Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The World-Famous Jungle Cruise, July 1967

I just scanned a batch of slides from July 1967, and the first seven pictures were of the Jungle Cruise. Why not put them all together into a single "super post"?!

The Sacred Elephant Bathing Pool really caught the photographer's fancy; the main focus here is a mama elephant hovering protectively over her baby. He was known as "Little Squirt", and we can see him teasing a crocodile.

Just a bit further on we see more happy pachyderms. I'm impressed with the way these critters are caricatures, and yet they also feel remarkably realistic.

All of these scenes were originally sketched by animator/Imagineer Marc Davis, and they exhibit his trademark sense of humor. As a kid I always thought that this elephant found the best place to be!

What's more dangerous than an enraged bull elephant? His mother in-law. You just don't hear mother in-law jokes any more! They sure were a staple of comics and TV shows years ago.

Next we pass the scene known as the "African Veldt". All of the animals watch as a pride of lions eats their zebra buddy. I call him Stripey. They'll miss him, but "Better him than me", as the saying goes.

The lions eat the zebras, the buzzards clean up the bones, and then the zebras eat the buzzards. It's the circle of life! I learn a lot from watching "The Discovery Channel".

I am wondering if this tilted composition was an accident, or an artistic choice? Because it's weird. It makes me feel like all of the animals are going to slide to the lower right of the picture. This is the famous "Lost Safari" scene. If I am ever chased by a hungry rhinoceros I don't know what I'll do, but I know I won't climb a tree trunk.

The next pics from this bunch will take us to Frontierland.


Nanook said...


How do you stop an elephant from charging-??

Chuck said...

What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?

Gnometrek said...

Use his Diner's Club to purchase a new fence?

Tom said...

That last shot reminds me of the old campy "Batman" TV series. This must be one of the bad guy's lairs. Maybe it belongs to Mr. Jungle or Beast Man, from a lost episode. Probably lost it on purpose.

Anonymous said...

"You can take pictures because they all have their trunks on."

Bill in Denver

JG said...

These tableaux have inspired an almost endless series of jokes, one-liners and wisecracks. They never get old and I love it.

I really remember the first time we came around the bend to see the Lost Safari and how everyone laughed and laughed. Comedy gold that really livened up that part of the ride, because, up to then, the comedy was all in the spiel. With a different approach to the commentary or a lame presenter, this ride could be deadly dull. The Lost Safari was a visual gag that you didn't have to speak English to understand.

Also, how my Grandfather was absolutely convinced that at least the elephants, hippos and crocodiles were real. I think he figured out the lions etc. but those first few glimpses were very convincing back in the day.

This ride was always a more successful "show" than Nature's Wonderland, my fondness for that notwithstanding. JC is perhaps one of the best in the Park, even now.


K. Martinez said...

Jungle Cruise. Still my favorite after all these years. And seven photos too! Thanks, Major.

@Tom - The Batman '66 TV show was the first thing that came to my mind when looking at the Lost Safari image too. KRUNCH! BAM! KAPOW! WHAM! OUCH!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, anyone who gives an elephant a credit card is just asking for trouble, if you ask me.

Chuck, sad to say that I have been in that very situation many times.

Gnometreck, Diner's Club? Does that even exist anymore?

Tom, you will be happy to learn that the 1966 Batman show is finally coming out on Blu-Ray! The bad news is that it will be something like $180 for the whole set.

Bill in Denver, how many of those corny jokes came from Wally Boag, I wonder.

JG, one of the issues I've run into on more than one occasion is the bad PA system on the boat. It was somehow harsh and yet muffled. How can that be? It was hard to understand the rapid-fire jokes. Cover your mouth with your hand and then talk, it was something like that. It's funny, in a way I liked the fact that Nature's Wonderland was a bit less jokey… maybe if it had survived longer. It did have some humor, but not as "in you face" as the Jungle Cruise.

K. Martinez, I am always amazed at the jungly feeling that they manage to get on a few acres of Anaheim land.

Anonymous said...

Major, I've also noticed the harsh sound system on the boats - depending on where we sat it was almost painful!

Bill in Denver

Anonymous said...

To this day I've been told I bellow at the speakerphone on conference calls...an old habit of attempting to be heard over the engine roar on the attraction.

KS...JC skipper from the 70s.