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New Disney animatronics breathe convincing life into its 2D characters

A picture of the Louis the Aligator animatronic from Disney’s Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ride.
This massive, chonky Louis animatronic has almost as much range of movement as I do. | Image: Disney

No matter your opinion on the current state of its animated movies, Disney is proving that it can still knock animatronics out of the park. This week, the entertainment giant gave us another early look at the new audio-animatronics being prepared for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure — a retheming of the iconic (and controversial) Splash Mountain ride — and the demonstrations so far have been breathtakingly impressive.

Recognizable characters from The Princess and the Frog (2009) have been brought to robotic life across various social media posts and Disney’s new “We Call It Imagineering” YouTube series, including Princess Tiana herself, Mama Odie, Charlotte La Bouff, Louis the Alligator, and a host of other swamp critters.

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