- “This is your brain, you will eat with it, sleep with it, you will never leave it. Without you, the brain is nothing; without your brain, YOU are nothing.”
- ―General Knowledge
Cranium Command was an audio-animatronic theatre show in Wonders of Life at Epcot. It was a humorous, educational presentation on the importance of the human brain and it's relationship with the body. It was directed by Jerry Rees, who also directed The Brave Little Toaster and the pre-show was the first directing effort of Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, famous for later directing Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
During the 2007 International Food & Wine Festival, the entrance was used as a wine presentation. As of today, Disney is still deciding whether to keep using it for the Food and Wine Festival, or to build a new attraction inside the pavilion.
The preshow consists of an animated segment featuring General Knowledge (voiced by Corey Burton) briefing the Cranium Commando troops on their mission: to pilot human brains and keep the people they operate out of trouble. A bumbling little soldier named Buzzy (Scott Curtis) has been given one of the most difficult missions of all: piloting a twelve-year-old boy.General Knowledge explains the dynamics and individual functions of the brain. In one instance, he shows a picture of Albert Einstein, as the example of a highly, well-developed brain and Ernest P. Worrell (a popular fictional character played by Jim Varney, who was appearing in series of feature films produced by Disney at the time), as the opposite. At the end of his briefing, he facetiously asks the guests, "Where do you think you are, Disney World?" and orders everyone into the main theater.
The main show is presented in a theater which is designed to represent the inside of a human head; the outside world is seen on video displays where the eyes would be. Buzzy is an Audio-Animatronic on an articulated seat so that he can move around during the performance. Helping him pilot the twelve-year-old boy (also played by Scott Curtis), via appearances on other video screens, are the logical Left Brain (Charles Grodin), the wacky Right Brain (Jon Lovitz), the hungry Stomach (George Wendt), the panicky Bladder (Jeff Doucette), the Adrenal Gland (Bobcat Goldthwait) who is prone to overreacting, and the heart's Right and Left Ventricles (Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon, reprising their Hans and Franz roles from Saturday Night Live).
The Hypothalamus (voiced by Kirk Wise), which regulates autonomic bodily functions, is represented via Audio-Animatronics as a robot. The show takes Buzzy's host through a typical day: getting up, skipping breakfast, running to school, meeting a cute girl named Annie (Natalie Gregory), getting involved in a food fight at lunch, getting sent to the principal (Kenneth Kimmins), and being thanked kissed. At each point in the day, the various organs talk to Buzzy and explain the problems they're facing. In the end, they overcome their differences and learn that with teamwork and cooperation, nearly anything can be done.
- The 2015 Pixar film, Inside Out is thematically similar to the show in that they feature characters within an adolescent's mind trying to help them through tough times. Pete Docter, who would later direct the film, animated part of the preshow where his head is also featured.