Up until now, the only rides created by Wes Anderson were the emotional rollercoasters of his politely heart-tugging films. And that’s actually the way it’s going to stay. If you read the news yesterday, however, you mighty have gotten the sense that some sort of whimsical Wes Anderson theme park was forthcoming–possibly from one of several headlines such as “Coming Soon: a Wes Anderson Theme Park.”
What really happened is that Anderson suggested his frequent musical collaborator be given the opportunity to create a theme park. In the foreword of upcoming art book, Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, Anderson writes, “I hope to soon secure the means to commission the construction of an important and sizeable theme park to be conceived and designed entirely by Mark Mothersbaugh.” Whether this is indeed fact, or rather a colorful device for praising Mothersbaugh’s less heralded artistry, it matters not. The Internet heard “Wes Anderson Theme Park,” and now that’s what’s happening. As a matter of fact, sources close to Co.Create have obtained a sneak preview of some of the rides at The Afternoon Oasis of Familial Beguilement (“Final title TK,” says our source, “but it will probably be very formal-sounding”) and they’re about what you’d expect.
On this ride, you will luxuriate inside a meticulously appointed above-ground submarine as it roils down a turgid stream of charmingly expressed malaise (and actual water.) As you descend further downstream into a place in both this ride and your life that you never foresaw, the distinct personalities of each room cohere to let you know you’re right where you should be, even though you’ve been zooming away from this place all along in an emotional submarine of your father’s making.
It’s the only roller coaster in the world where you stand the entire time, gripping onto a steel side handle for dear life, trying to remember when it was that you lost track of the things that truly matter. Instead of merely one souvenir photo, however, riders take home a video filmed in one long tracking shot.
Enter a house of immaculate composition, in which you are centered so perfectly between eccentric artifacts at all times that you might never leave. The symmetry of this house will also evoke the many ways you’re caught perfectly in between the family you were born into and the family of strangers you’ve forged to escape the former.
By the time you arrive at this ride, you’ll notice the elevator operator looks familiar. Why, of course! He was also the operator of several of the previous rides, as though the director of this theme park were using the same people again and again in remarkably similar capacity. After passing through each fanciful floor of the Grand Budapest, at speeds that are earnest yet not unamusing, the operator high-fives you and it turns out it’s Bill Murray.
Some people spend their whole lives chasing the ghosts of the adults who robbed them of a normal childhood. In this ride, children may take on those ghosts in real time, as they fight with laser-tag bows and arrows against other children and try to elude the adults trying to steal their dreams. However, this is a merit-based ride, and your child must be this* precocious in order to ride.
*Has written and staged an unorthodox school play, mastered accounting, or learned expert-level forest survival skills
Fathers: Do we really know them? Do they think they know us? Would they hate knowing how hard we strive to avoid reliving their mistakes, or do they secretly wish we’d steer into the skid? Answer all these questions and more as you race against someone who looks like your dad on an ennui-soaked water slide.
When you exit the park, you’ll find that everything has slowed down except for the sweet sounds of Simon and Garfunkel. It’s as if time itself has bent to mark the transformation from who you were determined to become, into who you truly are. Sic transit gloria: glory fades. All we have is now. Also, animated foxes are hurling bottle rockets at you, so hurry your ass up.