Rolly Crump (previously) was one of the weirdest, most bohemian of the original group of Imagineers; when he was tasked with developing concepts for the oft-stalled and perennially beleaguered Disneyland Haunted Mansion, he came up with the Museum of the Weird, a guided walkthrough spook house filled with mystical illusions, and psychedelic, daemonic imagery.
Read the rest
Rolly Crump: It's Kind of a Cute Story will be at the Oceanside Museum of Art, August 26, 2017–February 18, 2018. It's a must-see for fans of Disney art and design.
This exhibition invites the public to step into the whimsical mind of dreamer and designer Rolly Crump with the world premiere of a walk-through exhibition highlighting his 65-year career as one of the most imaginative attraction creators in theme park history. As a nonconformist member of Walt Disney’s hand-picked Disneyland design team, Crump was the eccentric architect of endearing and enduring environmental art installations that have stood at the forefront of a vibrant pop-culture landscape for over half a century. Crump’s contributions to It’s a Small World, The Enchanted Tiki Room, The Haunted Mansion, and other Disneyland attractions were trendsetting at the time of their creation, and they remain entirely relevant today in a multibillion-dollar industry that has grown perpetually and exponentially from the creative seeds planted by Crump and his peers. From his days within Disney’s inner circle of pioneers, and throughout all of his personal and professional endeavors, Crump has been a good-natured contrarian—a visual provocateur who infused each of his projects with his own offbeat aesthetic. This will be a journey through a world of spinning propellers, marching toys, living clocks, and talking tikis. Museum-goers of all ages will encounter magic, humor, and inspiration at every turn. Crump is a master of the fine art of fun. This exhibition is supported by Mary Scherr and Marvin Sippel
Read the rest
Another outstanding photo-essay on the Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion blog shows how many of the original Rolly Crump concepts for a walk-through Haunted Mansion at Disneyland eventually made their way into the Enchanted Tiki Room, with effects based on Cocteau's 1946 movie La Belle et la Bête. Read the rest
Jeff Baham, author of The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion, celebrates the attraction's 45th anniversary with a look at its uneasy genesis—and its enduring appeal.
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. Read the rest
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. Read the rest
Jeff sez, "On episode 5 of the DoomBuggies Spook Show podcast (MP3), designer Rolly Crump gives a very candid interview in which he talks about his career working on Disneyland's Haunted Mansion with Walt Disney at WED Imagineering, and tells personal stories including the time he spent working with co-tinkerer Yale Gracey designing special effects for the Haunted Mansion, and how he was drummed out of the Haunted Mansion project after Walt died." Read the rest
Jeff sez, "After the success of It's Kind Of A Cute Story and More Cute Stories Vol 1, Disney Legend Rolly Crump is proud to announce the release of More Cute Stories, Volume 2: Animators and Imagineers (CD/MP3). This high-quality recording includes nearly an hour of all new stories about the people Rolly worked with at WED and the Disney Animation Department, as told by Rolly himself."
More Cute Stories, Vol 2: Animators and Imagineers Read the rest
The original concept for Disneyland's Haunted Mansion was a walk-through "Museum of the Weird" featuring spooky exhibits (as always, the best place to read about this is Long Forgotten, far and away the top site for Haunted Mansion history, theory and context). This has been revived for a Marvel/Disney series of comics that pick up on the "New Weird" genre motifs and also kicks off a new series of comics based on Disney attractions and their storied histories.
This is pretty danged awesome. Spooky wunderkammers, surreal horror, and theme-parks? Please add me to your mailing list. Read the rest
Last week, I blogged about More Cute Stories: Volume 1, an audio memoir of Rolly Crump, one of the Imagineers who help build Disneyland and maintain it in its early years. I've had a chance to listen to it since then and it is fantastic. Crump is a charming raconteur, and he treats us to many fascinating remembrances that shine light on the personalities, engineering, business reality, and weird and wild times that made up the early years of Disneyland.
Read the rest
Jeff sez, "After the success of It's Kind Of A Cute Story, Disney Legend Rolly Crump's memoir, Bamboo Forest Publishing is proud to announce the release of More Cute Stories, Volume 1: Disneyland History (CD/MP3). This high-quality recording includes nearly fifty minutes of all new stories about Disneyland that weren't included in the book, told by Rolly himself. No one can tell a tale quite like Rolly, so we decided that having the man himself actually tell you these brand new stories was the best way to preserve them!"
I'm getting a review copy of this and I'm really excited; Crump is an amazing raconteur and was part of some of the critical moments in themepark history. Read the rest
Jeff is helping a legendary Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump write his memoirs, and rather than wrestle with Disney archives for access to photos of Crump's work, he's hoping fans will be able to supply them.
He writes, "We need your help, oh great citizens of the Internet! I'm writing a book with former Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump, and we're looking for some old photos for it that you may have in your collection.
We're looking for stuff from his time at Disney (such as Adventureland Bazaar in 1963, Tower of Four Winds, The Enchanted Tiki Room in the 60s, It's A Small World at World's Fair, The Land in 1980s) and his outside work (like Bear-y Tales at Knott's Berry Farm, Circus World, and Busch Gardens).
Anything that Rolly has brought to life, we'd love to see your photos of it.
We will gladly give you credit AND a signed copy of the book if we use your images!"
More Boing Boing coverage of Rolly Crump here.
We need your help!
(Image: Skull Outside Tiki Room, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from eccentricscholar's photostream) Read the rest
The always-unmissable Long Forgotten blog has an astounding post on the Disneyland Haunted Mansion that almost was, when the design team of Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey were in charge of the team. Crump was an enormous fan of Jean Cocteau's 1946 surrealist film La belle et la bête and he and Gracey created some of the most memorable effects that grace the Mansion today. But the stuff they didn't make -- lovingly researched and presented herein -- is just astounding, weird and gorgeous. Even with that stuff on the cutting-room floor, the Cocteau influences are unmissable, as you can see from this comparison between the arm wall-sconce and a prop from La belle et la bête.
Read the rest
Suddenly we've got concept artwork out the wazoo. (That's where the other Imagineers thought it came from, too.) By this point, Walt had added Davis, Coats, and Atencio to the team. All of them had their individual ideas to pitch to Walt. Then came that infamous episode in late fall, 1964 (summarized two posts ago), in which Walt made it crystal clear to everyone working on the attraction that he really liked Rolly's nightmarish creations and wanted them incorporated into the finished project in the form of a "Museum of the Weird." The Museum never happened, of course, and it's difficult to know exactly how all of this surreal material was going to be used in the house itself. Heck, Rolly freely admits that he himself didn't know, which is why Walt had to find a solution to the problem.
Legendary Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump has kicked off a weekly column describing his early years with the company. This week: How Walt Disney's incapacity to remember his name turned "Roland" into "Rolly," with a brief detour through "What's His Name."
I'd been sitting in on meetings with Walt for over a year when all of a sudden he started calling me Owen.
I finally figured out that the reason he called me Owen was because there was a writer who wrote for the live action pictures and his name was OWEN Crump. I think Walt mixed up his Owen and his Roland.
So I was Owen Crump for awhile, and then I became Orland. I don't know where that came from. I spoke with Walt's daughter one time and she said that Walt always had trouble with names.
But as far as I was concerned, Walt could call me whatever he wanted.
The coup de grace happened one day when Walt and I were in a meeting with Yale Gracey to talk about The Haunted Mansion. Walt turned to Yale and said, "I want you to work on the Mansion together with [and here he pointed to me] What's His Name".
So I became "What's His Name', which I got a big kick out of.
The Truth of the Matter Is
The genius of Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump - Boing Boing
Imagineer Rolly Crump's guided audio tour of Disneyland - Boing Boing
Haunted Mansion/Tiki Room Imagineer Rolly Crump behind-the-scenes ... Read the rest