Next year, the long-awaited Avatar expansion at Walt Disney World‘s Animal Kingdom will finally open to the public. And while James Cameron‘s groundbreaking film used CGI to bring the inhabitants of Pandora to life, Disney is relying on animatronics to recreate the film’s signature aliens and creatures. Judging from the new glimpse of an animatronic Na’vi, it looks like Disney has pushed its technology further than ever before.
Via Heroic Hollywood, Disney has released the first footage of the Shaman of Songs from the Na’vi River Journey ride. According to the mythology of Pandora: The World of Avatar, the Shaman of Songs is revered among her fellow Na’vi, and she seems quite pleased to welcome visitors to the new attraction. But what really makes this clip work is the way that the Shaman briefly breaks from her stoic demeanor to address someone behind the camera. The subtle movements of her face and the change in her voice are so lifelike that she seems as versatile as a CG creation. Within the actual ride itself, the Shaman will appear near the conclusion of the Na’vi River Journey. Disney has previously released concept art from the ride, which depicts the lush plant life and the atmosphere of Pandora at night.
Last week, Disney revealed additional concept art for the restuarants and trading outpost from the Avatar attraction. So far, it looks like the expansion will be extremely impressive, and we can’t wait to check out Pandora: The World of Avatar for ourselves when it opens next summer.
What did you think about Disney’s animatronic Na’vi? Sing us a song in the comment section below!
Images: Lightstorm/20th Century Fox/Disney