Of all the shows at Disney, Cranium Command had to be my favorite. I always loved watching both the pre-show and actual show. Maybe it was the idea of being inside somebody else’s head or maybe it was how funny (at least to an adolescent) the show actually was.
I still have trouble deciding if I enjoyed the pre-show or the main show more. The whole drill-sergeant-barking-orders aspect of the pre-show was always appealing to me, except, of course, the guy yelling at all the guests was a General (General Knowledge no less, har har), not a Drill Sergeant.
The pre-show is of course where we meet our good pal Buzzy (of Fuzzy or Scuzzy as the General likes to refer to him). After General Knowledge yells at everybody for a few minutes we are show the twisted world of human heads bearing a strong resemblance to lightbulbs.
The obsession with Cranium Command most likely came from the excessive amount of times I saw it as a child. That was THE first thing I wanted to do when I got to EPCOT. Spaceship Earth is my favorite ride at Disney but Cranium Command was first on my list. Watching the Youtube video of the show brought on a flood of emotions.
The actual show itself was, by my 8-year-old standards, awesome. All the different video screens for the different body parts were almost too much to handle. The fact that all of the body parts had their own personality and voice was my favorite part. Sure, seeing everything the body sees was cool but all the different characters that played a role in the show were the bomb.
The left (Charles Grodin) and right (Jon Lovitz) brain were perfectly cast according to what the functions were. Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon as Hans and Franz in the heart was hysterical. At the time I had no idea they were actually characters on SNL but found it funny nonetheless. The hypochondriac that was the bladder was played by Jeff Doucette. The super hyped up, ready to blow at any minute, excited-as-a-dog-when-his-owner-comes-home adrenal gland was played by Bobcat Goldthwait. The poor, depressed, self-loathing hypothalamus was voiced by Kirk Wise and represented as a robot similar to Wall-E that only appears when he has something negative to say.
The best character, by far, was the stomach. Played by George Wendt (At my age I did recognize him from SNL), the stomach was always worried about getting something to eat, much like a real 12-year-old’s stomach would be. When the food comes into the stomach and floats in the misty water it always made me wonder if my own stomach was similar. My favorite part of the show was towards the end when he is talking to the learing lady and he starts to get butterfly’s in his stomach. As a kid, I thought this was the most clever thing in the world.
It’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve seen the show. Those darn Disney executives pulled the plug on the show and the rest of the Wonders of Life pavilion around 2004, or 2005 or maybe 2006, I’m not exactly sure. For a while it was open, then closed, then open, then seasonally open, then closed, then open, then closed forever.
Now it’s used a couple of months of the year as a festival site for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in the Spring and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival in the Fall.
After watching the video of the entire show I realized it really was my favorite show at Disney. I loved everything about it. What I would give to see it live in person again…