Monster Sound Show

Friday, March 27, 2009

 The Monster Sound Show opened at the Disney MGM Studios on May 1st 1989, sponsored by Sony (Sony was also the sponsor of the Superstar Television attraction, which was right next door). This attraction was one of the opening day attractions that was in operation when the Disney-MGM Studios first opened. It's goal was to show the importance of sound in the cinema through a film. Many attractions in this location have since tried to show the importance of sound in cinema, but Monster Sound Show was the first, and arguably best, edition.

Guests started with the pre-show film that was shown in the outdoor queue area, which starred David Letterman. In the film, Letterman provided a funny introduction to the attraction and gave guests a good idea of what was to follow in the actual attraction. It featured Letterman on his talk show set doing a segment with a sound artist. A great quote from Letterman to park guests in the film was, "If you break anything, security guards in mouse suits will beat you senseless."

Once guests were inside the 270-seat theater, four guests from the audience could volunteer to be "Foley" sound artists and add the sound effects for a short comedy film. Foley refers to the Foley Studio, which took its name from Jack Foley, a Universal Studios technician who became famous for his innovations in synchronized sound for films back in the 1950's. The film was a quick four minute piece where a Master of a hotel, played by Martin Short, tries to kill an insurer, played by Chevy Chase. The first time the film is shown, is with the professional sound effects. Then it was guests' turn as those that had volunteered would utilize props in the theater to try to re-create the various sound effects from the film. Typical sound effects included Thunder, creaking doors, breaking glass, rain, etc. The short film was shown three times in all - the first showing was the original, the second, where the audience members attepmt to add the sound effects, and the third showing was the film but with the sound effects the audience members created. Some of these sound-effects were the creation of Jimmy Macdonald, who worked for 45 years with Disney at the Walt Disney Studios in California. The entire attraction lasted about 15 minutes.

Following the attraction, guests could try adding their own sound effects to films in the Soundworks postshow area, which is still open to guests today. It featured films such as Roger Rabbit as well as classic Disney films.

What made the attraction fun were the volunteers who attempted to place the sound effects into the film. The premise of the attraction was to show the importance of sound in a film and also it's not as easy as one might think. Often the film would result with a knock at the door being heard after the door is opened, with the sound of glass breaking when it should be of paper rustling. There was actually a hidden mickey in the film when Chevy walks up the stairs and knocks on the door of the house. If you looked carefully to the lower left of the door there is a flower pot. When the lightning strikes you could clearly see the pot is shaped like Mickey.

The show changed format on July 1, 1997 and became the ABC Sound Studio. It featured Disney's One Saturday Morning lineup and while the premise of the attraction was similar to the Monster Sound Show, the video was obviously different. The live action film was replaced with a 45-second cartoon clip and seven guests were chosen to create sound effects for 101 Dalmatians: The Series. The ABC Sound Studio closed on February 20, 1999 and later changed to Sounds Dangerous starring Drew Carey on April 22, 1999.