Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Super Bowl XXIX (1995)
In 1989, Walt Disney World opened Disney-MGM Studios to give visitors a peek into the sausage factory that is its television and movie business.
You could see the Golden Girls' house on the Touchstone backlot, you could peek in on the animation work that wasn't being outsourced and you could watch a Muppets 3-D film, ride a Star Wars ride and watch an Indiana Jones stunt show before Disney had bought the rights to any of those properties. With the Super Bowl returning to South Florida for the first time since the Elvis Presto debacle, Disney decided to produce a halftime show that would keep viewers riveted and entice them into visiting the newest corner of its World.
It failed on both counts. Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass, Tony Bennett, Arturo Sandoval and the Gloria-Estefan-free Miami Sound Machine served as sideshows and background music for a stunt show featuring an "Indiana Jones" who wasn't Harrison Ford, a Marion Ravenwood who wasn't Karen Allen and a franchise that hadn't produced a film since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade six years earlier. Even Super Bowl host network ABC's Young Indiana Jones Chronicles finished its network run in 1993 and was relegated to the occasional TV movie by ABC Family by the time this unfolded.
None of this prevented Disney from having Patti LaBelle perform New Attitude on fake Mayan temple steps or Tony Bennett from crooning a swingin' dance number as showgirls and tuxedo-clad hoofers circled around him. Between musical numbers, fake Indy snarled out his lines in a growl that would make Han Solo blush and he and Marion fought off stunt teams of place guards and ninjas with punching effects lifted from a bad dub of a 1970 Shaw Brothers Saturday afternoon kung fu epic.
By the time the show culminated in the entire cast of hundreds, apropos of nothing, singing Can You Feel The Love Tonight from Disney's The Lion King, drunken uncles across the nation stirred from their halftime slumber and wondered if they were maybe still having a nightmare. Nobody could refute them.