A beautiful blend of animated custom characters, themed physical sets, and real sea life creates a unique underwater journey through the world’s largest aquarium.
Client: Chimelong Ocean Kingdom
Location: Zhuhai, P.R. China
Falcon’s Creative Group was hired to develop original media content and project manage Deep Sea Odyssey, a dark ride attraction at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China. The immersive ride is an enriching experience for people of all ages, and it supports the park’s overall mission, which is to celebrate humanity’s relationship with the ocean and its vast number of amazing creatures.
Eight cartoon characters were designed for Deep Sea Odyssey, including Pao-Pao, who is part-fish, part-mechanical submarine. The young, adorable hybrid serves as your animated host throughout the queue and ten-minute ride. He’s joined at varying intervals by a frightening sea monster, a large squid, a school of fish, a whale shark, and a variety of colorful jellyfish.
Character design is an iterative process, so each creation went through several color schemes and looks before the final versions were decided upon. Special attention was paid to the star, as he had to connect with people of all ages, especially children, and flash expressive faces that helped tell the story.
The attraction features an omnimover ride system with a theoretical hourly ride capacity of 2,700 passengers. Guests enter their “submarine” and follow Pao-Pao as he engages with creatures that we encounter along the route. The storyline had to be told in short looping segments because a steady stream of guests continually passed in and out of scenes. The entire journey is built into a stylized scenic environment that is surrounded by the world record-setting aquarium, which is an eye-popping 12.9 million gallons!
Deep Sea Odyssey, located under the park’s signature massive whale shark statue, has proven to be one of Chimelong Ocean Kingdom’s must-see attractions. Outside of Pao-Pao’s charming guidance, visitors are treated to bioluminescent spectacles, life-size animatronics, a custom high-resolution media dome with overflowing virtual volcanic lava erupting in all directions, a shipwreck aquarium, and a Pepper’s Ghost projection technique that’s used in the final media scene where Pao-Pao encounters a jellyfish. While in the queue, you can enjoy an interactive moment by placing your face inside a bubble on a monitor to snap a photo of yourself, which shows up later in a scenic backdrop.
In addition to the media production, Falcon’s Creative Group acted as the executive producer, supporting and maintaining the overall vision for the project. We oversaw the production of the entire attraction, coordinating all aspects with various vendors and handling onsite project management duties and installation efforts.
Kraftwerk Living Technologies had the task of integrating the entire audiovisual system as well as scenic lighting, effect lighting, and ambient lighting for the pre‑show and queueing area and the ride itself. The Falcon’s audio team performed onsite mixing for each scene to ensure the best possible auditory experience.
When you add the impressive array of multimedia elements to the gorgeous natural environment of the enormous living aquarium, you get a very powerful and moving experience that creates lasting memories for all members of the family.