Follow TV Tropes

Following

Web Video / Defunctland

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/defunctland_park_9.png
Home of the the Happiest Places that were on Earth.

"Hello. I'm Kevin Perjurer, and welcome to my new series, Defunctland, where I will be creating my own amusement park from attractions that are no longer operating."
Kevin Perjurer, Defunctland: The History of ExtraTERRORestrial: Alien Encounter
Advertisement:

Defunctland is a YouTube channel and series created in February 2017 by Kevin Perjurer, who makes (mostly) documentary videos on the history of theme park attractions that have closed down or have been completely revamped. Perjurer is currently in the process of recreating the attractions in a Virtual Reality theme park. The channel also features an increasing number of videos about defunct TV shows, under the banner of DefunctTV.

The channel also features podcasts with other Youtubers who specialize in theme parks discussing with Perjurer, interviews of people who conceived or worked on rides and the Debunkedland videos hosted by Noah Randall, who debunks theme parks-related Urban Legends.

For the list of subjects covered on the channel, see the Recap page.


Advertisement:

Defunctland provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pun: During the "Top 10 Forgotten Disneyland Attractions" video, Disney Dan interrupts Kevin to point out a pun on "driving the point home" while discussing AMC's sponsorship of Circarama USA.
  • Artifact Title: The series was originally started with the intention of detailing the history of closed attractions, and while it still does that from time to time, it has since branched off into discussing theme park history overall, such as the unbuilt Disney's America and the initial financial failures of Euro Disneyland (now known as Disneyland Paris) and Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Author Avatar: Kevin used to use a picture of Brad Pitt to represent himself.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The video on Club Disney describes how after Discovery Zone filed for bankruptcy, they were bought out by "a powerful rat... named Charles Entertainment Cheese."
      • A similar joke was used for "The Failure of Disney's Arcade Chain, DisneyQuest", which begins by introducing Sega's creation of live amusement centers in the 90's, leading to a partnership with "a familiar entertainment company that starts with a D"... DreamWorks Animation.
      • Finally, the joke would wind up being subverted in "The Curse of Sesame Street", when Kevin mentions that Jim Henson had managed to get someone to accept his pitch for what would eventually become The Muppet Show, a "young, energetic executive at ABC... named Michael Eisner".
  • Blunt "Yes":
  • Book-Ends: His series tributing Jim Henson started with a short animation of Jim creating Kermit, which ended with the phrase, "Kermit was alive." The last episode ended with a similar animation, and the phrase, "Kermit was alive, and so was Jim Henson."
  • Butt-Monkey: Whenever Kevin talks about estimated attendance figures, he uses the same Shutterstock accounting character to represent the figure in charge of said estimation. Said estimate is always wrong.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": In The Failure of Hong Kong Disneyland, following the uncovering of a massive amount of unexploded bombs and artillery shells while dredging the waters of the construction sitenote :
    Kevin: Local bomb experts assured Disney and the workers that bombs that old won't go off, although they did mention that sometimes they do.
  • The Cameo: "The War for Disney's America" features several guest appearances from fellow Disney and/or theme park fans to voice relevant quotes throughout the video: Alicia Stella, Disney Dan, Jack from Park Ride History, Jake Williams of Bright Sun Films, Jason, Mike, and Scott from Podcast: The Ride, Lindsay Ellis, Mark from Yesterworld, Quinton Reviews, and RobPlays.
  • The Cat Came Back: Metatextually: The Season 2 finale of Defunctland, "The Failure of Hong Kong Disneyland", centered around Michael Eisner being let go from Disney, more or less ending his narrative in the overall series. And then, during the Sesame Street episode of DefunctTV's Jim Henson miniseries, when talking about Jim's struggles to get The Muppet Show off the ground:
    Kevin: Luckily, Jim would eventually convince one of the suits. A young, energetic executive at ABC... named Michael Eisner.
  • The Chew Toy: Superstar Limo, a rushed ride so absolutely godawful that Kevin re-recorded his entire episode on it because he hadn't gone into enough detail about why it was so terrible. Whenever Kevin needs to give Michael Eisner's career a swift kick in the pants, expect to see Superstar Limo get a mention.
  • Christmas Episode: His mini-episode on the 'Country Bear Christmas Special', complete with Rhymes on a Dime.
    • Then he made another one the next year centering around Christmas-based theme parks with a hint of noir films mixed in.
  • Content Warnings: At the beginning of the video for Mac Tonight, whose image had been appropriated for an alt-right meme "Moon Man", a disclaimer appears saying that the video doesn't promote or condone the racist views espoused by it.
    • The early episode on Disneyland's America Sings contained a warning with a skip point before covering the death of Debbie Stone, and one at the end asking to be respectful of her in the comments.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The finale for Season 2 starts with a series of TV screens showing the openings for all the previous Season 2 episodes. At the end, clips from each episode are also shown.
  • Creator's Apathy: invoked Despite the long list of reasons given by the CEO for Wonderland Sydney's closure, Kevin makes it clear that the real reason for the failure of the park, which was still massively popular and a cultural icon, was because the owners just didn't care.
  • Crossover:
    • Does one with Disney Dan in his video on extinct walk-around characters in Disney World as well as one for now defunct opening day attractions at Disneyland.
    • He also does one with Park Ride History on Body Wars.
    • He also did part one of a two-part video on Journey into Imagination with Yesterworld.
    • His biggest one comes in the form of his video on Disney's America, which featured Lindsay Ellis, Disney Dan, Bright Sun Filmsnote , Alicia Stella, Podcast: The Ridenote , Yesterworldnote , Quinton Reviews, RobPlays, and Park Ride Historynote 
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kevin often makes snarky jokes in the captions on his videos, as well as in his narration.
  • Death's Hourglass: Evoked with the Jim Henson retrospective, which repeatedly cuts to a ticking clock foreshadowing Henson's premature death.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
  • Dude, Not Funny!: At the end of the Action Park episode, he shows off a news report about the ride, which shows one of the newscasters ogling the bikini-clad on-scene reporter and making advances towards her, before the cameraman gets uncomfortable and cuts the feed and his co-host berates him. Kevin typically doesn't speak during ending segments like this, usually meaning to just show off something he didn't have any room for in the main body of the episode, but the lack of comment reads as deafeningly silent contempt.
  • Eagleland Osmosis: One of several reasons why the French public condemned the opening of Euro Disney near Paris, as the locals viewed the resort as an example of American cultural imperialism - not aided by Disney overseers demanding solely English-language development meetings, enforcing American hair and dress standards on employees (something actually illegal under French law), and banning all wine from the premises.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • invoked Early episodes of the series, everything pre-Back to the Future: The Ride featured Kevin utilizing voice changing software to deepen his already pretty deep voice and notably labeled the series as "The Perj Special Series". This was due to Defunctland starting off as a side project for Kevin's "The Perj" series before quickly eclipsing the main series' popularity and causing the channel to be re-branded to Defunctland.
    • The Pretzel Dark Rides episode stands out for two reasons: it's about a mass-produced model of a ride instead of an individual example, and a number of Pretzel rides are actually still open.
    • Kevin used a cartoony portrait of Brad Pitt as well as his wax figure as avatars in early videos.
    • Outside of a few mentions, Season 2 mostly abandons the Framing Device from season 1, and is more of a straight documentary series. The snarky captions have also been completely dropped.
  • Follow the Leader: invoked Kevin theorizes that this is what happened with season 2 of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, given its new format made it similar to Bear in the Big Blue House, with a calming host and his small friends whose problems he solved.
  • Framing Device:
    • Kevin's main goal is to assemble a virtual theme park of decommissioned theme park attractions. The Defunctland video series acts as his thought process regarding what attractions he finds interesting to talk about and which would be interesting to add to the park. While still there, this has been mostly abandoned after season 1 and Defunctland has become more of a straight documentary series.
    • Occasionally used within the episode themselves. The Club Disney video is framed as a 90s sitcom, with a laugh track to boot.
  • From Bad to Worse: Kevin's assessment of Eisner's reign during the first half of the Turn of the Millennium.
    Kevin: The development of DisneyQuest was indicative of the state of the company after the tumultuous seven years into Euro Disneyland's opening. And it was a mere preview of the mind-boggling creative choices and shocking business decisions that the next seven years would bring. Their renaissance was over, and Disney was about to enter the 2000s. Buckle up, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Episodes from Season 1 tend to have a lot more snarky quips through captions, though this has been done away with as of Season 2.
  • Gilligan Cut: The CEO of Disneyland Paris/Euro Disneyland, Robert Fitzpatrick, attempted to assuage the French backlash against the park's opening by claiming that they weren't going to do something offensive like have Mickey Mouse dress up in a stereotypical French costume. The video then silently cuts to a photo of Mickey wearing a stereotypical French costume; namely a striped shirt, ascot tie and beret.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: This is how Kevin describes Michael Eisner's work ethic in the revamped Superstar Limo episode:
    Kevin: Eisner had a simple technique that he often used when he decided on new projects. The technique is known as "jealousy". Whenever Eisner saw another company doing something successfully, he decided that Disney would do the same thing. Moreover, he would take the idea and do basically the same thing in basically the same place. invoked
    • A similar thing was brought up with "The Failure of Disney's Arcade Chain, DisneyQuest", where the desire to venture into its volatile market was not due to any direct competition compromising Disney's success, but likely because Eisner wanted to one-up GameWorks due to its connection to DreamWorks Animation, in turn because of his personal beef with its founder Jeffery Katzenberg.
  • In the Style of...: "The War on Disney's America" was made in a way that resembles a typical "history channel" special (specifically Ken Burns' The Civil War), complete with the narrator and guest cast reading historical figures' statements with their best attempt at copying their voices.
  • Leitmotif: Any reference to Cedar Point's 'Disaster Transport' is met with a distinct "Oh yeaaah!" mixed into the soundtrack, taken from a song from the episode on Disaster Transport itself.
  • Long List: When listing the reasons Sunway Group gave for Wonderland Sydney's closure:
    Kevin: The company's CEO listed the September 11th attacks, the 2002 Bali bombings, the collapse of HIH Insurance, the SARS Virus, the Bird Flu virus, consistent losses during the Asian financial crisis, the collapse of Ansett Australia, the Iraq War, and the 2003 bushfires as the reasoning for the park's closure.
  • Motor Mouth: Kevin can bring up a lot of facts and details in rapid succession without pausing. Perhaps best illustrated in the video about the history of Captain EO, in which he lists all of the high profile artistic contributions and their major work in a short amount of time, then takes a breath.
  • Never Trust a Title: One of the Jim Henson videos is titled The Curse of Sesame Street. No mention of The Production Curse is made there. The "curse" that the title refers to involves Henson being pigeonholed into being a children's entertainer, rather than a general one that he wanted to be.
  • Not Me This Time: In the Eastern Airlines video, many people were genuinely surprised to learn that none of this had anything to do with usual punching bag, Michael Eisner.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: In "The War on Disney's America" and getting to the 1994 Senate hearing for and against the park, Kevin describes how the press and public flocked to Capitol Hill expecting "the most exciting Senate Public Lands and National Monuments Subcommittee hearing since its inception." To its credit, it didn't disappoint.
  • Poe's Law: In "The History of Cedar Fair's Berenstain Bear Country," Kevin discusses some of the Berenstains' earlier works for adults, including "Office Lover Boy," a collection of comics showing men behaving extremely inappropriately towards women in the workplace. Kevin describes it as being a hilarious satire of workplace sexism "of the early 1960s and mid-forever".
    Kevin: These books were either gripping satirical on the problematic climate of the corporate workplace, or they weren't, in which case... invoked Wow.
  • Polish the Turd: This is how he characterize Superstar Limo and it's successors. After events beyond their control (the death of Princess Diana) made the original "chased by paparazzi" concept suddenly come off as in extremely bad taste late in development, the designers were stuck trying to get anything usable out of it. He also showcases a failed attempt at it from a "cast of The Drew Carey Show goes to Disneyland" special; while Drew himself makes an attempt at feigning excitement, everybody else is increasingly obvious about being unimpressed and after the ride they walk off without a word.
  • Private Eye Monologue: The episode about various Santa Claus and Christmas-themed parks is framed as Kevin giving one as he "investigates" the various parks and what made them so popular (and what made so many of them close down). Complete with Deliberate Monochrome and typing his theories on a typewriter!
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Although he meant it in the sense of being a Cash Cow Franchise, a "Defunctland Bear Fact" pops up in "The History of Cedar Fair's Berenstain Bear Country" to confirm that you can literally milk a bear.
  • Rule of Three: Parodied. The famous one from Beetlejuice is utilized during Kevin's video on Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue as he realizes that he's mentioned the titular character twice before in the series before realizing that he's fallen into the reference and resignedly utters the last "Beetlejuice" to start the video proper.
  • Running Gag:
    • His "the George Lucas everyone loves not the George Lucas everyone hates" line certainly qualifies.
      • Related, but pictures of Lucas (including a few where the focus is on someone else but Lucas appears) are often accompanied by a subtitle describing which "version" of Lucas it is, ranging from "the cocky George Lucas that everybody still loved" to "the George Lucas that was in preproduction for Howard the Duck" to "Oh my god. It's Lucas cleanly shaven."
    • Whenever budget cuts are mentioned, expect to see a picture of Disney's CEO from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, Michael Eisner. Even when it's not in a Disney park or not his fault at all.
    • Whenever a ride gets replaced with a new ride that's particularly screen-heavy, expect "SCREENS!" to show up in the captions.
    • Any time a movie is successful, Kevin launches into a list of increasingly improbable, niche, silly, and all real merchandise, which always ends with "theme park attractions".
    • Noting that defunct roller coasters that were either entirely indoors or had an indoor queue have a bizarre tendency to have their queue buildings turned into haunted houses.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    • One of the inside jokes of Superstar Limo, "Please keep your hands, feet and egos in the limo at all times". Cue an annoyed "Ha..." from Kevin.
    • After listing off all the high profile talent working behind the scenes on Captain Eo, he comments "believe it or not, they were overbudget".
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The "Top 10 Forgotten Disneyland Attractions" (with Disney Dan) features a plug for the quiz show app SwagIQ and is titled "Kevin and Disney Dan's Selling Out Clickbait Patwooza 2018".
    • Kevin doesn't hesitate to rag on Kansas, his home state.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: A small example at the end of "The War on Disney's America". After winning an uphill battle to prevent Disney from building a theme park next to a Civil War battlefield, it is revealed that the proposed site today is a sprawling suburban housing development.
  • Shout-Out: The intro to the Superstar Limo video is a pastiche of the Arrested Development intro.
  • Something Completely Different:
    • A variation: "The History of Worlds of Fun's Destroyed Classic, The Orient Express" concerns an amusement park that Kevin actually lives near.
    • Kevin fully acknowledged in the comments that the video on Eastern Airlines would most likely be the only Defunctland video concerning the airplane industry.
  • Souvenir Land: Of course, Kevin doesn't confine himself to the major operators like Disney and Six Flags. Particularly notable is the Santa Claus episode which talks about just how many Santa-themed theme parks there have been.
  • Surprise Creepy: Cited as being one of the reasons for the mixed initial reaction to Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour, advertised as a simple tour of the titular castle and not as the terrifying Disney villains / Gothic Horror-themed journey it really was. This proved to be especially a problem for international guests due to language barriers, making the whiplash even worse.
  • Take That!:
    • Kevin makes multiple jabs at Michael Eisner, from his incompetence as CEO to saying that he operated off of jealousy instead of more rational thinking.
    • He also had little trouble making his opinions on Action Park's almost-nonexistent safety regulations and eccentricities known via subtitles on his b-roll.
    • A number of jokes have been made at the expense of Universal Studios, for closing great rides and shows based on "staples of pop culture" (sic) like Back to the Future: The Ride, Ghostbusters Spooktacular and Kongfrontation and keeping rides based on Dudley Do-Right and Waterworld.
    • Downplayed: in the video on the Nick Hotel, whenever Kevin mentions Nickelodeon making money off of advertising due to the popularity of Spongebob Squarepants, he plays clips of Mr. Krabs showcasing his greed.
  • The Theme Park Version: invoked "The War for Disney's America" documented this as being a major reason for the theme park's opposition, with many worrying about the impact of a Disneyfied sanitization of American history it was likely to be, especially since its location was near an actual Civil War historical ground. One early gaffe by Disney's PR team in response to this opposition had them claim it was instead going to be "painful, disturbing, and agonizing" in its historical realism. That defense didn't go well.
  • They Changed It, So It Sucks: invoked Kevin's opinion about the revamps of Space Mountain.
  • This Is Going to Be Huge: A recurring theme in many of the videos is how Disney had sky-high expectations for many of their projects in the '90s (Euro Disney, DisneyQuest, Club Disney) only for them to be very disappointed when said projects didn't even come close to reaching their expectations.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In his guide book about old attractions in Disney World's Magic Kingdom frequent punching bag Michael Eisner shows up to give a reasonable defense of why theme parks change over time. Then he saves the reader from prison in a daring lightsaber duel with his successor, because the book had gone a bit weird by that point.
  • Unexpected Genre Change: The Guide to the Magic Kingdom book starts as a fairly straightforward humorous guide book to the park as it explores the history of various attractions. Once you're through all the lands it takes a sudden turn and tells you to break into the service tunnels to steal props, and from there there's a hard shift into the Second-Person Narration of your daring heist.
  • Wham Line: Throughout the first episode of Season 3 focusing on the Ferris wheel, Kevin would also talk about the son of a farmer who lived in Chicago around that time. It isn't until the end where it's revealed that farmer's son is actually the father of a certain someone who would move his family to Marceline, Missouri in response to Chicago's rising crime rate. That certain someone? Walt Disney.
  • What Could Have Been: invoked A frequent part of the series, where the original concepts of many rides and parks were actually quite interesting but got changed for various reasons.
    • The infamous Superstar Limo was originally about the rider trying to escape the paparazzi, but this was changed after the death of Princess Diana.
    • The proposed expansion of Discoveryland in Euro Disney, primarily an enormous Jules Verne-inspired pavilion surrounding a new From the Earth to the Moon-inspired Space Mountain, reduced to just the ride due to budget constraints.
    • The infamous idea of ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was planned to be an Alien themed attraction.
    • The entirety of Disney's America is this, with the episode primarily documenting the increasingly uphill battle Disney faced following its inception, which it ultimately lost before it could be made.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: "The History of Disney's Worst Attraction Ever, Superstar Limo".

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report