January 17 was not only the first day of the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts. It was also the day that three new films debuted at the park. I’ve mentioned them before, but now that I have seen all three I thought that it would be a good time to talk about them again.
I’ll start with a story that you think you know. In the France Pavilion you will now find two films that rotate with each other. Impressions de France has returned and it looks better than ever! It now rotates with Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. I really enjoy this show, and truth be told I am not the world’s biggest Beauty and the Beast fan. (I like it, I’m just not overly obsessed.) There are five songs in this sing-along. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the words, they are on the screen. The fact that Angela Lansbury has returned for this nailed it for me, because I’m a big admirer of this incredibly talented woman. She once again plays Mrs. Potts, who tells the story. There is plenty of humor as well, so make sure that you head to France to see both films.
The second new film is Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360. This of course is found in the Canada Pavilion. The theater is still a round room and you will stand instead of sit. There are rails in case you need to hold onto something. At times it does feel as if you are moving. The film is now narrated by Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, and they both seemed to have had a great time doing it. There is a real “old friends” vibe to the narration. The film itself is gorgeous, and covers the five regions of Canada. The best part of all is that you can explore our Neighbor to the North without a passport! The score adds to the experience.
The final new film is called Awesome Planet. This can be found in The Land Pavilion, in the theater where Circle of Life used to be. The new film is narrated by Ty Burrell from Modern Family. The premise is that you are looking at Earth as a real estate agent would. The different types of climates are all covered, and there are plenty of animal pictures. There is also a warning about the abuse that has been done to the planet, but that is followed by a hopeful note. Ways that we can turn things around and make a difference are then named. There are some sensory elements to the new show, but they are mild. (The crying child sitting behind us didn’t seem to like them!) The film itself is stunning. Awesome Planet would be easy to overlook, but I hope that you don’t. The message is an important one, but it is not overdone. The final message is that it is not too late. I really enjoyed this new film, and I plan to watch it again the next time that I am at Epcot.