Disney’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride Introduces Next-Generation Audio-Animatronics

Via Cartoon Brew-ED: The soon-to-debut Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, promises to feature some of the most advanced audio-animatronics that the Disney company has ever produced, in large part due to a collaboration between Disney’s Imagineering and feature animation divisions. “This is the first time we’ve done a full 3-D design and delivery process on any of our audio-animatronics figures,” says Ethan Reed of Disney Imagineering. “It’s enabled us to do things with characters that we’ve never been able to do before like working with Walt Disney Animation Studios.


  • mutsbug

    so since they didn’t actually mention the process for these things, i’m gonna go ahead and speculate that it’s a translucent face with a rear projection set up inside the head to play whatever face animations they want on there.

    • Anonymous

      Yes. They have it now on the Buzz Lightyear animatronic at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The only problem is at a distance it drops out and just looks like a blank, white face. Did you notice how all of these Dwarf shots in the video are medium shots or close-ups.

  • Anonymouse

    These were on display at a recent Disney Open House. They are TRIPPY. In the best way.

  • Brittany

    It looks amazing! They did a great job bringing together the different art forms.

  • http://mattdeanart.com Matt Dean

    First the talking Mickey costume heads and now this. Disney’s animatronics are becoming RIDICULOUSLY good. It’s unreal.

  • Mark C

    That’s all fine and good but the animation on those dwarves… Whatever happened to a strong pose or purposeful animation? Looks like those things are moving all willy-nilly. Where’s Marc Davis when we need him?

  • Gerard de Souza

    I’ve never been to any Disney park. There was a time I wanted to and then the magic was gone. However, I would love to see these up close.
    For the faces, rear projection or LCDs?

    • Kimberly Bryan

      Based on what I’ve seen it’s rear projection, but the good news is the faces aren’t glowing as much as the older ones like Buzz and even some of the Cars. As far as character movement goes, I’ve always expected the rides to be different from the movie -maybe that’s from a lifetime of seeing 1980′s fantasyland. I was pretty impressed by Carsland and Disney never said they worked with animators. For this they are working with animators, so I can trust Disney make the dwarfs at least equally good.

  • DangerMaus

    Not very impressed. All of the charm and vitality of the original characters are drained out of these things, regardless of the computer wizardry. Looking at those computerized plastic dolls, to me, just reinforces the skill those Golden Age animators had in imbuing life, vitality and warmth with a few pencil lines.

  • http://www.facebook.com/theghostinyou the ghost in you

    Those things must look creepy as hell when they’re turned off. Faceless creeps. It’s somewhat neat, but I would rather see the artistry of an actual robotic face and see something actually move.

  • DangerMaus

    I thought using the term “computerized plastic dolls” would clearly indicate that I know they are physical objects, not just CGI objects.

    I just think the translation of the work of those Golden Age animators to physical 3D objects is inferior work, regardless of the computerization and the CGI projection technology that is being used. These guys have all of these advanced technologies and the work still is nowhere near as good as the work they are copying.

    • TTK

      Trying to turn a 2D drawing into a full fledged moving animatronic that needs to function in real time with audio at an amusement park at all times isn’t at all the same thing as just trying to make some CGI model and you’re treating it like it is.

      • Anonymous

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