Kill Marry Refurb: Live Musicals

It’s time for another rendition of This Happy Place and Mouse on the Mind’s Kill! Marry! Refurb!

Because talking about what attractions should stay and which should go is almost as good as actually having a say! Right? RIGHT!?

I should really get a hobby.

But until I do…

Today we’re discussing live musicals.

I’ve decided to define this as any show where people are singing (pre-recorded or otherwise) and dancing live on a stage, as they would in a staged musical. Basically, no fireworks shows and no parades.

Kill – High School Musical Pep Rally and All Its Reincarnations

I realize this show is already dead. But I want to bring it back to life just so I can kill it with my own bare hands. And I will smile as I watch the life slowly drain from its eyes…

High School Musical came out when I was in high school. I never watched it all the way through, yet somehow I knew every. single. song. Because it was all my theater friends sang all. day. long.

And when this show was playing, it rolled out on its ugly ass float with its stupid popped-collar-teeny-boppers every fifteen minutes. Or so it seemed. And I could hear it from practically everywhere in the park. Even in Sunset Boulevard, where all I should be hearing are the amplified screams of people who fear their souls are being sucked into the fifth dimension. I do not want to be told to get my head in the game. My head is nowhere near the game. It’s in Disney World. My happy place. Stop ruining my happy place.

I realize this show changed as each new movie came out, but they all were the same to me: prime candidates for Dexter’s kill table.

Mmmm…smells like teen spirit.

Marry- Festival of the Lion King

First, I want to give an honorary mention to Fantasmic!, which is a study in perfection that I would make my life partner in a heartbeat if they’d just get over their commitment issues and ask already. But, in my definition of a “live musical” as a show where people sing and dance on stage, I think it doesn’t quite qualify. Yes, there is a little dancing, and yes there is music, but no one really pretends to sing. So it just misses out.

Hence, by technicality, I will gladly give my hand in marriage to Festival of the Lion King.

I love how this show isn’t a quickly re-hashed retelling of the story. Those always feel a little awkward and kitchsy to me (although I do really enjoy Voyage of the Little Mermaid). It’s a fun celebration with amazing songs and some incredible performance stunts. From the tumble monkeys, to the fire dancer, to the consistently impressive vocal performances, it is theatrical art at its finest and worth the price of admission to Animal Kingdom all in itself. 

So Disney better not ruin it when it moves to Africa. I will mess somebody up.

Refurb- Finding Nemo the Musical

Like I said, when shows try to condense and rehash one of Disney’s successful movies it feels awkward. This show is a prime example. It’s just weird. No one should try to be Dory except Ellen Degeneres. And “Fish are Friends Not Food” should not be a song.

In fact, all of the music is terrible. It hurts me to say that, because it was written by the incomparable Bobby and Kristen Lopez (Anderson) who just composed the songs for Frozen, as well as other wonderful projects (Bobby Lopez worked on Tony Award winning shows Avenue Q and Book of Mormon). But it’s a toss up whether I’d want to listen to the Finding Nemo soundtrack or High School Musical again.

Okay, I take it back! Anything’s better than that!

The point is that the music and the concept are bad. But dear lord, the visuals are incredible. Whoever did the artistic design and stage illusions for this show deserves some sort of award. It is beautiful to watch. I just turn on my mental iPod to something more pleasant — like cats screeching — and make it a feast for my eyes.

I would love it if they could refurb this show into something just as visually stunning, but without the annoying songs and Albert Brooks impressions. In fact, I have it all planned out. Voyage of the Little Mermaid should turn into some sort of Frozen show and Finding Nemo could become a Little Mermaid show that is a celebration of the music a la Festival of the Lion King. That way we could still enjoy this intricate world of three-story pelicans and swimming turtle babies while listening to quality music. How great would it be to hear Ariel sing while swimming around the stage instead of stuck on a rock? Kind of like they do in Toyko Disneyland…

Grab your hard hats, Disney, and let’s get crackin.’

Check out these other Kill/Marry/Refurbs from other fantastic Disney blogs!

  • I really enjoyed reading your choices this month – and WHY! I killed Nemo because I just couldn’t stand the one time we tried to watch it. Maybe a refurb would help.

    • LeahIsMagical

      Thank you!

  • I think you’re being a bit too hard on Nemo. Yes, there are a few dull songs, but Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid are old and dated! Those should get a major rehab (or get killed first) for me.

    • LeahIsMagical

      Yeah, I agree they’re both dated and were candidates for both slots for me. But I just don’t care too much about them. For me, Nemo has so much potential that I really WANT to see it refurbed, y’know?

  • Mouse on the Mind

    aaahhh hahaha! you’re so vicious. <3

    also, we really are brain buddies because I just love Voyage.

  • downundersugarglider

    I agree – the Tokyo little mermaid is astonishing! Like the love child if Cirque Du Soleil slept with Disney

  • Becky @Disney in your Day

    Neat idea for a Little Mermaid show in place of Nemo. I’m with you on that – I like Crush’s song in the Nemo show but the rest of the music is ehhhh.

  • You are fabulous. That is all.