The following is a letter to the Walt Disney Company, from Kevin Blair, son of Mary Blair, about the planned changes coming to It’s a Small World:
Dear Disney Executives,
It has recently been brought to my attention that the Walt Disney Company including WDI has proposed changes to the “It’s a Small World Ride” at the Disneyland Park in Anaheim. As I understand the changes include the addition of the Disney Characters (Mickey, Minnie, Lilo & Stitch, etc.) to the ride in select areas, and the replacement of the “Rainforest” section with Mickey Mouse in a tribute entitled “Up with America”. I also understand that the boats and trough they ride in will be expanded for the safety and comfort of the parks modern day guests.
While I fully understand and support the upgrade to the boats as a necessary safety upgrade, the addition of the Disney Characters and the “Up with America” section I do NOT support as it represents a gross desecration of the ride’s original theme and my Mother’s stylized artwork.
The Disney characters of themselves are positive company icons, but they do NOT fit in with the original theme of the ride. They will do nothing except to marginalize the rightful stars of the ride “The Children of the World”. This marginalization will do nothing but infuriate the ride’s international guests and devoted Disney fans.
My Mother and I have always had a strong sense of patriotism for America and I DO support a tribute to America. Disneyland has several venues, which are perfect places for this tribute including “Main Street USA” or “New Orleans Square”; unfortunately the “It’s a Small World” ride is NOT one of them. Once again this will marginalize the children of the world theme and bastardize my Mother’s original art. Furthermore ripping out a rainforest (Imaginary or otherwise) and replacing it with misplaced patriotism is a public relations blunder so big you could run a Monorail through it.
As a former WED employee I am saddened to realize the degradation of the company’s talent and focus and the subsequent decline at the Disneyland Park itself. I cannot believe someone from WDI was paid to come up with such an idiotic plan as this.
As the head of the Blair family I cannot urge you strongly enough to abandon this idiotic plan and instead upgrade the boats and return the ride to it’s original classic form, design and colors. The desecration of Mary’s art is an insult to Mary Blair, her art, and her memory, and to the entire Blair Family itself.
Kevin L. Blair
Kevin Blair, Donovan Blair, Jeanne Chamberlain,
Maggie Richardson, Kevin Allison