'Mickey's PhilharMagic' Brings Pixar Into the Fold With 'Coco' This Month

Any theme park fan worth his or her salt knows that July 17 is a significant date for the Disney theme parks. It’s the day that Disneyland Park opened its doors for the first time in Anaheim, California. And this July 17, Disney is celebrating in…a kind of inexplicable way, frankly. They’ll be welcoming a scene from Pixar’s Coco to the Mickey’s PhilharMagic show at Disney California Adventure and at Disneyland Paris.

Now, there’s not much in the way of details offered by the Disney Parks Blog for an update to a longstanding attraction happening in just two weeks. But what we do know is that Donald Duck will now join part of the Pixar universe for a few bits of the Mickey’s PhilharMagic show, heading to the Land of the Dead. But this may well be a case where two great flavors don’t quite go together.

Leave aside the fact that Mickey’s PhilharMagic previously only incorporated films from the Walt Disney Animation Studios and not Pixar. Whatever else is true, Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a nearly two-decade-old 3D attraction that utilizes computer animation that’s not remotely as crisp or rigorously detailed as the medium currently offers. It’s easy to wonder if this is going to just look off, because it visually doesn’t fit with the rest of the film.

But yes, it’s also kind of weird that now is when Disney updates the attraction, and it does so with a Pixar film for the first time. Disney Animation itself has boasted plenty of wonderful recent films with memorable musical moments. Why not have Donald interact with Moana, for example? Co-mingling Donald Duck with Pixar characters could easily be a meeting of the animated minds a la Daffy Duck and Donald playing a fierce piano duet in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but it’s likely not going to be quite so witty.

Oh, and one last note: if you’re in Walt Disney World this summer, you shouldn’t get your hopes up about experiencing this addition to Mickey’s PhilharMagic. The Disney Parks Blog does promise that update will be made in the Magic Kingdom, but as part of the resort’s 50th anniversary celebration starting on October 1.

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