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Saturday, January 6, 2024

It is a Good Yr for Figment Followers!

We’re lower than one week into 2024, and it’s already been 12 months for Figment. No, there nonetheless has NOT been an announcement of Journey Into Creativeness 4.0, however we’re on report saying it’s time to reimagine Creativeness. Reasonably, due to a few a lot smaller-scale wins.

It isn’t simply the 2024 calendar 12 months that’s been one for Figment, both–it’s the final three hundred and sixty five days which were good. It began virtually one 12 months in the past at the moment when EPCOT’s Competition of the Arts debuted Figment’s Inspiration Station on the Odyssey: Artwork, Meals, and Little Sparks of Magic together with the second model of the character’s popcorn bucket.

It continued with the meet & greet character making his triumphant return to the Journey Into Creativeness pavilion final fall, leading to a few of the longest traces at Walt Disney World upon return. In between, there’s been new merchandise, pageant tie-ins, and extra. There was even an ‘attention-grabbing’ journey to Burbank that appeared to tease a brand new journey, the upcoming movie, or each.

Let’s begin with the newest improvement, which is that the 2024 EPCOT Competition of the Arts is getting much more imaginative, with Figment’s Inspiration Station on the Odyssey: Artwork, Meals, and Little Sparks of Magic returning for a second 12 months. This was already mentioned in our Full Meals Studios Sales space Menus for that occasion, however I believe lots of you skipped that in the event you’re not visiting between mid-January and February.

The large information there’s the brand-new Journey into Creativeness Pavilion Popcorn Bucket. This limited-edition bucket options Figment inside on a rainbow diving into rainbow coloured popcorn. It follows up on two consecutive years of the Figment Premium Popcorn Bucket, which final 12 months had a EPCOT fortieth Anniversary strap.

The primary 12 months of this Figment popcorn bucket, Competition of the Arts was dominated by headlines that EPCOT’s Longest Line Is For Figment Popcorn Buckets. It took some time, however Walt Disney World finally solved that drawback by streamlining the method with Cellular Order. (Walt Disney World has confirmed that the brand new 2024 popcorn bucket will even use Cellular Order.

I’m not the most important fan of popcorn buckets, however I completely adore this Creativeness Pavilion Popcorn Bucket. Whereas it’s nonetheless early and I haven’t seen this in particular person, I’m fairly positive that I like this extra than the earlier Figment Premium Popcorn Bucket. What pushes this excessive for me is that it leans into being a popcorn bucket, quite than simply being a plastic factor that occurs to carry popcorn (if that is sensible).

All the things concerning the design is actually intelligent, from utilizing the clear glass pyramids to showcase the rainbow popcorn inside to Figment diving into the popcorn prefer it’s a ball pit at McDonald’s (they don’t nonetheless have these–however they did in my day!). That is simply top-notch by and thru, with creativity really befitting Figment. I hope it’s as superior in particular person because it seems to be within the inventory picture beneath. Big kudos to the Disney Design crew on this!

Whereas the cool new design for the Competition of the Arts popcorn bucket is thrilling, this 12 months’s first Figment furor was the long-awaited launch of the Figment Little Golden Guide.

We ordered two copies the moment this was introduced: one for Megatron, one for the Bricker Household Figment Archives. After seeing this present up at EPCOT round Christmas, I hoped our orders from Amazon would additionally arrive early, however they didn’t. Irrespective of, as this was the proper technique to flip the web page on a brand new 12 months.

The Figment Little Golden Guide is written by Walt Disney Imagineer Jason Grandt and impressed by the lyrics to “One Little Spark” by the legendary Sherman Brothers. The ebook is illustrated by Grandt, Scott Tilley, and Nick Balian.

A few of it’s possible you’ll acknowledge Jason Grandt because the creator of the fan-favorite Orange Fowl Little Golden Guide and the Magic Kingdom Storybook earlier than that. Even earlier than each of these books, he turned a family title within the Walt Disney World fan group as a frequent fixture at D23 displays and on social media, sharing sketches, historical past and extra.

Many Walt Disney World diehards are followers of Grandt as a result of he’s among the many present crop of Imagineers who’re the actual deal–ones who each care about and respect the artistic legacy of the Walt Disney Firm and Imagineering, and constructing upon each. This weblog is usually vital of people within the group who don’t “get” Disney or have a condescending perspective in direction of theme parks, and the purpose is that he’s the other of that.

Even in the event you didn’t know all of that background earlier than, it might be instantly apparent upon opening the Figment Little Golden Guide. The opening two-page unfold is gorgeous paintings of Dreamfinder flying by the universe looking for new concepts on his Dream Catcher. The primary six phrases are, “Oh, hey! I’m the Dreamfinder!” It’s a gap so chills-inducing that it’ll go down with “Name me Ishmael,” as among the many best of all-time.

Figment Little Golden Guide is crammed with web page after web page of beautiful paintings that reimagines the unique Journey Into Creativeness in a whimsical and gorgeous model. Whereas I respect artist’s reinterpreting topics and icons, placing a recent spin on issues, I’ll admit that I haven’t been preferred quite a lot of up to date seems to be for Figment and Dreamfinder, because the edginess isn’t at all times consistent with the spirit of the unique.

Fortunately, the Figment Little Golden Guide brings its personal visible id to the desk whereas conserving the guts of the journey’s model. It’s directly outdated and new–completely stunning, web page after web page. The paintings combined with a singsong story is every little thing I wanted from this ebook and extra. The cherry on prime is the many nods to different previous EPCOT Middle sights, and even Easter Eggs from Magic Kingdom’s previous. The Figment Little Golden Guide is really one thing particular.

I’ve learn quite a lot of books in my day, a few of which have even had phrases (humblebrag). It’s true. If I’m being goal, I’m placing the Figment Little Golden Guide proper up there with the most effective of them: This Facet of Paradise, Catch-22, The Depend of Monte Cristo, and Typically a Nice Notion. It’s positively higher than Ulysses, which I did learn however didn’t perceive. As an added bonus, you would learn the Figment Little Golden Guide 1,352 occasions earlier than ending Battle and Peace even as soon as. Additionally true!

And I’m being goal on this evaluate of the Figment Little Golden Guide as a result of it already has the next rating (an ideal 5/5!) than all the aforementioned titles on GoodReads. Suffice to say, Figment Little Golden Guide is properly on its technique to cementing its place because the definitive twenty first century Nice American Novel. I get why critics are giving it unanimously good scores, rating it as the best ebook of all time.

They’re in all probability lifelong Figment followers who learn it to their daughter (or son). These reviewers probably did the voices for Dreamfinder and Figment (poorly) and he or she smiled and laughed in amusement. They in all probability noticed a youthful model of themselves mirrored in her eyes, having a brand new perspective on that childlike surprise and curiosity that made their mother and father additionally love Figment and Dreamfinder. These critics’ hearts had been stuffed by even this little sliver of recapturing the previous and introducing their youngster to one thing that made an indelible impression on them. Or one thing like that, I’m simply spitballing.

It’s mentioned that the most effective literature can transport you to a distinct time and place. This ebook actually was like stepping again into the mid-Nineties and taking a journey on Journey Into Creativeness. I’ve seen ride-throughs and tribute movies, however none of them conveyed the essence and emotion of being there just like the Figment Little Golden Guide. Studying it actually did fire up lengthy misplaced emotions, and took me proper again. I may see the Audio Animatronics and present scenes in my thoughts’s eye–it was unbelievable.

After all, I additionally did this with our daughter on my lap. I’ve imagined introducing her to Figment and Dreamfinder for the higher a part of a decade, and this was my first alternative to do this. And her reactions had been priceless. Though, if I’m being trustworthy…her reactions are about the identical to any ebook that includes me doing duck or Muppet voice (I’m not good at voices; there’s little or no daylight between Figment, Muppets, or Donald and his nephews.)

Regardless, the Figment Little Golden Guide is an early contender for the most effective ebook of 2024. I can solely assume the Vegas oddsmakers have it as a favourite for the Nationwide Guide Awards.

After my preliminary read-through of the Figment Little Golden Guide, I used to be inclined to effusively suggest it to those that by no means skilled the golden age incarnation of Journey Into Creativeness, saying–that is it, in ebook kind! Taking a step again from my preliminary pleasure of being in that second, I do surprise if it might resonate the identical means.

The ebook would nonetheless be cute, after all. However would the story circulate as lyrics of “One Little Spark” from the unique? Would the wide-eyed wonderment of Figment or Professor Santa-like joviality and encouragement of Dreamfinder be as evident from the textual content? Would the magic of the paintings hit fairly the identical?

I’m inclined to say that the Figment Little Golden Guide wouldn’t be as significant to those that by no means skilled the unique attraction, however it’d nonetheless be excellent. The perfect and most devoted adaptation of media since The Muppet Christmas Carol.

As we’ve identified repeatedly, in case your solely publicity to Figment is the present incarnation of Journey into Creativeness, you may be questioning what’s so particular about that character. (You’re proper–there’s nothing really magical concerning the present model of Figment except you’re bringing nostalgia to the combination.)

The Figment Little Golden Guide is the easiest way of getting what made the unique attraction and its characters so particular to “click on,” absent a time machine. I’m not essentially saying it should be just right for you, however it actually has rather a lot higher probability than a popcorn bucket, stuffed animal, or no matter. I’d suggest watching Martin’s Final Tribute to Journey Into Creativeness first for background context, after which studying the Figment Little Golden Guide. It’s as shut as you’ll be able to presumably are available 2024 to capturing the essence of the unique.

It’s in all probability obvious from all the above, however in case not, I’ll say it bluntly: this isn’t an unbiased evaluate of the Figment Little Golden Guide. From the second I noticed the duvet artwork and Jason Grandt’s title connected, I knew this was going to be an all-timer for me, personally.

As very long time readers little doubt know, Figment is my favourite Disney character. Has been for the reason that Nineteen Eighties, and at all times will. Not due to the present attraction or his persona at the moment, however due to what he was within the unique Journey into Creativeness from 1983 by mid-Nineties. He was whimsical and inquisitive, humorous and endearing.

Figment symbolized the most effective issues about childhood curiosity and creativeness, and deeply appealed to adults who noticed somewhat little bit of their children in Figment (or vice versa), and each children and adults who noticed qualities of themselves within the character. The explanation for the unique Figment’s success is profoundly easy: he confirmed us all the most effective of ourselves.

Greater than some other character, Figment embodies what it means to be a child at coronary heart. In a world that’s so polarized, on edge, and bursting with negativity, Figment is an antidote to all of that. The character is arguably “wanted” greater than ever, and resonates more and more with every passing 12 months due to the perfect he represents.

Even in spite of everything these years, Figment nonetheless stirs up my feelings. Irrespective of how cynical I may be about anything associated to Walt Disney World, that melts away in relation to Figment and Journey into Creativeness. I’m immediately 8 years outdated once more, seeing the character for the primary time after we each shared comparable senses of childlike surprise and innocence. I really can’t clarify what it’s–because it defies logic or goal reasoning.

Along with transporting me to my childhood and seeing the story by the eyes of our daughter, studying the Figment Little Golden Guide served as one more reminder that Megatron will probably be assembly Figment this 12 months and using Journey Into Creativeness for the primary time!!! Yeah, it’ll be the present model as a substitute of the 1983 unique, however that’ll nonetheless be fairly particular to see and expertise.

Finally, my honest hope is that each one issues Figment we’ve seen lately from Walt Disney World and the corporate as a complete are immensely profitable. I hope this turns into the best-selling ebook of all-time (sorry, Harry Potter). I hope the digital queue for the brand new popcorn bucket fills up quicker than Cosmic Rewind. I hope the meet & greet has increased visitor satisfaction scores than Mirabel or Mando.

Greater than something, I wish to preserve demonstrating to Walt Disney World that Figment nonetheless has severe reputation, drawing energy, and merchandising potential. I’m not naive sufficient to assume {that a} new ebook or lengthy traces for merchandise or meet & greets would be the one little spark that it takes to get a brand new Journey into Creativeness greenlit imminently (I’ve gotten my hopes up for nothing too many occasions up to now), however it’s actually a constructive for the longevity of the character and his future prospects!

A method or one other, the present incarnation of Journey into Creativeness is on life help. It’s not in style with visitors, doesn’t rating properly in satisfaction surveys, and is lengthy overdue for a reimagining. The journey being redone once more is an inevitability, and Figment demonstrating his endurance and recognition despite his present journey’s lack of high quality may go a good distance. It may be the distinction between Journey Into Creativeness 4.0 with Figment as a substitute of with Bing Bong.

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Have you ever already picked up your copy of the Figment Little Golden Guide? What did you consider the paintings, Easter Eggs, or story itself? Was it like a visit down reminiscence lane for you, too? Ideas on Figment or anything mentioned right here? Agree or disagree with my evaluation? Any questions? Listening to from you is half the enjoyable, so please share your ideas within the feedback!

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