For the past six months, a thick veil of mystery has shrouded Studio Theater. There were whispers of a revival of past shows, with some longing for the return of past glories of Walt Disney Studios Park.
But on July 15th, Disneyland Paris will premiere its next hit: Together, a new kind of musical performance that combines classical theater and unique world-class technology. This heartwarming and surprising production was previewed to the press this past Saturday, July 9.
Our review, without spoilers.
At the time of Cinémagique’s first performances, Finding Nemo was still just an embryonic project, and Up was merely an idea.
22 years later, the magic still begins with a cinema screen. The film features Charlie, a child already a star, conducting concerts for his toys to the beat of a toothbrush in the comfort of a Pixar-themed bedroom.
In the style of a movie concert, eight musicians set the tempo of Charlie’s life on stage until, in an astonishing turn of events, the show is swept into an unexpected whirlwind conducted by the Pixar Orchestra.
Amidst the storm that shakes Studio Theater, the unthinkable happens: Charlie has lost their music sheet and can’t guide the young musicians at their school’s festival.
The adventure that follows once again brings Studio Theater an impossible challenge. After the awe induced by Cinémagique, how do you bring to life five Pixar universes as vibrant as Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Up, Finding Nemo, or Coco? How do you bring this epic journey to life?
The hundreds of square meters of LEDs, the projectors, and all the trap doors certainly contribute to this magic. The colors are vibrant, the immersion is full. The troubles of the ambitious Marvel: The Super Heroes Alliance show are mostly sorted.
In Together, the real magic lies in the unseen. Like the magic of images that suddenly become reality in a seamless moment. The magic of the play on size that bring surprise. The magic of shadows playing between media and reality.
The fluid production effortlessly combines various musical styles, theatrical techniques, choreographies, and media in a mesmerizing ballet of costumes, sounds, and visuals.
Each scene is brimming with delightful details and ideas that could fill entire shows on their own. From the use of overhead cameras to the never-seen-before feel of the Coco scene, every technology is always in sync with creative, scenographic, and choreographic choices. Here, there’s almost no unnecessary gimmick.
At the heart of the show are themes dear to the Disneyland Paris: friendship, optimism, and inclusion. For example, a custom made costume allows a dancer with disabilities to fully express his art.
Sadly, technology becomes more obvious when, after an unplanned gesture or a rough screen movement, the machine stalls. This may be inevitable in such a tight creation and rehearsal schedule (6 months), and as the cast still churns through the final days of dress rehearsals.
In the end, Together stands its ground thanks to the power of music and cinematography, balanced by the execution of the technical teams, and comes to life through the emotion conveyed by the performers on stage – all this without any human face actually appearing.