Sunday, March 04, 2018

Dumbo, April 1969

Remember that scene in "Dumbo" in which you meet all of Dumbo's identical clones, created by the military for some top-secret project? Of course, it was 1941, so we can only guess at the ways flying elephants were to be used to smash the Axis. Don't rule out poop (I never do). 

Perhaps some of you don't know that in several early pieces of conceptual art, the flying elephants were going to be pink. I guess I understand the reluctance to bring the specter of drunkenness into Disneyland, and yet... I kind of wish it had happened anyway.  

Timothy, the sadistic ringmaster, whips the Dumbi with ever-increasing fury! (I feel bad even saying that as a joke, since Timothy is one of my all-time favorite Disney characters. I apologize, Timothy). 

'Round and 'round they go. Similar machines were used to test the nerves of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts.


Nanook said...


'Dumbi' - you say-?? (Is that like 'meese'-??) I'm fearful for that kid in the last image - he looks as if he's about ready to bail out-! How's that for "smashing the axis"-?

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I think it was their stomachs being tested as much as their nerves.
Since they sell booze in the Magic Kingdom now, maybe they should repaint the elephants pink after all. If you can't say "Double Dumbo" three times fast, you're too drunk to ride and you have to go sit quietly in Storytime with Belle until you can tell how many fingers the singing menorah is holding up.

I'm also a fan of the boy in #3. I have a suspicion Dumbo was one of his favorite characters.

TokyoMagic! said...

Isn't it strange that there aren't any Skyway vehicles visible in the first pic or the third pic, but there are two visible in the second pic? What gives?

Major, at least they finally took the whip out of Timothy's hand and replaced it with a magic feather. The last time I was at Tokyo Disneyland, Timothy still had his whip AND he still stood atop of his shiny disco ball! And I'm with Melissa. Paint all of the Dumbos pink, but then have them blow bubbles out of their trunks.

K. Martinez said...

Timothy the ringmaster is whipping Dumbo into a whirling frenzy. As he envisions Dumbo atop the pachyderm pyramid with flag in trunk, he shouts "Climax?... climax! Dumbo, you're a climax."

I like how you did a Dumbo triple here. It sort of gives a sense of motion. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Of course, I don't REALLY want to see them alter the Dumbo attraction like that. The bubbles that are produced by the cast members selling "bubble guns" and by the guests that purchase them, are annoying enough without having bubbles coming out of Dumbo's trunk.

dean finder said...

Dumbo's stint in the air corps:

Melissa said...

I can't remember what post I originally did this Photoshop for, but I still get a giggle out of it.

Patrick Devlin said...

I look at the redesign of Dumbo's attraction as a mixed blessing: good job on the physical aspect, but a shaky decision to relocate it.

My brother Mike had some recent tales to tell me regarding being a CM on the Skyway, and now I want to ask him about that uneven distribution of cabins on the Skyway suspension cable. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

It's possible that it was windy (Santa Ana) sufficient to close down the Skyway but normally that would make it a 'blue sky' day/background. There's always a chance of it being down for maintenance too. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, “Dumbi” is a regional colloquialism!

Melissa, do they really sell booze inside the Magic Kingdom now? Other than Club 33, I still don’t think Disneyland sells alcohol (I’m not counting California Adventure, of course).

TokyoMagic!, maybe on a slow day they ran fewer Skyway gondolas, and would be spaced further apart? Or else it’s just pure happenstance. I think they should give Timothy a gun.

K. Martinez, the thought of Timothy the mouse yelling “Climax!” repeatedly is disturbing.

TokyoMagic!, bubble guns, that’s a new one on me. I suppose they are obliquely referencing the “pink elephants” sequence (where the elephants blow bubbles), but it’s still a stretch.

dean finder, I love those WWII insiginias!

Melissa, that’s no Photoshop. That really happened! It was hushed up by the government.

Patrick Devlin, I do like the fountains and fancy stuff that have been added to the Dumbo ride; YES, get inside info from Mike! We need the scoop.

KS, in photo #2, it does look like one of the gondolas has people in it. I had to check though, because I thought it might be a maintenance day too!

TokyoMagic! said...

The bubble guns are sold at merchandising carts all around both parks. People buy them and then think it's cute to walk around the park or stand in a queue and blow bubbles continuously, not caring that the bubbles are going in the eyes, noses and mouths of the people behind them. It's even worse than the children that blindly swing their souvenir light sabers around, while their parents are off in their own world, clueless to what their child is doing to other people.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I forgot to mention that the cast members at the carts that sell the bubble guns, are usually standing out in the walkways blowing bubbles into the crowds as they pass by. And I don't hate bubbles, but it can be annoying when they are blown directly into your face.

TokyoMagic! said...

Okay, I also forgot that after one of the recent "shootings" in the last year or two (there have been so many), that Disney stopped selling the bubble blowers that were shaped like a gun and replaced them with sort of a "bubble wand" type of toy. The "wands" still send out a constant stream of bubbles and people still love to walk around the park with them turned "on."

Melissa said...

Re: alcohol in the Magic Kingdom, it's only served at six table service restaurants. It's not like the other three parks with their beer and cocktail kiosks, or the obnoxious drinking-around-the-world revelers you get some late nights in EPCOT.

I had such a sore throat on my 2012 trip (when I got home and saw the doctor it turned out to be walking pneumonia) that I did appreciate the ice-cold beer and wine that was available at Hollywood Studios and at my Disney Resort.

Anonymous said...

@Dean Finder & Melissa. Those are great! I have never seen the WWII images. And Dumbo is free, free at last!

@Major, you are correct, no alcohol sales in Disneyland, unless Club 33 counts. I don't have the pull needed to get in there so I can't confirm. As you note, DCA has several locations, the Carthay Theater lounge is a really nice spot. I'm partial to the Napa-Sonoma ambience of the Wine County pavilion though. I'm pleased to report that I haven't seen anyone in either park that has obviously had too much. I guess I just don't go often enough.

Next trip I'm going to smuggle in a little bourbon to spike my NOS Mint Julep.