Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Pirate Ship, 1958

This first photo shows the old Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship bathed in the warm glow of the nearest star. The Skyway almost looks like it could get tangled up in the rigging. It must have been a busy day, look at the line for "Casey Jr.". I love the early photos of the Skyway, where the buckets are painted in metallic bronze, gold, silver, copper, red, green, and blue.

Hmmm, I originally assumed that these two photos were taken on the same day (since they were in the same lot), but there are crucial, red and white-striped differences. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't notice this until I scanned the slides, but there ya go. 

Here's a closeup for TokyoMagic!


Nanook said...


I understand the Captain of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship merely had to utter these magic words: Presto Change-o and the formerly hidden sails would unfurl.

Yes, the tuna is the secret-!

Thanks, Major.

Nancy said...

The boat looks so big in the second view....a great view of the fanciness on the rear panel. :)

K. Martinez said...

The golden hues on the Pirate Ship Restaurant remind me of the finale in Walt Disney's animated feature "Peter Pan" where Tinker Bell sprinkles the ship with pixie dust. Anytime it will take flight. Thanks.

Tom said...

I really miss that ship. Great pictures!

Melissa said...

I got to wondering about whether you could smell the cooking tuna as your Skyway bucket passed over the ship, and then my attention was seized by the Man in Black directly between the ship and the chalet.

The agent looked straight ahead. Looking back didn’t do you any good in this game. You had to think of it as a game, or you’d end up in a room with rubber wallpaper like poor old Cribbins, drooling and knitting doilies with your feet, being force-fed just enough happy pills so that nobody would believe you when you told the truth. Like anybody would believe you, anyway. Well, brother, they don’t make pills that happy, not even in the happiest place on Earth, thought the agent, as he shuffled ranother half a step forward in the sea of what, to the untrained eye, passed for humanity.

Yeah, he’d worked the Innsmouth case with old Cribbins right after the war. The smell of fish from the hash-joint behind him was bringing it all back in spades. Just keep your eyes ahead of you, boy. He’d had a name himself back then, he was sure of it. Better to forget that sort of thing if you don’t want a full scholarship to the cracker factory.

“Fantasyland,” the sign on the miniature chalet said. What a joke. If only these poor schmucks knew that their fantasyland followed them home beyond the gates, they’d be laughing out the other side of where the sun don’t shine, that’s for damn skippy, and no fooling.

Keep moving along, buddy, the agent told himself. He repressed the urge to look around and make sure he hadn’t said that out loud. Innsmouth is Yesterdaysville, brother, no matter what it smells like here. Just you haul your keester over to Tomorrowland where the suspect thinks he can blend in. The big joke is, he – no, IT – is probably right. Half those screwy dames have got their babushkas on too tight, and the menfolk are either blotto from cocktails at the hotel or suffering from heatstroke, or both. All the kids are hopped up on candy and Cokes, and I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts Old Man Disney is one of THEM himself. Ain’t nobody from planet Earth that happy all the time. Except maybe poor old Cribbins and his classmates at the laughing academy.

He didn’t look to his right to see the sunset. He’d seen it before, and by some great cosmic joke he’d probably see it again. He knew better than any of the sentient carbon masses around him just how special it wasn’t. If he ever wanted a good long gander, he could park himself in front of the watercolor Cribbins had made and sent him his first Christmas in the nut farm. “Sunset over Innsmouth.”

The agent had been so deeply concentrating on moving forward that he didn’t even notice he’d reached the front of the line.

“One in your party? That’ll be a D ticket, sir,” said the preternaturally handsome college boy in the chalet.

The agent’s lip flickered in what could have been a smile, a sneer, or a postmortem muscle contraction as he opened his wallet and presented a card to the perfect specimen of young American manhood.

“Right this way, sir. Enjoy your journey to Tomorrowland.”

“You too, kid,” croaked the agent, his voice hoarse from long disuse. “You, too. And listen, kid – don’t eat the fish.”

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I like the idea of sails being able to suddenly appear, like emergency exits on jets!

Nancy, I love that carved relief on the stern of the boat, it is one of my favorite details.

K. Martinez, you are so right; the golden pirate ship floating through the air is one of the greatest visuals in animation history, in my opinion.

Tom… you, me, and many other people miss that ship!

Melissa, you have been channeling the spirit of Raymond Chandler! Or is it Dashiell Hammett? Or Mickey Spillane? I love it! Like a little radio drama just for GDB readers. Why does the name "Cribbins" ring a bell? Maybe it's just one of those names, but maybe it's a reference that I'm not quite getting, too. I like the line, "Half those screwy dames have got their babushkas on too tight"!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

What a nice contented world, let the sails be unfurled hold the soggy tuna high in hand.

Melissa said...

I lifted "Cribbins" from Terry Pratchett's Making Money.

TokyoMagic! said...

Is that kid in the striped shirt actually walking on the railing on the side of the ship??? (Second photo, the very bottom of the pic, just to the right of center.)

Major Pepperidge said...

Alonzo… how weirdly poetic! ;-)

Melissa, well, I've never read that, so I guess it was just "one of those names" to me.

TokyoMagic!, holy crap, it sure looks like it! I've provided a closeup. Amazing.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, thanks for the special close-up, Major! Maybe that kid is pretending to "walk the plank"? I'd expect to behavior like that today, but I'm a little surprised to see it in 1958. Where are the adults telling him to get down? I've always said it's the parent's fault in cases like this! (I borrowed that last line from "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane.")

Melissa said...

Wow! I looked for the kid after TokyoMagic!'s comment and couldn't even find him! Thanks for the closeup!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that kid should get smacked. He's a long way from the ground (or water).

"It's the tuna that does it." chortle.

"The Shadow Over Innsmouth"

Cheers for the golden ship of dreams.