It is hard to be a Disney fan and be unfamiliar with Defunctland. This popular YouTube channel features videos chronicling the history of various theme park rides, attractions, and lands, many of them forgotten. These videos cover history from many entertainment companies, but a great amount of focus is placed on Disney properties. In the last few years, Defunctland has produced numerous videos detailing now-defunct rides and attractions from the Disney parks. Now, they are releasing their first feature-length documentary Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story. This new film, releasing on Thursday, August 20, focuses on the short-lived stage show Halyx which performed during the summer of 1981 in Disneyland.
Halyx took two popular genres- science fiction and rock- and blended them together in a funky, unique live show that was unlike anything anyone had ever seen. Taking inspiration from KISS and Star Wars, this rock band played in Tomorrowland on the Space Mountain Stage over the course of a single summer. This science fiction and rock blend didn’t last long but, as evidenced by this film, it had a lasting impact. This impact has really only been seen in recent years, however, as passionate Disney nerds and fans have looked deeper into what could have been a totally forgotten production. Thanks to content creators across the Internet, Halyx has experienced a resurgence of interest and finally was able to get the tribute that it deserves.
Though Halyx itself is indeed a niche piece of history, this documentary draws in the audience with first-hand accounts from the people involved in the original production. It is to the filmmakers’ credit that they were able to find practically all of the people involved in that show to discuss their experiences with the project. Not only does it add credibility to the film, but the emotional depth that comes with it is irreplaceable. The stories we hear from the people who worked on Halyx make us as the audience care about both the people and their creation more than we ever could otherwise. Director Matthew Serrano and Defunctland creator Kevin Perjurer understand that history is much more than just a regurgitation of information. It is the people and their stories that keep us interested. This is true for anything created by artists who put their heart and soul into a project without the guarantee that it will succeed.
By painting a beautiful portrait of a time gone by, this documentary reminds me why I love Disney history. Though Halyx no longer exists, the voices from the past are still very much alive. Take the time to listen to their stories and continue to keep the impact of Halyx alive by watching Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story on August 20.
To check out other Defunctland videos and subscribe to their channel, click here.