O Canada! is a lighthearted look at the country of Canada as told by comedian Martin Short. The show is informative while remaining lighthearted and features a musical performance of Canada (You’re a Lifetime Journey) by Eva Avila, the winner of Season 4 of Canadian Idol.
The film begins with the sound of a cold wind and snow falling on all nine screens. Narration begin with an exchange between Don Pardo (offscreen) and Martin Short:
Don Pardo: Canada! Big. Wide. And very very cold.
Martin Short: What?
Don Pardo: Here in the Great White North it snows 24 hours a day…
Martin Short: No, no, no, no
Don Pardo: …Every day of the year
Martin Short: Excuse me?
Don Pardo: It’s frozen landscape is dotted with igloos,
Martin Short: Uh… hello? Uh… no
Don Pardo: Homes for the vast majority of Canadians
Martin Short (emerging on screen): Would someone please just stop the…
Don Pardo: Penguins and polar bears prowl the permafrost poaching and plundering…
Martin Short: Stop the movie!
At this point, the snow stops falling and a large pile falls on Martin Short. The back and forth continues:
Martin Short: Thank You
Don Pardo: Of all the nerve
Martin Short: Sorry to interrupt, but everything he said is wrong. You’re completely wrong!
Don Pardo: I am?
Martin Short: I mean, have you ever been to Canada?
Don Pardo: Mmm…Technically, no
Martin Short: Uh huh. You know, you know. I think that these good people deserve to hear from someone who knows the true Canada, someone who loves Canada, who grew up there.
Don Pardo: Is Celine Dion here?
Martin Short: No Celine Dion is not here! I’m referring to myself, Martin Short… Hello…Raised in Hamilton, Ontario
Don Pardo: Fine, I’ll just go to the France Pavilion film where they appreciate an invisible narrator.
Martin Short: Adieu… that’s French.
At this point, Don Pardo leaves and Martin Short takes over the narration promising to show us, “[his] Canada.” The screens pan across to the first location, Niagara Falls. It is explained that while the falls are half in the United States, the “Horseshoe Falls” are in Canada.
The next stop is the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, home to the largest tide in the world, a 50 foot difference between high and low tide.
After the Bay of Fundy, the next location is the Butchart Gardens, followed by Cathedral Grove. In Cathedral Grove, it’s highlighted that some of the trees are over 800 years old.
After showcasing the outdoor areas Martin Short exclaims, “With sites like these it’s a wonder that Canadians love the great outdoors, especial these Canadians.” At this point, a variety of wildlife appears on each screen. Wildlife includes Moose, Beavers, Caribou, Geese, Wolves, Ducks and Polar Bears. Images of Polar Bears are then shown on every screen and Martin Short does admit that the Polar Bears do indicate that it snows in Canada. This transitions into activities that Canadians do in the snow like skiing, snow boarding, curling and ice skating.
A brief demonstration of curling is followed by a visit to the Rideau Canal in Ottawa where people can be seen skating down the canal. After this, eight of the screens go black and Martin Short appears on a single screen wearing hockey equipment:
I was practically born on skates.
In fact I just happened to have some footage from my glory days in Pee Wee Hockey
Isn’t it great that my parents owned a Circle Vision Canada? What are the odds?
The scene cuts to a young Martin Short playing hockey with several kids and one of them says, “Don’t pass it to Marty”. Martin Short then explains that he could have gone pro but elected to go into comedy instead. During this explanation, highlights from Canadian teams in the NHL are played on the other eight screens. He then falls through the ice as a segway into some of the activities done during warmer months.
The screens then showcase other activities like white water rafting and horse racing. This is followed by the famous World Series winning home run by Toronto Blue Jays all star, Joe Carter. Additional activities follow like skate boarding, lacrosse and sailing.
At the mention of sailing, the scene cuts to Nova Scotia where the “Legendary” Bluenose schooner is mentioned. Martin Short jokes that you can see the Bluenose ship whenever you accidentally get a Canadian dime in your change.
Continuing the theme of the great outdoors, the narration highlights some noteworthy town names such as Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat as indications that Canadians are “rustic backwoods folks.” However, most Canadians live in cities.
The next scene features Victoria, British Columbia followed by Vancouver. The next stop is Calgary, where the Calgary stampede is highlighted with Martin Short wearing chaps and spurs. Next, Toronto is introduced by a hog tied Martin Short. In addition to a fly over of the city, the Toronto International Film Festival is highlighted.
At the end of the Toronto segment, Martin Short begins speaking French to transition the location to the French speaking Quebec City. From here, the next location is Montreal, Quebec, the largest French speaking city outside of France. Cirque de Soleil is highlighted because it originated in Montreal. The acrobatics of Cirque de Soleil transition into headshots of famous Canadian entertainers. These entertainers include: Keanu Reeves, Matthew Perry, Avril Lavigne, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, and of course Martin Short.
After highlighting entertainers, the focus shifts to the different people that call themselves Canadians. A series of Mounties on horseback appear on the center screen and proceed around each of the nine screens as the opening bars of Canada (You’re a Lifetime Journey) begin to play. The rendition is sung by Eva Avila, the winner of Season 4 of Canadian Idol.
During the song, scenery throughout Canada is highlighted in the full Circle Vision 360 format. The song is sung in both English and French, intermixing the two languages. The song ends back at Niagara Falls, this time at night and Martin Short returns:
Here we are at Niagara Falls again. We’ve come full circle and sadly our journey has come to an end.
Eight of the screens fade to black while Mtin Short appears on the center screen to close the show:
Well, I just hope you enjoyed your tour of my Canada, but there’s nothing like the real thing. So just walk outside the theater, hook a left toward that big silver ball and keep walking due north… you can’t miss it. Just tell them, ‘Marty sent you.
Now, how how do I get out of here, cause I have a Fastpass for Soarin‘, I’d hate to miss it.
I need help!
- Niagara Falls (Ontario)
- Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick)
- Butchart Gardens (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)
- Cathedral Grove/MacMillan Provincial Park (British Columbia)
- Rideau Canal (Ottawa)
- Bluenose schooner (Nova Scotia)
- Victoria, British Columbia
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Calgary Stampede (Calgary, Alberta)
- Toronto, Ontario
- Quebec City, Quebec
- Montreal, Quebec
The CircleVision 360 theater features nine screens that surround the guests. It allows the guests to experience all angles of a location.
Journey to the Land of Grandeur in Circle-Vision 360
TIMES GUIDE - OPENING/CLOSING
This attraction typically opens at 11 AM with the rest of World Showcase.
The queue is a narrow walking path through rockwork and waterfalls in the Canadian Pavilion. Guests rarely have to wait in the queue, and instead can wait in a rustic indoor holding area that overlooks the rockwork and waterfalls.
Benches and artifacts on the wall are reminiscent of the queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Canadian Tourism Commission
The Circle-Vision 360 theater configuration is similar to Reflections of China. The comedy as well as the theater was similar to the extinct Timekeeper attraction.
The below video is used with permission from the YouTube channel Virtual Disney World. These videos allow users to manipulate the camera a full 360 degrees using their cursor or directional arrows on their computer. Users on a smartphone or tablet can also manipulate the camera by moving their device in the direction they wish to look.