Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fantasyland, September 1958

Let's start today's post with this taste of "Old Fantasyland". It doesn't taste so good (needs sugar), but it sure looks nice. Once I learned that Eyvind Earle was (partly?) responsible for the flat graphic look of those "medieval tournament" façades, I could really see the connection to the artwork for "Sleeping Beauty"... a movie that wouldn't be released until 3 1/2 years after Disneyland opened (though of course it was in production for a very long time).

This one's a bit of a snoozer, but I kind of like the overgrown, weedy appearance of the foliage - much of it would be removed with the addition of the Matterhorn.


Chuck said...

I'd never made the Eyvind Earle connection before, but now that you point it out, it really stands out in that first photo.

That second photo has a real "late Nara Dreamland" vibe to it. My wife and I have this running joke about a run-down, evil "Disneyland of the Damned" after this dream she had when we were newlyweds, and this does a fairly good job of evoking what that place might look like at mid-day on June 22nd. Just don't get caught out in the open after dark...

Nancy said...

I have always loved how much Fantasyland of old looked like a little Renaissance Festival (and now I wonder if that is why Sleeping Beauty is my fave animated picture). One thing that I always noticed was the little flags on the peaks of the buildings. And of course, this ride is especially colorful. :-D

The picture of the Castle is just perfect to me. I like to take off-to-the-side view pictures, and the colors on this one are so beautiful.

Thanks for a great start to my day off, Major!! :-)

Scott Lane said...

I think that second picture is taken from the current location of the very popular Mooseburger stand. I like mine with extra squirrel jam.

K. Martinez said...

Wonderful angle of Sleeping Beauty Castle and the blueness of the photo is calming. Thanks, Major.

David Zacher said...

Looking up at the castle from this angle makes me better appreciate the forced perspective used to make it look taller than it is.

Thanks, Major.


Patrick Devlin said...

I'm always looking for the ivy on the castle. Not today. It's a lovely shot.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I think I’ve only seen one or two pieces of Eyvind Earle Disneyland artwork, though if you look at his web page it says that he designed 5 murals for the park - presumably the ones in front of the classic dark rides? I still remember reading about Nara Dreamland in the L.A. Times back in the 80’s - I SO WISH I had been able to see it for myself!

Nancy, it seems pretty clear that somebody at Disney had the theory that little pennants waving in the wind added a lot to any scene. See the early Tomorrowland! I’m with you, I love the more off-center views of the castle.

Scott Lane, I can’t help imagining what squirrel jam would smell like!

K. Martinez, I do find blue to be a pleasant, calming color! For some reason I recall watching a show a zillion years ago (maybe “20/20”) in which they said that violent prisoners were put in rooms painted “Baker-Miller Pink” - a hue that was supposed to chill them out. Wonder if that is still done?

David Zacher, I have heard people suggest that they should make Sleeping Beauty Castle bigger, but I disagree completely. It is small, but is perfect for Disneyland.

Patrick Devlin, there must have been a little bit of ivy on the front by 1958!

Anonymous said...

These pictures show how quickly Disneyland "grew into" it's design. Everything looks fresh and nice, but not "raw", after only 3 years.

@Major, yes, color in design is an important factor in serious detention and mental health facilities. I'm not sure pink is still the preferred color, but there are some, such as bright orange and yellow, that are definitely avoided.

For the same reasons, these colors are often used in fast food establishments since the customers are desired to be constantly agitated and leave quickly.

Color in architecture is a deep subject, and the Disney folks have lost sight of some the more subtle aspects in recent years.