Last week, it was revealed that the Disney+ Original documentary series “Behind The Attraction” featured some artwork that was copied from YouTuber, James St.Onge, who runs a channel called “Art of Engineering”, about how the “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” attraction works.
“Behind The Attraction”, is a documentary series that’s available on Disney+ now and includes ten episodes, each one focusing on a different attraction at one of Disney’s theme parks, including “The Haunted Mansion”, “Space Mountain” and “Star Tours”.
James St.Onge’s video was released two years ago, and after watching the “Tower Of Terror” episode, James took to social media to expose what’s happened:
Several people have mentioned that the graphics in the Tower of Terror episode of ‘Behind the Attraction’ are very similar to my YouTube video, so I decided to give it a watch for myself.
I did not reference any building plans when I produced my video. All the drawings are my own artistic representation of the attraction, so it would have to be quite a coincidence for every line to match up perfectly, right down to the individual stars in the 5th dimension.
It’s worth noting that Disney did not produce the series. It was created by Seven Bucks Productions and The Nacelle Company. Graphic design is credited to award-winning graphic designer Jeremy Samples, so it’s disappointing they would copy instead of producing original artwork.
It’s also disappointing because I would have been more than happy to collaborate on the series. And despite copying my video, the episode still contains several errors, like saying the Orlando version has 2 ride systems while showing 4. But it gets worse for the other towers…
First, they say the ride has 1 shaft instead of 3. That’s false. It has 3. The vehicle on the top floor is a stationary prop, yet they show it moving through the course with people onboard. And the vehicles are shown facing different directions, which isn’t physically possible.
Normally I wouldn’t be so nitpicky, but if you’re going to produce a documentary for Disney just to copy someone else’s work and still get it wrong, then that’s kind of pathetic. I’d expect that from a kid on YouTube who doesn’t know better, not a film company working for Disney.
Here’s a look at the artwork of “Behind The Attraction” and James’ “How Disney’s Tower Of Terror Works” videos:
The documentary series was created by Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions and Brian Volk-Weiss’s The Nacelle Company, who also created Netflix’s “The Toys That Made Us”.
James St.Onge has taken to social media once again to provide an update on the situation, where he spoke with the series director Brian Volk-Weiss.
I just had a productive phone call with Brian Volk-Weiss, director of ‘Behind the Attraction’ and CEO of The Nacelle Company. He took full responsibility for the Tower of Terror situation and offered a genuine apology on behalf of Disney, Nacelle, and Seven Bucks Productions.
Brian provided full transparency about the series of events that caused this to happen, and I am grateful that we were able to arrive at a resolution on good terms. The Tower of Terror episode will be re-edited to include my name in the credits.
I also want to add that Jeremy Samples (credited for graphic design on the series) was not involved with this incident. I am told that my work was copied due to a chain of mistakes in the production process, and Brian has taken full responsibility as the director.
While it was disappointing to hear that “Behind The Attraction” did feature artwork copied from James St Onge, it’s great that the situation has been resolved on good terms and they can move on from this mistake.
What do you think of this situation?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.