Monday, July 14, 2014

Two Beautiful Pics from Fantasyland

It's time for another installment of GDB Classics! Today we're going to visit vintage Fantasyland.

How can you not love this neat 1958 view of the Land of Fantasy (first published in 2008) as seen from the steps of the old Skyway chalet? You'd have to be some kind of crazy person, or a Communist.   Dumbo is in the foreground, doing that thing he (they?) do. Does. Whatever. I like the orange tree, loaded with fruit. Fact: Walt Disney did not want you to get scurvy! The Skyway looks especially busy and festive, like a line strung with colorful lanterns. Note the tower over on Holiday Hill (aka "Snow Mountain", aka "Death Mound"), where the Matterhorn would eventually sprout.

And now for another view from 1962 (published on GDB in 2007); once again, Fantasyland looks especially colorful and clean and lemony-fresh. I'm sort of surprised at that girl's poofy skirt, which I thought would be long out of fashion by '62. The variety of curves and lines and hues and values all add up to one lovely picture.


Chuck said...

So many wonderful little details in that first photo! A plethora of brightly-colored table umbrellas, a glimpse of the Tuna Boat through the pine tree on the left, the Moonliner poking up above the Fantasyland battlements, the Skyway buckets marching off over the horizon to certain doom. There's a kid wearing plaid pants waiting in line for Dumbo, and there's a character that appears to be wearing a costume left over from my high school production of "Guys & Dolls" to the left of the ticket or refreshment booth on the extreme right, complete with fedora, white tie, and carnation.

And I'd never really noticed the symbolism inherent in the Dumbo attraction before. Note the red-painted ring in the ground surrounding the ride. It's painted with multiple yellow stars, which at a cursory glance could be taken for circus decorations, but on closer inspection are obviously a representation of the flag of the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam, symbolizing the entire international communist threat. Note that it's static, concrete, menacing as it slowly tries to encircle the Free World, here represented by a moving, active, and vibrant central ride mechanism topped by a shining mirrored ball, symbolic of a great big beautiful tomorrow for the whole world if the West can just hold on. And what's protecting this dream from the communist menace? American airpower and the Republican administration of Dwight David Eisenhower.

Chuck said...

...represented by flying elephants. It's an amazing feat of subtle political commentary that could only have been pulled off by Walt and his Imagineers.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Kinda on a (Von) Roll with the Skyway photos, I like it.

The color in pic 2 is great. Nice to see one from so many years ago "pop" like that. Makes it (Fantasyland) look new again.

Clyde Hughes said...

Great shots! Is the tower on Holiday Hill the white one, or the somewhat more temporary looking girder-ish one? Maybe those girders are symbolizing the chaos inherent in Communism?
The colors are wonderful - such plain wonderful photos. If I had said 'wonderful' one more time, then it may have been time for a Lawrence Welk visit...oh well...

Nanook said...

@ Clyde Hughes-

It's the 'girder-ish one. Look here to see a cool picture.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, your translation of the secret "messages" in the Dumbo ride almost reminds me of the stuff in "The DaVinci Code"! Brilliant.

Alonzo, I just watched Chris Merritt's presentation about Pacific Ocean Park, which had a Von Roll skyway consisting of round clear "bubbles" that you sat in. Now I wish that Disneyland had THOSE.

Clyde, I see that Nanook already answered you, but I will back him up and agree that the more distant, substantial Skyway support is the one on Holiday Hill.

Nanook, now I am going to use the adjective "girder-ish" to describe EVERYTHING. "Man, this hamburger is positively girder=ish!".