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Turtle Talk with Crush


Guests are admitted to a movie theater-like room featuring what appears to be a large aquarium-style window opening onto an undersea vista. Children are encouraged to sit on a carpeted area up front so that they may have a better view, while parents and other adults sit on benches behind them.



The host and moderator gives a brief introduction to the show, and then Crush swims down to appear in the window. Crush looks and sounds much as he does in Finding Nemo, complete with animated facial expressions and subtle gestures.


With the help of the moderator, Crush selects children and adults from the audience and engages them individually in dialogue, asking them questions and responding with quick wit and humor to questions about his life as a sea turtle or any other questions guests choose to ask. Crush individually chooses the children by saying what they are wearing (e.g.: "Oh hey, dudette in the pink shell (shirt) down on the sub floor, what is your name?").


Other events may occur during this improvised conversation, including cameo appearances by other characters from the original film and its sequel. Though the format, structure and rough duration of the show are consistent, the show itself varies considerably depending on the guests' questions and comments. For example, if an audience member asks where Dory is, a special ending involving Dory and Destiny will be triggered, complete with another attempt by Dory and her friend Destiny to speak whale. Crush will also refer to the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage when asked where Nemo is, saying he is at the Tomorrowland Lagoon (where that attraction is).


Technology


The show is a blend of computer graphic techniques, image projection, and interactive improvisation.

The "Window to the Pacific" is a large rear-projection screen portraying an animated undersea environment. The animated image of Crush is a computer graphic avatar controlled by a puppet, operated by a backstage actor/puppeteer whose performance is digitized in real time. Crush's movements and voice-activated lip synch are rendered on the fly and are projected at 60 frames per second, so that the turtle's mouth moves in synchronization with the actor's words.


Digital puppetry techniques allow the puppeteer's movements to control the body motions of the projected turtle image. The technology enables each show to be different as Crush responds uniquely to each individual audience.


Using cameras mounted in the theater, the hidden actor can see the audience with whom he is interacting, and thus can refer to the specific appearance and behavior of particular questioners, as well as their location in the theatre.


The actor's performance is a combination of semi-scripted banter and improvised responses to guests' questions and comments, delivered in a mimicry of the character voice from the film (originally performed by Andrew Stanton). In 2016, Turtle Talk with Crush got an update to add characters from Finding Dory.

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