Walt Disney Imagineering is rebooting another Disneyland attraction with a female lead character and revamped backstory to make it “more relevant” as the Anaheim theme park continues to update rides that have become culturally outdated.
In a new poster set to hang in the ride’s queue line (via writer Scott Gustin’s Twitter account), Jessica is seen wearing a trench coat and fedora. The accompanying text sheds some light on the future of the dark ride:
“Citing the recent return of the Toon Patrol Weasels as the main driver behind the recent sharp rise in crime statistics throughout Mickey’s Toontown, Jessica Rabbit has determined it is past time for her to throw her fedora into the ring by starting her own private investigations service,” says the poster. “While taking inspiration from longtime friend and legendary Toon Detective Eddie Valiant, Jessica shows that she certainly means business.”
As with any update that makes a sexy cartoon character a little less sultry, a segment of the fandom is enraged.
A quick look at Twitter right now shows dozens of tweets about the change, with fans complaining that Disney “does not understand the concept of Jessica Rabbit,” and decrying “political correctness.” Others, both who support and who oppose the ride changes, note that putting a character like Jessica Rabbit in a trench coat seems to do the opposite of preventing people from having sexualized thoughts.
The current Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin is an original story in which Roger tries to stop a group of weasels from causing havoc in Toontown. At one point in the ride, Jessica had been kidnapped and was seen dangling her leg out of their trunk. In the new version, Jessica has been replaced by Dip, the toon-erasing liquid from the movie.
Disney theme parks have pledged to integrate more diversity and inclusion into existing attractions and remove culturally outdated depictions. Imagineering recently overhauled its Jungle Cruise rides in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in order to remove scenes with outdated cultural depictions and replaced them with comic scenes featuring animals and a new cast of culturally diverse characters as part of a major overall of the attraction.
Disney Parks also announced a planned overhaul of Splash Mountain, to introduce a new backstory based on “The Princess and the Frog” after removing the log ride’s entire “Song of the South” theme based on a movie Disney has long repudiated.
Professor Tom Morrow was originally a spacecraft missions director who oversaw spacecraft travels from Earth to the moon, notably with the Moonliner space-ship. In later attractions, Mr. Morrow is the mayor of Tomorrowland and a promoter of the latest technological advancements.
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