Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tom's Treehouse & Indian Village, April 1960

Back in 1960, Disneyland only had one treehouse, and it was on Tom Sawyer Island. While you can only see part of the trunk, let's all sit back and appreciate the verisimilitude that was achieved by the Imagineers. I'll give you a few minutes...

...there, now I'm sure you feel relaxed and at peace with the world. The blonde kid is trying like heck to look natural, but he's failing miserably. "Come on Pete, you look like a mannequin! Smile, but don't look at the camera. Why are your arms so stiff? Is your right foot nailed to the ground? Why can't you be cool like Arthur Fonzerelli?". Pete needed a lot of therapy in later years.


Or maybe he was just trying to pose next to the carved tribute to the love between Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. I like my first theory better.


There's that Friendly Indian Village I've heard so much about. And you know what? It does look friendly. Maybe a little TOO friendly. I don't trust anybody who's that friendly. The last time I did I wound up with a garage full of Amway products.


18 comments:

Nanook said...

Listen, Major-

I wouldn't worry too much about little 'ol "Pete". Anyone of his age who can pull-off that all-knowing smirk AND wear Hush Puppies at the same time is gonna have it made when he gets older. He would never be snookered into buying a truckload of Amway products, no matter how 'persuasive' the sales gal might be.

Thanks, Major.

walterworld said...

I've been up in Tom's Tree-house many times since the 70's but don't recall ever having stopped to see that Tom & Becky inscription.

Is it still there?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I may not have sold those Amway products, but darnit, my house has never been so clean. So... not a total loss.

walterworld, I honestly have no idea if that carving is still there... hopefully somebody can let us know if it survived the piratization of the island.

Scott Lane said...

Pete looks like he walked right out of that Twilight Zone episode where the mannequins come to life for a week. Come on, Pete, time to go back to the 13th floor. It's someone else's turn now.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I think those indians should have been a little more aggressive. Being nice just got them evicted by Imperial Stormtroopers to make way for Star Wars Land.

I wonder if Disney has their own version of Ft. Sill where they can "relocate" and live on the reservation. If the political climate of today is any indication we'll pay $5.00 per day more when Star Wars land opens and another $5.00 in reparations to them thar red devils.

Clyde Hughes said...

Speaking of Amway... does anyone remember Swipe? I remember the women selling that stuff, complete with spray bottles. Now, if the Indians were selling that, then maybe there might be a Swipe party, which was the customary thing to have, back in the day. Maybe canoes full of Swipe.
Also, the Niagara massage devices wouldn't be far behind, with the Niagara salesmen, toting massage devices in their suitcases. Now, they would need a 110Volt hookup out there in them thar woods...because Niagara products were all plug in...none of that weak battery stuff.

Chuck said...

I don't know about 1960, but they eventually had to run electrical power out to the village - the storyteller absolutely refused to perform without it. Not sure if it was 110 or 220, though. My guess is 220 (or 221 - whatever it took).

I can't help on the Tom & Becky "carving." I remember it, but not sure I remember it from my only visit since the pirate infestation. I just went through every picture I took in the treehouse in 2009 (and there were quite a few), but none is of this particular angle.

David Zacher said...

I suspect that 'Pete' and his friend grew up to pose in double breasted walking suits over on PlaidStallions.blogspot.com.

Along with Sunday's view of TS Island what kid wouldn't want to spend some time exploring? I spent lots of time there over the years and only bonked my head a couple of times. Fun pics.

dz

Major Pepperidge said...

Scott Lane, you’re right. He just wanted to buy a gold thimble. For some reason.

Alonzo P Hawk, no kidding - I wish the Indians had gone all “Ewok” on their butts. I’ve already heard stories of cutbacks to Star Wars Land - disappointing that they are blowing this opportunity to really do something amazing.

Clyde Hughes, I don’t remember Swipe, or Niagara either! I’m going to have to Google those.

Chuck, I’m trying to remember, did any of the villagers move in the old days? I seem to recall movies showing one of them grinding corn. Was it the only one?

David Zacher, is it socially acceptable to wear a smoking jacket with a walking suit? I think that the original Tom Sawyer Island looked like a dream getaway for the average boy, and probably a lot of girls too. It was full of little surprises! Parents must have loved the way it helped kids burn off some of that excess energy.

Chuck said...

Major, I honestly don't remember if there was any animation prior to 1993, and I had a long gap of no visits from '76-'93. I want to think there were a few figures - grinding corn, maybe washing clothes, canoe scraping, and maybe Shiny Boy's dog's tail, but I'm not sure, either.

Melissa said...

On Florida's TSI, there's a "Tom Heart Becky" painted in whitewash on a fence near the dock. Is that the same in California? I didn't make it to Tom Sawyer Island on my trip out west.

Chuck said...

Melissa, there's no equivalent to the whitewashed fence at DL's TSI.

Nanook said...

In Disneyland, U.S.A. one indian can clearly be seen 'stirring a large pot'. Who knows if there was more animation back then - but did seem so in later years. Certainly the 'waving' Indian Chief seated atop his horse can be seen from both the Mark Twain and the train. I do agree with Chuck that other figures also had animation at some point or another.

Melissa said...

Picture of the whitewashed fence, taken from the lower deck of the Liberty Belle Riverboat, June 2011

Chuck said...

Is my memory correct that there's a fake bucket of whitewash next to that? And are there chained-down brushes that you can pretend to paint the fence with? Or is that in Hannibal, MO? They have a whitewashed fence next to the house Sam Clemens grew up in there, too.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I do believe that there was more movement, I just can’t be sure. The examples you mention sound very likely!

Melissa, that doesn’t ring any bells - I’m pretty sure we never had that whitewash tribute to Becky.

Chuck, I should have read ahead.

Nanook, jeez, you’d think I’d remember that, having just watched that film within the last few weeks. Then again, I was probably playing computer solitaire at the same time!

Melissa, those hoodlums and their graffiti.

Chuck, the fake bucket of whitewash does not sound like a Disney feature - I would be willing to bet that it was from Hannibal. But…. I could be wrong!

Chuck said...

Major, you're right - the whitewash bucket I remember is in Hannibal.

After a bit of research, I think I was probably getting that mixed up with reading about the "hidden paintbrushes game" they do (did?) at the MK's TSI.

Melissa said...

Chuck, the days of the hidden paintbrushes are gone. I think it got to a point where too many people knew about it, and were disappointed if their kid didn't find one.