Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I know a lot of people are wondering why Duffy is so popular if he doesn't come from an attraction, show, cartoon, or movie. Well, this is not going to be a "chicken and the egg" kind of dilemma here. Duffy the Disney bear came first. His first ever theme park show came second.
Because Duffy became so popular in Japan at Tokyo DisneySea, OLC decided to create a show just for Duffy. His show replaced one that had been running since the park's opening, called "Donald's Boat Builders". Now, these two shows are slightly different from your average Disney stage show. The first major difference is that both take place inside a restaurant, "Cape Cod Cook-off", with tables surrounding the stage. You purchase your meal, and then sit down and eat while a show may or may not be happening on stage. The second difference is that these shows are very short, and broken up into two separate acts. You don't have to watch them in order either. They are performed every ten minutes, one act after another.
With "Donald's Boat Builders", there was a huge set piece of a tugboat. One act had Chip 'n Dale visiting Donald's boat hoping to go fishing. They ended up destroying the boat while it was still at the dock. The "boat" actually fell apart on stage and at the end of act one, it was in disrepair. The second act had Goofy & Donald, with eventual help from Chip 'n Dale (who broke it in the first place) repair the boat and make good on that fishing trip. It was a very cute show with some fun effects. It had been at the park since 2001, so it had a fairly long run for a small show. Eight years isn't too bad, if you ask me!
Now, in early 2010 they closed "Donald's Boat Builders" and announced that a new show starring Duffy would be in the space instead. Fans were wondering just what kind of show this would be. Some were sad to see Donald evicted, but others were curious about Duffy. On March 20th, 2010 the new show debuted. Gone was the elaborate boat set; instead there were "storybook" like sets that looked much more flat than what was there previously. The format is similar, in that there are still two separate acts, but there is no main set piece for either act. The first one tells the story of how Duffy came to life. The second act deals with Duffy exploring the world for the first time and going on an adventure with Mickey at the end. A new seagull character was introduced to help narrate the "preshow" movie, and also is generally a pest to Duffy on stage, scaring him at one point.
A major first for this show was giving Duffy a voice. Up until this point, he never uttered a word anywhere. He was a mute character. "My Friend Duffy" changed all that, and gave him a typically "sweet" little boys voice as characterized by an adult female voice artist. Honestly, it's not too much different from your average "cute" Japanese anime character.
Alright, enough talk. Thanks to DeepDisney, a wonderful Japanese fansite that posts pictures, videos, and news about all things Tokyo Disney Resort, I have videos of the whole show.
Here is part one:
And, here is part two:
The videos are not embedded, due to DeepDisney's request that they not be. Here is a link to their great website, for any of your other TDR needs. They are always updating with photos and videos, so for the latest info, go here: