“Mr. Lincoln” Returns to Disneyland

A famous audio-animatronic show reopens.

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Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

Does it thrill you when something you grew up with, something known the world over, returns after a long absence?

Doesn't always happen. Frequently doesn't happen. But it is happening on Friday, December 18th, when "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" returns to Disneyland.

The show had been retired for years, while other attractions took over the theater space near the main Disneyland gate. But people remembered it, talked about it, wanted to see it again. It is one of those cultural icons that stuck in the heart and mind.

You can bet Disney buffs are excited. History fans, too. Anyone who likes retro anything has to be jazzed. Because when the one-man (or "one animatronic," is more correct?) show and Main Street staple debuted at the theme park in 1965, it was the edge. Beyond the edge. A great leap in technology and entertainment.

Imagine, seeing an animatronic person talking, lifelike-like, for the first time. It had to have bent the mind in new ways.

It is now 2009 -- nearly 2010 -- and there've been more leaps. So look for the new Mr. Lincoln's movements to be crisper, his face to be more expressive, his voice to have digital oomph. We're glad to see the narration by wonderful voice actor Paul  Frees remains. Do you love Pirates and the Haunted Mansion? Then you're Frees fan.

There will be new Frees-recorded audio that has never been played in the show, as well as other surprises. Maybe visiting Mr. Lincoln is the perfect thing to do over the holidays? Pay a hello to a great attraction that's been spiffed up while retaining its original charms?

Glad you are back, Mr. Lincoln.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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