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Day 7 - September 8, 2012

Prior to 2005 the now abandoned pavilion that sits between Universe of Energy and Mission:SPACE and is now used for special events was quite lively. In fact, it was full of life...Wonders of Life, that is. The pavilion opened up in 1989 even though it was originally meant to open with EPCOT Center in 1982, but too many sponsors didn't believe the pavilion would be popular enough to actually sponsor.

Eventually MetLife became a sponsor and the pavilion was created with three attractions: Body Wars (the first Epcot thrill ride), Cranium Command (the author's favorite Epcot attraction of all time), and The Making of Me (which was just kind of odd to learn about while on vacation). Today we are going to take a look at the Cranium Command preshow video which has an interesting history with it in itself. First off, here's the video:

 

This video was created roughly around 1987/88 and if you pay close attention to 2:25 into the video you may see two faces that are very familiar looking. Who on earth are these people? Let's take a look at what was going on in Disney Animation at the time.

By the mid 1980s Walt Disney Animation had hit an all new low, but with a new leader at the helm, Roy O. Disney and the creative new team of animators began to turn things around. However, it is difficult to put a lot of trust into fairly unknown artists to turn an entire animation department around and bring in multi-million dollar films. So how could they give these new people coming in a chance to show their worth with the company? By using Epcot's animated films to test out their skills.

So when a little known movie called Beauty and the Beast was in the works, Disney hired Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise to direct the preshow for Cranium Command. If the preshow was a success they would be hired to direct the Disney sensation, if not, they'd look for other options. Luckily the two (their heads being the ones found at 2:25 minutes into the video) pulled off a huge success with the preshow and would eventually direct the first animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture! Just shows that Epcot was once again a showcase for the future!

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