This week pop star Katy Perry released the music video for her new single, “Chained to the Rhythm” featuring Skip Marley. It features a 1950’s-inspired futuristic theme park and some great special effects. The video merges real rides, completely fictional rides, and real rides with some out of this world, physics-bending features.
In the video, Perry brings some deep topics to a place that we usually associate with care-free mindless fun; a theme park. She seems to be making a statement on the flawed American Dream and our general apathy as we all go along “chained to the rhythm”.
Katy Perry (a theme park fan) and Director Mathew Classen mix real rides from both coasts. The video looks to be filmed at Six Flags Magic Mountain (which makes sense as it’s near Los Angeles), but we also see rides from the Universal Orlando theme parks.
Here’s the music video, for Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm”:
The Ride’s from Katy Perry’s Oblivia Theme Park
Now let’s break down the rides and roller coasters from Katy Perry’s Oblivia theme park:
Island of Adventure’s Incredible Hulk Coaster is featured early on. I guess this ride was deemed futuristic enough as it looks like it does in real life. You can also see Doctor Doom’s Fearfall to the left.
In one scene we see a red-tracked roller coaster whiz by on the right. It looks a lot like Universal Studios Orlando’s Rip Ride Rockit. The other roller coaster with the bright green supports looks like an inverted roller coaster. It could be one of the coasters from Island’s of Adventure’s Dragon Challenge; or at least inspired by it. It’s hard to say. What do you think?
What looks to be a two-tiered SkyScreamer has been digitally enhanced to become The Great American Dream Drop. Instead of the ride’s usual swing seats, the ride dangles little houses. SkyScreamer’s are at other Six Flags parks, but not at Magic Mountain. The director must have looked at drop rides across the country to get the look he wanted as this ride is used as one of the video’s more powerful metaphors.
Another prominently featured ride is the white roller coaster re-imagined as “Love Me”. This is Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Full Throttle, but with a few love-inspired twists. The ride’s tunnel has emoji lights and is heart-shaped. Full Throttle’s record-setting vertical loop is also heart-shaped and has a trackless top section allowing the train to go airborne. The train twists through the air (like Rip Rid Rockit’s non-inverting loop) until it lands in another heart-shaped loop.
I’m guessing the director was inspired by the gap-in-loop-roller coaster from the Geek Week YouTube commercial. For a number of reasons, I can’t imagine we’ll ever see anything like this in real life, even though the concept seems to be hugely popular online.
We also see Superman: Escape From Krypton re-themed as “Bombs Away”. The ride is cloned a number of times and we can see several copies in the background.
Near the very end of the video, we catch a glimpse of Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Twisted Colossus. The trains race by in the night above the Perry during the video’s final sequence. Anyone know if this ride really has lights on the trains?
Theme Park Rides as Metaphors
Through the video, Perry is trying to say something about how we live our lives. Starting with the park’s name, Oblivia, a name that’s close to “oblivious”, and then via each of the attractions. I won’t go into the meaning behind each, but I felt The Great American Dream Drop and Hamster Wheel were probably the most obvious. Today, many feel that the long-promised American Dream isn’t achievable. And, it’s not hard to take a step back and look at the consumerist, entertainment-driven society we live in to see that we can be on auto-pilot, running on a wheel without really paying attention to what’s happening or how we can help others. I appreciate her attempt at bringing the deep messages in her song to life in an unexpected way.
What’s Your Take?
Can you spot any other real rides or roller coasters in the music video? What did you think of the video? Leave a comment below.