Saturday, March 22, 2014
Disney is Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of "It's a Small World." Why?
It’s a Small World is a wonderful Disney Ride. It epitomizes the creativity and genius of Walt Disney. The 15 minute Disneyland ride through a veritable United Nations of 437 audioanimatronic children is a pleasant respite after Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, the Matterhorn and The Hollywood Tower of Terror. But the song! “It’s a Small, Small, Small, Small, Small, Small, Small, Small World, After All” is sheer torture. Forget waterboarding. The CIA should have used it at Gitmo on a continuous loop. Even the most zealot Al Qaeda would have broken down. Ask anyone who’s been on the ride what they think. They love it, but that song just sticks in their brains like a bad migraine. I love the ride. I've ridden it many times,but not for the music. The Walt Disney Company is celebrating on April 10, 2014 the 50th anniversary of “It’s a Small World” at all its worldwide theme parks by having guests and cast members sing the song together - a singalong, guaranteed to drive non-singing guests out of the parks. April 10 is not the actual 50th Anniversary. The ride premiered on April 22, 1964 at the New York World’s Fair, where it became an instant hit. It was Walt Disney’s salute to UNICEF, a salute sung by the tiny children in English, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish to the same tune. It’s a small world, after all. The lyrics are idealistic: “It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears It’s a world of hopes and a world of fear There’s so much that we share that’s it’s time We’re aware It’s a small world after all It’s a small world after all It’s a small world after all It’s a small world after all It’s a small, small world” And on and on and on and on! All most listeners remember is “It’s a small, small, small world, after all” on a continuous loop. The diagnosis is post traumatic song syndrome (PTSS) for which total abstinence is the cure. It can be prevented by using the same earplugs available at monster truck rallies, or by viewing It's a Small World on YouTube with the volume muted. Universality is a wonderful ideal, but not the song. It cannot bring peace and quiet to the world. Disney breaks the loop during the Holidays by adding Christmas carols to the singing. That’s when you should take the ride. The New York ride was 10 minutes. Disneyland increased it to 15 minutes, a 50% increase that stretched the limits of tolerance. Disney is not concerned about the specifics of 50th Anniversaries. The 50th Anniversary of Disneyland lasted 18 months. Do the celebration, but please, hold off the singalong.