Envisioning Wes Anderson’s theme park
Erin McAuliffe | Monday, November 10, 2014
Could “Moonrise Kingdom” become the next Magic Kingdom?
It could if Wes Anderson collaborates with Mark Mothersbaugh as he announced he intends to in the foreword of Mothersbaugh’s art book, “Myopia,” released earlier this week.
“I hope to soon secure the means to commission the construction of an important and sizeable theme park to be conceived and designed entirely by Mark Mothersbaugh,” Anderson said. “For 40 years, he has set about creating a body of work which amounts to his own Magic Kingdom where the visitor is amused and frightened, often simultaneously.”
Mark Mothersbaugh has collaborated with Anderson frequently, having scored four of his films. Mothersbaugh also co-founded the band Devo, recognizable for their 1978 hit, “Whip It.”
Wes Anderson’s venture into theme park design brought to mind — in classic Kanye Wes Anderson linkage — Kanye’s “Clique,” in which Kanye admits, “I just want to build hotels and nail it.” This potential expansion of Anderson’s whimsical, detail-oriented worlds from the screen to reality would add a new dimension to his classically 2D work.
However, the vague promises presented in “Myopia” left me itching for further pastel-hued, symmetrical details — so I came up with some potential ideas myself.
Normally when I hear the words “theme park,” I cringe at visions of couples making out in two-hour-long roller-coaster lines or the inevitable bikini-clad girls because there is one log ride where they might get wet and therefore need to wear swimwear all day.
However, a Wes Anderson theme park would eliminate these displeasing amusement park normalcies. The accepted clothing of choice would, of course, be to dress as your favorite Andersonian character. The options are endless: saddle shoes and binoculars for mothers who need to keep track of their coonskin-capped children, sweatbands for the days it is sweltering, fur coats for the cooler months, and it only seems fitting that the ride attendants wear uniform blue polos and red beanies.
The park would serve Mendl’s pastries instead of turkey legs. The souvenir ears of choice would be fox — deviating from overdone mouse ears. There would be no mascots or princesses walking around; rather, Bill Murray would always be wandering around, a little melancholy, and you wouldn’t ask for autographs because that’s tacky. There would be designated “slow-motion” sections where you must act as if you are hopping a train to India or are coyly about to release a bunch of bees on Bill Murray. The speakers around the park would emanate the coordinating soundtracks at each movie-themed ride, echoing The Kinks and Alexandre Desplat instead of “It’s A Small World” on perpetual repeat.
There would be a Dajeerling Limited train car to ride around the park. You could scour Max Fischer’s elaborate Herman J. Blume Marine Observatory for the “Jaguar Shark” in a submarine ride. You also could ride the fast-paced Bottle Rocket roller coaster or make your way through a dirt maze in order to escape Boggis, Bunce and Bean. You could explore the eccentric home of the Tenenbaums or make your way over to the boy scout camp area and rent a kit to make your own adventure camp for the night. However, if you are not so keen on sleeping under the stars and potential lightening, you could take a quick lift ride and check in at the Grand Budapest Hotel. But watch out for the elevator, which would be an over-saturated version of The Tower of Terror (And my mom said my time spent on desktop computer RollerCoaster Tycoon wouldn’t pay off).
The theme park would be located in Mothersbaugh’s hometown of Akron, Ohio (shout-out to my home state).
With the success and expansion of Universal Studio’s “Harry Potter World” and the new Hogwarts hotel opening in London, the idea of a park and hotel recreating the feels of Anderson’s cinematic greatness — allowing one to venture into a world apart from the mundane everyday and into a colorful alternate reality — sounds like a prosperous plan. Get Max Fischer on the project committee immediately.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.