Wednesday, September 02, 2015

"The World Beneath Us" Brochure

If you're like me, you love rainbow-colored afro wigs! Oh, and vintage Disneyland paper ephemera, too. They are not mutually exclusive.

The early Tomorrowland was rife with sponsored exhibits - glorified commercials, in a way, and yet... I wish I could have seen all of them! The Kaiser Hall of Aluminum Fame, the Dutch Boy Paint Gallery, the Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow, the American Dairy Association Dairy Bar - ay caramba!

Richfield sponsored the Autopias, but they also sponsored a show called "The World Beneath Us", which let all the hep kitty cats know about where their oil and gasoline came from, courtesy of a thrilling diorama and a 12-minute movie.

While undated,  I believe that this flyer was released as early as 1955 (when the exhibit opened), and was probably given out for years (the exhibit closed in 1960). Love that oh-so-50's artwork! How this example survived in such great condition is a mystery to me and to Batman. It's like new. 

The inside artwork is fantastic, so reminiscent of what you might have seen in "Walt Disney's Magazine", or any number of wonderful periodicals published during that era. Check out those dinosaurs! We all know that oil is made from squished, pressure-cooked dinos (and not from zillions of zooplankton). Put a T-Rex in your tank. The shadows cast across the back of the Stegosaur indicate volume in such a simple manner. Brilliant.

I wonder if the movie has survived? I'll bet dollars to donuts that some "Rite of Spring" footage from "Fantasia" (with the dinosaurs, yo) was used. 

I hope you have enjoyed this vintage brochure!


Nanook said...


That brochure really is in fine, fine shape. And if I ever saw The World Beneath Us, it failed to make an impression on me - in spite of its "CinemaScope - Technicolor" presentation.

And speaking of rainbow-colored afro wigs, I seem to recall some time back in the early 1970's, walking into a room with a TV which was showing an episode of The Mike Douglas Show-!, with some singer, sporting the above-mentioned wig, all the while singing I've Got to Be Me. I think that about sums it up.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I love the graphics on this brochure! And remember, you haven't really seen Disneyland until you've seen the Richfield Show.

Nanook, was it Tiny Tim by any chance?

Nancy said...

So cool! Love the colors. I guess I havent REALLY seen Disneyland since I never saw this show....darn it!

I also have a rainbow afro story...I have the DVD set of the 1979 World Series won by my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates, and there is a fan wearing a rainbow afro wig down in front at all seven games. The theme song of the Bucs in 1979 was "We Are Family" and all was groovy in the Burgh that year! ;-)

K. Martinez said...

Beautiful ephemera! The graphics on every bit of it are wonderful. I would've loved to have seen pre-1959 Disneyland with all it's early Tomorrowland exhibits too. By the time I got to Disneyland in 1963, the place was well established and most of those early attempts at attractions like the Stagecoach, Conestoga Wagon, Viewliner and early Tomorrowland exhibits were gone. Thanks, Major.

Nanook, you mean they weren't twelve unforgettable minutes as the brochure claims?

Melissa said...

I love sponsored stuff like the old Disney park attractions. It's less annoying than ads because you really get something in exchange for hearing their message, and it feels more honest than product placement.

Melissa said...

(Yes, I know that you get TV shows or whatever content in exchange for seeing and hearing ads. It's just that the ratio of ad to content can sometimes be a little high for comfort these days.)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, there are several of these vintage Disneyland films that I would love to see; the 3-D Jamboree, this Richfield film, part of CirCARama’s “A Tour of the West”… if Disney made them available on iTunes (or whatever) I would pay good money to see them. Your description of the rainbow-wigged singer makes me think of Steve Martin.

TokyoMagic!, I’ve never seen Tiny Tim wearing any kind of wig, do you have a recollection of him singing “I’ve Got to Be Me”? My brain may be playing tricks on me, but didn’t Martin sing one line from that song on one of his famous albums? Again, I might be crazy. Also, Martin wore a white afro wig in the great SNL sketch, “Jeopardy 1999”!

Nancy, “Rainbow Head” used to show up at many major sporting events, dancing like a fool (often right behind home plate), and sometimes holding up a “John 3:16” sign. I remember him well.

K. Martinez, yeah, all that stuff was long gone by the time I visited the park. The exhibits probably didn’t age well, and probably felt out of date rather quickly, I would imagine.

Melissa, commercials are definitely easier to swallow when you feel like they are entertaining in their own right. Look at the Super Bowl ads, which people write whole columns about the next day, and others seek out on YouTube. Advertising got so bad on the radio that I basically stopped listening to it around 10 years ago; and I watched a “Harry Potter” movie on ABC Family a few months ago with a friend - I swear there were commercials every five minutes. It was maddening!

Nanook said...

@ TokyoMagic!-

Definitely a guy; but also not Tiny Tim.

@ K. Martinez-

It was a long time ago and I wasn't very old, and obviously I probably had other things on my mind, like fer instance, oh, I dunno - perhaps some exciting attraction in Fantasyland....

Anonymous said...

This is great stuff, Major. I love the period graphic look.

We watched the old Fantasia the other night on Netflix. The film still holds up, even in the whiz-bang world of flashy computer animation.

The interpretation of the dinosaurs with Rite of Spring is brilliant.


Nancy said...

i didnt know he was famous lol

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I don't have a recollection of Tiny Tim wearing such a wig or singing that song, I just have a recollection of him being odd!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, why won’t you finally admit that Tiny Tim was a national treasure?

JG, I have always loved “Fantasia”, ever since I first saw it at the local library in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania back in the 70’s. There’s something about it that just grabs me, though my niece and nephew generally find it to be boring. Those punks!

Nancy, they even did an SNL skit with Christopher Walken as Rainbow Head! He was upset that newcomers (like the San Diego chicken) were ruining his "art".

TokyoMagic!, he was certainly odd. I used to hear him in interviews toward the end of his life, and he ate jars of spaghetti sauce for the anti-oxidants. Just one of his eccentricities.

Dean Finder said...

Commercials disguised as attractions are my favorites. Never got to experience Adventure Thru Inner Space, but I have an unexplainable love of If You Had Wings (Eastern Airlines) Carousel of Progress (GE) and all of EPCOT Center's Future World (roll call of corporate sponsors). Not to mention the World's Fair pavilions that we see here from time to time.
Infotainment in theme parks is way better than infotainment on TV these days.

Melissa said...

You do have wings1 You can fly! Eastern: the Wings of Man!

Lauren Cain said...

Does anyone know the name of the wee guy in the brochure picture? The one carrying the club?