Friday, November 13, 2009

Ride Review - Food Rocks

I thought I’d go back in time this week to check out one of my old favorites: the dearly departed “Food Rocks” from The Land pavilion at Epcot.

Intro: Opened in 1994, Food Rocks replaced another beloved show, Kitchen Kabaret, in Epcot’s The Land pavilion.

Queue: Not so much a queue as a pre-show holding pen, we enter a room with various food trivia adorning the walls and spread throughout the room.

Show: Our rock and roll nutrition concert begins with the Utensils performing a little number about being in the kitchen. Then we’re joined by our host, Fud Wrapper. You see, he’s a nutrition label who raps. If you don’t like puns, this is not the show for you. He introduces The Peach Boys, a band composed of anthropomorphic fruit who do Beach Boys parodies (in this case “Good Nutrition” to the tune of “Good Vibrations.”)

The proceedings are interrupted by heavy metal band Excess, made up of junk food. They aren’t interested in nutrition. Fud Wrapper cuts them off to introduce The Refrigerator Police to perform “Every Bite You Take” to the tune of “Every Breath You Take.” “Every milk you shake, every egg you break, we’ll be part of you.” Yep…it’s this kind of show. “Every single dish, every bread and fish…”

Next up is my personal favorite: Pita Gabriel. He sings about the merits of high fiber and, of course, bad puns abound! If you’re curious, a Greek sandwich singing about regularity to the tune of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” is the point where this show officially crosses over to surreal.

The junk food guys interject again and nobody cares. I mean, seriously, did THIS show really need to have an antagonist? It’s vegetables and milk cartons with human features singing rock songs.

Fud Wrapper, himself, does a version of “Funky Cold Medina” and apparently this is actually Tone Loc. Let me repeat that…Tone Loc once emceed an Epcot attraction.

Next up is the “soul of rock and roll.” Oh wait, how silly of me, it’s actually the “SOLE of rock and roll”…a fish with Cher’s face on it. Following this is Little Richard (yes, the real Little Richard) as a pineapple singing, big shocker, “Tutti Fruity.” I liked the Mean Gene Okerlund version better. Yeah, I know that only like two people reading this actually know what I’m talking about.

Neil Mousakka sings about vegetables and Chubby Cheddar sings about exercise. I can’t believe this show is still going on…if for no other reason than I figured they’d run out of puns by now (or, at least, exported the rest to Muppet Vision.) There’s more goofiness with the junk food guys singing about their slovenly lifestyle.

Tone Loc pulls the plug and candy bar versions of the Pointer Sisters sing about eating in moderation. Things come to a close with the whole cast taking to the stage for a big ensemble version of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “Choose before you chew, we’re waiting in the kitchen for you…”

Yeah. That pretty well sums it up.

Thoughts: This was the first time I’ve seen this show since it closed for Soarin a few years ago. I’m sorry to say it didn’t really age well.

It was a fun show for sure and did a great job with the Epcot theme of being informative while also being lighthearted and fun. It’s not perfect and many people will argue that it’s nowhere near as good as its predecessor, Kitchen Kabaret. Personally, I think it was a good effort (and considering how damn fat Americans are getting anymore, it’s a message that should probably still be in Epcot somewhere) but I’m not mourning its departure to make way for Soarin’.

This one falls firmly in the “perfectly acceptable excuse to sit inside in air conditioning for 15 minutes” category.

Overall Rating: ***


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