The Long Forgotten blog hits another one out of the park (Disneyland park, that is), with a thought-provoking post on the history of the color scheme for the Haunted Mansion, and the way that color is used to set and maintain the mood:
“For Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, we wanted to create an imposing Southern-style house that would look old, but not in ruins. So we painted it a cool off-white with dark, cold blue-gray accents in shadowed areas such as the porch ceilings and wrought-iron details. To accentuate the eerie, deserted feeling, I had the underside of exterior details painted the same dark color, creating exaggerated, unnaturally deep cast shadows. Since we associate dark shadows with things hidden, or half hidden, the shadow treatment enhanced the structure’s otherworldliness. The park maintenance painters like the haunted effect. I even received calls from guests who wanted to know the brand and swatch number of the paints so that they could use them on their own homes.”
. —John Hench, Designing Disney (NY: Disney Editions, 2003) 116.
These painting tricks are an example of signals sent from the Imagineers that are received unaware. It's extremely unlikely that guests consciously notice the artificial shadowing, but very likely that it affects them psychologically, be it ever so slightly. It's an interesting sort of interaction between artist and audience: An expression fully intentional, very carefully thought out, and yet by design much too subtle for the conscious mind to engage. I don't know. Sounds illegal to me.
What Hench does not mention is that a radically different color scheme for the Mansion exterior was being contemplated practically from the moment it was first built. You never hear about it, and were it not for the fact that a mysterious and unique document from those days survived and surfaced, it truly would be long forgotten.
Stroll Around the Grounds Until You Feel at Home, Part One
My UK publisher, Head of Zeus, has published the official tour schedule for the British tour for Walkaway, with stops in Oxford (with Tim Harford), London (with Laurie Penny), Liverpool (with Chris Pak), Birmingham, and the Hay Literary Festival (with Dr Adam Rutherford). Hope to see you there!
My publicist just found an extra box of the cool promotional Walkaway multitools, and she’s generously offered to give them to the next 100 people to reserve tickets to the May 7th Walkaway event at Chicago’s Royal George Theater, where I’m presenting with CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY creator Max Temkin (current ticket-holders, don’t worry, you get […]
Carol from Cheapass Games writes, “In our continuing quest to bring back the very best classic Cheapass Games, we’re creating a new boxed set of Button Men, our strategy dice combat game. This time around, the characters will appear on cards, rather than pin-back buttons, but since they’re all 1950s era gangsters, the ‘button men’ […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]
Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]