Phantom Manor is the local Haunted Mansion analogue at Disneyland Paris, and it's definitely the spookiest/most grotesque of the lost, with its apex in a gory graveyard scene that features rotting animated skeletons and cavorting ghosts. Here's a 2011 video shot in the graveyard during a ride-breakdown during which the emergency lighting kicked in, offering a rare look at the cunning mechanisms and clever techniques used to attain the Manor's graveyard magic.
(via Solar Hydrophone)
On Passport to Dreams Old and New, the world's greatest Disney themepark critic Foxxfur traces the history of the Jungle Boat Cruise queue-loop, makes some shrewd guesses about where the Imagineers found their material, and (most importantly), what the addition of the music did to the overall design story of an iconic ride.
The WDI-created loop is widely available and runs 47:30. In order to create the loop, WDI had to get very creative in editing the music. Certain songs had slow sections which had to be removed, while others had their vocal sections entirely omitted. The Cole Porter song "I Get A Kick Out Of You" had an entire verse dropped to exclude a reference to cocaine. As a result, the entire AWOL loop as it appears in park, with narration and breaks in the music for announcements every few minutes, has a shorter run time than all of the selected pieces of music played together. Certain songs were compressed, others extended. It's a very elaborate effort.
Since the "final WDI edit" is widely available, here are the songs as they appeared on the original 78 disc releases, unrestored. The "WDI mix" versions of these songs often includes a bit of ambient reverb, which changes the sound of the some of the songs considerably, and made identifying the Dick Powell track particularly challenging.
The Jungle Cruise and AWOL Airwaves
Etsy seller ArdoriaStudios created this Haunted Mansion Bat Wing mantel clock, which is handsome and glorious. Go Hatbox Ghost!
Haunted Mansion Inspired Bat Wing Mantel Clock
(via Haunted Mansion Disney!)
Yesterday, I posted about the publication of More Cute Stories, Volume 4: 1964/65 New York World's Fair, an audio memoir of Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump. I've been listening to it today, and enjoying it immensely. I wrote to Bamboo Forest, the publishers, and secured permission to share a couple of MP3s from the collection with you.
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The Buy It Now price on this 1971 Mark IV red Walt Disney World monorail cab is a paltry $189K. So far, no takers. LOOK AT THAT CONTROL PANEL. The 1% is wasted on the 1%.
Jeff writes in with wonderful news: the release of Disney Legend Rolly Crump's More Cute Stories, Volume 4: 1964/65 New York World's Fair. This high-quality recording includes sixty minutes of all new stories about Rolly's involvement with the legendary 'Billion-Dollar Fair'. It is available on CD and as a digital download.
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D'Morte, the Arch-Druid of Tinver Moor, created this Disney Major Arcana, "based on Golden Age Disney works from Snow White through to the Rescuers." Messr D'Morte notes that he was "influenced by the Marseilles deck, while adding a Jungian interpretation to many of the images."
These are inspired. Click through for The Hanged Man, which all but skewered me on its brilliance (though The Fool, above, is a close second).
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It's an open secret that Disneyland (along with many other semi-public places) is a dumping ground for the ashes of people who loved it in life, and, of course, the Haunted Mansion is a frequent recipient of these remains. In a Disneyland Guru post, we are told of a set of ashes that were accompanied by an urn bearing a plaque reading "Rest in Peace our Dearest Grandma Joyce." The Haunted Mansion castmembers supposedly discovered the urn beneath the sod in the Mansion queue's spooky gardens, and installed it with its own shrine in one of the backstage catwalks that run through the upper reaches of the Mansion.
I've done some dungeon-crawling through the bowels and lofts of the Mansion's show-building and have never seen this shrine, but there's a lot of space in that building (and the shrine might have been gone by the time I got my tour).
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Ricky sez, "Director Philip B. Swift has announced a feature-length documentary film called 'The Dark Side of Disney' based on Leonard Kinsey's travel guide of the same name, to feature topics like finding and buying dirt cheap park tickets and time shares, drinking around Epcot, having sex in the parks, obtaining and using drugs while on an Orlando vacation. The film has just hit Kickstarter, trying to raise $20,000. Last year Swift released 'The Bubble,' a documentary about the Disney-created town of Celebration just outside Walt Disney World."
The Dark Side of Disney [Amazon]
“The Dark Side of Disney” documentary film to explore adult side of theme park vacations, hits Kickstarter for funds [Ricky Brigante/Inside the Magic]
Olaf, the living snowman from Frozen, is pretty much the greatest comic-relief sidekick in animated history. Tortallmagic has made him even better by imagining him as an ambulatory misshapen snowman cosplaying Disney princesses. They're the roles he was born to play.
Olaf as some of the Disney Princesses!!!!!!
Here's voice-actor Jim "Winnie the Pooh" Cummings doing Darth Vader's lines from Star Wars in the voice of Winnie, and other key characters as Darkwing Duck and his other best-known voices; he appears with Lauren Landa, another voice actor with a distinguished resume of anime and game voices. It's pretty much perfect.
Jim Cummings CtCon 2013 - Star Wars with Winnie the Pooh
(via Kelly the Mortal Girl)
Etsy seller Breakeble Designs used to offer these hand-painted Italian marble coasters that depicted the stretching portraits from the Haunted Mansions from Disneyland/Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. Alas, Breakeble Designs is on holiday, with no word of when or if the coasters will return. They'd make handsome decorative wall-tiles as well as coasters.
Haunted Mansion Stretching Portrait Italian Marble Coasters (via The Haunted Mansion)
In January 2013, Disney Animation Studios released a box-set of nine flip books that pay tribute to the "Nine Old Men" of Disney animation -- artists who pioneered the animation techniques that define the field even today. I only just found out about these today -- they're amazing. Each book shows the animation as line-art, really capturing the character and movement the animators imbued their creations with. This video does a good job of showing off the books. The box also includes a short explanatory book, but this isn't really about reading material -- the value is all in having the cel-by-cel line art to marvel upon.
Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series Walt Disney's Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks
Matt Hawkins contributed his lovely papercraft Disney characters to the Boing Boing Flickr pool. His description: "Paper sculptures made of painted watercolor paper. I created Goofy and Elliott one facet at a time from the top down from watercolor paintings with only a 2-D sketch for a guide. My hope is that this improvisational technique would help capture the spirit of these characters, bringing them to life in a flowing organic way that defies the sharp corners and geometric forms from which they're built. Available at the Wonderground Gallery in Downtown Disney."
The Walt Disney Company has acquired Maker Studios
-- a successful Youtube channel focused on millennials -- for $500M, with an additional $450M potential performance-related payout in the future.