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Tear Jerker / Defunctland

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A series featuring rides, attractions, entire theme parks and TV shows that no longer exist, or even never existed? Of course there will be some tears.

  • Some of the episodes can be hard to watch for people who actually rode and enjoyed the subject matter. To see something you once had great fun on discussed in such a clinical matter, often with melancholy music, and to know that you'll never ride it again must be a horrible feeling.
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  • The video on Nara Dreamland. Good God. A park that proved the amusement industry in Japan was sustainable, closed down and left to rot because of the parks that opened because of its influence. Even more heartbreaking is the video ending on footage of the show put on on the park's final operating day.
  • The death of 18 year old cast member Deborah Gail Stone in the America Sings Disneyland attraction in 1974, with Kevin going as far to say that you can't talk about America Sings without bringing up her untimely passing. He also mentions having come across discussions online that apparently had some pretty nasty things to say about Deborah and her death, to the extent that he bluntly tells his audience to either not discuss the incident in the comments at all, or if they're going to, to at least keep it tasteful.
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  • The video for Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies can be tearjerking due to its subject material, a post-mortem tribute to one of history's greatest filmmakers being decommissioned due to becoming culturally outdated, and its somber soundtrack.
  • Kevin's lament on the episode of Euro Disney's own Space Mountain ride, which arguably helped save the park due it deviating from the usual Space Mountain style and more for a Jules Verne inspiration with Steampunk aesthetic. How was it repaid? It was revamped from its original beloved design and eventually into a Star Wars ride. From Kevin's tone, you can tell he's pretty wrecked by how Disney treated a coaster that saved its controversial idea, despite it still in operation.
  • The Astroworld video takes a swerve into a tragic, almost wistful, tone once the mounting financial problems Premier Parks' aggressive expansion caused was explained and the reveal that Astroworld was bulldozed and is now a mere parking lot. Kevin also gives a short speech about what it means for an entire park to go defunct before being closed out by a melancholy country remake of one of Astroworld's commercial songs.
    Kevin: Not only were numerous rides and attractions lost, but the world they inhabited was lost as well. It is not ruined. It is not abandoned. It is just, gone. The loss of the park has left a hole in the hearts of many locals, especially as they celebrate what would've been its 50th birthday. While Astroworld may have been physically destroyed, it lives on the in the memories of those lucky enough to have visited, and those that yearn to go back to Houston's wonderful world of fun.
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  • The end of the Zoboomafoo Defunct TV episode. Whereas the previous two episodes had a lighter final shot (Bear in the Big Blue House had a shot of Luna through the window while Legends of the Hidden Temple zoomed out to show the TV inside the temple itself), this one shows an abandoned and derelict Animal Junction before a silhouette of Zoboo leaps by. The episode also concludes with a tribute to Jovian, the lemur who played Zoboo who sadly passed away in 2014.
  • A mild one, but DisneyQuest touches upon Michael Eisner, however unlike the other times Kevin discusses Eisner, he instead shows him as a broken, bitter man who can't catch a break with every decision he makes, as well as the eventual loss of Frank Wells and his fracturing friendship with Jeffrey Katzenberg. Makes you wonder if Kevin decided that he wanted to show Eisner's human side instead of the typical jokes about him.
  • The failure of Park Albanoel. It was planned to be the largest theme park in Brazil (it would have been about a third of the size of the entire Walt Disneyworld resort), with multiple themed lands, and many rides. It never opened, because Albano Antônio Reis, the politician who came up with the idea and spearheaded the project, was struck and killed by a car right outside of the park's entrance while construction was underway, causing the project to be abandoned.
  • The downfall of Wonderland Sydney is this for many viewers, especially when it's made clear that the reason the park closed despite its high popularity and being a cultural icon was because of poor business practices from the new company that acquired them, who simply did not care for it. The final minutes showing heartbroken patrons visiting the park one last time, in particular one woman tearfully saying she met many people and friends at the park and has fond memories of Wonderland itself.
    • Also mentioned is that the majority of animals of Wonderland Sydney were left abandoned after the park's closure, to the point where former employees had to break in and rescue them.
      • For that matter the animals at Santa's Land in Putney, VT only in that case it was the sheriff serving a warrant to the owner that saw the animals' condition.
    • The only remaining memory that park even existed at the location is that the "Wonderland Drive" road that used to serve the entrance & parking area stayed with that name. The area itself is now a distribution hub and business park, a place where fun goes to die.
  • The Failure of Hong Kong Disney, all of it. As stressed above, the episode discusses Eisner's desperation to keep his grip on Disney despite everyone (even Roy Disney, Walt's nephew) wanting him out of the company. In the end, instead of the usual snarky humor Kevin throws at Eisner, he instead discusses how multiple factors (from the death of his friend Frank Wells to the losses of important figures in Disney leaving because of him) caused Eisner to lose his way and still be determined to ensue what he wanted for the company and have the same magic he helped inspire from, only to be misguided in it.
  • The Jim Henson DefunctTV miniseries turns into this as we get closer to the end of Jim's life.
    • The ending of the episode on Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal, setting the tone for the final two episodes.
      Kevin: The rate he was coming up and executing new ideas seemed unsustainable. As much as Jim believed in the nature and the spirit of the Fraggles, it was clear Jim is no Fraggle. He was a Doozer at heart. He worked every day, worried he wouldn't have enough time for all his plans. As if his time were running out, and although he didn't know it yet... it was.
      (sound of clock ticking)
      To Be Continued...
    • It gets worse with the Muppet Babies episode, when Kevin mentions how the final episode of the original cartoon reused a clip of "Kermit the Frog, Private Eye" from "Little Muppet Monsters", which had one line of dialogue from Kermit, performed by Jim:
      Kevin: This was notable, as just over a year before the episode's release, Jim Henson had died.
    • It was inevitable, but eventually we reach the topic of Jim's death in earnest with "The Final Jim Henson Hour", with its framing device of Jim's memorial service in New York and The Muppets putting together a tribute show for Jim... with Kevin's narrative being that they were happening at the same timenote . And that's to say nothing when the Muppets learn of Jim's passing, with Fozzie wanting to scrap their tribute, thinking it wouldn't do him justice.
      Kevin: It is easy to understand Fozzie's frustration. How can you pay tribute to someone as special as Jim Henson? He had taught the children of the world with Sesame Street, entertained the planet with The Muppet Show, and instilled valuable morals in the viewers of Fraggle Rock. He advanced the art of filmmaking with The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, created incredible television shows such as Sam and Friends with no budget, and shows such as The Storyteller with a huge budget. Generations of children had grown up seeing Kermit the Frog on Sesame Street, Muppet Babies, The Muppet Show and the Muppet movies, to the point that the world accepted the character as a celebrity. Jim trained hundreds of creators with a patient attitude, commanded film sets with a soft whisper, and kept the world's most influential people on the edge of their seat with a mere hum. Jim Henson was a brilliant, creative, hard-working and talented person. But he was also one very important thing: lucky. He had the resources, he had the opportunities, and he had the privilege to pursue and obtain a life of creative success. He had more drive and talent than he knew what to do with, his internal ticking clock forcing him to produce as much as possible. But he also had a fair share of circumstance, and most importantly, in his eyes, support. Jim was quick to acknowledge how fortunate he was to have a family of people throughout his life that encouraged him. But in the end, Jim believed that he and everyone else only needed... just one person.
    • The ending really gets the waterworks going. As the Muppeteers sing "Just One Person" at Jim's memorial in the background, Kevin explains that, in truth, Jim lived on by passing on the idea that supporting and believing in people can bring out the greatness in them, both in practice and in philosophy. Jim had his grandmother, his wife Jane, and others throughout his career to support him, and he passed on this spirit to the likes of Frank Oz and Dave Goelz by supporting their own creative ventures, just to name a few. He did this, Kevin explains, out of a genuine belief that there is a spark of brilliance in everyone just waiting to be brought out. The performance as this is said demonstrates this idea being brought to its greatest fruition yet, showing, indeed, that Jim lives on in all the people he believed in; people who will, in turn, believe in others themselves for years to come, and so on.
      • The ending animation is that of Kermit looking up at Jim, who smiles back as they both don the same green color that Kermit was famous for, all while Kevin mentions that Steve Whitmire would take over the role of Kermit after Jim's passing, proving that Jim's flame will never truly burn out.
      Kevin: Kermit was alive. And so was Jim Henson.
  • The Ron Schneider interview that opens the Journey Into Imagination episode, with him bluntly stating that the ride’s spirit is completely gone to him.


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