D23 recently sat down with Eric Idle, who plays Dr. Nigel Channing in Honey I Shrunk the Audience and Journey into Imagination with Figment (1994 – 2010, 2002 – present, respectively). Idle talks about filming, visiting the parks, and getting to do it all twice.
What was it like filming Honey I Shrunk The Audience?
Eric Idle: We shot it all in one take, because all the action is contained in that wide shot. Like a play, really—no close ups and huge 70 mm camera. We would set up the whole piece and then go again.
What was your first reaction when you saw the film?
EI: I found it very impressive. I liked the interaction gags, the mice and so on. Disney kindly flew us all to Epcot for the opening, and since we had kids they loved it. Then they flew my family and me to France for the opening at Disneyland Paris, which was also a great time.
How did they approach you about joining the Imagination attraction?
EI: Bit by bit they would ask me to come back and shoot the character Nigel Channing—to help with links and entertain the audience while they were waiting. It was always just a day shoot. The final time with Figment I was made up as the moon, which took awhile. I was happy to meet [Richard] Sherman who wrote that and so many songs.
How do you feel being a part of Disney history-featured in not one but two popular attractions?
EI: I am proud to be in two attractions. I love being able to appear fifteen times a day without having to turn up!
Looking for more interviews with the stars who added their talents and voices to many of Walt Disney World’s most beloved attractions? Check out D23′s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith with Illeana Douglas and ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter with Kathy Najimy!
By D23′s Jeffrey Epstein