Review: “Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story” is a Must-See Film for Disneyland Fans

Hi everyone!

A few days back, I noticed a Tweet from Defunctland asking if any bloggers wanted to preview a film they created about Halyx, a band that rocked Disneyland’s Tomorrowland for a summer in 1981. I had heard of Halyx in passing through the years, so I thought it’d be fun to check it out. Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story will debut tonight at 7 pm ET (free) on the Defunctland YouTube channel and I will be watching again. The film is a highly enjoyable slice of Disneyland history and well produced with vintage clips of Disneyland interspersed.


All images provided by Defunctland

From the official press release: The film follows the rise and fall of the experimental rock band created by Disney Records in 1981 that performed for one summer at Disneyland’s “Space Stage” beneath Space Mountain. The band featured a science fiction lineup that included a “Wookie” bass player, a lizard percussionist, and a robot keyboard player on a driveable spaceship.

A former Disney executive who is prominent in the documentary, Bambi Moé said “If KISS played in the Star Wars cantina, that would be HALYX”. Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story is a crowdfunded documentary about a band that was put together by Disney Records and played at the Space Stage beneath Space Mountain. Unlike many bands that play at Disneyland, this one was put together by Disney individually, like The Monkees – manufactured but still a band, and a good one that drew fans to the park. The film is very 1980s, I was a teenager in the early to mid-80s myself and visiting Walt Disney World each summer. If I was in CA instead, I could definitely see myself going to Halyx concerts at Disneyland.

The film brings together many of those who were involved in the band, from most members to music executives (Disney fans themselves) and even legendary TV composer Mike Post, who essentially produced the show. The film discusses the evolution of Walt Disney Records (formerly Disneyland Records), which marketed the originally tepidly received Mickey Mouse Disco into a massive hit. Executive Gary Krisel wanted to build on that success with a show at Disneyland – and that led to Mike Post joining. Krisel is an engaging person to listen to, as is Post. Really, that is the way the whole film is, which is not always the case with documentaries. There are so many fun stories about putting together the band, from hiring “punk Snow White” Lora Mumford to figuring out the other players and costumes and visuals for the show. And composer Jeanie Cunningham discusses the song that she wrote that she never expected Disney to use.

There is some sadness at the end, but overall the documentary is an entertaining excursion through a small segment of Disney history that otherwise could have been mostly forgotten. I often have a limited attention span on films, but Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story held me through and I can’t wait to view it again tonight on the Defunctland YouTube channel.