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Theatre / Fantasmic!

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Imagination... Dream a fantastic dream...

Welcome to Fantasmic! Tonight, our friend and host Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to create magical imagery for all to enjoy. Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination. For in a moment, you can experience a beautiful fantasy or an exiting adventure. But beware — nothing is more powerful than the imagination. For it could also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare. Are the powers of Mickey's incredible imagination strong enough and bright enough to withstand the evil forces that invade Mickey's dreams? You are about to find out, for we invite to join Mickey and experience Fantasmic!, a journey beyond your wildest imagination...

Fantasmic! is a nighttime show presented at the Disney Theme Parks, specifically Disneyland Park, the Disney Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, and (formerly) Tokyo DisneySea. It starts with Mickey Mouse having dreams inspired by such pieces of the Disney Animated Canon as Dumbo and Peter Pan. Eventually, the villains take over, and Mickey has to battle them in the center of his mind. What exactly Mickey dreams about, and how many villains he faces, differ depending on which theme park viewers watch the show at.

The show tells its story with help from people in Disney character suits, pyrotechnics, movie clips, and animatronics. The use of mist screens for projecting the clips felt especially innovative during the 1992 premiere at Disneyland. Only outranked by the Main Street Electrical Parade in fame, it still stands as one of the Disney Parks' most popular and beloved shows. The original show gave its last performance in January 2016, before construction on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge caused a closure on the Rivers of America. When the show returned in July 2017, it boasted some new scenes and effects. In 2024, Fantasmic will receive a new update featuring a new finale featuring Mickey Mouse fighting against Maleficent (well, not in her dragon form).

Fantasmic! provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Art Evolution: As the gratuitous fireworks in Disneyland's old finale caused huge clouds of smoke to drift out into the audience, today's incarnation relies much more heavily on lights, fountains, and of course, lasers.
  • The Artifact: The elaborate Pocahontas sequence in the Florida version was added to promote the then-new Disney film. It was kept in the show for about 22 years before the 2022 update finally replaced it with a new "Heroes" sequence (which still includes Pocahontas).
  • Ascended Extra:
    • In Disneyland's 2017 show, Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie went from only showing up during the finale, to receiving their own musical numbers.
    • When Moana was first added to the Disney World version, she only appeared during the finale. The 2022 update gives her a part in the "Heroes" sequence, in which she sings the Triumphant Reprise of "How Far I'll Go".
  • Award-Bait Song: The Tokyo DisneySea version of "Imagination".
  • Back for the Finale: Belle, Ariel, and Snow White or Rapunzel.
  • Badass Boast: "You may think you're so powerful? Well, uh, this is my dream!"
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The last parts of the night show.
  • Belly Dancer: The 2017 Disneyland retool's Friend Like Me scene has Genie turning Ariel, Cinderella and Belle into belly dancers. However, that soon turns out to be an adult joke, so they got replaced by the dancing camels and monkeys.
  • Big Bad: Not Maleficent this time, but the Evil Queen; she instigates Mickey's Battle in the Center of the Mind simply to corrupt poor Mickey's psyche.
  • Big "NO!": When Peter Pan and Hook are fighting aboard Hook's ship.
    Peter Pan: (referring to the Crocodile's ticking noise) Say, Captain, do you hear something?
  • Boss Rush: Mickey faces off against some of the most well-known members of the Disney villain pantheon.
  • The Cameo: plenty of characters from across Disney franchises appear on the riverboat at the end of the Disneyland version.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • A sinister-looking Kaa is pictured alongside the villains on the poster above. Kaa isn't actually a villain in the show itself, and merely appears during the jungle segment as a harmless character.
    • A particularly interesting example: most promotional material will often depict Sorcerer Mickey fighting Dragon Maleficent, even though the actual show has him confront her as the Brave Little Tailor. However, both the Tokyo Disney version and the 2017 Disneyland update avert this by having Mickey vanquish Maleficent in his sorcerer form, finally fulfilling what was advertised in the promos.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Because the show can't go right every night, the show runners have alternate scenarios when things go wrong.
    • If the Evil Queen can't transform into her hag appearance (i.e. change actors), the actor playing the Queen will remove her hood to show white hair (as the dialogue says "Turn my hair to white").
    • As Maleficent's dragon animatronic is prone to mechanical breakdownsnote , the climax will be slightly altered in the event that the enormous character can't make an appearance. Instead, Maleficent will remain onstage atop the rising platform that's used to signify her transformation, and she'll simply battle Mickey in her regular form. Fantasmic 2.0 updates this alternate scene by adding a projection of the dragon in place of the animatronic, complete with unique animations that cater to the staging of the scene.
    • The show's finale features a boatnote  full of iconic Disney characters that sails past the audience before Sorcerer Mickey appears. In case the boat can't be used for a performance, the characters will instead appear onstage for a choreographed number.
    • The ending has Sorcerer Mickey magically teleport from the top of the cliff to the main stage, where he delivers the final line in his tuxedo. If something goes wrong on the stage and Tuxedo Mickey can't appear, he'll instead say the line in his sorcerer form.
  • Cross-Cast Role: Since the show's premiere, Maleficent has always been portrayed by a male cast member (though she's still voiced by an actress). And before the Peter Pan scene was removed in 2017, it was also common for some women to play the male pirates on Captain Hook's crew (same goes for Governor Ratcliffe's men in the Disney World version).
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Ursula is just as important as the Evil Queen, Chernabog, and Maleficent in the original Disneyland version, but the Disney Hollywood Studios version reduces her role to only a short cameo as one of the many villains summoned by the Magic Mirror.
    • Disneyland's 2017 show replaces "Some Day My Prince Will Come" with "I See the Light", meaning Snow White and her prince no longer have their own barge, and only appear during the finale.
    • Fantasmic 2.0 greatly mitigates the Evil Queen's role, replacing her transformation sequence with a new scene where the Magic Mirror pulls Mickey into his nightmare.
  • Disney Acid Sequence:
    • Particularly when Mickey dreams about The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Pink Elephants on Parade, and giant puppets. Chernabog's entrance also contains a Disney Acid Sequence.
    • The version at Disney World replaces the pink elephants and puppets with floating bubbles containing various movie clips.
    • The Tokyo DisneySea version has animals from The Jungle Book and The Lion King sail around to the accompaniment of "Hakuna Matata" and "Circle of Life", Stitch assume control of lasers and fountains for a while (with Angel riding by on a speedboat holding a "laser pistol"), and Genie appearing in giant crystal balls.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Maleficent, a dragon in every sense of the word; while the Evil Queen is the one pulling the strings, it's made very clear that Maleficent is the really dangerous one among the villains.
  • The Dreaded: Maleficent. It's telling that she invokes a more fearful reaction from Mickey than the Queen or Chernabog.
  • Evil Gloating/Evil Laugh: By the time Mickey appears to be a goner, the villains all laugh at his predicament and the Queen boasts that his imagination isn't powerful enough to save him.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Bucky and Murphy, the two incarnations of Disneyland's dragon.
  • Graceful Loser: Hades in the Hollywood Studios version; he doesn't appear all that mad or frightened by his inevitable defeat (instead seemingly reacting, with amusement, to what's happening to his cohorts), probably because he's a god and can't actually be killed.
  • Hypocrite: Frollo, a man who considers witchcraft and anything less than holy to be an abomination, is allying himself with two witches, a sorcerer, an evil fairy, Greek Satan, Slavic Satan, a talking lion and PETA's worst nightmare.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Characters from all over the Disney canon make an appearance in the show, from princesses to Pixar characters. The show's been going on for so long that it periodically updates to include newer films like Moana.
  • Legion of Doom: Key part of Fantasmic!, especially in the Florida version. The only villains (besides the Evil Queen) who actually do anything are Ursula (in the Disneyland and Tokyo Disney versions), Jafar (Hollywood Studios), and Maleficent (all versions). Though the inclusion of Frollo into a group including demons, witches and pagan gods is rather confusing...
  • Long Runner: The original (Disneyland's) version turned twenty in 2012. Hoo, boy.
  • Make My Monster Grow: When Disneyland's dragon succumbs to malfunctions prior to a performance, the climax instead features Mickey slaying a giant version of Maleficent.
  • Mind Rape: The villains are trying to do this to Mickey, but it doesn't work as he turns the power of his imagination against them.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the Florida version, when Monstro the whale appears directly after the Bubble Montage.
  • Mythology Gag: When the Genie replaced the "I've Got No Strings on Me" segment in 2017, a nod to it showed up in the new number with Pinocchio versions of Mickey, Minnie and Daisy showing up to dance on the water screens.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Disney centered Disneyland's summer 2009 promotion, "Summer Nightastic!' around the replacement of the Fantasmic! dragon puppet with a full-bodied animatronic. Unfortunately, technical difficulties delayed the dragon's unveiling until September 2009, when the summer had long past.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: This ad for the Disneyland show doesn't use any footage of the actual dragon animatronic; instead, it shows what appears to be a full body dragon puppet that's been edited to look like a giant animatronic (it even breathes computer-generated fire).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Tokyo DisneySea version has Mickey summoning the Magic Mirror to ask if he's "the greatest sorcerer of all", only to fall into the Mirror's trap when it invites him to look closer within.
    • In the Hollywood Studios one, Mickey finds a magic lamp and rubs it, hoping it will help him. Instead, it turns Jafar into a genie and effectively makes him even HARDER to beat.
  • Weredragon: The climax famously features Maleficent in her dragon form, portrayed here by a 40-foot animatronic.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mickey's response when Maleficent shows up.
    Maleficent: Now you shall deal with me, and all the powers of MY IMAGINATION!
    Mickey: OH NO!
  • Recycled Trailer Music: Score from the finale made it into this TV spot for the 1997 Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection VHS releases of Fun and Fancy Free, Sleeping Beauty, and The Jungle Book, aired before their January 1998 departure into the Vault.
  • Retool: Following a year and a half-long hiatus, the Disneyland version was eventually revived in July of 2017 and updated to include a few new segments and several tweaks to the show.
    • The concept of Mickey traversing through his dreams is made much clearer with the inclusion of new animated sequences that feature him traveling from dream to dream to segue into the next scene.
    • Mickey now spends the majority of the show as Sorcerer Mickey. In the original version, he only becomes a sorcerer during the Fantasia sequence (via animated footage) and the finale.
    • In the same vein as the Disney World version, the jungle segment now features elements of The Lion King alongside the original Jungle Book theme.
    • Don't worry, we still get Pink Elephants On Parade in the Disneyland retool, but the projection and animations look ten times as surreal, and the musical arrangement's volume has been turned ALL the way up, combining symphonic and EDM/dubstep styles. note 
    • The Peter Pan pirate ship scene has been replaced with a Pirates of the Caribbean segment.
    • One new scene shows Mickey meeting the Genie, who proceeds to sing a brief, condensed version of "Friend Like Me". This replaces the Pinocchio bit from the original (although Mickey does turn into a Pinocchio-like puppet as a Mythology Gag).
    • The Disney Princess medley now opens with Aladdin and Jasmine flying through the sky on the Magic Carpet. Snow White and her prince have also been replaced by Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.
    • The Disney Villain segment opens with the Magic Mirror taking Mickey into his nightmare, ultimately replacing the scene where the Evil Queen transforms into the Witch.
    • Mickey now confronts Dragon!Maleficent in his sorcerer form, not as the Brave Little Tailor (this was also done in the Tokyo Disney version). He also defeats her by using his magical powers, instead of Excalibur from the original. The electrical affects on the villains remain, however.
    • A good portion of the soundtrack has been completely reorchestrated to better fit the new version (for example, the Princess Medley has been redone to include "A Whole New World" and "I See the Light" respectively).
    • Brand new projections appear on the main stage throughout the show. Some notable new imagery includes Dr. Facilier's shadow ghouls during the Witch's appearance and Maleficent's thorns during her scene.
    • The Disney World version was given a major update in 2022, with the Pocahontas sequence being replaced with a medley dedicated to Disney heroes. The showcased characters include Pocahontas, Aladdin, Mulan and Shang, Elsa (as she appears in Frozen II), and Moana. Other heroes like Mirabel, Quasimodo, and Tarzan also appear in a montage.
  • Shock and Awe: After Mickey slays the dragon, the other villains are shown to be surrounded by lightning generated by the power of Mickey's imagination, and in turn, it destroys them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Much of Ursula's dialogue comes straight out of The Little Mermaid.
    • Maleficent enters while threatening, "Now, you will deal with me, and all the powers of my imagination!" This quote sounds very similar to what she told Prince Philip right before turning into a dragon: "Now, shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell!"
    • Mickey's outfit when he slays the dragon Maleficent is that which he wore in The Brave Little Tailor. He also wears his Steamboat Willie outfit to pilot the riverboat at the end of the Disneyland version.
  • Sword Beam: Mickey fires one from The Sword in the Stone in his climatic confrontation against Maleficient to defeat her and the rest of the Disney villains.
  • This Was Her True Form: Queen Grimhilde transforms from a hag back into her queenly self as she is killed.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Subverted. Mickey does use a sword (pulled from a stone) to defeat Maleficent, but instead of throwing it like Prince Philip does, he shoots a plume of sparkles through it!
  • Title Drop: The hag from Snow White boasts that she'll turn Mickey's dreams into a "nightmare Fantasmic".
  • Updated Re Release: Even before the retooling of both shows, the audio playing over the loudspeakers during the pre-show was changed from the album Mouse House Dance Mixes to a medley of covers from the DisneyMania series of albums around the late 2000s.
  • Walk on Water: Moana does this as part of the Heroes' medley.

Mickey: Some imagination, huh? Huh-ha!