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TV Review: “The Imagineering Story” on Disney Plus – Should You Watch It?

“What makes this show worth watching is that it sheds a light onto parts of Disney that you never believe you would get to see”

Jason Gurwin

Before there was Steve Jobs, there was Walt Disney. While most think about his impact on animation, his true impact was on imagination. The docu-series “The Imagineering Story” chronicles the 65-plus year history of Walt Disney Imagineering, taking you behind-the-scenes of what makes Disney Parks what they are today.

Disney shared with The Streamable a sneak peak of the first two episodes of the series. The first episode focuses on the creation of Disneyland through Walt’s death, while the second focuses on the challenging transition of capturing his spirit without him to create Disney World and Tokyo Disney.

The series, narrated by Angela Basset, is a must-watch for anyone with curiosity on just how Disney pulls off Disney. The series starts with Disneyland just being a plot of land in the farmlands of Anaheim, California. The early episodes of the series take an intimate look on the creation of some of Disney’s iconic rides from The Matterhorn to It’s a Small World to Pirates of the Caribbean.

It shows the level of detail that goes into creating a magical experience. When Disney was creating the Enchanted Tiki Room, they originally planned to have live birds in cages above the diners. When Walt chimed in, “you can’t have birds in cages, because they’ll poop in the food.”

So instead, the Imagineers created mechanical birds that would sync with hundreds of other animatronic elements to create a live entertainment for the diners. The docu-series really shows how Disney for decades has been able to combine story, music, animation, and technology to put a smile on every park-goers face.

The series shows behind-the-scenes footage like the creation of an “Ironman-like” suit that serves as the control harness to program an animatronic Abraham Lincoln. It is simply stunning to see how the Imagineers were able to develop these technical innovations in the 1950s and ’60s.

What makes this show worth watching is that it sheds a light onto parts of Disney that you never believe you would get to see. It will give you a whole new appreciation the next time you step foot at any of Walt Disney’s parks.

Towards the end of the first episode, just after Walt Disney’s passing, they show archive footage of Eric Sevareid’s report on the CBS Evening News. He says, “What Walt Disney seemed to know, while there is very little grown up in a child, there is a lot child in every grown up.”

With Disney+, the company is trying to reinvent itself for the next-generation. What “The Imagineering Story” makes you appreciate that no matter how much time passes, at it’s core Disney remains quintessential Disney.

About Disney+

Disney+ will launch on November 12th at just $6.99 a month. The service includes four simultaneous streams, unlimited downloads, 4K streaming across a range of devices including Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, & Web.

They will launch with a deep catalog including the entire Disney Vault, Pixar and Star Wars libraries, MCU films like Captain Marvel, and the entire 30 seasons of The Simpsons. They will have six original series on day one including the highly anticipated Star Wars TV series — The Mandalorian.

About The Imagineering Story

Creating happiness is hard work. This six-hour saga by Academy Award nominated director, Leslie Iwerks, chronicles the sixty-seven year history of Walt Disney Imagineering, a place best described as equal parts artist studio, design center, think tank and innovation laboratory. This is where an eclectic group of creative people bring ideas to life. They’re responsible for building twelve theme parks around the world - the Happiest Places on Earth.

“The Imagineering Story” will premiere on Disney+ on November 12th, with the second episode debuting on November 15th.

The Imagineering Story Trailer

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