Friday, January 30, 2009

POSTERAMA 4

It's time for the 4th installment of "Posterama", a salute to the fantastic silkscreened attraction posters from Disneyland.

"America the Beautiful" (in fabulous CIRCARAMA!) graced Tomorrowland from 1955 until its removal in 1992. The films changed and the sponsors changed, but you could always count on that dizzying sensation of being surrounded by motion. Hang on to those support bars, or you just might fall down. It happened right in front of me once, and the rest of the crowd could sense weakness... they pounced on him and skeletonized him in three minutes. True story! I would love to be able to see some of those earlier films, it would be fun to see the country as it was over 40 years ago. The attraction reflected Walt Disney's love of America, and his pride in the beauty of so many of its wonders.


Time for one of my favorites! The wonderful "Primeval World" poster was the second poster that I bought (for an embarrasingly low price, hooray). Who wouldn't love those eye-popping colors, and the combination of dinosaurs and the Disneyland Railroad. See that yellow bit near the corner of the T-Rex's mouth? That's where a small piece of tape fell on the screen before the blue color was pulled, leaving the yellow underneath. It doesn't bother me in the least, in fact I like the way it shows the hand-made nature of the posters. I've seen a number of examples with purplish streaks up the middle, and am glad that this one is nice and clean.


The "Art of Animation" exhibit was in Tomorrowland from 1960 to 1966. This isn't the most beautiful poster, but it is somewhat scarce. The design has always puzzled me; of all the great and memorable Disney characters that could have been used, Mickey is the only one that makes sense. The bunny looks to be from "Sleeping Beauty", an extremely minor character to say the least. And "Bongo" from 1947's "Fun and Fancy Free"?? Come on! Tinker Bell, Malificent, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Peter Pan... the list of better choices is endless.

10 comments:

Davelandweb said...

Diggin' the Art of Animation Poster! Any chance you have the Art Corner poster?

Pegleg Pete said...

Don't disrespect Bongo! He's always been one of my faves! That bunny certainly is a bit of nonentity, though . . .

Katella Gate said...

Posters! Who DOESN'T love them?

Your Parana story had me in stitches.

I agree about the selection of characters in the poster. Keep in mind though, "Bongo" was still fresh meat in the 1950's ... perhaps he was still popular enough to warrant underbilling with Mickey Mouse.

Also, a lot of the earlier character designs might have been felt to have been too "dated" for the space-age graphics. At this point, we will never know.

BTW Grickley (aka Dan Goodsell) has a Flickr page devoted to what appears to be a traveling version of "The Art of Animation". There are about 10 photos. It can be found here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60585948@N00/2607757978/in/photostream/

Chiana said...

Man you hang with tough crowds when you go to the movies Major! hehe

I like these posters a lot. You're right about the Animation poster although as Katella says, it's hard for us to know what they were thinking then from here. The America the Beautiful poster works for me and the Dino, classic. Most of the classic posters are so brilliant graphically. :)

Tris Mast said...

Sorry, but I have to defend the Art of Animation poster. The rabbit is a good choice because it is relatively simple but full of visual appeal. It is a design that is made to be in motion, to be animated. Even when he sits still I picture his nose wiggling. Most of the characters you mention as better choices are humans, which wouldn't be as cute or as animated as these. Notice, also, that the three characters are to scale with each other. Had Dumbo been included, Mickey would have been tiny.
Looking through that link from Katella Gate, I see they used the rabbit on the exhibit walls.

jedblau said...

Great post! I don't have the Art of Animation poster...never jumped on it when I had the chance. Time machine, please.

Chiana said...

ps I also like the way "Primeval World" is rendered. :)

Chiana said...

no need to 'pologize, Tris Mast, you make an interesting point, especially about the rabbit appeal factor.

SundayNight said...

I have only a faint memory of the Art of Animation exhibit but I know I was there and I remember it being really interesting and fun. It brought back another memory of a “history of motion pictures” exhibit in the basement of the Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles. Anyone remember that? I remember they had a zoetrope there.

Nancy said...

love these, Major!! : )