Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Feliz Navidad, my homies!

I wasn't really sure what to post today, but finally decided to scan my 1955 Walt Disney Studios Christmas card. The studio has a long history of producing colorful, appealing Christmas cards to send to employees and other lucky recipients. Some of them are quite elaborate, with multiple pages and beautiful illustrations, usually featuring characters from the most recent significant Disney movies.

The studio moved into television in a big way in 1955, and in October, the Mickey Mouse Club debuted, becoming a smash hit - to the point that it was honored by being featured on the cover of the Christmas card. I absolutely love the graphic style of the illustration, with flat areas of color and minimal shading, much like you would see in the Golden Books of the day.

Naturally, the opening of Disneyland in July was a monumental event in the company's history. The card opens up to reveal this wonderful (and unique) map of the park, along with "Santa Mickey", Tinker Bell, and Donald Duck. Some fun details: the bandstand (shown just in front of the Castle), the Phantom Boats in Tomorrowland, little Frontierland Station, and the Flight Circle.

And we couldn't leave out a nod to Davy Crockett, Walt Disney's other television sensation! Jiminy Crickett doffs his coonskin cap while helping a boy fetch a Christmas tree. He was enjoying his renewed fame as the host of various animated segments on the Mickey Mouse Club.


TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, what a great piece to have in your collection. I love the graphics on the cover and the map too. You're right about it being reminiscent of the Little Golden Books.

Merry Christmas to you, Major!

Nancy said...

so cool that you have this in your collection. i esp love that the Phantom Boats are here, so rare to see anything with them.

thanks so much for sharing this, and Merry Christmas to everyone!

Connie Moreno said...

Merry Christmas, Major! Thanks for sharing this with us today - it's incredible!! I just love it. I want it. You must now give it to me!

Chuck said...

Merry Christmas to the Major and all of the other denizens of Gorillasdon'tblogland! \

Thank you so much for posting this. I'm now inspired to pull out my 1950's-vintage copy of the Peter Pan Little Golden Book. I'll get right on that as soon as I finish loking through "The Annotated Alice," a wonderful Christmas present from my wife for the Lewis Carrol fan in the family.

May peace bless your homes throughout the coming year!

Nanook said...

The card is quite wonderful, especially the map - which even gives a tip 'o the chapeau to Holiday Hill, shown here topped with what appears to be a snow-covered Christmas Tree. Holiday Hill was the result of the excavated dirt removed for the foundation and moat "surrounding" the Sleeping Beauty Castle. For a time, there was even a pathway to the top of the hill.

When the first official map of the park was released in 1958, an unidentified, snow-topped Holiday Hill was included as a mid-point anchor for the Skyway cables. But when the 2nd & 3rd versions of the 1958 map were released, both the Viewliner and Holiday Hill went missing, to be replaced with the ALWEG Monorail & Matterhorn Mountain, respectively.

Thanks, Major, for this wonderful blog. Merry Christmas to one and all.

Debbie V. said...

These are GOOD.

PsySocDisney said...

Fantastic artwork, I want one of those maps! Oh, and Merry Christmas!!

JG said...

Beautiful stuff Major.

Merry Christmas to you. thanks for the beautiful post, and all you do all year long.

Best regards.