OpEd: How Disney’s New ‘Figment’ Movie Could Save EPCOT

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

The Disney universe is spinning with countless film releases on Disney+, live-action remakes, and new original content. Out of nowhere, one of the most infamous Disney Parks figures is finally receiving their own feature film, which could save Walt Disney World’s EPCOT.

Figment and Dream Finder

Credit: D23

Related: Beloved Disney Character Getting Its Own Feature Film

In an age where the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars universe are all social media can talk about, some fans feel that Disney Parks are beginning to lose the sense of magic that first inspired Walt Disney’s dream.

With the 2022 D23 Expo offering a sneak peek into the future of the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, the Mouse House made it clear that Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios have a substantial stake in the future of their theme parks.

However, with the announcement of various land expansions and new entertainment offerings based solely on IPs, is Disney forgetting the classics that saved the company and fostered Walt Disney’s dream?

Journey Into Imagination

Credit: Disney

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While the Journey Into Imagination attraction came after Walt Disney’s time, fans arguably agree that the loveable “Figment of your imagination” purple dragon is as essential as Mickey Mouse when it comes to being the mascot of EPCOT.

With the attraction going under countless re-themes that sadly saw its unique vision stripped away, fans are losing their minds over the most recent Figment news:

NEW: Figment is getting his own feature film, per @DEADLINE. WHAT?!?

Fans share their excitement and concerns:

If this leads to the Pavilion finally getting a revamp then this could be a good step forward. As long as the Imagination Institute doesn’t get referenced!!!!!

Another fan writes:

They will do anything but fix the ride LOL

But hey, hopefully it is good! Hopefully good things come from it! If this is what it takes for modern Disney to right a wrong made practically 25 years ago I’m on board with it.

In One Day at Disney short on Disney+, a new look for Figment was revealed by Disney’s StudioLAB artists. This new model for the purple dragon was created in May of 2019 and shocked countless fans:

Odds this feature film is tied to this version of Figment we saw from Disney StudioLAB awhile back?

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Now, this all could be coming full circle. Could Journey Into Imagination With Figment be receiving a historic revamp following the upcoming FIGMENT film?

A New Age for Figment

With the announcement that a FIGMENT film is currently in the works with actor Seth Rogen’s production company Grey Point, Disney fans can rest assured that Figment will remain the mascot of EPCOT and potentially much of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, as the Parks continue to grow with countless new attractions, entertainment, and more.

Rainbow Tunnel at EPCOT

Credit: Disney

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While there were some whispers of Journey Into Imagination fading into history and Figment virtually being forgotten by the masses, new merchandise featuring the famous purple dragon that has emerged at Walt Disney World after the last few years fueled a new love and fanbase for the Tony Baxter creation.

Now, with an entire feature film (likely made for Disney+) focused entirely on Figment, it’s clear that Disney wants to revitalize the Imagination Pavilion and more with news of a Figment meet and greet coming to EPCOT.

Journey Into Imagination

Credit: Disney

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With Seth Rogen producing a Figment motion picture, it’s evident that EPCOT’s Imagination Pavilion is being pushed to the forefront, as Disney previously updated/refurbished attractions ahead of their motion picture debut (Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, etc.).

Could Journey Into Imagination With Figment be given an entirely new light? News of a Figment film should only excite fans!

A Key Figure

None other than the legendary and often missed Dreamfinder could make the Figment film complete, especially if Disney is aiming to encompass the origins of everyone’s favorite dragon.

Dreamfinder and Figment

Credit: D23

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Further, the infamous Rainbow Tunnel, beloved by Michael Jackson, and more references from the attraction’s history could make a cameo in the upcoming Disney movie.

On top of that, fans are calling for Disney Legend Tony Baxtor, the co-creator of the original Journey Into Imagination, to make an appearance in the film.

More on the Motion Picture

Per Deadline:

A Disney film is in the works featuring the character Figment, a small purple dragon who serves as the mascot of Epcot’s Imagination Pavilion in Orlando. The feature hails from Seth Rogen’s Point Grey with Pokémon Detective Pikachu‘s Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit set to write, Deadline has learned.

Figment was created by Walt Disney Imagineers Tony Baxter and Steve Kirk, among other collaborators, in 1983, the same year it made its debut in the Epcot ride Journey Into Imagination. Figment is the embodiment of the imagining process— a figment of your imagination.

Although one of Disney’s more obscure characters, Figment has a devoted fanbase that has ensured his role at the park is never diminished. Various attempts to remove the ride or decrease his presence have been met with loud protests.

Today, he is the star of the latest version of the ride Journey Into Imagination with Figment.

Michael Jackson at Journey Into Imagination

Credit: Michael Jackson Estate

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When it comes to the history of Figment and his Dreamfinder counterpart, D23 writes:

“The characters that would become Dreamfinder and Figment originated as Professor Marvel and his dragon friend for a proposed, but never realized, area of Disneyland known as Discovery Bay. When that project was canceled, the characters became the symbols of imagination for the Journey into Imagination pavilion at Epcot. An early description of the Dreamfinder explained that the character is the Spirit of Imagination. ‘He represents the practical and controlled side of the imaginative process. He may not be readily known to us, yet we’ve all met him every time we were excited by inspiration, thrilled by the art of creating, or felt the pride of having generated something new. It is his purpose to gather ‘ideas’ because each one may be that spark which inspires new imaginings.’ One might say that Walt Disney was one of the greatest ‘Dreamfinders’ of all; during the development of the Epcot character, Imagineers referenced many of Walt Disney’s famous quotes to inspire the character’s identity. Figment was Dreamfinder’s foil: the childish side of imagination with a short attention span.

The upcoming FIGMENT film has not received an official debut date but joins the family of Disney Parks attractions like the Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion that inspire new movie franchises and more.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.

About Alex Lue

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