Could this really have been “cool” in 1962? I suppose the Beatles had not landed yet and American culture was still a little Pat Booneish. Still, I believe that Disney used to be better at forcing their “hip” agenda instead of falling in line with pale imitations of the biggest fads of two years previous.
The oddest contemporary example of this is the “Pirates of the Caribean” phenomenon. First, Disney is so down on the business prospect of a Pirate movie and another attraction-based flop that they almost make a direct-to-video sequel, then when the movie hits big they follow the trend they themselves created by oversaturating all their properties with Pirates merchandise.
But I digress. Pirates was a victory for this cause: you get the best creative talent available, and you work on a story that will grab people. You don’t worry about if you can get Barenaked Ladies (out of date Chix Little creators) to sing an opening theme, or how many celebs you can get to make wacky pop culture references for commercials (post record scratch of course).
John Lasseter, Brad Bird, and Andrew Stanton know what I’m talking about. The Pixar films (even though Toy Story is a little guilty) do not bother themselves with staying current. Far from it, Ratatouille could have been released in the 60′s, and it is fairly hard aside from the digital technology to pin down when this movie was made.
Hopefully this will translate more into theme park attractions. Disney is at its best when it does not worry about trends. They can never EVER be hip by formal definition. Disney is anti-hip (save the tweens and the Disney Channel). Their hipness comes merely from folks who think like Walt did, and worry about being creative on their own terms. I think the attention to detail in Expedition Everest is much “cooler” than the Laugh Floor Comedy Club, and I don’t remember the Yeti being edgy.
You can tell Bob Iger does not bother himself with much posturing, or worry about being cool. He’s kind of a square really. I like that. I hope more random and uncool attractions are on the way – like The Hoop Dee Doo Revue, El Rio de Tiempo, and The Tiki Room (which was SO much more hip under old management).