Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Jungle Cruise, August 1963

Oof, here are more Jungle Cruise photos from a very so-so lot of slides - they all had washed-out color, and are not crisp. Which is why they are perfect for a Sunday!

There's that crazy elephant, showering beneath a beautiful waterfall. As a kid I always thought he had the best spot! Heck, as an adult I still feel that way.

This one is just plain bad, but hey, I scanned it, so here it is, awaiting your derision. I think that might be Trader Sam standing with his collection of heads.

Man, hippos have weird mouths, there's no doubt about it. Look at those little peg-like teeth, and those crazy tusks. And yet they are among the most dangerous animals in Africa. Notice the cloud of smoke from the gun that the skipper just fired!


Nanook said...

Oh, Major-

I don't think 'derision' is the correct word. (I'm still thinking...) In the meantime, I think Picture #2 is actually quite brilliant, as the juxtaposition of Trader Sam's shrunken heads and the two (presently) full-sized heads of the guests passing nearby - Dad with his hat, and Mom with her adorable pink scarf - sets-off the image perfectly, if not also adding a bit of ironicalness. I do hope 'Dad' & 'Mom' paid for Round Trip tickets-! After all, who can forget: "Two of his for one of yours..."

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I have to agree with Nanook on picture #2. It drew my attention right away. There's just something about it that works. I like it, however, I'm commenting in the middle of the night, so I may wake up tomorrow morning and think WTH! Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Well, I'm awake with my head as clear as it will ever be and I still like pic #2.

A while back, I remember reading a story about the Elephant Bathing Pool in which Disney (imagineers?) once considered putting bubble-bath suds into the bathing pool scene and attaching shower caps to some of the elephants heads and snorkels on some of the others. I think it was the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise because they were in a quandary about how to make the Jungle Cruise less redundant after the opening of the Animal Kingdom. I guess "Jingle Cruise" is the closest they could get to being that ridonkulous.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

I’d venture to say that smoke implies a cap pistol aimed for the kill, not just to “scare off”. PCness just ruins everything!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, well I am glad that you like these! I still don’t, even picture #2, though I see what you are saying about it. Somewhere out there, there is a better version of that same concept, only not askew, blurry, etc!

K. Martinez, you might actually be having a terrible nightmare! Pinch your forearm and see if you wake up. (Also, I think it’s OK to say “hell” on GDB! I don’t even get upset by the “F-word” except that polite company generally frowns upon it).

K. Martinez, huh, why am I not appreciating photo #2 like you and Nanook? I still think it’s the worst of the bunch! But, like so much in art, my word is not the “last word”. Otherwise Leroy Neiman would join the pantheon of the great artists of all time. Why, the painting he did for a Chucky Cheese placemat would make a stone statue weep. Of course we were already blessed with Thomas Kinkade during our lifetimes, I suppose I should be thankful that I could enjoy his genius. (Oof, and that “Jingle Cruise”, the less said, the better).

Monkey Cage Kurt, I’m just glad that they brought the pistols back, even if they only fire them up into the treetops. They should have a stuffed monkey fall from above when the skippers do that)

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but 9 out of 10 times when riding through the jungle now, the skippers call that elephant under the waterfall "Bertha" and then mention that she is all wrinkled from having been in that "shower" for "X" number of years. The number they give always corresponds with how old the park is. And that just bugs the heck out of me every time I hear it! Shouldn't somebody who is piloting the boats know the history of the attraction? And if the skippers are all just told by management to say that particular number of years (which I know is very likely), aren't they given a little bit of freedom with which lines they use and which ones they don't? I would refuse to use that one because it is spreading misinformation! I know, I know.....the general public doesn't give two hoots about accuracy during their visit to Walt's Magic Kingdom. Sad!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I wrote my comment before reading yours. I see now that I didn't need to use the words "heck" and "hoots". I'll try to remember that for future comments. ;-)

K. Martinez said...

Major, Technically the photo isn't great, but I like the mood of the image and the tilt adds a sense of mystery or menace. As for the stuffed monkey falling from above, I can just hear the thud as the monkeys hit the fiberglass hippos. I love it!

I had to look up Leroy Neiman and his Chuck E. Cheese painting since I haven't heard of either. I'm speechless! As for Thomas Kinkade, I had a friend who thought his work was great! Think I'd much rather invest in a paint-on-velvet from Tijuana.

TokyoMagic!, I wouldn't even have caught the shower for "X" numbers of years because I'm usually looking out the boat with glazed eyes from the overload of pixie dust. I can't even remember the last time I actually paid attention that closely to the spiel. Perhaps the skipper should just simply say "she is all wrinkled from having been in that "shower" for over half a century", cuz that's the truth. I think because I've heard the spiels so many times I blank them out.

Nanook said...


Well, let's face it - Picture #2 isn't really a gem, but when making "lemonade out of lemons", you go with what you've got. GDB would've never attained its great fame trafficking exclusively in such cockeyed views, but if we're gonna create stories - as all good Imagineers do - it's just this sort of image which can inspire us all. I'm just waiting for tomorrow's installment picturing Trader Sam displaying his shrunken head collection, now numbering two more...

Here's to always keeping a level head.

Nanook said...


My personal fav is the heavily-applied "oil paint on canvas", usually involving images of skyscrapers or bridges, then outlined with tiny, grain-of-wheat bulbs. (One wonders what can be done these days utilizing LED technology-!)

I'm afraid LeRoy Neiman and Thomas Kinkade are "acquired tastes". And if one lives life correctly, that 'acquired taste' won't kick-in until the age of 100. LeRoy Neiman has a bit more street cred, however, as he has the LeRoy Neiman Center for the Study of American Society and Culture, at UCLA. I'm unfamiliar with just what exactly goes on at the Center - perhaps they specialize in the study of "questionable art" which gains an inexplicably huge following...

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic! come on, “Bertha” is a hilarious name! I am guessing that only a tiny percent of people who work at the park (or the Jungle Cruise) know that the Sacred Elephant Bathing Pool was added in 1962. And of course, most people honestly don’t care.

TokyoMagic!, I encourage filthy language!

K. Martinez, I had a friend who briefly worked at a Thomas Kinkade Gallery. She finally had to quit after selling paintings with titles like “Misty Morn”.

Nanook, I definitely appreciate your trying to find the best in photos that are not so great! It’s a good personal trait to have.

Nanook again, I know nothing about the Leroy Neiman Center (etc)… I’m not saying he was a bad person, but I sure didn’t care for his art. I liked his “Femlin” drawings though!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that name doesn't bother me....I think "Bertha" works perfectly for an elephant. You are right. Nobody cares about the fact that the bathing pool wasn't there in 1955 and didn't come along until 7 years later. I think Ken has a good idea. They should just say that she has been in there over 50 years, but I'm sure whoever came up with that line has no clue about the history of the attraction.....or the park, for that matter. They probably think the piranhas are also original to opening day.

Nanook said...

@ TokyoMagic!

If the truth be told, the piranhas didn't appear until Tom Sawyer Island opened - just in time to take in some good fishin'-!

Chuck said...

Meanwhile, in Trader Sam's jungle lair...

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

One day my gal and I were there and it was one of thee most empty days at the park I had ever seen. We were the only two people on the Jungle Cruise boat. The captain more just talked with us the whole time. He even took us all the way to the end of the ride, and then preceded the put the boat in reverse and took as all the way back as far as the hippo pond before another boat came up behind us.

He told us a few insider things and whatnot, but what I remember the most were a couple of the jokes that the captains were forbidden to tell. I’ll just give the setup and not the punchline.

What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?


Those are female gorillas. Do you know how you can tell they are female gorillas?

So does anybody know the punchlines to these?

Chuck said...

I'll take a stab at he first.

What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

You'll see one of them later and the other after a while.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I was sort of kidding… I think “Bertha” is a dumb name! “Say, what’s a hilarious ‘fat” name? I know, BERTHA!”. Maybe it is unrealistic to expect the average employee to care about things like when the elephant pool was added, but it would be nice.

Nanook, the piranhas are an addition that gets a “thumbs up” from me!

Chuck, Trader Sam has opened a bar with lots of kooky, fruity drinks. It’s a hit.

Monkey Cage Kurt, wow, sounds like you had a unique experience. Why didn’t things like that ever happen to me? No, I don’t know the punch lines to those jokes, they weren’t on my Dixie riddle cups.

Chuck, say, that’s actually better than I expected!

TokyoMagic! said...

Money Cage Kurt, I hope you aren't going to leave us hanging.

Chuck, that is pretty good. Did you know the punchline or did you make that up?

Major, I didn't have a problem with the name, just the misinformation that followed, but now that I think of it....yeah it is kind of obvious. Mrs. Jumbo wouldn't have been much better. How about Ella? Or Phantasia?

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Sorry guys, I just spent two hours on the phone with an old friend telling him blow by blow how bad the new Star Wars film was. He just kept asking, so I HAD to tell him.

Chuck, ABSOLUTELY brilliant! Incorrect, but BRILLIANT nonetheless. I hope that one makes it into the ride someday.

Major, you need to start going to the park three or four times a week, your odds will increase, and we will all respect you more to boot.

Q: What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?
A: One’s plastic and the other one’s fiberglass.

Q: Those are female gorillas. Do you know how you can tell they are female gorillas?
A: look at the way they parked that jeep.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Forbidden Disneyland humor.

K. Martinez said...

Monkey Cage Kurt, From what I've read, the rating scores seem to be pretty decent for the film even if it's still early in the game.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens -

Rotten Tomatoes:
Critic Rating 95% Average rating 8.3/10
Audience Score - 92% liked it.
Average Rating: 4.5/5 from 138,556 users

Internet Movie Database:
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 161,613 users
4.1/5 - 99 reviews

And please don't give details and spoil it for some of us. I still intend on going to see the film. Thank you.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Don’t worry Ken; I don’t spoil films at all. It’s only that my friend kept asking me what I thought, and then kept asking me about all the details more and more. He and I share similar taste in films.

I didn’t like it, but that’s from the guy who hated, HATED Return of the Jedi. So take it for what it’s worth.

Sorry, hope I didn’t spoil anything.

Chuck said...

Major, TokyoMagic!, and Monkey Cage Kurt, I have to confess I didn't make that one up myself. I have my flashes of brilliance, but that wasn't one of them.

Monkey Cage Kurt, I appreciate your candor (as well as your lack of spoilers). I won't be seeing the film until tomorrow and need something to balance the hype. I was disappointed with Jedi when it came out, and I don't want to set myself up for another possible let-down. I just hope the Jar-Jar scenes are at least as good as the ones in Phantom Menace.

K. Martinez said...

Monkey Cage Kurt, You didn't spoil anything. I just didn't want to have to avoid the comments section here out of fear I'd run into spoilers. So far I've been successful at avoiding them. I don't go into these films with high expectations, so I might not think it as bad as you do. I didn't think Return of the Jedi was a great film either, but I didn't hate it.

I think "The Empire Strikes Back" is the exception to the rule in regards to the quality of Star Wars films. Believe it or not when the first Star Wars film (A New Hope) came out in 1977 I didn't like it. I thought the dialog was cheesy and the acting mediocre. I was 17 years old at the time, so maybe if I was younger I might've gone ape over it. Now I enjoy the film for what it is.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Ken and Chuck, I was thirteen when the first film came out. And to this day I still watch it over and over. I can recite ALL of the “cheesy dialog” verbatim and do all the voices and whatnots (feel sorry for me).

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the Empire Strikes Back! As far as I’m concerned you can’t make a better film, and they still have yet to come close.

Return of the Jedi? Well…..let’s just say, to me…Han is still encased in carbonite, “is Darth Vader REALLY Luke’s father?”, and we are all still wondering who “the other” is. Except that I’ve rewritten it in my head and IT’S FLIPPIN AWESOME! (in my head)

BTW: (look at the way they parked that jeep!)

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Oh and Chuck, put your mind as ease, Jar Jar is completely a practical effect in the new film,, and he’s WAY more funnier in this one too.

K. Martinez said...

Monkey Cage Kurt, 13 is probably the perfect age to see Star Wars. It's great you can recite all the dialog verbatim from the original Star Wars film and do the voices too. You are a true Star Wars fan. Today, I have a greater appreciation for the original film.

I do know about your kind of enthusiasm because I used to be able to recite the entire dialog from the film "Blade Runner" at one time. I was obsessed with that film and watched it on the midnight movie circuit twice every weekend during one summer. Now because I haven't watched it in so long, I've forgotten most of it.

"The Empire Strikes Back" is definitely the best. It probably ruined the series for a lot of people because nothing could live up to it.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Ken: Agree, agree…agree

I think I was thee perfect age at 13, although I think I would’ve loved it no matter what age I was.

I also had BIG parts of Blade Runner memorized. What a masterpiece that was!

INDEED! The Empire Strikes Back has ruined every other film in the world. It is the standard or plumb line in my opinion. It doesn’t eliminate my ability to discern a good film, but there are ONLY two Star Wars films as far as I am concerned. And this new film feels more like it was directed by Jar Jar Abrams. (no spoilers)

Chuck said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for lots and lots of lens flares...

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

One that I recall (oop, spoiler alert!)

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Hey guys, I know it’s not very PC, but I don’t think you’ll get in truble for likeing it.

“Look at the way they parked that jeep!”

It’s awesome! I didn’t make it up, I’m only the messenger, so please don’t call the PC police on me. They’d string me up by my toes nontheless.