July 2021 is a good month for the Disney theme parks. Not only is the original theme park, Disneyland, celebrating its anniversary on July 17, and not only is the big new blockbuster Jungle Cruise arriving in theaters and on Disney+ on July 30, but there’s a new Disney+ series all about Disney’s theme-park attractions coming too. And Behind the Attraction is now offering a trailer-sized glimpse at what its 10 episodes have in store for viewers in just over a week.
Behind the Attraction Trailer
Behind the Attraction is a 10-episode “event,” as the trailer calls it, focusing on different attractions from within the Disney theme parks. Unsurprisingly, a good chunk of the trailer hinges on the presence of executive producer Dwayne Johnson, who’s also one of the leads of that Jungle Cruise movie. One of the other executive producers, Brian Volk-Weiss, is behind the recent Netflix docuseries The Movies That Made Us, and the trailer certainly implies a similar aesthetic sensibility: it’s 90 seconds long and it packs in plenty of musical references, fourth-wall-breaking narration (from the delightful actress Paget Brewster here), and hyper-paced montages.
It’s hard to base too much on a trailer, of course, but Behind the Attraction looks both intriguing and slightly dispiriting. The various attractions that will get their moment in the spotlight here – from the Jungle Cruise to it’s a small world to the Hall of Presidents – are all notable and worth exploring in a deep dive. But a deep dive is not well served if it’s incredibly fast-paced with cheerfully ironic narration and music cues to keep a distracted audience engaged. There’s a vast audience out there for theme-park history, and you don’t need to worry about them nodding off before you insert a five-second snatch of bombastic classical music set to a rapid-fire montage.
The other big question will be how much of the show is reliant on talking heads – there’s a brief glimpse here of, among others, iconic Imagineer Joe Rohde, in terms of experts on theme-park attractions – versus just showing the audience footage that they may never have seen before. For now, and for the next few days, we can only wonder and hope that Behind the Attraction really does go behind the scenes of some beloved rides, instead of presuming the audience needs to be goosed up with quick edits and unnecessarily cheeky humor.
All 10 episodes will arrive on Disney+ on July 21, 2021.
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