Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Swiss Family Treehouse

I sure loved the old Swiss Family Treehouse; the Tarzan incarnation is OK, but for me it doesn't spark the imagination the way the original did. I like how some of the support columns were disguised as thick air roots, and I also like the unusual reddish hue of the leaves. And how about the reddish hue of that fire hydrant! With so many water features incorporated into the treehouse, fire would not seem to be much of a problem.

I might as well round off today's post with a few Jungle Cruise images. Nothing great, but this way I get to use them up! How about those Crocodiles? They shed their skins every 2 weeks before spinning a ball of silk and laying thousands of eggs. I learned it on Wikipedia!

The distant sound of rhythmic drums can strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest explorers. A jungle clearing barely reveals a circle of dancing headhunters; they find sweet corporate jobs for qualified applicants.


Chiana_Chat said...

They should be embarrassed by that cheapskate Tarzan overlay. Can't believe that once Tarzan made its rounds they didn't restore the attraction. Instead they've left it like that for decades.

Anyway, the dynamic, dramatic redness of the leaves really shows in this photo. Very neat!

Shedding crocs... Ah, from Wikipedia. Then it must be true!

What is that on the right by the tribe? A Sabretooth hanging up? Unfortunately their corporation is rather cut-throat and it seems like one's brain shrinks before long.

There was a barber shop around here named Headhunters :)

Chiana_Chat said...

PS - the ship's rigging hoist wheel themed turnstyle in front of the treehouse is a great start to the theming ahead. :)

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Good thing Andy didn't have a treehouse or it would be re-themed to the Toy Story treehouse to the tune of a billion dollars (with a $5 a day gate price hike the following june).

Alas the golden days of "Walt's" Imagineering" are long gone.

Bring back the Robinsons!

Anonymous said...

If I were captain of the Mark Twain, every time we left the dock I would shout "Full theme ahead!".

Thanks Chiana...

Bill in Denver

K. Martinez said...

I used to visit Swiss Family Treehouse every single time I made a trip to Disneyland. I've probably gone on it two times since Tarzan took up residence. It kind of sums up what I think of it.

In many ways, The Disneyland I love is a time as well as a place.

Love the murkiness of the crocodile waters.

Omnispace said...

The "fire hydrant" is a big wooden rotating turnpike. I'm guessing that in true Robinson's ingenuity they salvaged it from one of the ship's capstans. I can't remember if it was at the entry or exit but it was nicely themed as was the rest of the attraction.

Anonymous said...

@Omnispace, you are correct. The exit turnstile was themed as the capstan from the sailing ship. Ingenious.

The entry turnstile was the standard three-wing metal unit used throughout the Park, painted with a bamboo paling pattern in the Adventureland style also used in the JC.

It's fortunate that the tree being modeled was a tropic fig with the hanging roots to conceal those structural columns.

I loved the old treehouse, red leaves and all. It was a great story too. I had a beautiful book my parents bought me in the Disneyland book store on Main Street.

I think it's time to remake this movie, with Johnny Depp, since it appears to be a Federal law that he is the star of all Disney remakes, whether he makes sense as the star or not, music by Danny Elfman and Helena Bonham Carter as the Goth Pirate Queen.

See, I'm a film-maker. Pay me.


Nanook said...

K. Martinez says a mouthful when referring to The Happiest Place on Earth with the caveat: "The Disneyland I love is a time as well as a place". Sadly, that is often true.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, unfortunately the Tarzan thing was much more than an overlay... big structural changes were made... I don't think it could be restored. Not cheaply, anyway. I think that, for a while at least, there was a lion hanging near the natives.

Alonzo, I am not especially anti-Pixar, but I do hate it when something wonderful is removed, or replaced with something that is less fun than before. I keep hearing that "Kids didn't know who the Robinsons were"... sounds like a lame excuse to me.

Bill, I will wish for you to be a Mark Twain captain the next time I throw a penny into Snow White's wishing well.

K. Martinez, I usually visit the current treehouse, but I march up the stairs, and back down the stairs, and it is all forgotten fairly quickly.

Omnispace (and Chiana)... D'OH! Ha ha, I feel like a dope, you are both right. Not a fire hydrant at all. Der.

JG, wow, I am curious about the book you mention... does it have illustrations, or photos? And I agree, the Swiss Family Robinson could make an amazing movie if handled properly.

Nanook, I am definitely of the same mind as K. Martinez and you. I have fun at the park, but nothing compares to "the old days"!

Anonymous said...

Hi Major, the Swiss Family Robinson book my parents bought for me at the Main Street Bookstore was large format, illustrated with wonderful watercolor paintings, in a very loose and free style, with bright colors.

The renderings were only vaguely like the Disney film, of course, when I got the book, I had not seen the film. I didn't see it until years later when Disney put it on the cable channel. I remember noticing that the illustrations did not resemble the Disney attraction much either. Even as a kid, the discrepancies were noticeable to me.

Later, I read the original story and discovered that Disney had taken some liberty with that too.

In retrospect, I don't really think my gift book was connected with the film at all, but by another company, maybe even predating the film, and brought into Disneyland shops since the source stories were similar.

The story version in the book was quite different from the movie, it skipped the whole pirate battle at the end. That might have been since it was aimed at a young audience.

I will hunt for it at home, I am pretty sure I still have it, I recall reading it to my children. Although even that would be a long time ago.


Anonymous said...

Oh, that reminds me of my other gripe, the book store.

Mom and Dad always bought me a book on the way out of the Park at the end of the trip. Back then, one day was enough to see it all.

I had quite a collection of very nice books, some were stories, like SFR Treehouse, but as I got older, many were science-related topics, tied in with Nature's Wonderland or Tomorrowland.

These were NOT "themed" books, but the topics, like the natural world, ecology, dinosaurs, physics and space flight, were selected to follow the themes of Disney attractions, but were not directly tied to Disneyland. I think I got my early interest in science and technology from those books, leading to my career choice.

The store sold cartoon books too, with Disney movie characters, but today that's ALL they carry. That makes me sad. Disneyland once was entertainment with education. Now, it's just entertainment.

Thanks for letting me rant.