Motion Capture Used in Hollywood Studios

Motion Capture Used in Hollywood Studios “Little Mermaid” Show

Disney Imagineers are using a little movie magic as they develop an all-new show coming to Hollywood Studios. They’re incorporating motion capture to help tell the story of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure.” The show will also feature physical sets, blacklight puppets, live performers, and visuals. Disney also confirmed that the show is completely new and not an update of “Voyage of The Little Mermaid,” which closed in 2020.

The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure puppet. Copyright Disney.
Copyright Disney

Creative teams used Ariel’s bedroom as inspiration for the rest of the show. Sarah Schmidt, Creative Concept Artist & Illustrator for Disney Live Entertainment, said they “thought about what Ariel’s room may look like and came up with this collage style that you’ll see woven throughout the production. This new look really informed every design decision – from scenic, to the puppets, even the custom digital content being created for the show.”

Motion capture being used on The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure. Copyright Disney.
Copyright Disney

Imagineers decided to use motion capture technology to bring the concept to life. A live performer will be covered in sensors. The data from those sensors will help animators create a digital version of the character.

“We’re really blending the line between real and digital in ways we’ve never done before to completely fill the stage for these show-stopping scenes. You’re going to see these large new physical set pieces we’ve created blend seamlessly with a digital environment in a way that really fills the stage. You’ll see digital puppets transform into real ones right before your eyes. You’ll even see animated characters performing in the same space as real actors. It’s going to feel like magic!”

James Silson, Show Director

Characters using the technology will include King Triton, Ursula, and Ariel’s sisters. The sisters will open the show with an all-new song called “Daughters of Triton.”

The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure opens later this year in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.