The excellent Disney history blog Progress City is kickstarting a book of its best articles, including several that are substantially rewritten and polished for the project. $15 gets you a PDF, $30 for a paperback.
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The 1934 adaptation of Babes in Toyland with Laurel and Hardy featured a horrific, off-model, unauthorized Mickey fursuit that had to be seen to be believed. It's still in copyright, but you can get a cheap DVD on Amazon, under the alternate title "March of the Wooden Soldiers."
Tumblr's Zombie Disney Princess tag is a rich seam of transgressive, gruesome, wonderful (and thoroughly unauthorized) creativity (above: Leimanaang). The stylistic variation is what (metaphorically) kills me here -- who'd have thought that there were so many different ways to zombify the Disney princess pantheon, each one so clearly perfect and yet so different from all the others?
Karen Hallion has turned her brilliant Princess Leia as Haunted Mansion stretch-gallery character illustration into a limited-edition t-shirt from Teefury. You can only buy it today! (There's also a poster!)
I was on American Public Media’s Marketplace yesterday talking (MP3) about our posting of a rarer-than-rare Disney treasure, the never-before-seen original prospectus for Disneyland, scanned before it was sold to noted jerkface Glenn Beck, who has squirreled it away in his private Scrooge McDuck vault.
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Apart from 1975-80, this is the greatest time to be a Haunted Mansion fan and collector, writes Cory Doctorow — and it’s all thanks to Etsy.Read the rest
Thanks to an anonymous benefactor, Boing Boing is pleased to present the first-ever look at the original Disneyland prospectus.Read the rest
Deviantart's Khallion (who has quite a line in Princess Leia remixes) has posted this Haunted Mansion stretch-gallery/Star Wars mashup that seems to have dropped in from an alternate universe in which the Mansion gets a Star Wars skin. Not that I'd want such a thing to be an annual event, but one special May the 4th event would be something fine indeed.
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.