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Magic Journeys 3D Film at EPCOT Center   |   Epcot Image Works
Magic Journeys 3D Film at EPCOT Center

Magic Journeys 3D Film


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Magic Journeys at Epcot

Magic Journeys 3D movie sign Epcot

Magic Journeys at Epcot

The 3-D film Magic Journeys played at the Magic Eye Theater from October 1, 1982, until 1986.  It was the only attraction at Journey Into Imagination on Opening Day.  The film was shot in 70mm and was directed by Murray Lerner, who had won an Oscar for From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China.  At one point in the film's development, the theater was going to be called the Magic Journeys Theater.

 The main Magic Journeys song was on many of the theme park music compilations but it is not the same version that is in the film and contains lyrics that were not used in the movie.  It was written by the Sherman Brothers.  You can still hear an instrumental version of the Magic Journeys song at Epcot.  It used to be heard in the breezeway near Innoventions West or near the Imagination pavilion.  Magic Journeys was later replaced by Captain EO and then by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.

The Preshow: Makin' Memories

 The preshow for the Epcot showing of Magic Journeys featured the song Makin' Memories.  It was written by the Sherman Brothers and featured a slide-show type presentation with photos from the dawn of photography to the present.  As if it wasn't already apparent by the lyrics to the preshow song, the pavilion was sponsored by Kodak.  In their book Walt's Time: From Before to Beyond, the Sherman Brothers admitted "Basically, our song was a subliminal commercial pitch for Kodak- no doubt the "softest sell" in the history of singing commercials!"  Makin' Memories was featured on albums of music from the parks but it is a shorter version which doesn't include the "all around us" verses.  The song was later featured in the "Disneyland Fun" Sing A Long Songs" video series.

Long before the old Model T, 'round about the turn of the century,
folks discovered a barrel of fun, takin' pictures by the light of the sun.
Smile!  Hug!  Look at the camera!  Hold your breath and say cheese.
Little did they realize back then, they were makin' memories. (Good old memories.)

Makin' memories, makin' memories, takin' pictures is makin' memories.
Catchin' little pieces of time, makin' 'em yours and makin' 'em mine.
Birthday faces and happy places, we love to hold near and dear.
And when we're makin' memories, happy days can reappear.

Then the flappers appeared on the scene, rumble seats and 20 cent gasoline.
Radios and Dixieland jazz, Brownie cameras and razz-a-tazz.
Snapshots of the whole family, give that button a squeeze.
Little did they realize back then, they were makin' memories.

Makin' memories, makin' memories, takin' pictures is makin' memories.
Catchin' little pieces of time, makin' 'em yours and makin' 'em mine.
These occasions and celebrations we can forget in a year.
But when we're makin' memories, happy days can reappear.

Makin' memories, makin'  memories, makin' memories, makin'  memories.
All around us.  
Everywhere we look.
Every moment that we live can fill a picture book.
Light and shadows.
Smiles and sentimental tears.
They're the special moments, we can cherish through the years.

Now we shoot whatever we see, night or day in color photography.
Candid shots of baby at play, photo finishes,and tigers at bay.
Hey, don't look into the camera, let's be natural please.
And with every single shot we take, we are makin' memories.

Makin' memories, makin' memories, takin' pictures is makin' memories.
Catchin' little pieces of time, makin' 'em yours and makin' 'em mine.
Great vacations and graduations, we love to hold near and dear.
And when we're makin' memories, happy days can reappear.

All around us.
In our ever-changing world.
We can see the galaxy of photographs unfurled.
Light and shadows from all corners of the Earth.  
Tell the story of our times.  
Our pride, our dreams, our Earth.

One!  More!  Time!

Makin' memories, makin'  memories, takin' pictures is makin' memories.
Catchin' little pieces of time, makin' 'em yours and makin' 'em mine.
Great vacations and celebrations, we love to hold near and dear.
And when we're makin' memories, happy days can reappear.

Look at the birdie!

Kodak logo

Magic Journeys Film

 Five children (Two boys and three girls) walk through a grove of flowering trees.  They comment "it looks like snowflakes on the trees!  What a beautiful morning!"   They race through a field of flowers and the blonde boy holds a kite.  One of the kids suggests they sit down. The kids look up at the clouds and call out what they see, which happen to foreshadow some of the things the audience will see later in the film.  The theme song for the film begins to play:

Just an ordinary day,
all at once you're on your way,
to a place that cannot be,
no one knows what turns the key.

 The blonde boy blows a dandelion and the seeds float around him and the audience.  A close up of his eye is shown, which leads into a computerized star field and then the title of the film comes toward the audience and circles around.  This was supposedly the first time computer animation was done in 3D and according to the Sherman Brothers book the effect cost half a million dollars.

Magic Journeys 3D Epcot film storyboard eye

Magic Journeys.
Magic Journeys.

 The kids are shown playing by a beach.  Gulls fly overhead.  One of the gulls drifts toward the screen and becomes the bird-shaped kite the boy was carrying.  This kite would later be featured in the poster for the film when it played at the Magic Kingdom.

Magic Journeys, mystic flights,
on the wings of unexpected sounds and sights.

The kite in the sky blends in with fish underwater.

Neither dreaming.
Nor pretending.
No beginning.
And no ending.

 The blonde boy comes toward the screen flying as the water turns into the sky.  He flies over snowy mountains and water with rocky outcrops.  The scene is very reminiscent of what Soarin' would do nearly 20 years later.  

Magic Journeys, mystic flights.
On the wings of unexpected sounds and sights.
Magic Journeys, are they real?
Do they mirror what we think or sense or feel?

You are searching through the eye,
of a seeker in the sky.
You are splashing in the stream,
of an unremembered dream.

Magic Journeys 3D Epcot film storyboard flying

The boy is shown riding a horse along the beach.  

Magic Journeys, are they real?
Do they mirror what we think or sense or feel?

The horse rears up and whinnies.  Suddenly the view changes to the underside of a carousel horse.  The other kids are with him and they are all riding on the merry-go-round.  A spinning brass ring hovers in front of the audience and the kids reach out for it.  The blonde boy grabs it and looks at it.  He commands it to "take us up into the stars" and throws the ring toward the screen.   The ring spins and becomes the moon.  One of the kids remarks that it is "dark and scary".  The kids ride around the moon on their carousel animals while wearing costumes and chanting "Trick or treat, where's the sweet?  Give us something good to eat!"  Bats fly in front of the moon.  The cackle of a witch is heard.  She then appears and grabs out toward the audience and lightening comes out of her hands.  She backs away from the screen and her lightening causes a series of eerie masks to appear.  A feline-type mask appears and a meowing noise is heard.  Suddenly the boy is in a room with a cat.  He reaches out to it and the cat turns into the sphinx.  

The camera moves toward the sphinx and suddenly the scene has shifted to a circus, where a lion runs through a flaming hoop.  Trapeze and tightrope artists perform and all the kids watch.  They are afraid the performers will fall and they say it's scary.  One of the tightrope walkers then falls.  A clown comes out with a horn and blows it in the faces of the kids and audience.  More clowns come out and do gags suited to 3D such as carrying a long ladder, playing a trombone with a boxing glove at the end of it and throwing pies.  A stiltwalker comes out and the kids remark that "an elephant can walk under his legs", how scary it must be up there, how bony his legs are and that he would make a good basketball player.  The view is from on the floor and the kids remark that it looks like he is getting taller.  Balloons start to fall down on the kids.

Magic Journeys Epcot 3D film stilt walker

Did it take a million years?
Was it all that it appears?
Or a never-ending climb,
through a fleeting speck of time.  

Suddenly the circus has become tiny and the figures turn into mechanical toys as they play with the balloons.  The boy watches them.  Flying mechanical toys appear and the boy tries to reach them.  They go up toward the ceiling and suddenly we see the galaxy in the sky.  The boy asks "Do you believe in magic?" and is suddenly back at the circus and joins the other kids watching a magician.  He pulls a dove out of his hat and waves his wand at the hat and boy appears on the edge of the hat and falls. He drifts thorough space and starts to fly.  

Did it take a million years?
was it all that it appears?
Or a never-ending climb,
through a fleeting speck of time.  

The boy appears to be going backward in time.  His eye is shown again from the moment when he blew the dandelion.  The film plays backwards and the dandelion seeds go back on the flower.  

Just an ordinary day,
all at once you're on your way,
to a place that cannot be,
no one knows what turns the key.

One of the kids says they are tired and they all run back through the field and the grove of trees.  The camera pans up and the film title again comes at the screen, followed by the Kodak logo.

Magic Journeys at the Magic Kingdom

Magic Journeys poster

 The film later played at the former home of the Mickey Mouse Revue in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom from December 15, 1987, until December 1, 1993 when it was replaced by Legend of the Lion King.  The 3-D Donald Duck short Working for Peanuts was shown in the holding area and there were 3-D pictures of Disney characters there as well.  Magic Journeys played at Disneyland from June of 1984 to July of 1986.  Tokyo Disneyland also featured the film from 1985-1987.

Other 3-D Films

Captain Eo

 Captain Eo replaced Magic Journeys in the Magic Eye Theater.  It debuted on September 12, 1986 and stayed until July 6, 1994.  The film starred Michael Jackson as a spaceship captain who along with Hooter, Fuzzbucket (A.K.A Fuzzball), and Idee and Odee (the Geex) bring music to the wicked Supreme Leader played by Angelica Huston.  Michael performed We Are Here to Change the World and Another Part of Me in the film.  The movie was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  The preshow song for this film was called With a Smile.  Honey, I Shrunk the Audience replaced  Captain Eo on November 21, 1994.  

 When Michael Jackson died in 2009, fans lobbied for Captain Eo to return to the parks.  On May 10th, 2010, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience closed and Captain Eo returned to the Magic Eye Theater on July 2nd, 2010 and ran through December 6, 2015.  The film also had a return engagement at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.  Starting on December 23, 2015, The Magic Eye Theater began The Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival featuring films such as For The Birds, Get a Horse! and La Luna.  




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See ya real soon!