Friday, August 14, 2015

Monstro & Astro Jets, July 1958

Here are two very nice slides featuring scenes from Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, starting with this nice shot of Monstro. This poor whale was doomed from the start; how could he not be a grump with a name like "Monstro"? Perhaps he would have been more well-adjusted with a nice normal name like "Ralph", or "Mitch".  

As with most of the slides in this batch, I love the colors; even that green trash can looks great! Reds seem to "pop" more than usual.

Zooming in to the right, we can see that the door is open at the little lighthouse ticket booth; it looks like there is a shift change, with one lady about to replace another.

Next is this great photo of the Astro Jets at rest; I've always loved that simple, red or white star design on the rockets - it makes them look like big toys. The lady in the foreground looks like she's already about to hurl, but we know that she's just got that afternoon sun in her eyes. 

In the background, there's the Richfield eagle, the Autopia, and the Skyway.


Nanook said...


I think Monstro's sour demeanor is due to all the bad press he received from the lyrics to his own song Monstro the Whale:

"Who can make the jellyfish shake
And make the sharks grow pale?
It's the undersea public enemy
Called Monstro the Whale"...

You ain't kidding about that color. Presume its Kodachrome, at its finest.

As you say, the expression on the lady (presumably) about to take-off in the Altair is quite wonderful. Clearly her attraction-mates don't share that 'pained look', but look more prepared for the thrill-of-a-lifetime.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I love the rarely photographed combination umbrella/trashcan in that first pic. ;-) Umbrellacan? Trashella? Super pics and super color today, Major!

Chiana_Chat said...

Plus, the pic captures the new lighthouse keeper arriving with a white carry case people might take for a purse but is a container of Monstro Feed (by Monstranto. Er, Monsanto). Poor Monstro, he looks so tired - just look at the bags under his eyes. But those humans keep coming by the boatload!

Yeah the lady in Altair isn't so sure about this Astro Jets thing yet, but the kids are sure happy. :)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I wonder what the story is behind that Monstro song? Was it from a children’s record, or was it actually released in the hopes that it would become a hit (sort of like “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” ? It’s a new one on me. And I did think that the lady was a kid at first - the wedding band was sort of a clue!

TokyoMagic!, those umbrellacans were banned soon afterward for being silly. By the way, spell check is fine with the word "umbrellacan"!

Chiana, Monstro needs no feed! He eats thousands of people each day. If he got more roughage, he would look more lively and less tired.

Anonymous said...

Ralston Purina used to sell "Whale Chow" in a red and white checkered bag, but stopped because the bags were too big for the supermarket shelf.

Needs more roughage, snicker...


Melissa said...

They could have given Monstro a nice, family-friendly name like "Momstro." After all, Pinocchio did spend all that time in his tummy. I wonder of the boy and girl in white shirts and red shorts are siblings.

Love the porthole-shaped window on the lighthouse ticket booth. And the women's CM costumes for this area are just so darn adorable. I'm a sucker for a crisp, ruffled apron.

Make no mistake - the Mom in the ALTAIR rocket his the sun in her eyes AND she's about to hurl. Good thing Junior is wearing a dark-colored shirt. The cocktail olive lampposts are reminding Mom of that ill-advised tuna sandwich she had right before boarding.

I can't get enough of that glorious Richfield eagle!

K. Martinez said...

Back in those days Monstro was fed mostly nice lean morsels of meat. Nowadays he's fed "Super size it!" portions with higher fat content. I wouldn't be surprised if he's developed type 2 diabetes due to his inactivity all these years.

Both images are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious today. I actually wouldn't mind it if Disney went retro with Tomorrowland and brought back the Astro-jets, but on an elevated platform. They are so cool to look at! Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


Many songs from Disney films were covered by popular artists of the day - most are not that easy to find. I have several, including Monstro the Whale. I don't really know the how or why "original" tunes, not a part of the soundtrack, were released - other than to boost awareness of each film. (Perhaps the song was supposed to be playing inside Monstro's stomach upon Pinocchio's arrival. Creepy).

It IS true what they say about folks in Tomorrowland: They DO grow-up fast-! Wedding ring, indeed.

And, Melissa- I thought the 'cocktail olive lampposts' would've reminded Mom to have perhaps "a tiny triple", if you will, prior to boarding her own personal Astrojet. It then would have been smooth sailing from then-on-out-!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I wonder if Ralston Purina still makes odd stuff like Monkey Chow?

Melissa, I agree, that porthole window is pretty neat. It probably got pretty warm in that lighthouse on a hot day, perhaps it would have been OK to leave the door open to let in a little fresh air.

K. Martinez, Monstro has gone vegan. I don't expect any old Disneyland features to come back (the Hatbox Ghost was a special circumstance because they can merchandise the hell out of him) - there probably just wouldn't be enough demand, as much as I'd love it.

Nanook, it used to surprise me to see that in the 1940's, several artists could have a hit with the same song in the same year.