Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Rant: The Sorcerer's Hat at MGM!

Walking down Hollywood Blvd. in 1993 there was an amazing sight of seeing not only The Great Movie Ride, but a large part of what Disney's MGM Studios really was. The openness of it all was apparent, and it was completely inviting. Walking down today however it seems as though something has changed. Can you guess what it is? I'll give you a hint.

Yes. It is the Sorcerer's Hat. Amazingly one addition could completely change the way a park can look. Ask Disney fans and enthusiasts what they think about the hat and the consensus would probably be borderline hatred. Though it is ugly, and though fans may despise it, rumor has it that there was a reason for it that is more to it than just adding a park icon. It dealt with Disney being taken to court. Apparently the owners of the Graumann's Chinese Theater took the Walt Disney Company to court in the mid to late nineties, based on the usage of their famed building. (in case we aren't all aware, The Great Movie Ride is a replica of the front of the faed theater.) As rumor has it, the original agreement between Disney and the theater owners wnet like this: The building could be reproduced for the park, but so long as Disney did not make money off the building. What does that mean? If you look at Disney t-shirts, and postcards and such from the early nineties, the building was in a way used as the unofficial icon of the park. It was put on t-shirts, mugs, and so on. The owners of the Chinese Theater were furious that Disney decided to use the building to make money in memorabilia and souvenirs that they eventually took them to court. Disney either lost, or settled and it was decided that rather than take the facade down, as long as the view of it was obstructed from the entrance, and Disney no longer used it as a de-facto icon, it could stay. So while you walk down Hollywood Blvd. you may be angry and upset for the hats placement, but it seems that our anger is pointed at Disney, but not for the reasons we all thought it was.

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