Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2019

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Live Show Spectacular

Universal Spectacle Night Parade, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

Theme parks have, over the decades, explored ways to expand upon the nighttime parade spectacular and Universal Studios Japan has dramatically reinvented the stage on which their nightly pageant performs.

The memorable characters, settings and music from Harry Potter, Transformers, Jurassic World and Despicable Me “Minions” provide the basic foundation for this achievement. Universal’s goal was to immerse guests in an experience rather than merely have them view it from the sidelines. As each scene winds its way down the parade route, elaborate yet subtle background settings transform environments all around into carefully extended worlds in which the characters and props passing through inhabit and reside - from prehistoric worlds and science fiction, to live action fantasy and cartoon towns.

The stories come to life in a multitude of ways. Characters move on and off the moving set pieces. Animatronic and costumed characters make fantastic beings real; while supporting filmed characters appear within the mapped background environments. The movements of a large cast of live performers align with the projection and technical elements.

A new parade control system had to be invented to synchronize onboard and off-board projection mapping with the progressive movement of parade units, choreographed to a musical score. With absolute precision, the massive, virtual environments synchronize with puppeteered creatures and live performance to achieve near-total guest immersion with characters, settings and music. The result really does let guests "live the movies." 

Find out more about TEA member Universal Studios Japan Entertainment

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