Universal Studios debuts King Kong 3D
The new King Kong attraction surrounds you with action at Universal
Wild natives were pounding their drums. Wild animals appeared. A wild ride debuted at Universal Studios Hollywood. And everyone went “ape” over the big event.
Celebrities were happy to be going from the red carpet to the tram tour, which featured the new King Kong 360 3-D attraction created by Peter Jackson. It was hailed as the world’s largest and most intense 3-D experience by the stars who were among the first to enjoy it.
Christopher Lloyd (of Back to the Future fame), Mark Pellegrino (Lost), Craig Robinson (Last Comic Standing), Kate Flannery (The Office), Yvette Nicole Brown, Wayne Brady, Josh Sussman, and other thrill-seekers were on hand.
Mark Pellegrino (Lost)
The real star of the event, the attraction’s creator Peter Jackson stayed in New Zealand but sent an innovative 3-D press briefing video that was shown. The three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker was seen explaining why this project means so much to him.
Jackson produced, directed and co-wrote the 2005 blockbuster film King Kong, a remake of the classic. When Universal asked him to help create an attraction after a fire destroyed the old animatronic Kong, Jackson was delighted. “I was thrilled to have an excuse to go back and have a bit more fun with King Kong. He’s just about my favorite movie character. It’s just fantastic fun.”
He said, “As a filmmaker, you’re hoping to have the audience step inside your movie and become part of the experience, to create the illusion of reality in a way that is much more tactile and profound than can be done in the cinema environment of a normal theatre.” That’s what the theme park attraction offers.
The new King Kong 360 3-D at Universal provided Jackson and his Weta production team a unique opportunity to push film and theme park technology to create a fabulous illusion.
Guests board trams that take them on a tour of Universal’s backlot. They are given 3-D glasses as they enter an enormous soundstage, which surrounds them in a 3-D experience that has King Kong battling dinosaurs on Skull Island. You see and actually feel everything as if you are in the middle of all the action.
Larry Kurzweil, president of Universal Studios Hollywood said, “After a two year absence, King Kong has returned with a vengeance never before seen. Guests will feel as if they are completely immersed in Peter Jackson’s 3-D storytelling.”
The Universal executives really deserved the spotlight for making the investment in the new attraction. Kurzweil, plus Universal Studios President Ron Meyer, Universal Parks and Resorts Chairman and CEO Tom Williams launched the big event with a lot of fanfare, and also with a desire to help the animals at the Wildlife Way Station.
The opening event benefited the animal refuge and among the creatures that shared the red carpet with the celebrities were a 450-pound Bengal Tiger and a 13-foot-long albino Burmese Python, both rescued by the Wildlife Way Station. And there was a small, but very angry, Macaca monkey, who obviously had a King Kong complex.