A brief history of unnerving Donald Trump likenesses

The magic kingdom of robot president
The magic kingdom of robot president
Image: Walt Disney
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After much anticipation, Donald Trump’s animatronic likeness debuted at Disney World this week, taking the stage alongside robotic versions of other past US leaders in the theme park’s Hall of Presidents.

Of course, Disney is not the only entertainment company to offer fake versions of actual people—or even the first to create a fake Trump. Madame Tussauds, which unveiled its first wax sculpture (of Voltaire) back in 1777, featured The Donald in its New York location in the late 1990s, when Trump was best known as a real estate developer and local character. Just after the inauguration in January, Madam Tussauds unveiled an updated likeness of the president; that one took 20 artists six months to build.

You can compare wax Trump to robot Trump below.

The Hall of Presidents itself became a thing back in 1971, after someone at the Magic Kingdom decided it would be a compelling addition to the theme park. Bill Clinton was the first facsimile president to actually speak out loud, and every president since has followed suit. The new Trump-a-tronic stands by a desk with a glass of water, and repeats parts of Trump’s inauguration speech (replete with signature hand gestures). Disney says the president recorded the audio earlier this year.

So far, Hall of Presidents Trump has gotten mixed reviewsFOX & Friends graciously called it ‘not bad!’, while NPR was less impressed. The Twitterverse speculated that the figure is actually a repurposed Hillary Clinton.