If you visit the Disneyland Resort this week, keep your eyes peeled for the new creation from Imagineering: Lucky the Audio-Animatronic dinosaur is loose in Disney’s California Adventure.
During this two-week trial, Lucky and his pal Chandler the Dinosaur Handler can be found roaming the Hollywood Backlot District, making a loop from Hollywood and Dine, down Hollywood Boulevard, and back around past Superstar Limo. The explanation for the odd appearance of a dinosaur in Hollywood is that Lucky and Chandler are going on some rides. Armed with a park map, the pair makes their way towards “Dinosaurin’ Over California.” Of course, they never quite get there, as Lucky gets tired and needs to head back for a nap.
Lucky stands about eight feet tall, and his head and neck can lift almost straight up. He walks on his two back legs and pulls a very large cart of silk flowers. Lucky and Chandler interact, but Chandler does not operate the character—Lucky is controlled by two discreet operators on the sidelines. Lucky grunts, groans and whines in reaction to Chandler’s comments and events around him. He can blow his nose, wink, smile, and look around.
What is most impressive about Lucky is the degree of articulation in the head and neck, and the wide range of facial features. It’s easy to believe that he is real as he “talks” with Chandler, or whimpers when his balloon floats away, or smiles and winks at a shy child. Lucky’s motions are incredibly smooth—he doesn’t appear robotic in his steps, or the way his head moves around to take in the scenery.