James Cameron which including a boat ride down the Na’vi River highlighting the amazing state-of-the-art technology used to magically transport guests to another land.
As Rohde went on to say in his Orlando Sentinel interview: The land is designed to make people feel a strong connection to the planet and its otherworldly inhabitants, It’s very deliberately emotionally crafted. It is a very emotional place.” He went on to argue that the strong environmental message of the original motion picture was also a natural fit with the ethos of the Animal Kingdom and its efforts in the areas of conservation.
So will this marketing push be just the thing to drive numbers to Animal Kingdom later this Spring? Take a look at the spots that have run so far and tell us what you think:
- New Pandora: World of Avatar Placemaking Video Released
- New Video Explains How Pandora: World of Avatar Fits in With the Values and Themes of the Animal Kingdom
- James Cameron Gives Whoopi Goldberg Tour of Pandora – The World of Avatar in a New Video
- First Look Inside Pandora – The World of Avatar from Good Morning America
- ABC News Nightline Offers and Inside Look and Video of Pandora – The World of Avatar
- A First Look at the New Pandora: World of Avatar Commercials
- Disney Releases Commercial Showing Guests Walking Through Pandora: The World of Avatar
- Another New Pandora Commercial Released
- Disney Releases Beautiful Footage of the Na’vi River Journey
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