Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Parade, 1996 - Part Three

It's time for the final installment of Christmas parade photos, courtesy of our fellow GDB reader (and champion commenter) Ken Martinez! I think you'll agree that these are very nice pictures, better than anything I would take (if I ever took pictures!). 

This must be a "Mickey's Christmas Carol" float; there's Uncle Scrooge himself - rarely seen in the parks; which is odd, because he is such a popular character. I love the float's design, with just a suggestion of Olde London, with snow-covered chimneys. The guy driving the tractor is wearing a sweater grandma gave him last year.

I tried to imagine Donald Duck speaking with a British accent, but my head exploded. He portrayed Scrooge's cheerful nephew Fred, which is surprising considering how cantankerous he usually is.

These goofy reindeer are second only to the wooden soldiers when I think of Disneyland Christmas parades. Those dopey tongues! Disney legend Bill Justice designed these guys.

Pluto has really gotten into the spirit of things, and why not… he is on the same float as Santa Claus himself. In fact, his glowing red nose helps to guide Santa through Anaheim's brutal winter weather!

I like the way the antlers appear to be tied on with green twine. The red nose was actually attached via plastic surgery, and Pluto figured he might as well have collagen injected into his lips at the same  time.

Ho, ho, ho! Hey, Santa, instead of waving, howsabout throwing some cash? It always fits and it's always the right color (as my grandpa said). I wonder where Disney finds their parade Santas? Central casting?

The parade is over, but there's still a bit of Christmas cheer to enjoy. Like the Country Bear Christmas Special! This holiday overlay debuted in 1984. I've never seen a picture of this banner before, so this is extra cool.

Ken earns a gold star for taking this photo of the "Jingle Bell Jamboree" poster. I love attraction posters! Does anybody out there have one of these in their collection?

Once again, MANY THANKS to Ken Martinez, for generously sharing his personal photos with GDB; while the parade photos are done, we'll see more Christmas pix from Ken in just a few days.


Nanook said...


Once again - thanks for sharing these swell DL holiday images.

Melissa said...

Wow, Ken, these are amazing pictures – a real holiday treat! I watched both Mickey's Christmas Carol and The Muppet Christmas Carol this weekend, so it's like you and the Major read my mind.

Tractor Driver: “Move along, move along. Nothin' to see here. Just a couple a seven-foot dancing ducks and me in my ski sweater and illusion-ruining shorts. Now, if yous’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go be Charlie Sheen somewheres."

Reindeer: “?”

Holding in his natural anger to play Fred is how Donald got his third ulcer. That one nearly got him drummed out of the Navy on medical grounds.

Did they totally just steal the dining podium out of a table-service restaurant for that float?


Reindeer: “?”

Strategically Placed, Arrow-Shaped Cupola: “Look at the crotch! Look at the crotch! Loooooooook at the crotch!”

Brace That Keeps Pluto from Falling off the Roof: “Look at the crotch! Look at the crotch! Loooooooook at the crotch!”

I heard that the ghost of Uncle Walt comes to life every year to be Santa’s “friend.” Now, maybe he takes on corporeal form, or maybe he just possesses the body of the nearest qualified actor, but it’s all the same thing.

Actually, I’d be really interested in hearing about that particular casting process. Any readers with the inside scoop? I guess, what with padding and wigs, Santa’s friends could also be friends of other characters at other times of the year. I don't imagine they're going to go around relying on natural body fat and white beards these days any more than they'd rely on natural red hair for a friend of Ariel. But it's not gonna be some nineteen-year-old College Program kid, either.

Whatever the particulars, that is seriously the perfect Santa shot. It’s exactly how I picture the ending of “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

I’ve never seen the Christmas or Vacation variants of the Country Bear Jamboree, but I just checked out the script over at Walt Dated World and it looks really cute! Love the decorations on the wall busts. Looks like only Peter Renaday and Thurl Ravenscroft were able to reprise their voices, but they're the most recognizable (Well, aside from Tex Ritter, and there was no way around that one). The poster and banner are absolutely beautiful.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, I encourage all GDB readers to send in their most secret and private photos! ;-)

Melissa, I keep hearing that the Muppet Christmas Carol is pretty good, but I still haven't seen it. I like the Muppets, but can't really say I am a "fan" the way so many people are.
The tractor driver is my favorite detail of all time.
Duck butt, just like my greasy hairdo.
Yes, giant nuclear (pronounced "new-cue-lar") reindeer.
Somehow I had avoided looking at the crotch. Until Now. Thanks.
Santa is played by a Juliard-trained 22 year-old woman.
I think there is a YouTube video of the whole Country Bears Xmas show.

Irene said...

Those are some mighty fine photos Ken! Thanks for letting the Major share them with us.

Mickey's Christmas Carol is one of the best. A very concise telling of the tale. I used this version to write my own church play version back in the 90's :) The Muppet Christmas Carol ranks up there as my all time favorite. It is also bittersweet as it was the first Muppet Movie done after Jim Henson passed away. And yes there is a YouTube video of Country Bear Xmas as I just watched it the other day.

I happen to know one of the Santa's in the Parade. He has been Santa for several years now and he is not from central casting :) He actually works for Disney in some other areas and is, I would guess, in his 30's. He also does theater work behind the scenes outside of Disney.

JG said...

Thank you Ken, and the Major.

Duck Butt. I just had to write that down, too funny.


Melissa said...

As a devoted Kermit/Piggy shipper, one of my favorite parts of The Muppet Christmas Carol is the Cratchits’ Christmas dinner scene with Kermit as Bob, Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit, and Robin as Tiny Tim. The best part is the rest of the children – a bunch of little boy frogs and curly-haired girl piglets.

And Statler and Waldorf as the Marley brothers, looking for all the world like the Hitchhiking Ghosts…

Thanks for sharing about your Santa friend, Irene!

K. Martinez said...

Nanook and JG, Glad you liked these. I hope to share more of the DL holiday images next year.

Melissa, I wasn't a big fan of Country Bear Jamboree, but I LOVED the Country Bear Christmas Special. It had a real magic to it. It's a shame WDW doesn't continue doing this show for the holiday season.

Major, those reindeer were always my favorite part of the parade. I think the Bill Justice design was retired and they now have a new style of reindeer that are not as cool as these.

Irene, Glad you enjoyed these. I usually only watch the Alistair Sims version of "A Christmas Carol", but I'll definitely have to check out the Muppets version. Thanks for the extra info on Santa.

Major - Again, thanks for allowing me to share these holiday images with your readers.